Can rabbits eat onion or garlic ?
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This question comes back, when a rabbit is infested by intestinal parasitic worms, skin parasites, or shows high serum glucose values.
It is known that many animals develop hemolytic anemia or an anaphylactic reaction, after eating onion (cats, sheep, dog, horses, cattle). The fact that herbivores develop hemolysis seems interesting in relation to the rabbit. Indeed, all contain bacteria in their rumen, or cecum. It is suspected that the bacteria are involved in the onset or trigger the hemolysis reaction (shown in sheep).
Anaphylactic reaction seems possible in rabbits, after eating onion. There was a reference about it, but it seems impossible to track it back.
It is furthermore known that onion
has an immunosuppressive effect in rabbits; this alone would be a reason not
to include it in the diet of rabbits.
Chisty MM, Quddus R, Islam B, Khan BR. Effect of onion extract on immune response in rabbits. Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull. 1996 Aug;22(2):81-5.
Selim HM, Yamato O, Tajima M, Maede Y. Rumen bacteria are involved in the onset of onion-induced hemolytic anemia in sheep. J Vet Med Sci. 1999 Apr;61(4):369-74.
Vyas DS, Acharya RP, Dadhich AP, Godhwani JL, Purohit VS. Effect of Allium cepa (onion) on immune response in rabbit. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1983 Jul-Sep;27(3):259-60.