Most people like to include their dogs in as many family activities as possible. However, this can sometimes lead to inadvertent poisoning. One of the most common toxic exposures for dogs is grapes and raisins. Eating these fruits can result in kidney failure and death, so prompt veterinary attention is required for treatment.
Eating grapes can be toxic to dogs.
Grapes are toxic to dogs because they contain a compound called cyanide. The toxicity level depends on the species of grape and whether it is a seedless or seeded kind.
Cyanide is found in many foods, both natural and processed, including fresh animal tissue (such as liver), grains, legumes and also some other fruits such as apples, apricots and cherries.
Symptoms of grape poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy.
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Lethargy (lethargy is not a symptom of grape poisoning, but it’s important to note that dogs can become lethargic after eating grapes)
The symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Vomiting and diarrhea in particular can cause your dog to become dehydrated or have electrolyte imbalances.
Treatment includes inducing vomiting and supportive care.
As with all animal poisonings, the first step is to induce vomiting. Dogs have a short digestive tract and generally vomit within 1-2 hours of ingestion. Inducing vomiting is not recommended for dogs that are already showing signs of distress or have had a large amount of grapes (more than 4 ounces). If your dog ingested more than 4 oz., seek veterinary care immediately.
If your dog has eaten grapes but isn’t showing any symptoms yet (or you weren’t able to get there in time), supportive care at home can help: fluids, warmth, rest and pain relief. Your vet will likely want to monitor your pet over the next 24 hours for signs of kidney failure or other complications that may arise from grape toxicity.
The severity of grape poisoning depends on how much was consumed and how quickly it was ingested. Treatment is based on the severity of poisoning observed in each case; mild cases may require only oral decontamination (vomiting) while severe cases may require intravenous fluid administration as well as other treatments such as dialysis or supportive care like antibiotics if bacterial infections develop due to damage done by toxins present inside red blood cells due to exposure during digestion process which causes red blood cells burst open releasing their contents into surrounding tissues causing hypovolemic shock syndrome resulting in death within minutes
Once dogs have ingested grapes, prompt action must be taken to save their lives.
If you suspect your dog has eaten grapes, call a veterinarian immediately. The vet will want to determine if the dog has vomited, and what condition he or she is in. If your dog has vomited, watch for dehydration as well as signs of kidney failure (lethargy; vomiting; lack of appetite). If your dog hasn’t vomited yet but is lethargic and/or lacking an appetite—especially if they are also showing signs of liver failure—it may be necessary to induce vomiting through two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide.
If you think your dog has eaten grapes, the best thing to do is take the dog and the container of grapes to a veterinarian immediately. The doctor will be able to determine how many grapes were ingested, and whether or not they need treatment. If it’s an emergency, make sure you call ahead to your local animal hospital so they can be ready for your arrival.