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The Grape-Raisin Debate


The raisin/grape hysteria is still alive, propagated by websites seeking traffic and thus creating a "problem" that never was...


Owners have always given grapes to dogs - until the ASPCA Poison Control said grapes and raisins were poison, thereby creating owner stress, expensive procedures and welcome income for puzzled veterinarians.


The scare-tactic has been successful in that the misinformation persists and most veterinary practices simply accept the windfall profit.  Stuck with little history to go on and symptoms that could be caused by any toxic substance the veterinarians do their job and 98 out of 100 dogs are treated. Therefore will once again set the record straight.


Hello, I wanted to respond to your article about dogs and grapes/raisins and share our recent experience.  ... at approximately 5pm, Sanya (an 11 month old, 45 lb Siberian Husky) inhaled approximately 1/4 cup of raisins and about the same amount of raw almonds... At about 1am Sanya began throwing up and had some diarrhea.  She was still not feeling too well by about 8am.  After a little research (originally to see if almonds were harmful to her) we found all the articles about how toxic raisins were to dogs.


We (took her) to the vet and Sanya about 10:30 on Friday.  By this time she had stopped vomiting but was still experiencing diarrhea (however, it should be noted that she has quite a sensitive stomach and often times new foods will bring on a round of diarrhea).  As a precaution the vet wanted to keep Sanya for 24 hours in order to give her an IV with fluids, etc as well as be able to take 2 blood tests to monitor for kidney damage. 


After Sanya had the IV she perked up quite a bit and by the afternoon she was hopping up in her cage each time someone would come by her.  Her first round of blood tests came back perfect... and by Saturday AM she was more than ready to go home.  A second blood test proved that she was just fine.  Her appetite is completely back to normal and she is just as happy and energetic as ever.  Still on medication for diarrhea this week, but as I said before, she has a sensitive stomach.


I really appreciate you taking the time to write your articles and help calm a little of the hysteria surrounding dogs and raisin/grape poisoning.  We were in such a panic as we were reading article after article stating the huge risk of renal failure, etc.  (your article) helped me to think a little more logically about the situation.  I think we did the right thing in taking Sanya to the vet in order to be sure there wasn't a larger problem, but I really think she had nothing more than an upset stomach (more from the almonds it appears) and some dehydration.  Thanks again for your logical and informative article.  I hope our story is helpful for your research. Rachel


On The Grape Vine: If it were an authentic and serious problem, I would think there would be plenty more dogs taken ill.  Pet owners and dog fanciers have fed raisins and grapes without problems... granted, these may have been GSD-size dogs with just a single bunch of purloined grapes, or half a box of raisins, and there may be more of a problem if a Chihuahua eats the same quantity (unproven in any tests I know of), but I suspect hysteria is more of a factor than fact.


I have grape vines. Many times, when I have been away for several days on a show circuit during peak grape-ripeness times, or have been busy elsewhere in the gardens, my GSDs have pretty much picked the vines clean. Never an ill effect. Yes, it's "only" a testimonial, but it has not been a problem for me.  Best way to find out is to fund a research project, Feed some groups of dogs raisins, some grapes, and a control group regular food, and see what happens. Whether lab research dogs are used, or a population destined for euthanasia at a dog pound, the answer might be obtained through such experimentation.  Fred Lanting   (Editor's Note: Fred is an organic chemist and German Shepherd breeder-judge)


Raisins Killed: Several years ago my German Shepherd mix broke into our pantry and ate about a cup of organic raisins. This was before we had ever heard of raisins being a potential toxin for dogs. She became ill within a few hours and we took her to the vet. She went into kidney failure and became paralyzed. Prior to eating the raisins she was in perfect health and had just had a vet check to confirm that a few days before. We do not keep any poisons at the house and there were no poisons in her system. You can bet I will not give raisins to any dog of mine. I read a report that some dogs have a specific gene which renders raisins or grapes toxic to them, but there is no way to test this and you won't know until the dog eats them.  Cherie Fehrman


