Have you ever considered feeding your dog or cat a grape or its dried counterpart, the raisin? That’s actually not a good idea. It turns out that grapes and raisins are highly toxic to some of 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.
Why are grapes and raisins poisonous?
Strange as it seems, no one knows 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 these fruits without suffering any ill effects, making matters even more confusing. But whatever the cause, it’s just not worth the risk.
What are the symptoms of poisoning?
Symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning usually appear within a few hours of ingestion. Some of the clinical signs include lethargy, increased thirst, vomiting, and diarrhea. Without immediate treatment, renal failure (the medical term for kidney failure) can occur. That’s why it’s so important to keep your veterinarian’s number on hand to call in the event of an emergency. Take your pet to the vet’s office as soon as possible if you know or suspect that they could have ingested grapes or raisins.
What’s the treatment?
The key focus of treatment is to get rid of the toxin in your pet’s system as quickly as possible. This might be achieved by induced vomiting. Activated charcoal might be given to absorb the remaining toxin in your pet’s stomach. Pets with kidney failure might require intravenous fluid therapy or even blood transfusions in the most serious cases. Your vet will be able to give you more detailed information.
How do I prevent grape and raisin poisoning?
Clearly, it’s much better to prevent grape or raisin poisoning ahead of time rather than dealing with it once it’s happened. Fortunately for you, that’s as easy as restricting your pet’s access to these foods at all times. Keep them in the refrigerator, or closed cabinets or containers, so that pets 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.