Archive for January, 2011

Dog Poisoning

I have often written about dogs being poisoned…sometimes intentional, sometimes accidental, sometime because we humans don’t know our dog’s needs-versus-wants as well as we should.  This is an excellent “real-life” article written by Laurinda Morris, DVM, Danville  Veterinary Clinic, Danville  ,  OH

This is information for all of us to “digest”.

This week I had the first case history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday.  He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1 AM on Wednesday but the owner didn’t call my emergency service until 7 AM. 

I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn’t seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me – had heard something about it, but… Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control   Center and they said to give IV fluids at 1 & 1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.  The dog’s BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids.  At that point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care. 

He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values continued to increase daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn’t control his vomiting. Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220 … He continued to vomit and the owners elected to Euthanize.
 This is a very sad case – great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk.

Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handler. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.

Onions, chocolate, cocoa, avocadoes and macadamia nuts can

be fatal, too.  Even if you don’t have a dog, you might have friends who do. This is worth passing on to them.

Dog Parks


I’d be interested in your thoughts on Dog Parks.  I have to admit, I am somewhat reserved in my opinion.  NO ONE loves dogs more than I do…that’s obvious when I make statements like, “dogs are one of the reasons I believe in God.”  I have also said, “dogs are a special gift from God, placed here because they can do for man things that man cannot do for man.”  Here’s the rub.  I continue to see dogs in our city park that are under no direct control by their owners.  Dogs bolt at other dogs, at humans, at kids on bikes, etc.  I am concerned that all dogs are not up on their shots, that all dogs have not been socialized appropriately ( I do not consider a dog park as socialization) and such parks may be a stimulation for the instincts of prey, chase, and assault.  On the other hand, properly supervised, such a facility has benefits.  Anyway, I was just wondering about your impressions of Dog Parks?  Bring ‘em on!  WOOF!