It’s Easter and let’s be honest, for a couple of weeks before and after many human beings’ diet largely consists of the finest chocolate and hot cross buns! Yummy, scrummy, sweet, mouth watering, butter soaked easter buns, hot or cold- however they are eaten, are a favourite of many at easter time.

There is a firm understanding that chocolate is toxic to pets but did you know the traditional hot cross bun can be toxic? Yes, certainly the ones containing chocolate are but did you know the ones with sultanas and raisins are too? This is because grapes are toxic to our pets and dried grapes= sultanas, raisins and even some currant varieties! This applies to fruit breads, fruit cakes, fruit pudding, fruit mince pies as most of these contain sultanas, raisins and currants.

One of the scary parts about toxicity from grape ingestion is that studies have not yet determined what is within a grape that causes an animal to become poisoned. We don’t know how many it takes for animal to become sick nor why a little can cause a fatally toxic reaction in an animal but an animal that has eaten a large amount has no noticeable signs!

What signs does grape toxicity cause?

Usually signs start to develop within a few hours of your pet eating grapes and can progress to kidney failure within hours.

Symptoms include


then, as time progresses

painful abdomen
only passing a small amount of urine or not passing any urine at all
increase in thirst
smelly breath
kidney failure

Let children and visitors to your home know that grapes or any foods containing dried grapes are not to be fed to pets – keep all potential toxic food out of paws reach!

What to do if your suspect your pet has eaten grapes

Even if your pet is not showing any signs of toxicity always consult your vet.

If the grapes or food containing a form of grapes were eaten within 2 hrs of arrival at the vet your veterinarian will most likely induce vomiting- providing your pet is well enough to do so. After this your pet will be given activated charcoal in the best effort of preventing any toxin being absorbed through the stomach and intestines. Depending on your pets situation, your vet may recommend blood and urine tests and your pet may be placed on an intravenous drip to help prevent kidney failure from occurring and aid in the production of urine.

If your pet is showing signs of toxicity it is possible that activated charcoal will be given to help prevent further absorption, medication may be given to ease vomiting, relieve pain and try to relieve any other signs your pet my be experiencing. Your pet will be placed on intravenous fluids to help slow the development of kidney failure and assist in urine production, your vet will also want to do blood tests and repeat blood tests to monitor values as time progresses. The outcome for a pet affected by grape toxicity is dependant on a number of factors.

The sooner you get your pet to the vet after ingestion the better the chance of a full recovery.

If you have any concerns please phone us on 4362 1644