If you’ve ever thought about feeding your dog or cat a grape or raisin, think again. Grapes and raisins are toxic to our pets. At the very least, these fruits may cause poisoning. At worst, grapes and raisins can cause death. Here, a local veterinarian discusses grape and raisin poisoning in dogs and cats.
It isn’t exactly known why these fruits are toxic to dogs and cats. Some experts think that a fungal byproduct, called mycotoxin, is the culprit. Others believe that pesticides sprayed on the fruit could be responsible. Making matters even more confusing, some pets can eat grapes and raisins without getting sick. But, it’s best not to take the risk of feeding these fruits to your pup or kitty.
Signs of grape or raisin poisoning usually manifest within a few hours after your pet eats either fruit. Clinical symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, and increased thirst. Renal failure, the medical term for kidney failure, can occur if there’s no treatment. Always keep your veterinarian’s number nearby to call in case of an emergency. Take your dog or cat to the vet’s office immediately if you know or suspect that your pet ate grapes or raisins.
The goal of treatment is to eliminate the toxin in your pet’s body as quickly as possible. You can do this by inducing vomiting, or using activated charcoal to absorb the rest of the toxin in your pet’s stomach. Dogs and cats that have progressed to kidney failure may need intravenous fluid therapy or even blood transfusions in the most extreme cases.
You’ll want to prevent grape or raisin poisoning before it happens. Fortunately, all you have to do is restrict your pet’s access to these fruits at all times. Put them in the refrigerator, or closed cabinets or containers, and out of your pet’s reach. Also, be cautious of foods that contain grapes or raisins, such as salads or desserts.
For more information on toxic foods for dogs and cats, contact your local veterinarian!