Over the course of his lifetime, odds are that your dog has eaten a variety of things not specifically on the canine menu. Everything from pieces of rubber balls to backyard greenery, to a pretzel, left unattended.
Some things are cause for concern. But is that tiny little dried up grape one of those things?
What Happens If A Dog Eats Raisins
Poisoning due to the ingesting of raisin, grapes, or currants is a relatively new danger recognized by vets, No one is sure if the toxicity itself is new, or if its discovery is.
Up until about twenty-five years ago, there was no computerized animal toxicity database, so recognition of this toxin would have been on a case to case basis.
The toxin seems to be widespread among all fruits of the Vitis species, this includes seeded and seedless grapes, rea and green grapes produced both commercially and homegrown, organically or otherwise., as well as currants.
And raisins, you must recall, are nothing more than fried grapes. That well cared for vine growing in your back garden is every bit as dangerous to your pet as the box of raisins your child left laying about.
The toxin itself has yet to be identified. Some researchers think that it may be a mycotoxin, originating in a fungus or mold found in the fruits. Others believe that it may be a salicylate, an aspirin-like substance, due to its adverse effects on the kidneys.
If you believe it is possible that your dog has been exposed to this toxin, call your vet immediately. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661. This service is available 24/7 to offer assistance and advice.
Lots of things normally found around your house can prove dangerous. Raisin Bran springs immediately to mind, as does that kiddie favorite, the little box of raisins. But let’s not forget trail mix, or granola, or that delicious breakfast pastry.
Some dogs may have a higher tolerance for the toxin than others, but there is no way to know which ones do. Just a few grapes could be life-threatening to one pet, but harmless to another.
If you suspect your pet has been exposed to the toxin, watch for signs of trouble. Vomiting will usually occur within the first twenty-four hours. Within the next twelve to twenty-four hours your pet may experience a loss of appetite, lethargy, and possibly diarrhea.
Twenty-four to forty-eight hours later, more severe problems may present themselves, such as nausea, uremic breath, abdominal pain, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and excessive urination. These symptoms usually are signs of severe kidney damage.
Finally, your pet will stop urination entirely as his kidneys shut down, and eventually slip into a coma. The outcome at this point is extremely dire.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Raisins
If you suspect that your dog has been exposed to the toxin in grapes or currants, time is of the essence. A successful outcome depends on how quickly you act.
The goal is to treat the animal before the toxin can be fully absorbed by his system. He should be seen by a vet right away, but there are certain measures you can take at home as well.
If you are sure that your dog has ingested this toxic substance within the last two hours, it is imperative that you induce vomiting before the dangerous substance can be processed.
Call your vet immediately, as well. If you can’t get to the office within the optimal timespan, you may be advised to induce vomiting at home.
Do not, however, induce vomiting if the animal is unconscious, having trouble breathing, or is showing signs of shock or distress. And don’t proceed if you are unsure exactly what toxin he has ingested.
You can try to induce vomiting by offering a small meal if your dog has not eaten within the last two hours, but don’t try to force it if your pet is not interested. Your next step in to use a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide. Use 1 ml per pound of your dog’s weight, but never more than 45 ml, even if your pet weighs over 45 pounds.
Using a teaspoon ( one tsp = 5ml), or a needleless syringe, or even a turkey baster, deposit the hydrogen peroxide into the back of your pet’s mouth. And wait. If your canine companion has not vomited within fifteen minutes, you should try the procedure again, but never more than twice.
Your pet should then be immediately transported to your vet’s office or an emergency facility. Once you arrive , the doctor will make a presumptive diagnosis. This can only be presumptive because symptoms of grape toxin poisoning resemble kidney failure caused by any other toxic substance.
He will rely on your observations. Did you actually witness the event? Are the pieces of the offending substance in his vomit? Does your canine companion have a habit of ingesting substances such as grapes or raisins? He will then order a complete blood count (CBC), a serum biochemistry profile, and a urinalysis to determine the damage extent, if any, to your pet’s kidneys.
A primary treatment for this type of toxin involves preventing further absorption of substances and mitigating any damage caused by toxins which have already been absorbed.
Your vet may try to continue to induce vomiting even four to six hours after ingestion. He will also use activated charcoal to prevent any further absorption in the stomach or intestines.
You should expect your hound to remain in the hospital, on intravenous fluids for the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Such fluids will help his body to flush out any toxins, especially from the kidneys.
Your pup may have to remain at the facility for an additional two to seven days while his condition is assessed each day. Your vet will want to make sure his kidneys are responding to treatment sufficiently. If they are not, it may be necessary to make the treatment more aggressive.
Even after your pet returns home, it will be necessary for his kidney function to be tested. This will be done by testing his blood two to three days after he has been released.
The prognosis for a poisoned hound depends on a number of factors. Just how much of the toxin was absorbed before treatment?
If your pup consumed only a few grades or raisins and was treated immediately, the prognosis is excellent. If he suffered kidney damage, the prognosis is more problematic, depending on the amount of damage suffered.
Kidneys have little ability to restore themselves, so much damage is usually permanent. If your canine companion has suffered damage to an extent that he is producing no urine at all, his condition is, sad to say, fatal.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long After Eating Raisins Will A Dog Get Sick?
First symptom of raisin toxicity is vomiting and will appear within twenty-four hours. Other symptoms, such as diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite will take another twelve to twenty-four hours to appear, and may signal significant kidney damage.
How Many Raisins Make A Dog Sick?
There is no specific data concerning a number of raisins needed to adversely affect your pet. This is because such toxicity varies due to a number of factors. Larger dogs may have a greater tolerance, but this is not always true. Toxin tolerance of individual animals varies greatly. A small number of grapes, raisins, or currants may be sufficient to cause a significant reaction.
What Other Foods Are Toxic To Dogs?
Everyone is probably aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but it is far from the only thing. Caffeine is also harmful, as is alcohol. Raw bread dough, because of the action of yeast, contains a small amount of alcohol and can be dangerous for your pet. And you should never jokingly feed your dog a beer. Besides containing alcohol, beer also contains hops, another substance toxic to your pet. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener can be hazardous, as can any member of the onion family. Macadamia nuts and dairy products are also a no-no.
Can A Single Grape Kill A Dog?
While it is not likely that a single grape will kill a dog, it is not an impossibility. The toxin contained in fruits of Vitis species (grapes, raisins, currants) is not yet understood, and susceptibility to this toxin varies from an individual animal to animal. Ingesting even a single grape can have dire consequences for your pet, possibly even fatal ones.