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Warning - Grapes and Raisins Toxic to Dogs And Cats

Outline
Circulating message warns that grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and cats.

Dogs and Cats

© Depositphotos.com/ Eric Isselée



Brief Analysis
The claims in the warning are true and worth heeding. Grapes and raisins can indeed be toxic to dogs and can lead to potentially fatal kidney failure. Cats may also be affected and should not be fed grapes or raisins either.

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Example
A sad reminder and firm warning - We had a lovely puppy patient who was fed grapes 10 days ago and presented in kidney failure last night. Sad ending.

PLEASE DO NOT FEED YOUR DOGS OR CATS GRAPES OR RAISINS! We do not know why but it often leads to kidney toxicity and failure.

Yes, these are the very same grapes that are perfectly safe for you to eat. Pass this along to anyone who has pets please!

Detailed Analysis


This circulating message warns people not to feed their dogs and cats grapes or raisins. According to the message, grapes and raisins are toxic to the animals and can cause kidney failure.  It describes a case in which a puppy presented with kidney failure after eating grapes and asks recipients to pass on the information so that other pet owners will be aware of the issue.

The claims in the message are factual. It is true that grapes and raisins can be toxic and potentially fatal to dogs. An article about the issue on Pet MD notes:
Grape and raisin (dried grapes) toxicity is well documented in dogs. Although the exact substance that causes the toxic reaction is not yet known, it has been shown that even small amounts of grapes or raisins can prove to be fatally toxic for a dog.

Dogs of any age, breed, or gender may be affected. One of the most serious complications of grape/raisin toxicity is acute (sudden) kidney failure with lack of urine production (anuria). However, kidney failure is not seen in all dogs after ingestion of grapes or raisins, and again, the reason why some dogs are affected excessively while others are not is still being studied

The effects of grapes and raisins on cats are less well documented. Frank Utchen, DVM states:

There are reported cases in dogs, and sporadic reports that cats may be affected. Most cats will not readily eat grapes or raisins, and this may be the reason for the lack of data

Dr. Marc Edward notes:

Ingestion of grapes or raisins may result in acute kidney failure in dogs. At this time, anecdotal evidence suggests that cats may also be affected.

And Pet Poison Helpline explains:

Grapes, raisins, and even currants (some currants are actually small, black grapes) are toxic to your dog! In fact, there have been anecdotal reports of cats and ferrets being affected by these also.

Thus, many pet experts recommend ensuring that your cats do not eat grapes or raisins.

This is one Internet warning that is worth heeding. It is certainly a bad idea to feed your dogs grapes and raisins. And, to be safe, it is best to make sure that your cats (or ferrets) don't eat them either.

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Last updated: July 29, 2013
First published: July 29, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Grape and Raisin Poisoning in Dogs
Grape and Raisin Toxicity
Pet Poisons: Grapes and Raisins
Pet Poison Helpline - Grapes