My Dog Ate a Grape, What Do I Do?
Aspen Grove Veterinary Care is located in Fort Collins, Colorado. If you do not live in Fort Collins, please contact a local veterinarian.
So your dog ate a grape, or maybe a couple of raisins. What happens next? The answer is largely based on how quickly you seek veterinary care.
What Causes Problems?
Grape and raisin toxicity is a somewhat strange phenomenon that many dog owners are not yet aware of. Stories of dogs reacting to the seemingly innocuous fruit have gradually risen to notoriety in the last five or six years as dog owners have begun to experience their pets going into kidney failure after consuming grapes or raisins.
It is not yet known what exactly about grapes and raisins is toxic to dogs. Researchers have investigated whether pesticides, some type of fungus or another factor may be leading to these issues, but no single cause has yet been determined.
How Much is Too Much?
Some of Aspen Grove’s clients state that they give their dogs a few grapes as a treat on a regular basis, but our doctors strongly advise against doing so. However, researchers have determined that toxicity in grapes and raisins is a dose-dependent issue. This means that bigger dogs may not be noticeably or immediately affected by eating small amounts of grapes or raisins, while small dogs experience considerable ill effects from even a harmless-looking raisin or two.
In both small and large dogs of all breeds, these ill-effects include kidney disease and even kidney failure. Common symptoms of this include irregular eating and drinking habits: Affected dogs often lose their appetites and begin to drink excessively.
What Do I Do?
Seek veterinary care immediately. You can prevent many of the negative effects of grape or raisin consumption if your dog is treated quickly enough.
Once you get to a vet, the treatment plan for your dog is very simple. It often begins with induced vomiting to remove the fruit from your dog’s system. After that, there is no specific antidote for exposure to grapes or raisins, and all doctors can do is support your dog’s kidneys.
As with many dog-unfriendly foods like chocolate and cannabis, the best preventative measure is simply keeping grapes and raisins away from your dog whenever possible.