Raisin toxicity

Raisin Toxicity

Around 1989, the APCC ( Animal Poison Control Center) began noticing a trend in dogs who had eaten grapes or raisins: Nearly all developed acute renal (kidney) failure. …In all of the cases, the ingredients for potential acute renal failure were the same. ” Where the ingested grapes or raisins were purchased or if home grown, whether the amount was a single serving or a pound, what region of the US the produce came from; none of this mattered. The cases came from across the US. “The database showed that dogs who ate the grapes and raisins typically vomited within a few hours of ingestion. Most of the time, partially digested grapes and raisins could be seen in the vomit, fecal material, or both.

At this point, some dogs would stop eating (anorexia), and develop diarrhea. The dogs often became quiet and lethargic, and showed signs of abdominal pain. These clinical signs lasted for several days — sometimes even weeks.” .”.. blood chemistry panels showed consistent patterns. Hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels) was frequently present, as well as elevated levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine and phosphorous (substances that reflect kidney function). These chemistries began to increase anywhere from 24 hours to several days after the dogs ate the fruit. As the kidney damage developed, the dogs would produce little urine. When they could no longer produce urine, death occurred. In some cases, dogs who received timely veterinary care still had to be euthanized.”

“Why did the fruit cause the dogs to become ill? No one knows. Suspect grapes and raisins have been screened for various pesticides, heavy metals (such as zinc or lead), and mycotoxins (fungal contaminants) and so far, all results have come back negative. In the cases where the grapes were grown in private yards, owners confirmed that no insecticides, fertilizers or antifungals had been used on the fruit.”

“Even though the exact cause of the renal failure is unknown, dogs who ingest grapes and raisins can be treated successfully to prevent its development. ..Inducing vomiting in recent ingestions and administering activated charcoal helps prevent absorption of potential toxins. Dogs should be hospitalized and placed on intravenous fluids for a minimum of 48 hours. A veterinarian should monitor blood chemistry daily for at least three days following the ingestion. If all blood work is normal after three days, it’s unlikely that kidney failure will occur. If a dog shows evidence of renal failure, fluids must be continued, and other medications should be used to stimulate urine production. Some dogs may need peritoneal dialysis, a process where the peritoneum (the membranes surrounding the abdominal organs) is used to filter waste products that are normally filtered by the kidney.” “Thanks in part to the AnTox database, grape or raisin ingestion can be easily identified and treated. Today, a dog can make a complete recovery from this potentially fatal condition.” Dr. Means is a veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Illinois.

Excerpts from article by Dr. Means, veterinary toxicologist

See article for entire text.

http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=grapes