Helen Potter PhotographyKoKo and I stroll the streets of Subiaco looking for dogs and community events to photograph. Please email me if you would like a copy of any photos: jpegs or print.
So what is the issue with grapes, raisins and sultanas for dogs?
Grapes, raisins and sultanas have been shown to cause acute renal failure (the sudden development of kidney failure) in some dogs. This finding was first identified in 1998 and by 2001 the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Centre (APCC) had documented enough cases for it to be classed as a real syndrome. In 2003 members of the Veterinary Information Network took part in a survey and 7.4% of respondents indicated they had treated at least 1 case of grape, raisin or sultana toxicosis.
Even though there has been some research, the reason as to why some dogs develop renal failure after eating grapes, raisins and sultanas is still unknown. Further work is needed to understand the toxicity and if there are other environmental factors that cause it to occur.
The toxic dose
Dogs that are affected by these foods can develop kidney failure 72 hours after ingestion. But how do you know when your dog has had a toxic dose? This is the hard part, as my vet informed me some dogs can eat relatively large volumes of grapes, sultanas and raisins without any issues while other dogs can consume one or two and become ill. Estimated amounts of fresh grapes associated with kidney injury are approximately 32g or 1.1oz per kilogram of your dog’s weight. Raisins and sultanas are slightly more powerful: from 11-30g or 0.39-1.06oz per kilo of your dog’s weight. BUT a study in 2005 looked at 10 dogs who had suffered renal failure after ingesting greater than or equal to 3g (0.11oz) per kilogram of raisins or dry matter of grapes (dry matter is calculated as 20% of grape weight). As you can see there are no hard and fast rules so if you suspect your dog has ingested any grapes/raisins/sultanas call your vet.
Symptoms of Toxic food poisoning
If your dog has eaten grapes, raisins or sultanas they might have some of the following symptoms:
Clinical signs your vet may look for in a blood test include things like increased blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, phosphorus, calcium. Plus they would ask about reduced urination or no urination.
Treatment of Toxic food poisoning
If your dog has consumed these foods within the past two hours (as our dog Eddie did) your vet will most likely induce vomiting via an injection (hydrogen peroxide or apomorphine) followed by activated charcoal. If your dog has eaten a significant amount, started vomiting themselves or ingested the food several hours prior, intravenous fluid therapy might be suggested. In severe cases dialysis of the blood and peritoneal dialysismight be used to support the kidneys.
Scrumptious foods like Hot Cross Buns, Fruit Cake and Raisin Toast can also be toxic for dogs
Grapes, sultanas and raisins are popular foods in many households (ours especially) so it is best to be vigilant and ensure that your dogs do not come in contact with these foods. Don’t leave them lying around at their level or any place that they can access. I have made a new rule that my daughter now only has sultanas when we are out of the house. As for grapes she eats them at the dinner table under supervision.
But even if you have no children around the house you can easily slip up by leaving out raisin toast, fruit cake or — particularly at this time of year — a hot cross bun. So keep all these foods in your cupboard or fridge and make sure they are not shared with your four-legged loved one.
Even if your dog doesn’t get ill the stress and cost of an emergency vet trip is never a great way to spend your day.
Please note: Puppy Tales provides these articles for information purposes only. For any health problems with your pet always seek immediate veterinary advice from your local veterinarian.
Mum tried to get me to like water when I was just a puppy, but she wasn’t successful. If the weather is hot I’m a happy race down the sand slope and lower myself into the cool water but I will forever be an “armpit Swimmer” that’s as far as I’ll go! woofs from KoKo.
Tips for overcoming water fear
Greencross Vets’ Behaviour Services Manager Serena Dean gives us her top tips on helping pets overcome their fear of water.
A bad experience may have prompted your pet’s fear of water. One bad experience, like not being able to find the steps to get out of the pool might make your pet fearful to try again. Knowing what caused your pet’s fear of water can help with the training process.
2. Slow and steady
Introduce or reintroduce your pet to water in a slow and positive manner, whether this is a bath, pool or the beach. Start off at a distance from the water rewarding them for calm behaviour and slowly move forward towards the water. Provide them with a small amount of water to stand in, just enough to cover their paws, like a kiddie pool or bath. If you are near a body of water teach them how to get in and out. Always start and end on a positive note, treats and games help with this.
3. Make it fun
Water games can be fun for the entire family. Play games that involve water like fetch at the beach, running with them in the shallows or placing toys in a shallow kiddie’s pool. Always supervise your pet around water.
4. Don’t Force
Not all pets like going in the water. Never force your pet to do something they are uncomfortable with and don’t throw them into a body of water. If your pet decides they want to move away from the water, let them.
5. Teach them to swim
Contrary to popular belief not all dogs know how to swim, we need to teach them. Start swim training in bodies of water with a gentle slope where your dog can touch the ground and slowly go out further. Keep training sessions short by going out a little further at each session and always end with a reward. Once they are comfortable submerging their body they may start to paddle. Some dogs may need a little help. Floatation vests are available so your dog can feel supported.
If you’re concerned about your pet’s behaviour, speak with your Greencross Vets.
Mum Helen dropped me off for a weekend holiday with my doggie mates Bro and Bonnie at Mandurah while she spent time chatting to Yarloopians who had experienced the bushfire in 2016. She took photos of horses, goats, sheep, chooks, roosters, rabbits, cats and dogs!
These are some of the photo’s Mum took at Yarloop. Thank you to the owners for their animals’ stories
See Photos of the animals involved in the Yarloop Bushfire also on www.facebook.com/FurryFriendsFotos.me/