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What are Potato Allergies?

When the immune system responds forcefully to a perceived threat, in this case, potatoes, an allergic reaction occurs. Potatoes are a common canine allergen due to the preponderance of allergen types that are contained within the potato, and they are frequently used as a carbohydrate source in foods and treats. Canines who develop food allergies, like allergies to potatoes, will experience inflamed and itchy skin and are prone to developing chronic conditions such as indigestion, ear infections, and wheezing. Although rare with canines, anaphylactic shock may also occur with food allergies. Dogs who have been diagnosed with allergies to other types of foods are more likely to develop allergies to new food sources.

An allergy to potatoes is an over-reaction of your dog's immune system to an unwelcome protein that is present in the tubers themselves.

Potato Allergies Average Cost

From 561 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Potato Allergies in Dogs

Food allergies are more common in adult dogs, but can happen at any age. Signs that your dog is allergic potatoes might include: 

  • Bald patches
  • Biting of paws
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Chronic gas
  • Coughing 
  • Difficulty walking
  • Face rubbing
  • Hives
  • Inflamed feet
  • Obsessive licking
  • Poor growth 
  • Skin infections
  • Skin rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

Dogs do not often develop anaphylactic shock due to food allergy, but it does happen. The anaphylactic shock should be treated as an emergency, and your pet should be rushed for treatment to the nearest veterinary hospital if the following signs develop. These symptoms could include:

  • Cold limbs
  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Excessive drooling
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pale gums
  • Seizures
  • Sudden diarrhea
  • Sudden vomiting

Types

Potato plants, like many other plants in the Solanaceae family, produce a type of neurotoxin known as glycoalkaloids. These toxins are generally restricted to the green portions of the plant, particularly the stems and shoots, but can also be found in potatoes that have turned green, usually due to sun damage during their growth. Any green portions of potatoes should be removed before cooking.

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Causes of Potato Allergies in Dogs

Allergies to potatoes are due to an unwarranted defensive response to a protein in the potato that your dog’s immune cells view as an intruder. 60-70% of the immune system cells are estimated to reside within the digestive system of mammals, mostly as white blood cells called enterocytes. The digestive system breaks down the food we eat into their smallest parts, called amino acids, which are then absorbed by the enterocytes. When the proteins from the potato are not entirely broken down during the digestive process, the enterocytes then view these particles as intruders instead of as nutrients and attack them. The response of the white blood cells to the proteins in the potato will, over time, become more aggressive which causes the symptoms to become more intense. 

An allergy to one or more of the amino acids found in potatoes can also cause localized itchy rashes when the juice from the potato contacts the skin.

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Diagnosis of Potato Allergies in Dogs

Due to the skin related symptoms of an allergic reaction, your veterinarian will collect skin sample by scraping the cells off the surface of the affected skin. A microscopic evaluation of the collected skin cells, called cutaneous cytology, will be done to search for signs of mites, yeast infections, or other diseases. If no other underlying causes are brought to light, a food allergy may be suspected. An elimination diet is usually utilized to confirm the diagnosis of a food based allergy. An elimination diet is done by replacing the food your dog is currently eating with either a new diet of limited-ingredient or hypoallergenic commercial dog food or a diet of bland human food. This process usually takes several weeks, and it is essential that your dog does not ingest anything other than the food that has been chosen as the replacement food during the elimination trial. A single treat that includes the allergen can cause the allergy to resurface and derail the entire process. 

All of the ingredients that constitute the dog’s current diet should be avoided when choosing the replacement food source as the symptoms may be triggered by multiple allergens. It is also possible that your pet is allergic to the entire food family, so avoiding food that is similar to past foods may prove to be more efficient. Other foods in the plant family that potatoes belong to, Solanaceae, also includes plants like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and tobacco. If your pet has a predisposition for food allergies multiple allergens may be involved. A properly executed elimination trial will cause the signs of allergy to cease until the allergen is reintroduced.

