We often ignore it, but fresh or raisins are very toxic foods for our dog friends. What is this toxicity due to? How does it manifest itself? At what doses? And what to do if your dog is poisoned?
Why are grapes poisonous to dogs?
Well, to this day, we do not know it yet! The compound (s) in grapes responsible for intoxication in dogs and the mechanisms of its toxicity have not yet been fully understood. We only know that grapes are responsible for the poisoning, which is quite unpredictable in dogs.
This intoxication can indeed vary:
Dog to Dog: Some dogs consumed large doses without showing signs of intoxication, while others got sick from pretty low doses.
And from fruit to fruit.
What doses of grape are toxic for dogs?
Here again, the doses of grapes likely to cause poisoning in dogs are still poorly understood, but the minimum toxic quantities that have been documented in dogs are:
for fresh grapes: 19.6g of grapes per kg of dog’s body weight,
for raisins: 2.8g of grapes per kg of dog’s body weight.
Raisins are therefore more toxic than fresh grapes: they need smaller doses to be enough to trigger poisoning in dogs.
What are the signs of grape poisoning in dogs?
The toxicity of grapes is digestive and renal. The fruit may, in particular, be responsible for the occurrence of acute renal failure in dogs.
In the event of poisoning, digestive disorders generally appear within the first 24 hours after ingesting grapes in the form of vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia (refusal to eat) and possible stomach aches.
Intoxication can then develop within 24 to 72 hours following ingestion of the fruit by nervous disorders (weakening and, more rarely, coordination disorders) and acute renal damage. This renal impairment manifests itself by the same symptoms that generally accompany acute renal failure, among a significant decrease in urine quantity, which can go until it stops completely, anorexia, prostration and vomiting.
Grape poisoning in dogs: what to do and what remedy?
Suppose your dog has eaten grapes, and you suspect poisoning. In that case, the only thing to do is to call your veterinarian or a veterinary poison control centre as soon as possible.
Suppose you take your dog to the vet very soon after ingestion, before he even shows signs of intoxication. In that case, your vet can perform digestive decontamination of the animal, possibly putting him on a drip to protect his kidney function. And above all, place it under close surveillance for 72 hours.
If signs of poisoning have already occurred in the animal, then the veterinarian may only treat its symptoms as there is no antidote for grape poisoning. It could be:
anti-emetic drugs, antacids or gastric dressings in case of digestive signs
placing the animal on an infusion, administration of diuretics and dialysis of the animal in the event of acute renal failure.
The chances of the animal surviving the poisoning are good if the animal can recover proper kidney function due to its renal failure. The prognosis is rather bleak, however, when the dog produces little or no urine at all.