Can I give potatoes to my dog?
The answer is NO if it is raw, sprouted or green. Potatoes are a popular food and can be very toxic, especially if they are sprouted or raw. It is therefore very important to remain vigilant and store this vegetable in a place inaccessible to your pets.
In this article, we will explain the dangers of potatoes, their toxic dose and the symptoms of raw potato poisoning in our four-legged friend.
The dangers of potatoes for dogs
The potato belongs to the Solanaceae family that includes nearly 3000 species such as tomato, eggplant and chilli just to name a few. These plants are also toxic for dogs, due to the toxic alkaloid compounds they are made of, which are solanine and chaconine.
These toxic substances are present in the entire potato plant: in the flower, fruit, leave, peel and also in the edible part: the tuber.
You are cooking when, suddenly, your dog looks at you. You want to give him a little treat but you wonder if he can eat the food you are holding in your hand.
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Solanine is an inhibitor and neurotransmitter produced by plants such as potatoes, tomatoes or eggplant as a kind of natural defence against insects.
The toxicity of raw, green or sprouted potatoes is therefore linked to solanine and chaconine.
In addition, the presence of a big amount of raw starch in potatoes can cause digestive problems if large quantities are ingested, because starch is a nutrient that is very difficult for dogs to digest.
How much should not be exceeded?
About ten cases of potato poisoning are recorded in France every year. The toxic dose of potato is not precisely known. But according to CAPAE (Animal and Environmental Poison Control Centre of the West), the toxic dose is 30 g per kilogram of body weight. We are talking about green, sprouted or damaged potatoes.
Cooked and skinless, yes
It is important to know that cooking breaks the potato's toxic compounds (solanine and chaconine) and it is therefore possible to give your dog a highly cooked and skinless potato as that is safe.
Symptoms of intoxication in dogs
Symptoms of potato poisoning appear about 12 hours after ingestion.
The ingestion of the raw potato therefore causes intoxication in dogs; symptoms can vary according to the quantity ingested and the health of the dog.
The most frequent symptoms of potato intoxication in dogs are digestive and nervous because solanine has an irritating action on the digestive mucous membranes and an inhibitory action on the transmission of nerve impulses. These include:
- Constipation followed by diarrhea with black stools;
- Loss of appetite;
- Swollen abdomen,
- Inflamed oral mucosa;
- Incoordination of movements;
- Loss of balance and dizziness;
- Difficulty breathing.
If a dog has ingested a large quantity and without management, this intoxication will lead to total paralysis, followed by coma and death within 24 hours.
My dog ate potatoes: what can I do?
If your dog has ingested potatoes or if you suspect he has been poisoned, the first thing you should do is take him to the vet immediately. Although there is no antidote, symptomatic treatment will be established by the veterinarian.
It consists of the administration of an emetic to expel the stomach contents and activated charcoal to absorb any ingested toxins. Gastric lavage is also recommended.
It is not advisable to take action without the approval of the veterinarian.
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