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Treatment of Potato Allergies in Dogs

Elimination diets take several weeks to confirm that an allergy exists, and may take even longer to expose that the allergy is to potatoes or in the Solanaceae family. Your dog may continue to experience symptoms until the food antigens that are causing the reaction have been expelled from his system. Veterinarians will often choose to complete the diagnosis through the elimination diet before applying symptomatic medications such as antihistamines or corticosteroids to relieve itching and swelling. Although these preparations can be highly efficient at easing dermal symptoms, they are also capable of obscuring the ultimate source of the allergic reaction by masking the allergic reactions. 

Secondary skin infections are common due to the damage to the epidermis and antibiotics are often prescribed to eliminate these conditions. Once the source of the allergy has been identified as potato, you will need to avoid feeding that ingredient to your dog in the future. Potatoes belong to the same family of plants as eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers, so a dog that is allergic to potatoes may be prone to developing these allergies as well.

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Recovery of Potato Allergies in Dogs

Potatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals for the average dog, however for canines who are allergic to potatoes they can cause a great deal of discomfort. Food allergies are not a curable disorder, but the allergy related symptoms are easily dispersed by cutting the allergens from your dog’s diet. If your dog has exhibited an allergic response to one kind of food, they are more likely to acquire new food-related allergies, particularly foods similar to the one they are allergic to. 

The approach to preventing new allergies due to this tendency varies within the veterinary profession, with some veterinary professionals maintaining that a steady rotation of three of four novel protein foods is optimal and other advocating that your pet remains on a single source of food as long as new allergies do not develop.

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Potato Allergies Average Cost

From 561 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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Potato Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Mika

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Jack Russell Terrier

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6 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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I have a 6 year old neutered female jack Russell and she has recently been tested for food allergy due to vomiting on a regular basis and the results came back she is allergic to 22 different food and there in every single food I have found I’ve been researching for many hours and been with the vet to try and find a best diet for her Does anyone know anyone else who’s been in a similar situation Here is a list of her allergies She can’t have Chicken Turkey Pork Beef Tuna Salmon White fish Corn Wheat Potatoes Rice Soybean Ostrich Beet pulp Millet Egg Duck Barley Rabbit Lamb Cows milk Venison Any help would be great

Sept. 19, 2018

Mika's Owner

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Cookie

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Cavapoo

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8 Months

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Itching And Licking
Gas,

Cookie is constantly biting and licking his paws and back, has gas and very soft stools. I have been trying different foods, but none seem to tackle both conditions. I am currently feeding him scrambled eggs in the morning, white fish and sweet potato in the evening to firm his stools before I try a different food brand, but I didn't realise sweet potatoes could actually be the culprit. How can I find out what he is actually allergic/intolerant to while still feeding him a complete diet (store bought)?

Aug. 18, 2018

Cookie's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

There are actually prescription diets that are available to do just that, and they have been formulated so that there are no allergens that Cookie will react to. Any protein or carbohydrate source can be the problem, and it can be a daunting task to try and figure out which one he is having a problem with. The idea behind the prescription hypoallergenic diets is that food is removed as a source of allergies, and if the problems resolve, you know that food was the problem. Once you know that, you can trial different food sources. Your veterinarian can guide you in the prescription diets.

Aug. 18, 2018

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Java

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Labrador Retriever

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

My dog is allergic to Potatoes (4 out of 5), Rice (4 out of 5), Yeast 3 out of 5, Salmon, Pea, Egg, milk (1 out of 5 which is not bad enough to switch).... I am trying to find a food that fits her.. If she eats those food, she often diarrhea uncontrollable... I really cant find any good treats (crunchy) or good food... (Shes Lab mix 70 lbs 1 year old rescused last september)... Currently feeding her Zignature Pork/Turkey/Duck.

April 8, 2018

Java's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Given Java's food allergies, it may be best to stick with a prescription limited antigen diet, of which there are many available through your veterinarian. You may also be able to feed her a yam based diet, but it would be best to check with your veterinarian to make sure that the yam won't react similarly to potato.

