Grape Poisoning in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Grape Poisoning in Dogs - Signs, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Grape Poisoning in Dogs - Signs, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Grape Poisoning?

Grapes and grape containing products are poisonous to dogs. This includes grape jelly or juice, as well as dried grapes (raisins), and even currants which belong to the same family as grapes. The mechanism of poisoning is currently unknown, but grape poisoning can cause severe kidney failure in some dogs. Most studies suggest that the toxic dose is about 32 grams per kilogram of the dog’s weight for grapes and 11-30 grams for raisins, however symptoms of poisoning can sometimes be present even at very low doses. No amount of grape containing products are considered safe for dogs.

The toxin can be found in all types of grapes, including seeded, seedless, organic, and those used for wine. Vomiting and diarrhea are the initial signs of grape toxicity, beginning about 6-12 hours after ingestion. This is followed by general lack of energy, weakness, dehydration, thirst, and failure to produce an adequate amount of urine. Fatal kidney dysfunction can develop in 1-3 days. If vomiting is induced 15-20 minutes after ingestion this can help to reduce absorption and limit the severity of the signs. Once kidney dysfunction is present intensive fluid treatment will be necessary to save your dog’s life. Large doses may end up being fatal even with treatment.

Grapes contain a toxin that can cause kidney failure in dogs. Grapes, raisins, and grape containing products can all make a dog very sick when ingested. This is called grape poisoning or grape toxicity. Immediate treatment is necessary and some cases can still end up being fatal.

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Grape Poisoning Average Cost

From 51 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,500

Symptoms of Grape Poisoning in Dogs

These are the signs you may see if your dog has eaten grapes or raisins. Grape poisoning should be treated as an emergency, so you will need to get veterinary treatment as soon as possible.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Grapes or raisins in vomit or stool
  • Low energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Signs of abdominal pain
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lack of urine production (anuria)
  • Tremors

Types

Any type of grape containing product can be dangerous for your dog.

  • Grapes
  • Grape juice
  • Raisins
  • Currants
  • Trail-mix
  • Baked products containing grapes or currents
  • Wine
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Causes of Grape Poisoning in Dogs

These are the most common risk factors associated with grape poisoning.

  • Owner feeding the dog foods that contain grapes
  • Grapes left out in a fruit bowl 
  • Open container of trail mix with raisins
  • Spoiled grapes thrown in the garbage
  • Grapes or currants growing in the garden
  • Wild grapes
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Diagnosis of Grape Poisoning in Dogs

Diagnosis of grape toxicity is based on a history of grape ingestion, signs, and blood tests. Pieces of undigested grapes in the vomit or feces may be the best indication if you didn’t see the incident, especially when this is combined with lethargy, general weakness, and lack of appetite. If you’re not sure, a history of your dog’s activities may be helpful. If you think your dog has ingested a baked product, you should check the list of ingredients for currents or grape-based sweeteners and bring a sample along for the veterinarian to examine. In the later stages, a blood test will show kidney failure with increases in BUN (blood urea nitrogen), as well as creatinine, phosphorus, and calcium. The veterinarian will need to rule out other toxicities which could also cause kidney failure, especially if the poisoning incident was unobserved.

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Treatment of Grape Poisoning in Dogs

If you think your dog has been poisoned, it’s a good idea to call a poison help-line for instructions on immediate treatment. Follow the advice of the agent exactly and take your dog to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.

If the poisoning took place within the last two hours, the veterinarian will try to induce emesis and reduce further absorption. Activated charcoal will also be given since this medication binds to the toxin in the dog’s stomach and also helps to limit absorption. For mild cases that are discovered immediately this may be all the treatment that is needed.

If your dog has ingested a large amount of grapes or grape containing product intravenous fluids will be necessary for at least 48 hours. This will help to increase urine production, support kidney function and flush the toxin out of the body. If the dog is still only producing a very small amount of urine, further medications may be necessary to stimulate the kidneys. If the kidneys have stopped producing urine altogether the incident will usually end up being fatal.

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Worried about the cost of Grapes Poisoning treatment?

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Recovery of Grape Poisoning in Dogs

The level of toxicity in grapes is considered mild to severe. Dogs may recover from low doses that are treated immediately, but large amounts have a poor prognosis. Immediate treatment can increase your dog’s chance of survival.Any amount of grapes or grape containing product is dangerous for dogs, so the best way to manage the condition is to avoid exposure. Don’t leave out open containers of grapes or raisins. Put spoiled grapes through a food processor rather than disposing of them in the trash, and don’t give you dog any foods designed for humans. Keep your dog away from dumpsters, especially those associated with grocery stores which could contain large amounts of spoiled grapes. Protect currant bushes in your garden and be aware of any grapes growing wild around your house. This is especially true if your dog tends to eat everything. Most dogs will avoid poisonous plants in the wild, but domestic dogs that are more used to eating human food may not have this instinct.

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Grape Poisoning Average Cost

From 51 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,500

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Grape Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Beagle

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Two Years

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22 found helpful

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22 found helpful

Has Symptoms

My 45 lb dog ate about 20 grapes 46 hours ago. She threw up a small amount yesterday but is acting fine. Drinking/eating popping/peeing normal. Is it safe to say she will be okay?

Feb. 19, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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22 Recommendations

Hello, grapes cause issues with the kidney you may not toxic these changes right away. If she is otherwise acting okay the acute toxic effects would be gone. Your vet can check bloodwork to see if there are any issues with the kidneys

Feb. 19, 2021

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Pomeranian

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One Year

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21 found helpful

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21 found helpful

Has Symptoms

None

My dog got into a vine of grapes. Not sure if she ate any but there were several chewed up. I don’t know what to do. I read they’re highly toxic

Sept. 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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21 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. To some dogs, grapes can be very toxic, and can cause kidney failure. If your dog is showing any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or a loss of appetite, it would be best to have her seen by your veterinarian right away. I hope that all goes well for her!

Oct. 2, 2020

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Grape Poisoning Average Cost

From 51 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,500

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