Raisin, dried fruit and grape toxicity

With the winter season upon us a wide range of festive treats could actually prove to be dangerous for your pet; these include Christmas pudding and cake, mince pies and fresh grapes. Indeed any food item that started life as a grape could cause trouble.

The effects of grape toxicity are varied. It seems that one dog could ingest a whole kg of raisins and suffer no ill effect, whereas another might only eat a few grapes and not survive to tell the tale. No one really understands quite why they can be so toxic however.

The signs following ingestion are typically vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and kidney failure in susceptible individuals.

The veterinary poison information service has followed up 180 cases of grape ingestion over a ten year period. Out of these cases 68 developed clinical signs of toxicity and 15 died as a result. So we can see that grapes really are potentially very dangerous.

If your pet does eat grapes or raisins it is very important you call our surgery immediately. In most cases we can give an injection to cause the stomach contents to be brought back up. This, if done within an hour will largely prevent any problem. If a longer period has elapsed it may be necessary for us to provide oral charcoal; this helps to bind and inactivate any toxins in the digestive tract. In advanced cases a period of hospitalization and a drip might be suggested.

So this winter season ensure you are on guard when it comes to these innocent looking nibbles!