April 9, 2018

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Xan

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American bully

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4 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Itching
Poor Appetite
Biting
Red Bumps

4 month old Bluenose pit bully with red underbelly, scans on his underbelly, constant bitting his fur and licking his paws, ear infections...what’s the cause ? Vet originally said it was a bacterial infection and gave me an antibiotic. He’s been off it for about 2 weeks now and all the above symptoms are still current. He is on acana dry food (beef pork and lamb) he also has sweet potatoe treats he eats and I have been giving him cocunt oil and and Alaskan salmon oil.

March 12, 2018

Xan's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

It is possible that Xan has a food allergy especially if he is going at his paws; you should try feeding a restricted ingredient diet for a few weeks to see if there are any improvements, if there are you can add different ingredients one by one to see which one causes a reaction. A shortcut to this would be to do allergy testing to see if Xan shows any allergies either by blood test or skin testing. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 12, 2018

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Tank

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English Bulldog

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9 Months

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Redness In Between Pads On Feet

Hi! My English bulldog, Tank, is now 9 months old. When I got him, he was eating royal canine which I do not like. He had horrible watery eyes and threw up often. After his prolapse surgery in November, I transitioned him over to organix pristine beef and chickpea. No issues other than it is $80 for 15 pounds!!! He’s eating 3 1/2 cups a day. In addition to that, his behavior changed a bit and thought the high levels of protein were the culprit. Switched to taste of the wild salmon and instantly it was bad. Facial wrinkles were yeasty. Went back to organix and it was better. Wanted to try something else and went taste of the wild high prairie which is beef etc. He is currently on that, facial folds fine, did a little head shake for a couple of days like his ear was bothering him so I cleaned with malacetic and those seem okay but I noticed redness between pads on bottom of his feet. Each day they are redder. Not between the toes yet, but I fear they will get worse. I used malacetic wipes on his feet but it seemed as though I irritated them. I researched this morning all the foods he’s been on and I noticed a commonality between the two I found he had some allergy to.... sweet potatoes!!! Could this be?? We never had a skin issue until we tried taste of the wild but I’m becoming more and more discouraged. I forgot to add that he also is on Nupro as a dietary supplement which has been for several weeks now and also has been been taking extra virgin coconut oil with his feedings. The vet said it’s very expensive to do allergy testing. It can’t be the beef or chicken or salmon because there are either traces or oils of those things in ALL the foods he’s been on so far.

Jan. 21, 2018

Tank's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

Allergies can be troublesome and expensive to manage, whilst I agree that allergy testing may be expensive I believe that it would make economic sense to do allergy testing to get a list of allergens so that you can check food labels and find a cheaper alternative than Organix at $80 for 15lb (think long term cost saving). Whilst potatoes and sweet potatoes are commonly used in allergy diets, it is possible for a dog to be allergic to anything so if you have noticed a common ingredient between the foods which Tank is sensitive to either search for foods without potatoes (regular and sweet) or do allergy testing first to identify any other allergens. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.varlallergy.com/15.html

Jan. 22, 2018

Might not be the same, but my 10-year-old english bulldog is allergic to chicken and gets redness between paws and his eye folds. I have had him on salmon/sweet potato mix (tried various brands and so far the Rachel Ray Just Six and the Merrick Limited Ingredient seem to work the best). Check the ingredients of even the non-chicken mixture of food as I quickly found that even the "beef" or "venison" foods how chicken in the ingredients. Even the most minute amount of chicken can, for my bully, cause the redness. Good luck!

Aug. 2, 2018

Cari S.

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Groot

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Mix

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Eyes
Red Eyes
Coughing,
Face Rubbing
Weepy Eyes

My dog LOVED these combo duck/sweet potato treats. He also loves the duck treat (another treat, same brand without the potato). I noticed his eyes were weeping a lot, they were often red and sometimes swollen. He rubbed his face on us, his bed, and between his paws a lot. He also chewed on his back feet sometimes. If he’d had more than 2 of these treats in one day he would also cough/hack a lot like he was trying to clear his throat. Once we stopped feeding him those treats nearly all of those symptoms disappeared. He still coughs on occasion and potato is an ingredient low on the list of his food’s ingredients. Next step will be to change his food and see if it gets rid of the remaining symptoms.

Potato Allergies Average Cost

From 561 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400