Grapes and sultanas have the potential to cause kidney failure in dogs and potentially in cats also. For susceptible dogs as little as a handful of grapes (or 1 grape per kg of bodyweight) has been found to cause kidney failure.
Vomiting is a common sign and may be noted within 2 hours in addition to diarrhoea, lethargy and increased thirst. Severe kidney injury subsequently develops with worsening vomiting, lethargy, diarrhoea, pain and dehydration. If allowed to progress without treatment, death may eventually result. Early treatment may prevent development of kidney injury.
If you suspect that your dog or cat has eaten grapes, sultanas or raisins, please call your regular veterinarian or the WAVES emergency service on 9412 5700 immediately for advice. Note some dogs do not develop kidney injury after eating grapes for reasons we do not as yet understand therefore even if you know of dogs who have eaten grapes or fruit cake without problems, we recommend that you avoid feeding these to your dog. There are anecdotal reports of toxicity in cats and therefore we recommend avoiding these foods in cats also.