Grape & Raisin Poison Veterinary Information
Courtesy of Liz Hassinger, DVM - Aug
As a veterinarian and member of the AVMA
and AHVMA, I would like to provide this information. This is the
best we've got, but it's enough evidence to make most vets take notice and share
the info with their clients.
Here's what I can share with you, mostly from the Veterinary Information
There have been many reported cases of acute renal failure from grapes and
raisins, starting around 1999; the first reports were from ASPCA Poison Control
Client-oriented handout from VIN
(Veterinary Information Network
Grape and Raisin Toxicity
Medical FAQs - 18279733
Grapes and raisins may not make good treats for dogs and cats. This FAQ will
help you understand the dangers. Grapes and Raisins can Kill!
Clinical Use Information
Recently, veterinarians have recognized a new toxicosis in dogs. Severe acute
renal failure (Grape Toxicity) following ingestion of grapes or raisins
(sultanas). What causes it? The specific pathogens involved in this toxicosis
have eluded identification. Fungal, pesticide, and heavy-metal etiologies have
been ruled out at this time. Investigation continues. It appears from recent
unpublished data that the toxic component is water-soluble, and within the flesh
of the grape/raisin, not the seed.
What species are affected?
There are reported cases in dogs, and anecdotal evidence that cats may be
affected. Most cats will not readily eat grapes or raisins, but one discussion
on VIN suggests that this can happen (Cat, Raisin Poisoning). Birds do not seem
to be affected (otherwise we would have no crows feeding on vineyards!).
How much is dangerous?
The lowest recorded amounts that caused ARD are: Grapes: 0.7 oz/kg; / Raisins
However, smaller amounts could also cause problems - we really don't know
exactly what the minimum dose is. Also, not every dog or cat is susceptible -
many animals can tolerate large quantities of grapes or raisins without
problems. Nobody knows what the patient risk factors are (other than ingestion).
What about Grape Seed Extract or grape juice?
This appears to be safe. (Grape/Raisin Toxicity & Safety of Grape Seed Extract)
Toxicity has been associated with seedless grapes, so the toxin is unlikely to
be within the seeds. It is then possible that grape seed extract is safe to use.
There is no information about grape juice. However, since the toxic agent is not
known, and we don't know if heat will inactivate it, current recommendations are
to avoid giving grape juice to dogs or cats.
What should I do?
Treatment for acute ingestion (e.g. emesis, activated charcoal) followed by
diuresis at twice maintenance for 36-72 hours should be instituted for observed
acute ingestion. Renal function should be monitored for several days. If there
is no renal damage after 3 days, the animal will likely remain unaffected. If
ARF (Acute Renal Failure) develops, specific and supportive treatment should be
Some dogs will develop hypercalcemia with the ARF - this should be treated by
diuresis, as it can result in dystrophic mineralization of various organs.
What is the prognosis?
The prognosis in cases where renal failure develops is guarded at best.
Prognosis is good with early decontamination and fluid therapy. Histological
examinations may show death of renal tubules, but preserved basement membrane,
suggesting that if the animal can be supported through the renal failure,
tubules should regenerate and recovery is possible.
1. Brandy Porterpan. Raisins and Grapes: Potentially Lethal Treats for Dogs. Vet
Med 100:346-350 2005
2. Mazzaferro EM, Eubig PA, Hackett TB, et al. Acute Renal Failure Associated
with Raisin or Grape Ingestion in Four Dogs. J Vet Emerg Crit Care 14:203-212
3. Penny D, Henderson SM, Brown PJ. Raisin poisoning in a dog. Vet Rec
4. Campbell, Bates N. Raisin poisoning in dogs. Vet Rec 152:376 2003
5. Singleton VL. More information on grape or raisin toxicosis. J Am Vet Med
Assoc 219:434, 436 2001
6. Gwaltney-Brant S, Holding JK, Donaldson CW, Eubig PA, Khan SA. Renal Failure
Associated with Ingestion of Grapes or Raisins in Dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc
7. Gwaltney-Brant S, Holding JK, Donaldson CW, Eubig PA, Khan SA. Morrow CM,
Valli VE, Volmer PA, Eubig PA.Canine renal pathology associated with grape or
raisin ingestion: 10 cases. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2005;17(3):223-31
1. Bartges J. There's Nothing "Cute" About Acute Renal Failure. Western Veterinary Conference 2002.
2. Wismer T. Hot Topics in Clinical Toxicology. International Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Symposium 2004
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