It's important for any dog owner to become familiar with the various types of things that can be poisonous to a dog. There are a lot of common household products, food and medicines that can make your canine best friend seriously ill or even be fatal to him. Although they’re small enough to use as training treats, and tasty enough that dogs like to eat them, grapes and raisins are 2 of the foods that you should never let your dog near.
The issue with raisins, grapes and dogs isn’t completely understood. Many dogs won't have any problems at all if they nibble on one of these tasty fruits. For the remainder of the dog population, they can lead to acute kidney failure within 48 hours. What makes this problem even more complicated is there is no way of predicting which dog will react to grapes or raisins at all.
Cause is Unclear
Scientists, veterinarians and other dog experts have no idea why some dogs react and others don't. To make it worse, nobody knows exactly what the chemical ingredient is that causes the kidney failure. Various tests have been done but as yet, there are no answers. Is it definitely the grapes or raisins that are the culprit, or is it a mycotoxin that has grown on the fruit? Does poisoning occur if a dog eats a lot of grapes at once, or is it more likely to develop with repeated small snacks over a period of time? So much isn’t known yet.
Symptoms of poisoning associated with eating grapes include diarrhea, vomiting, appetite loss, abdominal pain, decreased urination, and lethargy. If you have seen your dog eat raisins or grapes, or even suspect that he has nibbled on a few of them, don’t take your chances. Call your veterinarian immediately and arrange to have your dog seen straight away. You will probably need to take him into the clinic where your vet can give him medication to make him vomit up the grapes or raisins in his stomach. Further treatment can include activated charcoal and intravenous fluids. Unfortunately, in most cases, by the time symptoms have developed, the damage is done.
Proceed with Caution
It is so important to keep raisins and grapes away from your dog. Even if your friend or neighbor has a dog that eats grapes regularly doesn't mean that your dog can eat them too. Your four legged best friend may be one of the unlucky individuals who becomes critically ill after eating them. It’s a good idea to let other dog owners know about the risks, so they too can protect their furry family member. Given that the mechanism of poisoning isn’t known, and there is no way of telling which dogs will be affected, it is much safer to give your dog something else as a treat or training reward.