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!

  19 Responses to “Don’t Feed Dogs Sultanas!”

  1. You don’t. You love your little dog with all your heart, and you tell him that if he’s not giving up then neither are you – you just find a way.

  2. thx jim!
    definitely, the best thing to do is get him to a vet, so they can induce vomit.
    hopefully, all the nasties will be rid of his body, and there will be no problem.
    however, you do need to watch his behavior and check for symptoms, as traces of the toxins or whatever it is that is deadly might still be in his system causing problems.
    finally, dont panic and always be reassuring for your dog, this will make it much less frightening for the poor fella

  3. Thank you for sharing your experience and spreading the word. I am so pleased your dog survived. We would do anything for our golden retriever-baby. I have used your web page to warn a few other doggy friends during the christmas period as I am always very aware of the extra dangers at this time of year with mince pies, christmas cake and christmas pudding. I have recently informed a friend who regularly fed her dog grapes not realising the possible dangers.
    I fully agree with never giving up on animals health regardless of rising vets fees. Our dogs give us their love, trust, loyalty and friendship and more than deserve every effort and fight to live.

  4. Just discovered my Staff loves sultanas so after eating three we thought we would check they are safe for him. He is going back on apples from now own. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and we are very pleased it had a happy ending.

  5. Thanks so much! I have been feeding my little poodle the occasional sultana and have also been thinking that perhaps I had heard somewhere not to do it so thank you so much for clearing it for me; however I’m not sure how many sultanas have made it down her throat as she seems to just want to play with them!

  6. My dogs shared nearly a kilo of dried mixed fruit last night after I left it on the bench when I went shopping. After conducting an internet search I decided to take them to the emergency vet. They were given an emetic and both bought up large quantities of the fruit. Interesting that the dog suspected of raiding the packet was not the dog that had eaten the most.
    The vet thought that it all came up and they are not suffering any effects today never less I will be keeping a close eye on them.
    Your experience makes me shudder as to what could have occurred.

    I would like to reiterate your sentiments get them to the vet as soon as possible after ingesting dried fruit. The vet said that only 60gms of raisins could do them damage.

  7. My dog has just stolen a whole six pack of hot cross buns. I have just phoned the vet to check if I need to take him in…..they are checking the toxin chart.

  8. My Sheltie ate 300g of sultanas this morning at 0830. Luckily we knew they were toxic to dogs so she was in the vets by 0910. Still waiting to hear from them at 1130 but i know they were going to induce vomiting.

  9. Well looks like our speedy actions worked. Have just picked Tessa up from the vets and the blood tests show that there was no damage done.

  10. My little Jack Russell cross (called Mr Mash)ate around 40 sultanas on Monday morning. After posting a status on Facebook about how strange my dog was, I was flooded with comments telling me how toxic they are to dogs.
    I googled my enquiry and found this page.
    My dog was taken to the vets within the hour.
    3 days later he is home, and I am nearly £500 lighter.
    He had an injection to induce vomiting.
    He had several blood tests, and was on a drip for the remainder of his hospitalisation.
    I never knew that feeding my pup sultanas might harm him.
    I wish it was more well known :(
    Thankfully Mr Mash is fine.

  11. I have just had the same experience with my dog meg. I never realised how toxic they could be until after the event. Meg has always been prone to eating large quanties of thing she shouldn’t. I phoned my vet just to check that she’d be ok as I had only heard snipets of information. As soon as I told them I was told to get over to the vet ASP. She was made sick and had to have fluids over night. And like Mr Mash’s owner my bank account is £450 lighter. I think we had a lucky escape as her blood tests came back ok and she’s more or less back to normal.

  12. Hi Jim, my little chihuahua Maison helped himself to a little pack of sultanas this morning. Thanks to your web post, I had him to the vet well within 30 mins to get his stomach pumped. He’ll be lounging the day away with an IV to flush his system. Thanks for sharing the information.

  13. We have a 3 yr old lab called Trevor who is currently in a vetinary hospital having IV fluids where he has been for the past 9 days having stolen and eaten a bag of sultanas. His creatanin levels are still high and no promises have been made as to his prognosis. We are desperate. Not one person we have spoken to who is a dog owner knows about how lethal sultanas can be to a dog. Where are the leaflets and advice in the vets or with breeders and pet shop owners? Does anyone have experience of a dog recovering after this length of time? He was taken to hospital within 24 hours of consuming them. We are desperate.

  14. I would just like to say that if like us you feed your birds in the garden be careful when buying bags of bird seed as SOME not many contain sultanas and if like us you sometimes scatter a little for the ground feeders so we dont’t buy this one as we too have dogs.

  15. Wow!! I had no idea! My German shepherd has been in the vets overnight on an iv drip of fluids and some antibiotics cause they thought he had pancreatitis. They took bloods, but seeing this post and having my Labrador vomit this morning as well I’m really concerned. I have a 15 month old daughter who loves sultanas and of course feeds them to the dogs. I’m completely freaked out now that my Labrador will also end up at the vets! Never again are they stealing her sultanas. I never knew. :(

  16. Hello, my 8 month old german short haired pointer Fritz, ate about 500 grams of sultanas this morning which he pulled off the table when I went to change my daughter’s nappy. We had sprinkled them on our breakfast and I had thought they were out of reach. I realised he had eaten them all as soon as I returned. I googled ‘dogs eating sultanas’ and found your story. Following your advise I rang the vet immediately (even though it was Sunday) and because he had only just eaten them the vet told me to get there as soon as possible. He was given an injection to induce vomiting. He was groggy for a couple of hours afterwards but that is all. Speed was crucial. So thank you Fritz is fine but it may have been very different if he had had enough time to digest them. I had no idea they could be so dangerous and feel very lucky indeed!

  17. What if I only gave my dog about 5 sultanas is that ok??

  18. After finding our English Setter had eaten 3/4 of a 1kg Fruit Rich Christmas Pudding I googled the effects and found this post. A very quick telephone call to the vets agreed swift action was required and he was made to vomit his ill gotten gains following an inducing injection. The vet thinks he will be OK but the next few days we will keep a close eye on him. We lost our Belgium Shepherd 3 days before Christmas to a tumour so would have been doubly devastated if we’d lost our setter as well.

    Thanks for the advice.

  19. Fine way of explaining, and nice piece of writing to obtain data regarding my presentation subject matter,
    which i am going to deliver in school.

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