A tasty snack - or is it?
I'm late with getting my blog written for today. But I have a good excuse, albeit, one I wish I hadn't experienced. I spend a couple of hours every afternoon on my computer doing work. From reading my emails, to writing blogs, editing photos, handling business tasks, I prefer doing this during the normal work hours even though I can theoretically do this anytime of the day. But my husband is usually out of the house working, the dogs are quiet and I found I can generally block off this time from scheduling any appointments. I'm a pretty focused person, so I'll get lost in what I'm working on, tuning out just about everything around me.
Then my husband came home. With some groceries. Which was a nice surprise since that's usually something I take care of. Among some bread, lettuce, chicken salad, and ice cream, he also picked up a bag of grapes. Then proceeded to wash them. And left them on the kitchen counter to dry. The dogs wanted a walk, so off they went. I went back up to my office to wrap up a task before we headed out to shop for a new stove. As we were putting on our coats, Steve noticed some of the grape stems on the floor. With no grapes. My first reaction was that he must have eaten the grapes and forgotten he did. But he insisted he hadn't. So we looked under the appliances to see if they rolled under. I opened both of the girls' mouths to see if there were remnants of grapes inside. Nothing. Once we realized there was a significant amount of grapes missing, I went into panic mode.
I got on-line and began researching grapes and dogs, dialing my veterinarian's office at the same time. Both reinforced what I already knew - grapes are toxic to dogs and can be deadly. So what to do? And how quickly do we need to act? My vet gave me the proper dosage of hydrogen peroxide to give to each of my dogs to induce vomiting. And out to the backyard we went. I had both girls vomiting within 30 minutes of ingesting the grapes. Kita, as I suspected, hadn't eaten any. To my surprise and almost horror, Izzy had eaten at least 35, maybe as many as 40 or 50. To make sure we got them all of out her system, I gave her another dose of hydrogen peroxide. She didn't bring up anymore grapes. A second call to the vet to make sure a trip to the emergency vet wasn't in order and my vet agreed with me, that she had probably gotten all of them out of her system.
Both of the dogs were confused and upset. I'm sure they have no idea of what they did to deserve going through this ordeal. Up until recently, Izzy was never a counter surfer. But with the arrival of Kita a couple of years ago, this rule seems to have gone out the window. I've caught her eating my dinner while I wait for the oven to heat up, right in front of me. While I'm yelling at her. She just gives me the stare and keeps on munching.
No doubt we learned our lesson too. Izzy won't hesitate to eat grapes. While she's had opportunities to do so before, she's always spit them out. The thought that something so simple could be so deadly, really really scared me. I gave her plenty of hugs afterwards, and within an hour it was clear she was feeling ok again when she let us know it was way past her dinnertime.
I'll be keeping a close eye on her for the next 24 - 48 hours to make sure there are no symptoms indicating a toxicity from her tasty snack. As I shared this story with a couple of my friends, I was surprised that none of them knew grapes could be so toxic for dogs. Which is why I'm sharing our story. It is not known what substance in grapes that causes such a reaction. It doesn't matter whether it's green, red, black, seedless or dried grapes (raisins), even in small amounts it is fatally toxic to dogs.
Symptoms range from vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, seizures and eventually kidney failure leading to death. While some dogs can tolerate some grapes, other dogs cannot tolerate even a small dose. How much the dog weighs does not appear to be a factor.
The bottom line is this. If you suspect your dog has had a grape or raisin, call your veterinarian. If you know that your dog has eaten a small helping or more, it is imperative that you act right away.