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Thread: Please read FYI

  1. #1
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    Default Please read FYI

    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 raisintoxicity 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 Wednesdaybut 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 thesubject. 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 saidto 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!!

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    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 (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 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... ) brought up a huge amount of raisins .

    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.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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