Why can’t dogs eat grapes?

April 13, 2012

It would always be hard to resist giving the beloved pooch treats. Pet owners are known to share whatever they eat with the pet. Why not? If this food is good for me it must be good for my doggie as well. Many people safe food however can be potentially dangerous to the health of the dog. Dogs are said to be 90% genetically similar to humans. The human foods that are dangerous to canines probably accounts for the 10% difference in genetics. Not very many dog owners are aware of the grapes and raisins toxicity to the four legged friends. Grape toxicity was a fairly new discovery. In fact dog owners often use grapes and raisins as treats and rewards when training the dog. An unknown toxin in grapes causes renal failure. When not given immediate treatment, the dog will expire in a long painful death. This is why dogs that are not responding to treatments are put to sleep.

If you think of experimenting, for the sake of the dog, don’t! Ingesting a piece or two of the plump juicy fruit or several pieces of raisins may not have harmful effects on the dog. However we know how dogs eat. We know that these animals are food motivated. A dog that has had its first taste of the sweet fruit can develop a taste for grapes. Can you dog proof your home? What if you have a backyard vineyard? Dogs can dig tunnels and scale a high fence. What will happen to the dog that has eaten the grapes straight from the vine? The dog will not keel over at your feet as the symptoms of toxicity will start to manifest 24 hours after the grapes are ingested. The dog will be jittery and hyperactive. This will be followed by depression. The dog will have diarrhea and vomiting. Partially undigested grapes can be seen from the vomit and from the fecal matter. This should be your cue to rush the pet to a veterinary facility. The vets would administer aggressive treatments. The vomiting dog has already expelled most of the ingested grapes but a vet would still pump the stomach of the dog to remove remaining toxins. Activated charcoal may be administered as well to get rid of the remaining toxins in the dog’s digestive tracts. If the kidneys are damaged, the dog will not be able to pass urine. This could lead to the death of the dog. Based on laboratory test results fluids and/or dialysis may be administered to restart the kidneys in case anuria has developed.

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