View Full Version : Please read FYI

10th October 2011, 08:54 PM
This is a little lenghy, but I think important. I wasn't aware of the toxicity of grapes and raisins.
This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was
a 56-pound 5 yr old male neutered lab-mix
that ate half-a-canister of raisins sometime
between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday. He
started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about
1 AM on Wednesday but the owner didn't call
my emergency service until 7 AM (6 hrs later).

I had heard somewhere about raisins AND
grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn't
seen any formal paper on the subject. We
had her bring the dog in immediately. In the
meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet,
and the doctor there was like me - had heard
something about it, but... Anyway, we
contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison
Control Center and they said to give IV fluids
at 1 & 1/2 times maintenance and watch the
kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.
The dog's BUN (blood urea nitrogen) level was
already at 32 (normal less than 27) and his
creatinine was over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal).
Both are monitors of kidney function in the
bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and
started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values
at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine
over 7 with no urine production after a liter of
fluids. At that point I felt the dog was in acute
renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a
urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight
as well as overnight care.
He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet
and his renal values continued to increase
daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a
diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting
medications and they still couldn't control his
vomiting. Today his urine output decreased
again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was
at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his
blood pressure, which had been staying around
150, skyrocketed to 220 ... He continued to vomit
and the owners elected to Euthanize.

This is a very sad case - great dog, great owners
who had no idea raisins could be a toxin.
Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of
this very serious risk.
Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could
be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes
or raisins as treats including our ex-handler's. Any
exposure should give rise to immediate concern.
Chocolate, cocoa, onions, avocadoes and macadamia nuts can
be fatal, too. Add to this - rising bread dough, caffeine and alcohol
and you have the list of the greatest food dangers for dogs!!

10th October 2011, 09:41 PM
Thank you for posting this. It is so important to remind ourselves. And one rule I always have, when in doubt, call the vet! Most vets will answer a lot right over the phone, better safe than sorry. I know two weeks ago, Brooklyn at e whole beet salad of mine. Instead of wondering or googling in confusion, I just rang up the vet to talk about toxicity in any of the ingredients (she was fine). Always good to just stay aware.

10th October 2011, 10:03 PM
Yes, this story has been circulating on the internet for a couple of years now, and we have posted some warnings in the past. It is actually true, according to www.snopes.com (http://www.snopes.com) (always a good idea to double check passed-around internet letters at Snopes, as many of these things are actually not true! :) ). Snopes on this story (and worth reading as there's much additional (and scary) detail): http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/raisins.asp

My own vets have never encountered a fatal case but say it is better to be safe than sorry,and that vulnerability seems to vary by individual dog.
When my cavalier Leo got onto a table and ate the top layer off a brack :sl*p: a while ago (an Irish bread full of raisins... a friend had left a chair pulled out but was really my fault for ever leaving a brack there even for a a nanosecond) I took him to the vet to induce vomiting. He could have been fine -- but I'd rather be safe than lose an adored dog by trying to save a vet fee and take the risk. I was glad I brought him in as he (eventually... :yuk:) brought up a huge amount of raisins :eek:.

Vets do not really understand the exact nature of this type of toxicity and fortunately it probably will not be a problem in small amounts for most dogs but I'd not hesitate to address it as an emergency if anyone has a dog eat a number of grapes or raisins.

I also read somewhere that some vets think the toxicity levels could be cumulative -- eg if you let the dogs eat grapes/raisins over time, they could reach a toxic level.