My patient was a 56 pound, 5-year-old
male neutered lab mix who ate a half canister of raisins sometime
between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. He started vomiting,
diarrhea, and shaking about 1 a.m. on Wednesday but the owner didn't
call my emergency service until 7 a.m. 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-he 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 to 72 hours. The dog's BUN (blood urea nitrogen
level) was already at 32 (normal is less than 27) and creatinine
(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 :00 p.m. and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine
over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids.
At this 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 have 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-a great dog, great owners who had no idea
raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has
a dog of this serious risk. Poison control said as few as 7 raisins
could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins
as treats. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.