Grape Poisoning In Dogs

By Tamara Borland VMD

Yes, in fact, grapes (and raisins) are toxic to dogs.  And while we aren’t exactly sure what in them causes toxicity, we do know they can cause kidney failure.  Toxicity has been noted with ingestion of 0.7oz/kg of grapes and 0.11oz/kg of raisins, however, toxic doses have been recently changing with lower amounts suggested to cause toxicity.

Oddly enough there is no specific test to diagnose grape toxicity.  Most cases are diagnosed based off of history, possible exposure to grapes/raisins, and with lab work results showing an acute kidney injury.  The kidney values can rise shortly after exposure or up to 24 hours after ingestion.

The most common sign a dog exhibits with grape toxicity is vomiting.  And oftentimes the grapes will be found in the vomitus. Other signs that can be seen within the first 24 hours of ingestion are: diarrhea, not eating, pain in the Abdomen, increased salivation, dehydration, and lethargy.  Within 1-5 days after ingestion possible signs seen could be: increased drinking, Increased Urination, staggering, weakness, swelling in legs and trembling. As toxicity and kidney damage progresses dogs may stop urinating completely.

If you suspect your dog may have eaten grapes it is recommended you take them to your veterinarian immediately.  If the ingestion is recent your Veterinarian can induce vomiting to get the grapes out of your pet’s system and prevent further damage.  Even if you don’t know when the ingestion occurred it is still recommended that you take your pet to the veterinarian to be assessed and given appropriate treatment as needed.  If caught early, aggressive fluid therapy, medication, and close monitoring could prevent your pet from succumbing to the potentially fatal consequences of grape ingestion.