Grapes seem like a healthy snack, but they may be fatal to certain of our pets. Even a small amount of grapes may cause deadly poisoning and renal failure in your cat. Ingestion of the fruit, in whatever form, results in a range of toxicity that varies from dog to dog. Sometimes the animal may eat the grape right from the vine, and the owner will notice the symptoms but not the reason. While we know not to feed grapes to our dogs, we also know that cats may also suffer from eating this fall fruit.
Toxicity differs from one animal to another
Despite extensive research, the exact chemical component responsible for grape poisoning in dogs remains unknown. Though widespread, its toxicity to domesticated animals was not recognized until the early 2020s. The toxin in the fruit affects the digestive system and the kidneys whether the fruit is fresh, dried, seeded, home-grown, or commercially cultivated. No breed is immune to its toxicity, and even a dog that seems to handle its first grape exposure quite OK may develop major problems with a second or third serving.
Only the results of scientific studies indicate the presence of the poison in the fruit. But other researchers have found evidence that a compound in grapes similar to aspirin reduces blood flow to the kidneys. However, as the hazardous chemical has not yet been discovered, this is only speculation at this time. Your dog’s reaction to this “reward” is completely unpredictable. Some individuals may be able to eat a few pieces of this fruit without becoming sick, while others will be poisoned if they eat even a tiny amount. As a result, grapes should be considered poisonous and removed from your dog’s diet.
In what form are grapes most dangerous to my dog?
Grapes are deadly in any quantity, and may kill a dog that weighs less than 22 pounds (10 kg) if it eats only one bunch. Poisoning from grapes may happen with any kind of grapes or grape-containing cuisine. Every form of it is poisonous to dogs and cats:
- With or without seeds;
- With or without the skin;
- Candied or dried;
- Whether red or white;
- Commercially bought or from your own vineyard or your neighbor’s vineyard;
- From organic or conventional agriculture.
Prepared or cooked grapes may still cause poisoning in some individuals. Grapes are harmful to our dogs, even when cooked into foods like cereal, bread, cake, or other baked goods.
Symptoms in a dog might vary depending on the dog’s size, breed, and age. However, it is thought that anything from 0.15 to 0.80 oz of fresh grapes per pound weight of dog can be fatal (or 10 to 50 grams per kilogram). In some cases, even as little as 0.05 ounces per pound was proven fatal.
A dog weighing just 22 pounds or 10 kilograms might have its life jeopardized by eating only one bunch of grapes. The raisin is the most poisonous of all dried fruits; even a little amount (a few ozs) may cause severe food poisoning.
What are the symptoms of grape poisoning in dogs?
It’s best to err on the side of caution, since even one grape might be toxic to your dog, no matter what age they are. It’s safer not to risk eating grapes and simply avoid them. Symptoms of gastrointestinal distress emerge 6 to 24 hours after eating the fruit, if the animal is susceptible to the unidentified toxin.
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe stomach pain. Keep in mind that if the dog throws up within a few hours after eating the fruit, you will discover it in the feces or vomit.
Other, more general symptoms follow:
Severe weariness; a diminished desire to eat; As a result, the dog drinks quite a bit to quench his thirst; Ataxia, or lack of motor control, warrants immediate medical attention.
Polydipsia, or excessive thirst, is accompanied by a diminished need to urinate. Eventually, the dog’s inability to pee (oliguric) will progress to a complete inability to urinate (anuric). The results will be a coma, hypothermia, and dehydration. If your dog is having trouble going to the bathroom, it might be a sign of renal disease. Within 24 to 72 hours, this renal failure becomes acute.
It’s a serious situation since your dog is unable to defecate or urinate, and the waste builds up and eventually kills the dog. Indeed, when kidneys stop producing urine, the crucial prognosis is activated since, unlike other organs, kidneys have a poor ability for regeneration. The harm done cannot be undone at this point. Your dog’s prognosis after grape poisoning therapy will be determined solely by your veterinarian based on the dog’s reaction to treatment, the symptoms, and the overall health.
What to do in case of grape poisoning?
You should call your vet right away if you observe your dog eat a grape or if you unintentionally fed one to it. The “3 T’s” rule is widely used for poisoning from grapes or other toxins.
The 3 T’s rule
- Time: A rapid response is key to keeping your dog alive. Don’t try to cure your dog without consulting a vet first;
- Telephone: Call your veterinarian or a veterinary emergency service immediately if you have caught it in the act or suspect ingestion.
- Toxin: If you know, immediately tell your contact person the product or toxin ingested, the amount, and the time the incident occurred.
The faster and more accurately we can answer, the sooner your veterinarian will be able to take action and rescue your dog.
How does the veterinarian diagnose poisoning?
Since the cause of grape poisoning is yet unknown, there is no reliable diagnostic test. The symptoms your dog displays and the details you supply when questioned are used by professionals:
- Have grapes ever been tried by the dog?
- Do you know whether he enjoys grapes?
- How much?
- Is it a raisin, or was it rotten at the vine’s foot?
Your precise response will aid the veterinarian in determining whether or not a blood test and urine analysis are necessary before recommending the best medication for your dog’s survival.
What treatment will your veterinarian prescribe in case of grape poisoning?
Your dog’s health and symptoms will be the primary factors in determining the course of therapy. How quickly it responds to therapy depends on how long it has been since he ate grapes, how sensitive it is to the poison, and when you call. The doctor or nurse will first focus on getting the dog into a stable state.
When the time between consumption and arrival at the hospital is less than six hours, it is crucial to induce vomiting in the dog in order to avoid and remove the toxins. To prevent the poison from being absorbed by the digestive system, the vet will combine this medication with activated charcoal. A stomach pump may be performed by the vet if the dog’s health warrants it.
The doctor could decide to inject the dog for a full day and a half to help preserve renal function. Prescription anti-nausea and anti-vomiting drugs may be recommended as well to help keep the kidneys functioning normally. Dialysis may be an option for an anuric dog if the kidneys are not severely damaged.
Grape poisoning might need anything from two to seven days of veterinary hospitalization. The renal health of your dog is continuously checked by experts. This will let them monitor your response to therapy and adjust your dosage as needed to stop or reduce kidney damage from the toxin.
When your dog is released from the veterinary, blood tests will be required to make sure the kidney is still working correctly.
Is it life-threatening for my dog to ingest grapes?
The dog’s reaction to the poison will depend on how sensitive it is to it and how quickly you act. The prognosis is good if you can catch the dog in the act and put an end to it promptly. However, there are a number of variables that might affect the prognosis, including:
- How toxic the substance is for your dog
- How many and how much grapes or raisins were eaten
- The time it takes to decontaminate the dog
The prognosis of your dog is crucial when it exhibits symptoms of renal failure like polydipsia or oliguria.
Because there is currently no treatment for this condition, the only way to keep your dog safe is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Keeping any potentially poisonous chemicals out of their nose’s reach is a must.
Grapes that have fallen to the ground should be picked up if you have a vineyard, since dogs like the sweet flavor of grapes. Don’t cave in to the gourmet’s pleading eyes, and don’t offer your dog anything containing grapes. Avoid grapes and other potentially harmful foods while treating your dog.