Quiz: Holiday myths debunked
You chose fact: Incorrect.
Myth: While fruitcake may be a desirable food for people, it can actually be deadly to pets.
Threat to pets: Grapes, raisins, and currants are common ingredients in fruitcakes and can result in kidney failure in dogs (and potentially cats and ferrets) if ingested. Additionally, fruitcake that has been soaked in rum or other alcohol may lead to ethanol intoxication.
Signs: The ingestion of grapes, raisins, and currants may lead to acute vomiting followed by increased thirst, increased urination, lethargy, and a decreased appetite as kidney failure progresses. Alcohol ingestion may lead to a rapid and dangerous drop in blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature. Pets ingesting alcohol can experience seizures and respiratory failure.
Treatment: Following the ingestion of grapes, raisins, and currants, the immediate induction of vomiting is often advised. Activated charcoal, aggressive IV fluid administration (to protect the kidneys), and frequent monitoring of kidney laboratory values may follow.
For animals that ingest alcohol, the induction of vomiting may be contraindicated if the animal has neurological depression or has had spontaneous vomiting. The administration of activated charcoal isn’t recommended. Instead, IV fluids, warming measures, and frequent monitoring of glucose and other laboratory values may be necessary.
Prognosis: Excellent if animals are treated before signs begin. Once pets have begun to develop kidney failure from grapes, raisins, or currents or have developed significant neurological depression and low blood sugar from alcohol, the prognosis becomes much worse.