Monday, February 22, 2010

A Grape Reminder

Grape cluster
We all want our dogs to live happy and healthy lives, and go out of our way to love and care for them. But did you know that raisins and grapes - commonly used as treats for our furry friends - can be toxic? The following is taken from a letter written by Laurinda Morris, DVM, of the Danville Veterinary Clinic in Danville, Ohio, and is a great reminder that raisins and grapes can be deadly to your pooch.

This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 year-old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1 a.m. on Wednesday but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7 a.m.

I had heard somewhere about raisins and grapes causing acute renal failure in dogs, but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject. We had the owner bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but... Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give the dog IV fluids at 1-1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.

He started vomiting again overnight and his renal values continued to increase. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. His urine output decreased, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure skyrocketed to 220. He was on three different anti-vomiting medications yet continued to vomit. The owners ultimately elected to euthanize.

This is a very sad case - a great dog, with great owners who had no idea raisins and grapes could be a toxin to dogs. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk. Poison control said as few as seven raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.

1 comment:

  1. While it's important to spread the word on grape and raisin toxicity, we don't recommend such a low rate of IV fluids.

    If you see your pet ingest any common household toxin, always call your vet or an animal poison helpline.

    Pet Poison Helpline is another animal poison control located out of Minneapolis and can be reached 24/7 at 800-213-6680. It's the most cost effective animal poison helpline out there ($35/case vs. ASPCA's $65). When in doubt, call a vet!

    You can find more helpful information at or on Twitter (#PetPoisonHelp) or Facebook!