Killer Foods

Raisins are killers, if you read the internet. We recently had a big scare, Keiko our American Akita got hold of my daughter's raisin packs we had left out to take to scouts. First thing I did was declare it a medical emergency and called the vets. A panicky phone call explaining from me followed by a promise of a return call from a veterinary professional. Meanwhile I googled-big mistake. "as little as one raisin can cause renal failure" some websites where more specific giving a 'toxicity dose calculator' but they too declared my dog as likely to die.

I was beside myself with worry by the time the vet called back. I was questioned about her general disposition, had she been sick? Did she have diarrhoea? Was she lathargic?

I answered the questions the best I could through the sobbing, and the vet declared 'She should be fine'. Wait, what? Nooo, surely I should be inducing vomiting and admitting her as an emergency so you can put her on a drip? Apparently not. It seems only some dogs have a reaction and there are very few studies done on the subject. However that said raisins CAN kill. We were just lucky, very, very lucky. I still spent the next two weeks worrying she would go into acute renal failure at any moment. Strangly, the dog who gets explosive diarrhoea if she so much as looks at anything but her normal food had no problems, not even a dodgy tum.

Dangerous Foods

The following foods are known to have a toxic effect on dogs

  • Chocolate

  • Onion

  • Grapes and Raisins

  • Xylitol (suger replacement found in sweets/chewing gum

  • Alcohol

  • Blue Cheese

  • Cooked Bones

  • Ant Killer

  • Flower Bulbs

Always Seek Veterinary Advice

If you think that your dog may have eaten, touched or inhaled something that it shouldn’t have, consult your local veterinary practice immediately. Do not try to make your dog sick. Trying to do this can cause other complications, which may harm your dog.

In an emergency you can help your veterinary practice make an informed decision as to whether your dog needs to be treated by them, and if so, what the best treatment would be. Where possible you should provide your veterinary practice with information on

  • What poison you think your dog has been exposed to (i.e. chocolate, ibuprofen etc.). Include any product names, or lists of ingredients if relevant.

  • How much they may have been exposed to (i.e. 500mg, 500ml, one tablet etc, even approximations may help)

  • When your dog was exposed to the poison (i.e. 10 minutes, 3 hours or a week ago)

  • It is easier for a veterinarian to care for a poisoned dog if it is treated sooner rather than later. If you are in any doubt, DO NOT wait for your dog to become unwell before calling for advice.