(KCBS) – KCBS’ Jeff Bell talks to Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services at The San Francisco SPCA about the surprising effects of raisins and grapes on dogs.

Raisins and grapes are toxic for dogs to eat and can even cause death.   It’s still not understood why raisins and grapes are poisonous  to some dogs.

About 15 years ago, a computerized system that tracks animal-related medical conditions and toxic substance exposure began noting the association between grape and raisin ingestion and the development of acute kidney failure in dogs.

Symptoms of Raisin and Grape Toxicity

Typically, dogs will vomit within a few hours of eating raisins or grapes.   And the partially digested fruit can often be seen in the vomit, or stool, or both.   Some dogs stop eating and develop diarrhea.   They often become quiet and lethargic and can show signs of abdominal pain.   Chemical changes in the blood occur from 24 hours to several days after the dogs eat the fruit.    These changes in blood chemistry signal damage to the kidneys.   Urine production goes down, and this can result in death.

Dogs can recover from this potentially fatal condition, but quick action is required.  If the dog has just eaten the fruit, vomiting should be induced.     Medication to prevent absorption of potential toxins is also important.   Dogs should be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids for at least 48 hours.    Your veterinarian will monitor blood chemistry daily for at least three days to ensure that kidney failure does not occur.   If there is evidence of renal failure further treatment will be necessary.

Animal Update airs on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM on Sundays at 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 9:21 p.m.   

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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