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What is Potato (Green) Poisoning?

Although potatoes are a healthy vegetable for humans, it is best not to feed any part of a raw potato or potato skins to your dog because of the toxins they contain. The potato, as well as other vegetables, such as tomatoes and eggplant, produces solanine as a natural defense to deter insects. Even in small amounts, your dog can have symptoms similar to food poisoning due to the solanine and chaconine. Solanine is a cholinesterase inhibitor that can prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. This causes reduced function of the nervous system and the body’s organs by building up in the tissues, especially the liver. Solanine has also been found in other major organs such as the brain, lungs, heart, and kidneys. These toxins can make humans sick as well, but it would take a lot more potatoes than we would eat to cause even mild symptoms. However, it is best not to eat potatoes that have green skin or are growing sprouts whether they are cooked or not, and definitely never feed them to your dog.

Green potato poisoning in dogs occurs when a dog consumes too much solanine, which is a glycoalkaloid naturally produced in green or raw potatoes, potato skins, and the foliage from the potato plant. Solanine poisoning can cause heart problems, difficulty breathing, and gastrointestinal upset. The raw potato and skins also contain chaconine, which is toxic and can cause irritation to the digestive tract, nervous system symptoms (tremors), and kidney function disorders. If you think your dog has eaten green potatoes, skins, or foliage, you should call your veterinarian or visit your local animal hospital even if there are no symptoms.

Potato (Green) Poisoning Average Cost

From 65 quotes ranging from $200 - $300

Average Cost

$250

Symptoms of Potato (Green) Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms may vary depending on how much solanine and chaconine was in the potatoes or potato skins your dog ate, and the size and health of your dog. Most often, the symptoms will be mild, unless your dog is very small, ill, or if a great amount of potatoes have been consumed in a short amount of time. The most common symptoms reported are:

  • Bleeding
  • Burning of the throat
  • Cardiac dysrhythmia
  • Death
  • Delirium
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dizziness
  • Excess drooling
  • Fever
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea
  • Headache
  • Heart problems
  • Jaundice
  • Loss of sensation
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Numbness and burning sensation of the tongue, mouth, and lips
  • Paralysis
  • Progressive paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Shock
  • Slow pulse
  • Slowed breathing
  • Swelling of tongue or lips
  • Trembling
  • Vision changes
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
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Causes of Potato (Green) Poisoning in Dogs

Solanine symptoms are caused by the interruption of the chemical acetylcholine, which is important in transmitting nerve impulses. This chemical is also reported to cause cell membrane damage, which can cause irritation of the nervous system and intestinal tract. The chemical is found in:

  • Green potatoes
  • Potato foliage
  • Raw potato skins
  • Sprouts grown on potatoes
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Diagnosis of Potato (Green) Poisoning in Dogs

Your veterinarian will need to know what your dog ate, how much, and how long ago it happened. You should also let the veterinarian know what symptoms you have seen, your dog’s medical history, and any illnesses or injuries. A comprehensive physical examination will be done, which will include temperature, weight, height, pulse, reflexes, blood pressure and breathing rate.

They will also need to complete some tests, such as complete blood count, chemical panel, blood gas, glucose level, urinalysis, kidney and liver function tests, and a chest x-ray. In addition, an electrocardiogram (ECG) may be done to monitor your dog’s heart rate if needed. If the chest x-ray shows any abnormalities, the veterinarian will do an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan to get a better look at what is going on.

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Treatment of Potato (Green) Poisoning in Dogs

The treatment for your dog will include giving apomorphine to inducing vomiting and activated charcoal to absorb any toxin that may be left in the stomach. The veterinarian will sedate your dog and provide IV fluids and oxygen therapy. If they suspect there is still toxin in your dog’s system, he will perform a gastric lavage. This procedure includes inserting a tube into your dog’s mouth to flush out the stomach with saline solution. Medication, such as a physostigmine or pilocarpine will be administered to help boost your dog’s nervous system, and gastrointestinal protectants and laxatives may be used as well.

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Recovery of Potato (Green) Poisoning in Dogs

How well your dog recovers depends on the amount of solanine ingested and how quickly treatment is given. As with any illness, providing a quiet place to rest when your pet returns home is key to recovery. Be certain to contact your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns. To prevent this from happening again, do not let your dog eat raw potatoes, potato skins, or foliage and make sure he cannot get into the trash where potato peels may be.

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Potato (Green) Poisoning Average Cost

From 65 quotes ranging from $200 - $300

Average Cost

$250

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Potato (Green) Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Husky

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4 months

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6 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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N/A

Hi my dog dug through a potted russell potato and consumed half the potato. What should I do?

Aug. 23, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Depending on whether the potato was rotten or not, your puppy may or may not show any signs. It would be best to monitor your puppy for any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite. If any of those signs occur, then it would be best to have your have your pup seen by a veterinarian. I hope that all goes well.

