Grapes, raisins and currants can be toxic to dogs (and possibly cats and ferrets as well).
Vomiting and diarrhoea are usually the first signs, often developing within hours of ingestion and the vomitus or stools may contain pieces of the fruit. Other symptoms include abnormal drinking and urination, not eating, abdominal pain and lethargy.
Why it poisons them
Poisonings have occurred from eating seeded and seedless grapes as well as grape juice. While the exact mechanism of the action is not known, it has been suggested that a fungal toxin may be responsible rather than the fruit itself. Even small amounts of ingested fruit have caused significant disease in some instances.
Poisoning may result in acute kidney damage which can cause a total shut down of the kidneys. Even with medical treatment this situation can be fatal.
What can be done?
Diagnosis is based on history on ingestion, physical symptoms and blood tests. Once diagnosed rapid intervention is required. Inducing vomiting is usual if the ingestion is recent, along with gastrointestinal decontamination, aggressive fluid therapy and symptomatic treatment. Bloods test are used to monitor kidney function and response to treatment.
Never allow your dog to eat any grapes or grape products including:
- All varieties of grape (seeded and non-seeded)
- Any juice containing grapes