Raisin Toxicity In Dogs

1st November 2023

Raisin toxicity is common at Christmas time because raisins are a major ingredient in many traditional Christmas foods.

What are the symptoms of raisin toxicity in dogs?

Raisin ingestion tends to cause vomiting or diarrhoea which may contain blood. 

In more severe cases, dogs may develop kidney failure. Symptoms include mouth ulcers, lack of appetite, vomiting, weight loss and dehydration.

Do dogs always become ill after eating raisins?

Sometimes dogs eat grapes or raisins with no obvious ill effects. Other times, dogs become ill after eating only very small numbers of grapes or raisins. Scientists do not yet understand why this is. It may be that some dogs are genetically more susceptible, or maybe some grapes and raisins contain more potent toxins than others. For this reason, veterinary advice is that any dog that is known to have ingested any grapes or raisins should receive immediate treatment.

How is raisin toxicity treated?

A veterinary surgeon will administer an injection to cause immediate vomiting, so that the raisins are removed from the digestive system as quickly as possible. 

Once the raisins have been brought up, an injection can be given to stop the vomiting and the dog will be given a solution of activated charcoal to drink. This will bind any raisin toxins still in the gut, so that they are not absorbed.

The patient will then be given medications to protect the stomach lining and intravenous fluids (a drip) to flush any toxins out of the bloodstream and encourage the kidneys to keep producing urine.

What is the outlook for dogs that have eaten raisins?

A full recovery is expected if the raisins are vomited up quickly and treatment is begun before the pet shows any signs of ill health. If digestive complications have occurred, these may take several days to correct, but recovery is expected. Unfortunately, once kidney failure has developed, the outlook is poor, highlighting the importance of prompt treatment.

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