Netlore Archive: According to this forwarded email authored by an
Ohio veterinarian, grapes and raisins are poisonous to dogs and can
cause acute renal (kidney) failure.
Description: Email flier
Circulating since: April 2004
Analysis: See below
Email example contributed by B. Oliver, 30 April 2004:
WARNING Dog Owners
This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen
My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix who 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 1AM on Wednesday
but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7AM.
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 I V fluids at 1 ½ 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 creatinine 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 the 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
have 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. Any
exposure should give rise to immediate concern.
Laurinda Morris, DVM
Danville Veterinary Clinic
Comments: Dog owners should heed this alert, which echoes a similar
warning issued by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in 2002.
Veterinarians are not sure why, but grapes and raisins have indeed
proven poisonous to dogs in a significant number of cases reported
over the past 15 years. Symptoms, which include vomiting, diarrhea,
anorexia and lethargy, can last for days or weeks. Without prompt
treatment, severe kidney damage and death may result.
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