Fruit of the Vitis Vinifera, a type of grapevine, can cause toxicity in dogs that may lead to acute renal failure or even death if left untreated. This includes grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas.
Dried fruits are believed to cause more serious symptoms or for symptoms to develop at a faster rate, but you should avoid all varieties to keep your dog safe.
Unfortunately, scientists are yet to pinpoint the substance in these fruits that causes the toxicity. This is why it is recommended that you do not let your dog eat grapes, raisins or other grapevine fruits, even with the skin removed.
The classic signs of the poisoning of vomiting and diarrhea are to be expected if your dog eats raisins, however, you should also watch for the following:
- Increased drinking
- Increased urination
- Blood in urine and/or feces
- Lack of appetite
- Poor balance
Any of these symptoms warrants a check-up from your vet to ensure your dog does not suffer any long-term effects. Your vet may advise you to induce vomiting if you cannot get to the vet surgery quickly, but you should never do this without consulting a vet.
Symptoms typically present themselves within 6 to 10 hours of your dog eating the raisins, but this could differ depending on your dog’s size, breed, age and overall health. Kidney failure can occur within 24 hours, which is why getting veterinary advice quickly is so important.
What to do if my dog ate raisins
The most important thing you should do is to remove the raisins so your dog cannot eat anymore, then call your vet surgery or the out-of-hours number for advice.
If your dog only ate one or two raisins you should call your vet for advice. They may advise to keep an eye on your dog for the next few hours if they seem well and to watch for any changes in behavior. You can request an appointment if you want to get your dog checked over anyway.
A check-up is vital if your dog has eaten more than a couple of raisins and you should do so as soon as possible. Raisin poisoning can quickly overwhelm a dog, especially puppies, elder dogs or those with weakened immune systems.
Take a sample of what your dog ate and the box or packaging if you still have it. This will give the vet a better idea of how much your dog has eaten and what care he may need.
Your dog may eat raisins and not suffer any noticeable side effects, but it is best to keep an eye on him the few days after he ate them in case he develops any symptoms. Some dogs can eat a whole handful of raisins and be fine, while others may seem fine immediately after, but suffer symptoms a day or two later. If your dog has eaten raisins but seems fine, you should still call your vet and ask for advice.