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Grape and Raisin Poisoning in Dogs

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Grape and Raisin Toxicity in Dogs

 

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

 

Dogs of any age, breed, or gender may be affected. 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.

 

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