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D2010-29

Dear Daisy Dog

May we give grapes to Gypsy, our Jindo dog? We know some people who offer their dogs frozen grapes as a summer treat, but others say grapes are toxic. What’s the truth?

Daisy Responds

Don’t feed Gypsy grapes -– or raisins, for that matter -– because they’ve caused kidney failure in a number of dogs.

The issue is complicated: Some dogs can eat grapes and raisins without difficulty, while others develop kidney failure after ingesting them. Unfortunately, no one can predict which of us dogs can safely eat grapes and which cannot.

In one study, veterinarians compiled data on 43 dogs that got sick after eating grapes. Within 24 hours, the dogs had lost their appetites, became lethargic, and developed vomiting and diarrhea. Twenty percent also became weak and uncoordinated.

In some of these dogs, urine output slowed or stopped over the next three to five days.

With hospitalization and aggressive treatment, 23 of the 43 dogs survived. However, 40 percent of the survivors were left with permanent kidney damage.

The specific toxin is unknown, but it seems to be in the flesh of the grape, not in the seed. Fungal, pesticide and heavy-metal causes have been ruled out.

To be safe, I abstain from eating grapes and raisins. Gypsy should too.

 

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