Grapes & Raisins
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins have been implicated in toxicities leading to acute renal failure in dogs. There have been anecdotal reports of toxicity in cats and ferrets but these are not confirmed cases. Grapes and raisins do not predictably lead to renal failure in all dogs and the dosing range for toxicity is not completely known. There have been many dogs fed significant quantities of grapes on a regular basis that never develop any signs of renal disease and there are other dogs that have developed renal failure upon ingestion of very few grapes. Therefore, it is best to treat each case as a possible toxicity. From a technical and textbook stand-point, all cases should be decontaminated, base-line blood work should be taken and patients should be hospitalized on IV fluids for a minimum of 48 hours with recheck blood work daily for 3 days. This can be very expensive, especially for patients that likely did not eat a significant dose and were decontaminated within a timely fashion. For these patients (patients eating a small amount of grapes within 1 hour of presentation to the veterinarian) it is likely reasonable to make these patients vomit (decontamination) and administer activated charcoal to bind remaining toxin without continued hospitalization; but this should be a decision reached by you and the veterinarian tending to your pet. It is recommended that you have your primary vet check renal values via blood work the next day to look for any signs of renal insufficiency.
What to look for at home:
Signs of grape or raisin toxicity and/or subsequent renal failure are vomiting, lethargy, anorexia (not eating), diarrhea, abdominal pain, ataxia (drunkenness or dis-coordination), and drinking and urinating a lot more than usual. Also, failure to urinate can be a sign of advanced disease usually seen past 48 hours of ingestion. If you see any of these signs then bring your pet to the ER or to your primary veterinarian immediately.