I read on your website why chocolate is bad for dogs, why are grapes bad for doggies?
Veterinary toxicologists at the Animal Poison Control Center are currently investigating cases where dogs have developed kidney failure after ingestion of large quantities of grapes and raisins. The veterinary toxicologists are attempting to determine the causative agents or disease processes. Pet owners whose dogs have ingested large quantities of grapes or raisins, or veterinarians managing such cases, are encouraged to call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435 immediately.
The following information was obtained from the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center’s EMail News Alert:
“STRANGE FRUIT? ASPCA REPORTS ON CASES OF CANINE KIDNEY FAILURE FROM GRAPES AND RAISINS
In response to reports of dogs developing kidney failure after eating large amounts of grapes or raisins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) conducted a review of all related cases in its database. Veterinary toxicologists found that all of the companion canines developed vomiting within six hours of ingestion; the estimated amounts of grapes or raisins eaten ranged from nine ounces to two pounds. Other commonly reported signs included diarrhea, anorexia, lethargy and abdominal pain, and all of the dogs developed evidence of kidney disfunction. Adds APCC’s Charlotte Means, DVM, “Whether the ingested grapes were purchased fresh from grocery stores or grown in private yards didn’t seem to matter, nor did the brand eaten.” Clinical signs lasted for several days–sometimes even weeks. And after aggressive treatment, which included intravenous fluids and medications, half of the dogs recovered, while the others died or had to be euthanized.
At present, the exact role of grapes or raisins in these cases–what exactly is the toxic component–is still unclear. But a dog who has ingested large amounts can now be diagnosed and treated successfully. The first line of defense is decontamination, and the canine should be hospitalized and placed on IV fluids. If the blood work appears normal after three days, it’s unlikely that kidney failure will occur; if there is evidence of renal failure, more aggressive treatment–including fluids, medication and possibly dialysis–is called for. For more on treating and identifying poisoning from grapes and raisins, please visit APCC online.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested large quantities of raisins or grapes–or any other potentially dangerous substance–call your veterinarian or the APCC’s emergency hotline at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP for round-the-clock telephone assistance. For more information on poison prevention, go to APCC online.
UPDATE: ARE TOO MANY GRAPES AND RAISINS BAD FOR DOGS?
When ASPCA News Alert ran an item two weeks ago (August 22, 2002) on the incidence of poisoning in dogs from the ingestion of large amounts of grapes and raisins, many readers wanted to know more. We checked in with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s Dr. Jill A. Richardson for the answers to your questions:
Several canine caretakers wrote in to say that they would no longer give their pets the occasional grape or raisin as a treat. “There are many people who have decided to do the same thing,” responds Richardson, “but no one has reported poisoning from their pets ingesting the occasional single grape or raisin. The cases we have received involved ingestion of 2 ounces to 4.4 ounces.”
Dog-owning reader Bill Benson was concerned that the few slices of banana he regularly shares with his basenji at breakfast could be harmful to her. Not to worry–”Bananas are okay,” says Richardson.
B.J. Shultis e-mailed us about the family’s 11-year-old dog, who has had fresh fruit and veggie snacks–including grapes, lettuce and carrots–throughout his life. “After all the years of giving him grapes as treats, could he still possibly get kidney dysfunction?” Shultis asks. Replies Richardson, “We haven’t had any reports of dogs developing long-term effects from small ingestion of grapes–one or two as treats, I assume–over the years.”
“Can grapes or raisins hurt small animals such as rats and gerbils?” wonders Paula Lizotte. The APCC has not yet received a case involving small animals, or pocket pets, and grapes or raisins. “But we still don’t know why some types of the fruit are causing problems and others are not,” says Richardson. “And we have had one case of kidney failure in a cat who ate raisins.”
For more information on poison prevention, please visit APCC online.”