At one glance grapes and raisins seem entirely harmless. They are delicious, and people love the products.
However, eating grapes and the dry grape may lead to fatalities in dogs. The exciting thing is that one dog may be very quickly poisoned by the products, while another develop no such signs of it. Researchers still work to identify which agent is to blame for poisoning.
Some claim that a mycotoxin (a toxic substance produced by a mold or fungus) can stand behind the toxicity. Others point at salicylate (aspirin-like) drug as a possible reason as it is naturally found in the grape, resulting in decreased blood flow to the kidneys.
However, so far no toxic agent has been revealed for sure. Since it remains unknown why this fruit is poisonous, any exposure should be a cause for concern. Grape poisoning may cause severe kidney damage, progressing into sudden kidney failure with lack of urine production.
Symptoms of grape poisoning include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Lethargy, unusual quietness or weakness.
- Small urine production.
- Foul breath.
- Oral ulcers.
- Abdominal pain.
If a dog ignores the food, measure 1 millilitre of 3% hydrogen peroxide per pound of the dog’s weight. Use a syringe, not needle, or teaspoon (one teaspoon equal about five ml). The maximum, one-time amount of hydrogen peroxide is 45 ml, even if a dog weighs more than 45 pounds.
Squirt the substance into the back of the dog’s mouth with the syringe. If vomiting does not take place within fifteen minutes of the first administration, you can try again with the same amount. This method should not be used more than two times, spaced apart at fifteen-minute intervals.
If a dog has already vomited, do not force him to do this again, unless your vet advises.
Vets start by inducing vomiting if the ingestion happened within the last two hours and the dog could not vomit. The vet may also wash out a dog’s stomach to remove any remaining toxins. Following the procedures, vets begin intravenous fluid therapy to flush the toxins out from the bloodstream and help kidneys keep producing urine. Medications are also used to control vomiting and maintain kidney function.
If kidneys no longer produce urine Haemodialysis may be used to support life until the kidneys can recover. Kidney transplantation is also on the agenda if the situation is too grave. If the transplantation is the last option and there are some problems in this regard, a pet may be euthanized.
The best prevention is too keep grapes and raisings out of a dog’s sight and make sure your family members are also cautious about the products which can be toxic to the pet.