What are Green Bean Allergies?
Dermatitis (skin irritation, itching, and rash) is usually the first sign of allergy in dogs just as with people. Unfortunately, we usually overlook these symptoms or mistake them as dry skin or fleas, depending on the weather. Skin is the body’s only protection from the elements, so it is very important and can be an immediate sign of a problem. Itchy and scaly skin, bald spots, and hives are all symptoms of a green bean allergy. While they are not one of the most common food allergens, green beans and other vegetables are among the many human foods that have triggered allergy symptoms in dogs. It is best to feed your dog a high-quality commercial dog food unless your veterinarian suggests something else.
Dogs can be allergic to human foods just like we are, which is why it is not a good idea to feed them scraps or leftovers. However, green beans are a healthy food if they come straight from your garden with no pesticides, fertilizers, or seasonings on them. Even canned green beans can be suitable for your dog if your veterinarian approves, but some dogs have an allergy to green beans that may be mistaken for something else. For example, if your dog vomits or has diarrhea after eating or has been scratching more than usual since you started the green bean diet, it may be an allergy. In addition, in some cases, a serious reaction called anaphylactic shock can be triggered from a food allergy. This is an emergency and happens very quickly. Your dog may be eating one minute and then start having breathing trouble, vomiting, and having a seizure before you know something is wrong. Coma and death will follow if you do not get treatment immediately.
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Symptoms of Green Bean Allergies in Dogs
Although the most common symptom of allergy is itchy skin and rash, with food allergies it may present as diarrhea, vomiting, watery eyes, and a runny nose. Some of the common green beans allergy symptoms are:
- Anaphylactic shock (cold feet, extreme tiredness, hyperventilation, respiratory failure, slow and faint pulse, weakness
- Ear inflammation and itching
- Excessive licking of any part of the body
- Licking and chewing feet
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
- Severe itching
- Shaking head
- Skin rash
- Watery eyes
Green beans have many varieties and styles and can also be included in some dog foods. Some of the different types of green beans are:
- Blue lake
- Bush beans
- Kentucky blue
- Kentucky wonder
- Pole beans
- Runner beans
Causes of Green Bean Allergies in Dogs
All dogs of any species, gender, and age can develop an allergy to green beans, but it is most often seen in:
- Dogs over six months of age
- Cocker Spaniels
- German Shepherds
- Miniature Schnauzers
- Scottish Terriers
- Shetland Sheepdogs
- West Highland White Terriers
- Wirehair Terriers
Diagnosis of Green Bean Allergies in Dogs
Food allergies in dogs can be hard to diagnose because there are typically many ingredients in the foods and treats you buy. You will have to do a food elimination trial to determine the cause, but if green beans are the only new food you have been giving your dog, let your veterinarian know. The veterinarian will do a thorough physical examination including body temperature, weight, blood pressure, reflexes, respiration and pulse rates, breath sounds, and skin condition. The various tests needed include a complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry profile, electrolyte panel, glucose levels, urinalysis, and fecal examination. These diagnostic tools will be utilized to rule out any underlying disease or illness. The veterinarian may also take a skin scraping sample in order to rule out bacterial or fungal infection.
To test for allergies, the best way is the food trial elimination diet. The veterinarian will instruct you how, but it is usually done by taking away all foods and then starting over with one food at a time to determine the problem. When you start your food trial, it is important to use food suggested by your veterinarian. This is usually a product with limited ingredients. Each food should be tried for several weeks to see if any of the symptoms return. Your veterinarian will be able to instruct you throughout the elimination trial on which foods to use at each stage, possibly suggesting a diet in which the proteins are broken down into to smaller sizes that can be absorbed without causing an allergic reaction.
Treatment of Green Bean Allergies in Dogs
Your dog’s treatment depends on the symptoms. If your dog has had diarrhea or vomiting due to the ingestion of the green beans, intravenous fluids and electrolytes will be given to prevent dehydration.
Treating the Skin
A cortisone cream and hypoallergenic shampoo for the inflammation and rash will help alleviate the itching within 7 to 10 days. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection from scratching.
It can take several months to find a food that does not cause a reaction in your dog, but there are many brands of dog food that have limited ingredient and novel meats to lessen the chance of allergy. It is the previous exposure that causes the allergic reaction so a new kind of meat is the best choice.
Recovery of Green Bean Allergies in Dogs
Once you figure out if it is the green beans that your dog is allergic to, your veterinarian can suggest a diet that should help. It is essential to only use the one type that your veterinarian suggests and nothing else. You should not feed your dog any treats, bones, or people food while doing the trial. You will have to start reading the ingredients on food and treats before purchase to make sure green beans are not included. As well, inform all family members of the importance of adhering to the dietary requirements. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to call your veterinarian.