Goodboy Norman Featherstone

Monday, August 13, 2007

Atropine and Tomatine Make Puggies Sick

Some of my doggy friends are wondering why they shouldn't eat tomatoes. Woman couldn't remember exactly why, so I went out on the Internets to get some more information. This is what I found on (no, it isn't a naughty website):

Tomatoes (plant and fruit) contain tomatine, an alkaloid related to solanine. As the fruit ripens, the tomatine is metabolized. Therefore, ripe tomatoes are less likely to be problematic for animals. Clinical signs of poisoning include lethargy, drooling, difficulty breathing, colic, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, widely-dilated pupils, paralysis, cardiac effects, central nervous system signs (e.g., ataxia, muscle weakness, tremors, seizures), resulting from cholinesterase inhibition, coma and death. (This information comes from veterinarians, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.) (All parts of the plant except the tomato itself are poisonous to humans, although some people are sensitive to the ripe fruit also.)

Tomatoes also contain atropine, which can cause dilated pupils, tremors, and heart arrhythmias. The highest concentration of atropine is found in the leaves and stems of tomato plants, with less in unripe (green) tomatoes, and even less in ripe (red) tomatoes.

I read this as, "Your puggie can eat all the tomatoes he wants as long as he doesn't eat the leaves or stems." Woman reads this as, "Your puggie can have a couple ripe tomatoes every now and then, but don't let him be a greedy Pete." I'll let you decide which of us is correct.


  • At 11:18 AM, Blogger Duke & Gidget said…

    Last year I scarfed some tomatoes from out of our garden, but then I threw up on the couch. For some reason, we aren't growing tomatoes this year.


  • At 1:10 PM, Blogger LMizzle said…

    Yeah I only let Winston and Zelda eat a few as well, but we're nowhere near a garden, so they haven't ever even seen the rest of a tomato plant!


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