Grape Poisoning in Dogs

By Tamara Borland VMD

Yes, grapes (and raisins) are toxic to dogs. And while we aren’t exactly sure what causes the toxicity in them, we 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 on history, possible exposure to grapes/raisins, and lab work results showing an acute kidney injury. The kidney values can soar shortly after exposure or up to 24 hours after ingestion.

The most common sign a dog exhibits with grape toxicity is vomiting. And in many cases, the grapes will be found in the vomitus. Other symptoms that present 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 include increased drinking, Increased Urination, staggering, weakness, swelling in the legs, and trembling. As toxicity and kidney damage progresses, dogs may stop urinating completely.

If you suspect your dog may have eaten grapes, you should immediately take them to your veterinarian. 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.