Aug. 23, 2020

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Rhodesian Ridgeback

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6 months

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5 found helpful

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My puppy just ate a whole raw potato, is it Going to kill her? I didn’t know potatoes were bad for dogs. She’s very healthy and up to date on all her shots

Aug. 3, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. It is unlikely that this one time episode of eating a raw potato will cause any problems for her. You may see some GI upset, and if you see any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite, it would be best to have her seen by your veterinarian. I do think she is going to be okay, however. I hope that all goes well.

Aug. 3, 2020

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Hound mix

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7 mo

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4 found helpful

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None

40 lb dog ate 3 oz of raw potatoes

July 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. That one time small amount of potatoes should not cause any toxicity, but may cause GI upset. If he starts vomiting, having diarrhea, becomes lethargic or doesn't want to eat, then it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian. They would be able to examine him, see what might be going on, and give him treatment if needed. I hope that all goes well for him.

July 25, 2020

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French Bulldog

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Seven Months

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5 found helpful

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Our puppy got a hold of a raw potato. It doesn’t appear that she ate any of it. Just chewed it apart on one end. Will she be ok? Even if she maybe ate a tiny piece?

July 19, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. A small amount of raw potato should not cause any harm for her. I would monitor her for any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite or weird Behavior, but I think she's going to be okay. I hope that all goes well for her.

July 19, 2020

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Shih Tzu

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Six Years

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0 found helpful

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Tarry Stool

NOTE: he does not have tarry stool. The site just wouldn't let me move on if I did not list a symptom. My dog is showing no symptoms, but I dropped about a quarter-sized piece of raw potato on the ground and he got ahold of it. He's on doxycycline (50 mg) for a week as an antibiotic. He's about 13 pounds. Should I be concerned?

July 16, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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Hello A small piece of a raw potato is not a concern.

July 16, 2020

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Shadow

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Pit bull

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3 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Vomiting
Lethargic
Panting
Lack Of Appetite
Lack Of Coordination
Bloody Mouth

shadow is a 3 month old pit bull. Last night me and my mate thought it was a nice idea to let him and his brother sleep outside of the kennel since they are being raised as house pets. Well shadow got into cardboard and bake potato skins and ate a lot of the skin. Took him to petsmart this morning and they opted to put him to sleep. This was when we thought he ingested cardboard. I declined the put down idea because he was just fine the night before and he deserves a chance to fight the problem himself. Once home him and his brother were let out to potty and shadow threw up. In it was carrots from the leftover noodle cup he got into and a nice size of potato skin peeling. After seeing this I skipped petsmart and called a vet hosptital. They told me to watch him for the next day and feed him boiled chicken and rice. If anyone has any other ideas of helping him get better it would be greatly appreciated. He is a kindhearted puppy with a bright future ahead of him. Me my mate and shadows brother would be in much distress if we had to put him down. We also dont have money for surgery, so if needed that would be the only option but its one none of us want.

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Diamond

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Rednose pit

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4 Years

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Fair severity

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No Symptoms

I have a rednose pit named diamond. She is always around when i cook i try to get my daughter that is also alway around when i cool to pick up any food that falls when i cut up veggies last night as i was cutting up the potatoes. A slice fell on the floor and before my daughter could get it diamond gobbled it up i didnt think much of it and said oh well cause occasionally she gets to the food before my daughter can get it up. I joke and call diamond a vacuum cleaner cause shes always trying to get anything off the floor. BShe has gotten into candy and also chocolate before and has been fine. But i thought maybe i should see if potato is ok for dogs after reading this i checked on her but shes acting normal not any weird behavior so ill watch her if she has any issues i know what it would be.

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Khaleesi

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American Pit Bull Terrier

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3 Years

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Fair severity

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None

The last night I gave my dog a couple of slices of a fresh raw potato. After doing I immediately thought I should see if it was ok. Now after reading into it I'm concerned I may have poisoned my dog. I haven't seen anything yet. Please advise. Thank you Adam

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GG

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English Bulldog

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6 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

my dog (approx. 60lbs.) at a slice of raw potato (about 1/2"x3") last night. this morning she ate her breakfast, and shortly after threw it all up. should I take her to emergency, or is this maybe a symptom she will recover from without emergency visit.

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Cricket

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Labrador Retriever and old english bulldog

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1 Year

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Itchy
Swollen Ears
Swollen Face
Digging At Blankets
Can'T Get Comfy

my year old puppy ate a couple of potatos yesterday and they had sprouts growing on them. Her face and ears are very swollen and she is always itchy. Are these symptoms, and should I take her to the vet?

Potato (Green) Poisoning Average Cost

From 65 quotes ranging from $200 - $300

Average Cost

$250