Have you ever considered feeding your dog or cat a grape or its dried counterpart, the raisin? That is definitely not a good idea. As it turns out, grapes and raisins, along with their cousin, the currant, are extremely toxic to our animal friends. These humble fruits can cause poisoning and even death. Read on as your local veterinarian tells you more about grape and raisin poisoning in pets.
You might be surprised to learn that it isn’t known exactly why grapes and raisins are toxic to pets. Some believe that a fungal byproduct called mycotoxin is responsible. Others think that pesticides sprayed on the fruit could play a role. And some pets seem to be able to eat the fruit without suffering any ill effects, making matters even more confusing. But whatever the cause, it’s just not worth the risk to feed these fruits to your pet.
Symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning usually appear within a few hours of ingestion by your pet. Clinical signs include lethargy, increased thirst, vomiting, and diarrhea. Without treatment, renal failure (the medical term for kidney failure) can occur. If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested grapes or raisins, contact your vet right away.
The goal of treatment is to get rid of the toxin in your pet’s system, as soon as possible. This might be achieved by induced vomiting. Activated charcoal might also be given to absorb the remaining toxin in your pet’s stomach. Pets that have progressed to kidney failure might require other treatment, such as intravenous fluid therapy or even blood transfusions.
It’s much better to prevent grape or raisin poisoning ahead of time rather than dealing with it once it’s happened. And fortunately for you, that’s quite easy. Just restrict your pet’s access to these foods at all times. Keep them in the refrigerator, or closed cabinets or containers, so that your furry friend can’t reach. Also beware of foods that contain grapes or raisins, like desserts or salads.
Would you like more advice on foods your pet shouldn’t eat? Give your vet’s office a call today. We’re always happy to help.