Can My Pet Eat Grapes and Raisins? The Truth About Grape Toxicity in Dogs and Cats
Grapes and raisins are great healthy snacks for people, but did you know they can be deadly to dogs and cats, even in small amounts?! Keep reading to learn more about grape and raisin toxicity in pets and what to do if you suspect your pet may have eaten this dangerous snack.
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Why are grapes and raisins toxic to pets?
To date, the exact cause is still unknown. Some pets appear to be more sensitive and can develop serious, potentially life-threatening illness after ingesting small amounts. To add to the confusion, other pets seem to be able to tolerate eating grapes and raisins without developing signs of toxicity. For this reason, we always recommend using caution. Never feed your pet any type of grape or raisin!
What could happen if my dog or cat does eat grapes or raisins?
Typical early symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. This can progress to acute kidney failure, where they will start to drink and urinate excessively. They’ll often have a reduced appetite and lethargy because they feel so terrible. This can then progress to total kidney failure and the inability to produce urine. If left untreated, grape ingestion can become fatal within days to weeks. Unfortunately, even some pets receiving aggressive treatments can succumb to kidney failure if they are severely affected.
What should I do if my dog or cat ate grapes or raisins?
Even small amounts of grapes or raisins can cause life-threatening illness. For example, a 20-pound dog can ingest as little as 3 ounces of grapes or raisins and potentially develop fatal kidney failure.
The best thing to do is to take your pet to your vet or nearest emergency clinic to induce vomiting immediately. This will help remove as many raisins or grapes from their system as possible. At least 48 hours of intravenous fluids is typically recommended for support of the kidneys and to flush out their system. Your vet will run blood work and urine tests to assess their response to treatment. If your dog or cat has normal kidney values at the 48-hour mark, they are often able to be sent home. If their kidney values are abnormal, additional hospitalization may be needed.
If your pet ingested a raisin cookie or other baked treat that contains raisins, please seek immediate veterinary advice. Your pet may also be at risk for illness if certain artificial sweeteners were used, such as xylitol. Be sure to bring a list of ingredients to your appointment, if possible. This will help your vet to know what symptoms to watch out for and what additional treatments may be required.
Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding your pet’s grape ingestion or another condition?
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