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Grape and Raisin Poisoning in Dogs

 

Can Dogs Eat Grapes?

 

Grape and raisin (dried grapes) toxicity is well documented in dogs. Although the exact substance that causes the toxic reaction is not yet known, dogs should not eat grapes and raisins because even small amounts can prove to be fatally toxic for a dog.

 

Dogs of any age, breed, or gender may be affected. Grapes and raisins are bad for dogs because one of the most serious complications of grape/raisin toxicity is acute (sudden) kidney failure with lack of urine production (anuria). However, kidney failure is not seen in all dogs after ingestion of grapes or raisins, and again, the reason why some dogs are affected excessively while others are not is still being studied. 

 

Symptoms and Types

 

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea – often within a few hours; after 24 hours of ingestion vomit and fecal contents may contain pieces of grapes or raisin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy, weakness, unusual quietness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Oliguria (passing only a small amount of urine)
  • Anuria (complete cessation of urine)
  • Kidney (renal) failure and death

 

Causes

 

Grape and/or raisin ingestion – even small amounts can be toxic for some dogs.

 

Immediate Treatment

 

This is an emergency needing immediate treatment. If you are positive that your dog ingested grapes or raisins, you will need to induce vomiting as soon as possible, before the toxins in the fruit can be absorbed.

 

Try to induce vomiting with a simple hydrogen peroxide solution of one teaspoon per five pounds of body weight – with no more than three teaspoons given at once. If vomiting does not take place within ten minutes of the first administration, you may try again, using the same amount. This method should not be given any more than three times, spaced apart at ten minute intervals.

 

If your dog has not vomited after the third dose, do not use it, or anything further, to try to induce vomiting. Do not use anything stronger than hydrogen peroxide without your veterinarian's assent, and do not induce vomiting unless you are absolutely sure of what your dog has ingested. If your dog has already vomited, do not try to force more vomiting.

 

Also, do not induce vomiting if your dog is unconscious, is having trouble breathing, or is exhibiting signs of serious distress or shock. Whether your dog vomits or not, after the initial care, you must rush it to a veterinary facility immediately.

 

Activated charcoal is also useful for preventing absorption of toxin. Call a veterinary doctor immediately upon learning of your dog's ingestion of the grapes or raisins to find out how much activated charcoal to administer to your dog. Keep in mind that you will still need to take your dog in for medical care, as some dogs are more sensitive than others and may need more intensive care, such as a stomach wash/lavage and fluid therapy.

 

Comments  5

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  • My dog loves grapes....
    11/25/2015 04:26pm

    ...I guess there is no difference to humans loving alcohol and tobacco. My 60lb Australian Shepherd/Cattle dog ate about 1lb of Black Seedless Grapes and had zero complications. He even really seemed to enjoy them. I busted him in the act and realized how much he ate and followed him around for a few hours and all was normal even still a few days later.

  • 07/26/2016 05:36pm

    I'm glad your aussie didn't die after eating a ton of grapes but the fact of the matter is, allowing your dog to eat grapes untreated is akin to playing russian roulette. The mechanism for toxicity isn't understood so who knows if its ok for your dog to eat grapes today and not eat grapes tomorrow.

    It's also worth noting that the window to take action and protect your dog from acute kidney failure is very narrow. Once that window passes and the grapes are absorbed into the blood stream there's a odds of treatment working start decreasing and the cost of care shoots through the roof.

  • 08/11/2016 01:13pm

    Exactly! For all we known, the Mendelian trait that determines toxicity to grapes may be genetic, that is, inheritated among certain species/"family trees" of dogs.

  • Well documented
    09/11/2016 04:57pm

    "Well documented in dogs" how? What studies show this connection?

  • My dog loves grapes too
    09/21/2016 09:09pm

    We give grapes and raising to our 70 lb. dog all the time. All. The. Time. Because of the warnings we are careful not to overdo it; we aren't dog abusers, tempting fate, or trying to prove anything. But people who should know better and still promote hysteria by not quantifying their warnings do the public a disservice.

    We've had similar experiences with hysteria over chocolate and pork. We avoided letting our dogs touch chocolate until one day, to our amazement, a trainer gave one of our dogs an Oreo cookie. That prompted us to look up just how much chocolate was toxic to dogs. It turns out the toxicity level is approximately 2 oz. per lb. of body weight. That meant our dog would have to have eaten about two pounds of pure chocolate to experience distress! Clearly this means that dogs and chocolate should be separated, but who in their right mind would feed their dog such an amount of chocolate? Meanwhile, people are freaking out if their dogs gobble up a few grains of chocolate cereal their kids spill onto the floor.

    Another of our dogs gobbled up a raw, 1" thick pork chop I had set aside as I was carrying it to our outdoor grill. Having been advised never to feed dogs any amount of pork, much less raw, I panicked and took her to an emergency clinic. I left with advice not to worry about it and a $150 bill (this was after hours on a weekend). Thanks for the hysterical, unquantified advice, folks. I know you think you're doing a service than that it's better to be safe than sorry, but you can't stop at the qualitative, "any is bad" level.

    Sugar is bad for your kids too. Does that make you stop at "zero tolerance?" Do you freak out when you see your kids with a piece of candy or—God forbid—dessert?

    It would be nice if, instead of harping on the same relatively innocuous foodstuffs over and over again, we could get someone to report on the toxicity of sugar-free products. Everyone knows that Xylitol is toxic to dogs. But what about other sugar alcohols, such as Malitol?



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