Heinz body formation in cats fed baby food containing onion powder

Jane E. Robertson From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Robertson), Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Christopher), and Department of Molecular Biosciences (Rogers), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

Search for other papers by Jane E. Robertson in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM
,
Mary M. Christopher From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Robertson), Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Christopher), and Department of Molecular Biosciences (Rogers), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

Search for other papers by Mary M. Christopher in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD
, and
Quinton R. Rogers From the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (Robertson), Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Christopher), and Department of Molecular Biosciences (Rogers), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

Search for other papers by Quinton R. Rogers in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 PhD

Click on author name to view affiliation information

Objective

To determine whether cats fed baby food with onion powder develop Heinz bodies and anemia and to establish a dose-response relation between dietary onion powder content and Heinz body formation.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

42 healthy, adult, specific-pathogen-free cats.

Procedure

Commercial baby food with and without onion powder was fed to 2 groups of 6 cats for 5 weeks. Heinz body percentage, PCV, reticulocyte percentage, turbidity index, and methemoglobin and reduced glutathione concentrations were determined twice weekly and then weekly for 4 weeks following removal of the diet. For the dose-response study, 5 groups of 6 cats were fed a canned diet for 2 months that contained 0, 0.3, 0.75, 1.5, or 2.5% onion powder. Heinz body percentage, PCV, and reticulocyte percentage were determined twice weekly.

Results

Compared with cats fed baby food without onion powder, cats ingesting baby food with onion powder had significantly higher Heinz body percentages that peaked at 33 to 53%. Methemoglobin concentration also significantly increased but did not exceed 1.2%. Glutathione concentration, PCV, and food intake did not differ between the 2 groups. Rate and degree of Heinz body formation differed significantly between various onion powder concentrations fed. Compared with 0% onion powder, the diet with 2.5% onion powder caused a significant decrease in PCV and an increased punctate reticulocyte percentage.

Clinical Implications

Baby food or other foods containing similar amounts of onion powder should be avoided for use in cats because of Heinz body formation and the potential for development of anemia, particularly with high food intake. Cats with diseases associated with oxidative stress may develop additive hemoglobin damage when fed baby food containing onion powder. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212: 1260–1266)

Objective

To determine whether cats fed baby food with onion powder develop Heinz bodies and anemia and to establish a dose-response relation between dietary onion powder content and Heinz body formation.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

42 healthy, adult, specific-pathogen-free cats.

Procedure

Commercial baby food with and without onion powder was fed to 2 groups of 6 cats for 5 weeks. Heinz body percentage, PCV, reticulocyte percentage, turbidity index, and methemoglobin and reduced glutathione concentrations were determined twice weekly and then weekly for 4 weeks following removal of the diet. For the dose-response study, 5 groups of 6 cats were fed a canned diet for 2 months that contained 0, 0.3, 0.75, 1.5, or 2.5% onion powder. Heinz body percentage, PCV, and reticulocyte percentage were determined twice weekly.

Results

Compared with cats fed baby food without onion powder, cats ingesting baby food with onion powder had significantly higher Heinz body percentages that peaked at 33 to 53%. Methemoglobin concentration also significantly increased but did not exceed 1.2%. Glutathione concentration, PCV, and food intake did not differ between the 2 groups. Rate and degree of Heinz body formation differed significantly between various onion powder concentrations fed. Compared with 0% onion powder, the diet with 2.5% onion powder caused a significant decrease in PCV and an increased punctate reticulocyte percentage.

Clinical Implications

Baby food or other foods containing similar amounts of onion powder should be avoided for use in cats because of Heinz body formation and the potential for development of anemia, particularly with high food intake. Cats with diseases associated with oxidative stress may develop additive hemoglobin damage when fed baby food containing onion powder. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212: 1260–1266)

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 233 233 113
PDF Downloads 92 92 18
Advertisement