Can Your Dog Be Poisoned From Eating Grapes and Raisins?
By Rose Smith
According the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, they have found that grapes and raisins can cause poisoning in dogs when eaten in large quantities. This is something that dog owners should be aware of if you normally give your pet fruits and vegetables as snacks.
The Center managed 140 grape/raisin poisoning cases from April 2003 to April 2004. According to their information, out of these 140 cases, over 50 of these dogs developed symptoms of toxin poisoning ranging from vomiting to kidney damage and kidney failure. Seven of the dogs died. At this point, no one really knows what is in this fruit that causes such a problem in dogs.
What Are The Symptoms?
The toxic symptoms can vary, but most of the signs exhibited by canines include lethargic behavior, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and signs of kidney failure within 6 to 24 hours of eating this fruit. Should you come home to find that your dog has eaten the bunch of grapes sitting on the table or a packet of raisins, take them to your veterinarian immediately.
However, please be advised that your veterinarian may not even be aware that grapes and raisins can cause severe toxicity in your dog… so you may need to educate your veterinarian on this. Be insistent and have blood tests done immediately.
How do you know if your dog has eaten too much grapes or raisins? Here’s a true story to give you some idea:
One lady lost her Australian Shepherd/Saint Bernard mix to renal failure after her dog ingested one cup of raisins. Keep in mind that this would be a fairly large dog. After the dog began vomiting later in the day she took her dog into her veterinarian. The vet believed it was only an upset stomach and sent the dog home. It wasn’t until a few days later when the dog’s condition hadn’t improved that blood tests were finally taken. Unfortunately, by then acute renal failure had developed and the dog died, despite the aggressive treatments given.
What Is The Treatment Provided?
Care and management of this toxic poisoning will most often consist of induced vomiting, stomach pumping and administrating activated charcoal to prevent the absorption of the toxins by the body. This will most likely be followed by intravenous fluid therapy for at least 48 hours.
In addition, blood tests will have to be taken to check on the elevation of blood calcium levels (Hypocalcaemia), as well as on the elevation levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine and phosphorus, all of which affect kidney function.
Unfortunately in some cases, even aggressive treatment may not work due to the dog’s poor response to the treatment or length of time between realizing that your dog is showing signs of poisoning and getting help. Kidney damage and failure is very likely, which could result in death. Therefore it is imperative that you get veterinary help as soon as possible. Don’t wait for symptoms to appear if you know your pet has eaten several raisins and/or grapes.
If you have been feeding your pet these fruits on occasion as a snack (one or two grapes now and again probably won’t do any damage), it would be wise to stop the practice altogether. There are many other safe and healthy alternatives such as apples, carrots and celery that dogs are quite happy to snack on instead.
Rose Smith owns Caring For Canines which provides information on natural & holisitic methods that you can follow so your dog will have a long and healthy life. Read articles about canine nutrition, pet health care, natural medications, and more. Visit: http://www.caringforcanines.com today.
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