Beware the Raisin!

Hi, Buddy here again to talk about one of my most favoritist subjects (I checked with Mr. Colbert, yes that is a word): FOOD! As you know from past posts, I love food. I’ll eat pretty much everything and I have a lot of friends who are just like me. Dogs evaluate life with their nose. We are pretty much just one big heart and nose wrapped up in a lot of fur. Pretty simple, there ya go. If I see my parents eating it, well it is absolutely certified as food. So I was a little curious the other day when my Mom dropped a raisin on the floor and practically did back flips fighting to get to it before I did. Dog rule number 4: once it hits the floor… it’s mine! So what is this about? Turns out she had read this article that follows and was just trying to protect me. Who knew or even guessed that such a tiny thing that does no harm to a human when eaten can take down a big guy like me? I really wanted that raisin, but I sure do love my Mom for knowing about these things. Pass this important information along to anyone who has a dog please!!!! It is not that widely known and can save some of our lives. Hold out for the sweet potato treats, they’re bigger anyway. Bone apetit!

Written by:
Laurinda Morris, DVM
Danville Veterinary Clinic
Danville , OH

This week I had the first case in history of raisin
toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was
a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix
that ate half a canister of raisins sometime
between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday. He
started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking
about 1 AM on Wednesday but the owner didn’t
call my emergency service until 7 AM..

I had heard somewhere about raisins AND
grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn’t
seen any formal paper on the subject. We
had her bring the dog in immediately. In the
meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet,
and the doctor there was like me – had heard
something about it, but…. Anyway, we
contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison
Control Center and they said to give IV fluids
at 1 & 1/2 times maintenance and watch the
kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.
The dog’s BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was
already at 32 (normal less than 27) and
creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal).
Both are monitors of kidney function in the
bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and
started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values
at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine
over 7 with no urine production after a liter of
fluids. At that point I felt the dog was in acute
renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a
urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight
as well as overnight care.
He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet
and his renal values continued to increase
daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a
diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting
medications and they still couldn’t control his
vomiting. Today his urine output decreased
again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was
at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his
blood pressure, which had been staying around
150, skyrocketed to 220 …. He continued to vomit
and the owners elected to Euthanize.

This is a very sad case – great dog, great owners
who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please
alert everyone you know who has a dog of this
very serious risk.
Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could
be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes
or raisins as treats including our ex-handler’s. Any
exposure should give rise to immediate concern…
Onions, chocolate, cocoa, avocadoes and macadamia nuts can
be fatal, too.

Even if you don’t have a dog, you might have friends
who do. This is worth passing on to them.


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This entry was posted in Adventures in Pet Sitting, Pet Health. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Beware the Raisin!

  1. Carol Martin says:

    Thanks Aunt Kat for reminding me of this important info and helping me share this with many. Long live dogs!!

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