Why You Should Never Feed Your Pet Grapes or Raisins

Have you ever considered feeding your dog or cat a grape or its dried counterpart, the raisin? It’s not a good idea. It turns out that grapes and raisins can actually prove toxic to our animal friends. These humble fruits can cause poisoning and even death in the most extreme cases. Read on as your local veterinarian tells you more about grape and raisin poisoning in pets.

Why are grapes and raisins poisonous?

You might be surprised to learn that it isn’t known exactly why grapes and raisins are toxic to pets. Some believe that a fungal byproduct called mycotoxin is responsible. Others think that pesticides sprayed on the fruit could play a role. And some pets seem to be able to eat the fruit without suffering any ill effects, making matters even more confusing. But whatever the cause, it’s just not worth the risk to feed these fruits to your pet.

What are the symptoms of poisoning?

Symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning usually appear within a few hours of ingestion by your pet. Clinical signs include lethargy, increased thirst, vomiting, and diarrhea. Without treatment, renal failure (the medical term for kidney failure) can occur. Your veterinarian may recommend advanced Veterinary Diagnostics, such as blood tests or imaging studies, to assess the extent of the poisoning and determine the best course of treatment. That’s why it’s so important to keep your veterinarian’s number on hand to call in the event of an emergency. Take your pet to the vet’s office as soon as possible if you know or suspect that they’ve ingested grapes or raisins.

What’s the treatment?

The goal of treatment is to get rid of the toxin in your pet’s system as quickly as possible. This might be achieved by induced vomiting, or activated charcoal might be given to absorb the remaining toxin in your pet’s stomach. Pets that have progressed to kidney failure might require intravenous fluid therapy or even blood transfusions in the most serious cases.

How do I prevent grape and raisin poisoning?

Clearly, you’ll want to prevent grape or raisin poisoning ahead of time rather than dealing with it once it’s happened. And fortunately for you, that’s as easy as restricting your pet’s access to these foods at all times. Keep them in the refrigerator, or closed cabinets or containers, so that pets can’t reach. Also beware of foods that contain grapes or raisins, like desserts or salads.

In addition to grapes and raisins, there are other common household items that can be toxic to pets, such as acetaminophen. To learn more about the dangers of this medication and how to protect your furry friend, read our article on Acetaminophen Poisoning and Your Pet.

Would you like more advice on foods your pet shouldn’t eat? Give your vet’s office in St. Lucie County, FL a call today. We’re always happy to help.

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