GRAPES & RAISINS POISON DEBATEGrape Scare: I have been frantic since yesterday because a grape fell on the floor and my dog who just had puppies 2 days prior ate it.  I gave her a couple probably 4.  I did not know about any problems with grapes.  The vet called to see how things were going and I happened to mention a gave her a couple of grapes...why I don't know.  They told me that grapes are toxic to dogs but said to watch her to see if she throws up, has diarrhea or is lethargic.  I was scared all day yesterday... actually frantic.  Today she is still fine and there are no side effects.  So reading your article has made me feel incredibly better.  Just for the record I will never give my dogs grapes again. Kerri Stockman


Killer Grapes: Just a note on your article, “Killer Grapes & Raisins.”  I fed my dogs grapes for decades and only stopped when I heard they may be the “killer fruit.”  I had a Lab that would have jumped over a cliff for a grape.  As you know I love animals of all kinds and this debacle over fruits that will kill your beloved or the pet food bought from your favorite pet shop or grocery store is unnerving to say the least.  My son objects to the diet that I fed Alexandria for almost 10 years.  When I brought her to the states I had a vet tell me he had never seen such great health in a dog of her age.  When the vet asked me what I fed her, I told him my recipe. The Dr. said it was perfect.  My son's vet said, “No human food!”   Go figure.  I KNOW grapes wont kill a dog.  I don’t know about the bag of dry dog food I buy from the store!  Dr. Roberta Lee


Raisin Boat: My 12 1/2 year old beloved Malamute got ahold of some cookies loaded with Raisins.  She got severe BLOAT, spent 2 days at the ER vet re-bloating & then on the 3rd day passed away.  When they were flushing her out (or whatever you call it) the 1st time, they commented on the abundance of Grapes she had ingested.  It turns out it was Raisins that produced the horrendous gas build-up.  While grapes / raisins may not be "poisonous" , they certainly can be lethal.  Please alert your readers & say "Thank You" to the Poison Control Center for including Grapes & Raisins on their list. Kathe Mauldin


Grapes, Raisins Poster: I was at the vet today for rabies and heartworm on one of the dogs and I thought you should know that my vet has a poster up in his office that pictures foods that should not be given to dogs. Along with onions and chocolate the poster pictured grapes and raisins and pointed out that they could cause kidney damage.  Just sayin'...  Marguerite McGrath


Mylanta for Grapes: I had a grape vine in my yard which was loaded with unripened grapes and a Pom puppy ate enough that he was bloated up with them and standing around groaning. I gave him Mylanta and pulled the vine out of the ground so it would not happen again but I did not even take him to the vet. Next morning he was running around the yard like nothing ever happened. So much for the story about even one grape killing a dog ? Regards, Fran Milteer


Died Of Raisin Poisoning: Eight years ago my 9 year old Basenji died of Raisin poisoning. She was a healthy active female in excellent condition. She was in acute renal failure 2 days after eating raisins left out by my sister. I work at a Veterinary Clinic & my dog got the best of care. We contacted Poison Control & were advised to get her to OSU Vet school for dialaysis. By the time we arrive it was too late. She was the 13th reported case. We harvested her organs & sent them to the University of Illinois for research. The May 2001 issue of JAVMA had a article on Raisin poisoning. A close friend also had a Cardigan Welsh Corgie poisoned by raisins after eating a loaf of Raisin bread. After aggressive treatment the Cardigan pulled thru. Becky & the Ninjas EST 1998 © Mar 2010-1581671912



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GRAPE & RAISIN VETERINARY INFORMATION - Liz Hassinger, DVM says "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."

ASPCA POISON CONTROL DEEMS FOOD SAFE - Pet foods continue to make pets sick, yet ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center concludes pet food recalls are “likely not food-related.”  Sure, and elephants fly!


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