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Grapes and raisins might seem like a healthy snack, but pet parents, beware! These tiny fruits can cause serious complications in dogs, including acute kidney failure and death. Dogs should not eat grapes and raisins; even small amounts can prove to be fatally toxic.
Grape and raisin consumption is an emergency
This is an emergency, needing immediate treatment. If you are positive that your dog ingested grapes or raisins within the last two hours, call the pet poison hotline and get to the emergency vet. You will probably need to induce vomiting before the toxins in the fruit can be absorbed, unless your dog is unconscious, having trouble breathing, showing signs of shock, or you’re not completely sure your dog ate the grape or raisin.
Any dog can experience grape toxicity – no matter what age, breed, or gender, they just need to have eaten a grape or raisin. Toxicity symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, and an increase in urination followed by a decrease or absence of urination. Kidney failure due to toxicity can be fatal within three to four days.
Whether your dog vomits or not, after the initial care, you must rush him to a veterinary facility immediately. Your veterinarian may need to administer treatment as well as activated charcoal to prevent absorption of any toxin that remains in your dog’s stomach.
Your veterinarian will start by inducing vomiting if the ingestion has occurred within the last two hours, and if your dog hasn’t already vomited. This can be followed by gastric lavage (“washing out” of the stomach) and the administration of activated charcoal to absorb any residual toxins. Then IV fluids will be necessary to continue to flush out the toxin, and your vet might administer medications to reduce vomiting and maintain healthy kidney function.
Keep raisins and grapes out of paw’s reach and make sure all friends, family, and guests are aware that grapes are toxic. If you do discover that your dog has ingested raisin or grapes, acting immediately gives your dog the best chance at survival.
Want to find out more about what dogs can and cannot eat? Check out our comprehensive guide for more information on “What Human Foods Dogs Can and Can Not Eat.”