Oct 102007

It’s almost been a month since we had an unfortunate accident in our household.  I’m a big fan of eating sultanas as a snack.  Much better for you than chips or chocolate, even if they are highly concentrated sugary treats.  Sunday night, I had been eating from a 1 kg bag, and left the bag on the table, pushing it out of reach of any fur-children.  Unfortunately, on Monday night Amanda walked into the kitchen to find Ash, our blue heeler x eating from the bag.  We assume that Gemma, the German Shepherd had pulled the bag off the table and into Ash’s reach.

That was about a month ago now, and it’s been a roller coaster of emotions.  What happens when a dog eats sultanas?  It’s unknown what causes the problem, but they can be toxic to dogs.  In Ash’s case, he started throwing up on Tuesday, and we took him to the vet on Wednesday morning.  Something in the grapes causes kidney failure in dogs, but researchers haven’t yet been able to find out what the cause is. 

A few days in, and Ash wasn’t really getting any better, so he was sent to the Animal Emergency Centre in Mount Waverley.  He had a nutrient line going into his jugular, and an IV into his legs to provide fluids.  There’s not a lot you can do with kidney failure – you just have to wait until the kidneys heal themselves… or not.

After a week at the AEC, once he was up to eating again, we moved him to the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in North Melbourne, which was a great deal cheaper.  Another week there, and he returned to our local vet.

Luckily, it looks like he’s going to pull through, but there was no promises there for the first 3 weeks.  He’s off fluids now, and although he’s dropped about 7kg, down to 19kg, he’s perky and playful.  He’ll be on a special diet for the rest of his life, but at least we have our dog!

Four weeks of vet bills are expensive – but where do you draw the line and say “Sorry dog, we’ve paid too much already and we’re just going to give up?”

UPDATE: I’ve noticed a number of searches looking for information about dogs eating sultanas. If you’re one of those people, I have one piece of advice if your dog has had a sultana feed – stop reading this, and get to your vet immediately. If we had taken Ash as soon as we discovered his little feast, he could have thrown them back up, and not had any problems. Also, leave a comment if this post has been worthwhile – I’d love to think I’m doing my part to keep puppies safe from the evil sultanas!