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Raisins or Grapes Can Cause Acute Renal Failure in Dogs and Cats
While visiting my vet's office, I noticed an article posted on the wall by the above name. This grape and raisin toxicity danger was previously unknown to me and I thought it important to share. I don't have reprint rights on this article from a Veterinary Journal, so I will summarize.

Raisin and Grape toxicity in dogs and cats was unheard of prior to 2001, but is now being recognized with increasing frequency. There are 50 documented cases of acute renal failure occurring due to eating either grapes or raisins. Acute renal failure has occured following ingesting as few as 10 to 12 grapes.

Animals showing the toxicity begin to vomit withint 6 hours and then become anorexic, lethargic and may develop diarrhea. Renal failure may occur within 3 days. THIS IS POTENTIALLY FATAL! In the first 10 cases report, half of the animals died. Aggressive treatment was necessary to save the other 5 surviving dogs.

It is, of course, being advised to NOT give raisins or grapes as treats and to seek veterinary care if large quantities are ingested or your pet appears ill.

Salmonella in Raw Food Diets
While visiting my vet's office, I noticed an article posted on the wall by the above name. I don't have reprint rights on this article from a Veterinary Journal, so I will summarize.

While there have been concerns about the possibility of bacterial infections due to feeding Raw Food Diets (Bones and Raw Food, or BARF), there has only recently been evidence to support these concerns.

In a recent study, samples of foods prepared by regular BARF diet proponents and stools from their dogs were compared to a test group of dogs not on the BARF diet. These samples were tested for Salmonella spp.

Eight of the ten of the BARF-fed dogs meal samples were positive for Salmonella and 3 of the stool samples. All of the dogs fed commercial foods were negative for Salmonella in their stools. The commercial meal samples were all negative as well.

These results supported concerns that dogs fed a BARF diet are more likely to shed Salmonella in their stools and put small children and aged or immune-compromised people in the household at risk.

Salmon Poisoning Complex
Cross posted from East Bay Parks website

Dogs that consume raw/uncooked salmon and trout are at risk of infection by "Salmon Poisoning Complex." The bacteria carried by a parasitic trematode worm may cause death in infected dogs.

The disease is found in members of the salmon and trout family along the western slopes of the Sierra and Cascade mountains of California, Oregon and Washington, and can be found in ocean-going salmon as well as rainbow trout stocked in Bay Area lakes.

Dogs that consume raw/uncooked trout or salmon tht carry the bacteria often develop fever, vomiting, diarrhea and enlarged lymph nodes within 5-7 days. If not treated by a veterinarian, the dog may die.

What to do:
  • Do not allow your dog(s) into any stream or shoreline areas.
  • Do not let your dog eat any part of raw/uncooked salmon or trout.
  • If you believe your dog has consumed raw/uncooked salmon or trout, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Macadamia Nuts Toxic to Pets
Cross posted from

Macadamia nuts are proving to be dangerous to pets. A recent paper written by Dr. Ross McKenzie, a Veterinary Pathologist with the Department of Primary Industries, points to the danger of raw and roasted macadamia nuts for pets.

The toxic compound is unknown but the affect of macadamia nuts is to cause locomotory difficulties. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.

Dogs have been affected by eating as few as six macadamia kernels (nuts without the shell) while others had eaten approximately forty kernels. Some dogs had also been given macadamia butter.

Luckily, the muscle weakness, while painful, seems to be of short duration and all dogs recovered from the toxicity. All dogs were taken to their veterinary surgeon.

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