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Sour Grapes

Ben and Ivy
May 25th, 2009, 10:46 AM
Hi, I thought I would relay an experience that just happened/is happening to us right now.

Yesterday around 130pm, my girlfriend and I went to pick up the laundry across the street. We were gone no more than ten minutes. When we came back our 40lb dog Ivy had eaten about 12-15 large green grapes.
Having heard that grapes can be toxic to some dogs we decided to take her to the vet. This being a Sunday, our only option in Vancouver (that I'm currently aware of) was an emergency hospital. We were there in less than a half hour. Ivy had not shown an signs of discomfort up to that point. Over the phone it sounded like they would induce vomiting and we would be on our way.
When we got there they took her away and got her to throw up the grapes no problem and then fed her charcoal. When we were brought into the exam room to speak with the doctor we were told that they wanted to keep her there for the next 48hrs on an IV drip, do blood work and urinalysis.
I can't understand why. I'm confused as to why they can't simply do the blood work to see if her kidney function is fine and if so we can be on our way.
I would never do anything to harm or kill my dog, but this seems extreme. Grape toxicity seems to affect 1 in 3 dogs and although the toxicity level varies, it seems most bad or fatal cases have been the result of very large amounts of grapes, like over a pound(450grams). Ivy ate about 150grams of grapes. At 18kgs that's about 8g/kg. Definitely on the very low end. One website had the lowest reported amount to cause acute renal failure at 19.8g/kg.

So far she's been at the clinic for about 18hrs now. I want to feel like we're doing the necessary thing, but part of me is a little (read 'a lot') frustrated by the uncertainty of the situation.

I'd love to hear any and all opinions before I pull all my hair out thinking about this.


May 25th, 2009, 12:20 PM
My late beagle (14+ yrs when she passed on) was forever eating grapes, at one point she ate a new bunch (one pound) that I'd just brought home and washed (yes they were in the fridge which she discovered how to open) no real harm came to her except very soft poops the next day but it could be because she ate the plastic and stems, she was about 6 when she did this and weighed roughly 30 pounds plus, Brina our lab/shepherd periodically steals them from the daycare children. I think its the seeds that are harmful to them. Good luck with your dog, hope all turns out well. Did the vet give a reason why after making her throw up that they wanted to keep her in?? do they suspect something?

Ben and Ivy
May 25th, 2009, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the reply!

After looking around it seems that both seeded and seedless grapes have caused toxicosis.
No they didn't really give a reason for her needing to stay over other than it being a precautionary measure.

I'm still scratching my head.


May 25th, 2009, 01:10 PM
From what I can understand in these cases they like to keep the dog there in case there is a sudden reaction. Sometimes it can take a bit of time for the adverse affects to show up. I think they are just being safe.

May 25th, 2009, 04:40 PM
Hi Ben, I hope Ivy is still doing well. I don't know much about grapes/raisins with dogs other than don't let them eat these. Unfortunately, I do know about kidney failure. Dogs can experience 2 types of kidney failure: acute kidney failure which is frequently brought on by poisoning or injury; and chronic kidney failure which is often seen in older dogs as the result of illness or organ decline.

Unfortunately, the typical blood tests for kidney failure, don't pick up the failure until until the organ is in 70-75% failure. It is important to act quickly in acute cases since the vets need to act quickly to try to stave off permanent organ damage. It is harder for the kidneys to heal or recover than say the liver which can repair to some extent.

Keeping Ivy monitored and on fluids (which will help flush her kidneys) will allow the vets to see if she is showing kidney issues and address it quickly. In my case, my dog had many health issues. One of her medications went toxic and destroyed her kidneys. By the time she exhibited signs (lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite) it was too late to save her. Know that my little dog had many things wrong with her health, so this medicine was the thing that tipped the balance. Your vet is wanting to do everything to let you have Ivy healthy and happy for a long time. Wishing my best.

May 25th, 2009, 05:11 PM
Based on what you have said it does seem exteme to me to keep her for 48 hours. I know we can't put a price on our dogs but the cost at the emergency clinic is gonna be awful. If she had ingested them and actually digested then I would definately agree but the short timeline between the incident and the induced vomiting would seem to have eliminated most of the risk. I personally probably would have taken her home and observed her carefully especially seeing as how you were so close to the clinic :shrug:.

May 27th, 2009, 03:25 PM
As far as I know, grapes are like chocolate. Some dogs will have little to no reaction after ingesting it, others will have a major reaction. I think the problem is you never know which it is going to be.

I would imagine that for most vets, they'd rather err on the side of caution.