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Are grapes really poisonous for dogs?

Are grapes really poisonous for dogs?

Grape Toxicosis

  • Yes, raisins are grapes. Currants are too!
  • Both raisins and grapes have the potential to be poisonous to dogs
  • A dog might only need to eat a few to suffer from fatal kidney failure as a result of poisoning
  • No one knows exactly what it is in the grape that results in poisoning, although recent evidence suggests that it is the presence of tartaric acid and potassium bitartrate (aka Cream Of Tartar) in grapes
  • Not every individual dog is equally sensitive to this unknown toxin.
  • (cats are susceptible to this too, but generally are smart enough not to gorge themselves on grapes, Christmas cake, kids’ raisin packs etc…)

How toxic are they?

  • There is a huge range of either individual dog sensitivity to the toxin, or differing toxicity of the grapes and raisins themselves.
  • The lowest reported toxic dose for raisins is 2.8g per kg body weight; for grapes, the lowest reported toxic dose is 19.6g per kg body weight.
  • To complicate matters there are also reports of an 8kg dog dying after eating only 4-5 grapes
  • We don’t know how many grapes or raisins will kill an individual dog. For some, it may be a very small number, while others may eat a much larger amount and be completely fine.

What should I do if my dog eats grapes?

Give us a call immediately– the longer you leave it the more toxin will be absorbed. By the time a dog is showing signs of grape poisoning, the damage to their kidneys may already have become irreversible.

Usually we will induce vomiting then mop up any toxins by giving activated charcoal. We usually check kidney function 24-48 hours after ingestion.

Prevention is MUCH better than the cure! Keep all food stuffs containing grapes and raisins out of temptation and reach – remember, dogs will open cupboards and jump on kitchen worktops!

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