What are grape, sultanas, raisins and currants?

Sultanas are the dried fruit of a white grape, and raisin and currants are the dried fruit of dark grapes.
It is not known why or how grapes, sultanas, raisins or currants cause poisoning. Also the toxic dose of grapes or dried fruit is unknown; poisoning has been reported to occur after the ingestion of only a few grapes in a small dog.

Sources of grapes and dried fruit

Grapes are popular fruit, and there are numerous food stuffs that contain their dried fruit, including hot cross buns, mince pies, fruit cake (including Christmas cake), Christmas pudding, chocolates and chocolate-coated raisins (there is also the risk of chocolate poisoning from these). Dried fruit is also available for snacking and baking. Pomace or marc, the waste after pressing grapes, has also caused poisoning in dogs.

What are the signs of grape poisoning?

Grapes, raisins, sultanas and currants cause kidney failure in dogs. There may be initial gastrointestinal signs followed by kidney failure after a few days.
The clinical signs of grape poisoning can include:
• Vomiting
• Diarrhoea
• Abnormal drinking or urination
• Lethargy
• Inappetence
• Weakness

EMERGENCY ADVICE
• Call Animal PoisonLine on 01202 509000 even if your pet is showing no signs to find out whether a trip to the vet is required.
• Remove your pet from the source of poison.
• Do not try to make your pet vomit –NEVER give salt water.
• Collect the poison and take a sample/container with you if you are advised to take your pet to the vet practice.