The toxicity of grapes and raisins (which are dried grapes) to dogs is well documented. However, even though it is unclear the substance(s) that makes grapes toxic to dogs, one thing is clear Dogs Should Not Eat Grapes or Raisin. You should know that even small amounts can be fatal for dogs.
My Dog Ate Grapes But Seems Fine
There isn’t any dog (either breed, gender, or age) that is not affected by grapes. In a nutshell, grapes or raisins are a NO! NO! for dogs, because aside from being toxic, they cause serious kidney damage, which often leads to dire kidney failure and a lack of urine production. However, kidney failure is not experienced in all dogs that have ingested raisins or grapes; which is why experts are still studying why some dogs are affected severely, while others are not.
The Symptoms and Types
It is important to note that raisin and grape poisoning affect all dogs. For this reason, they will develop a combination of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Weakness, exhaustion, and unusual quietnessDiarrhea or/and vomiting – This will mainly occur a few hours after ingestion. Fecal and vomit may contain pieces of raisin and grapes
- Foul breath
- Oral ulcers
As mentioned earlier, even small amounts of grapes or raisins can be toxic to dogs; although there are some that can withstand small amounts without developing any obvious symptoms. The sad truth is that the toxic agent in the fruit has not yet been identified, but it is assumed that it is associated with the fruit’s flesh. It is believed that seedless and peeled grapes are still toxic.
Unlike with hot spots in dogs, the moment you find out that your dog has ingested grapes or raisins, no matter how small, seek immediate medical attention. In other words, it is an emergency, and the dog needs immediate attention. If you are sure that your dog ingested raisins or grapes within the last 2 hours, you will have to induce vomiting immediately, before all toxins are absorbed.
You should not induce vomiting if your dog is:
- Showing signs of severe shock or distress
- Having problems breathing
- Or when not sure what it ate
On the other hand, if you have already induced vomiting, do not force more vomiting. The next step is calling a veterinarian to seek consultation. If they recommend inducing vomit at home, then you should follow the following steps.
- Step 1: If your dog has not eaten anything within the last 2 hours, offer it a small meal. Doing this increases the chances of it vomiting, but do not force the dog to eat if it is not interested in the food, because it is not necessary.
- Step 2: Using 3% hydrogen peroxide, measure 1 ml (milliliter) per pound of the dog’s actual weight. You can either use a syringe (remember, no-needle) or a teaspoon and squirt the solution into the back of the dog’s mouth. Note: the maximum amount of the solution (hydrogen peroxide) to be given to a dog at one sitting is 45 ml, even when the dog is over 45 pounds.
- Step 3: If the dog does not vomit within 15 minutes of the first administration, you can try again using the same amounts. However, you should know that this method should not be used more than 2 times, especially if they are spaced within 15 minutes.
NOTE: If the dog does not vomit after the second hydrogen peroxide administration, do not use it again. Also, you should not use anything stronger than the solution mentioned without seeking consultation from a veterinarian.
It does not matter if your dog has vomited or not; you must treat the situation as an emergency. Therefore, you should rush the dog to a veterinarian immediately. From there, the veterinarian will take over.
Dog Grapes Diagnosis
Diagnosis takes place only because the owner suspects or knows that the dog has eaten grapes or raisins. Even though there are times when partially digested raisins and grapes will be seen in a dog’s vomit, the doctor will perform routine laboratory tests. These tests include biochemistry profile, blood count, and urinalysis. These tests diagnose most kidney failure, no matter the cause.
Treatment For Dogs That Ate Grapes
The treatment process is long, and the first thing the veterinarian will do first is; inducing vomiting. If the dog ingested it not-long than 2 hours ago and the dog has not vomited; the veterinarian will perform gastric lavage (which simply means washing out the stomach). After this, they will then use activated charcoal to absorb any remaining toxins.
After this, the doctor will start intravenous fluid treatment to remove toxins from the dog’s bloodstream. This form of treatment encourages the kidney to maintain urine production. If the doctor sees fit, they will give the dog any necessary medication to reduce vomiting as well as maintain kidney function. The veterinarian will insist on remaining with the dog so that he/she can monitor its kidney functions and conduct regular blood work.
If the dog’s kidneys have totally failed to a point where they are no-longer producing urine, treatment becomes serious. Hemodialysis may be applied to support the life of the dog until the kidneys recover (if it can recover). Kidney transplant is another option in the worst-case scenario (when they have totally shut down).
How to Prevent Dogs From Eating Grapes
The only way to prevent this problem is to keep your grapes and raisins out of dog’s reach. Remember, dogs eat almost anything, and prevention is better than cure. Ensure that all family members know how toxic grapes and raisins are to dogs.
Other foods that are known to be poisonous to dogs include chocolate, garlic, onion, and others. Knowing what your dog has eaten gives it a better chance for survival.