Are all grapes a problem? Yes! Poisoning has occurred in dogs following ingestion of seedless or seeded grape varieties, commercial or homegrown fruits, red or green grapes/raisins, organic or non-organic fruits, and grape pressings from wineries. Foods containing grapes, raisins, and currants (such as raisin bran cereal, trail mix, granola mix, baked goods) are all potential sources of poison.
What does grape toxicity look like?
Grape toxicity can result in renal failure. It presents in dogs similar to what you'd see in a severe GI upset case. Early symptoms include vomiting followed by inappetence in the first 24 hours.
It's not known why this fruit can cause so much damage and in research, no toxic agent has been identified. Some researchers believe that it's a mycotoxin and others suspect a salicylate (aspirin-like) drug may be naturally found in the grape, resulting in decreased blood flow to the kidneys.
What's the toxic dose?
VCA Hospitals tells us there is no well-established toxic dose for any of these fruits but two principles seem to prevail.
"1) Dogs are more likely to become poisoned if they ingest large amounts of fruit and, 2) there is significant individual sensitivity amongst dogs. Some dogs appear to tolerate small doses of the fruit without consequence while other dogs may develop poisoning after the ingestion of just a few grapes or raisins. There is no way to predict which dogs may be more sensitive."
What do clinical signs look like?
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Jacks, normally an active dog, was found one evening shaking and hiding. His owners immediately brought him to DoveLewis. While doctors ran tests, Jacks was eager to snuggle with staff and make new friends. Shortly after treatment began, he was already starting to feel better.
Grape toxicity will cause gastrointestinal upset followed by acute renal failure or kidney failure.
Signs of acute kidney failure include nausea, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, excessive thirst, and excessive urination. You should also be aware of the earlier potential signs:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea - within a few hours of ingestion.
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Oliguria (passing only a small amount of urine)
- Anuria (complete cessation of urine)
What fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs to eat?
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Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes! Made my 2 very favorite ways - Cinnamon Coconut Sugar and Chili-Cumin! Sweet potatoes always taste delicious with just a touch of sweetness and cinnamon. Their naturally sweet flavor also pairs amazingly well with a little bit of spice! . . The perfect side for so many meals! (Try the Chili-Cumin ones with a fried egg and bacon 😍) Get all the tips and the full recipes on @meaningfuleats https://meaningfuleats.com/easy-roasted-sweet-potato-medallions-paleo/
You must try sweet potatoes with your dogs. Our staff does roast sweet potatoes and you can also bake them for your dogs!
Other fruits and veggies that are safe for your dogs?
- Apples (without the core or seeds)
- Green Beans
If you suspect that your pet has eaten grapes or raisins, please contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control service, immediately.
Eating grapes should be off limits altogether. There are plenty of human foods that are safe so refer to the above list and remember this applies to all grapes including seedless grapes. Grape/raisin toxicity is very serious and vomiting is an obvious symptom to watch out for and if you suspect even one or two grapes were ingested you should seek immediate treatment from your vet or DVM.
Dog owners should be mindful of all foods that are unsafe like onions. Don't wait until your dog is having trouble breathing as that symptom is a serious emergency. When you arrive at the vet, they will likely need to do blood work, and give intravenous fluids. If you are far away from a vet at the time you suspect your dog ingested a grape or grapes, call the animal poison control center and they will advise you on immediate next steps. Do not induce vomiting unless an expert or professional tell you to do so as this can cause more harm in certain circumstances.
Don't ever assume that all people foods are safe and can be used as dog treats if you're running low!
Have you ever ended up taking your dog to the emergency vet due to food toxicity? Leave us a comment and let us know if there are other human foods we should have on our radar.