Arrow’s case highlights dangers of grapes, raisins and sultanas to dogs

A dog is still recovering from kidney failure weeks after he scoffed a 500g bag of sultanas.

Kate Pearson had bought the dried fruit to make a Christmas cake and inadvertently left the bag within reach of her naughty lurcher, Arrow – or Master Arrow as he is known to the hundreds of people who follow his Facebook page or see him compete in agility competitions.

Kate was aware sultanas, grapes and raisins are toxic for dogs, but a distracting phone call gave Arrow the opportunity to nab the fruit.

“I didn’t realise he’d taken them until he jumped off the sofa and was violently sick – there was no warning – and that’s when I saw the sultanas.

“We then realised that a shopping bag had been left in the laundry basket which he’d ripped open with his teeth. He’d eaten a whole 500g bag of sultanas. ”

Kate, who is a gymnastics instructor, had received a phone call while unpacking her shopping and left for work after the call, not realising that she’d left the sultanas within Arrow’s reach.

She knew she needed to get Arrow to a vet as soon as possible. Kate rushed him to her regular vet and he was later transferred to Vets Now in Chesterfield which provides emergency care for pets at night and on weekends.

His blood tests showed that he was dangerously ill – because the toxic fruit had been in his system for so long. The lurcher had to spend 10 days on a drip to flush out his system before he was allowed home.

Kate, who lives in Kirkby-In-Ashfield near Mansfield, said: “Arrow had regular blood tests and was attached to the drip all the time.

“Now he’s home we have to give him two litres of fluid every day. It’s hard work, but if we poach chicken he will drink the water because it tastes meaty. Six weeks on from him taking ill he still has to have small meals to help get extra fluid into him.”

image of Arrow in Vets Now clinic for Vets Now article on dog ate sultanas
Arrow was left fighting for his life after eating a 500g bag of sultanas

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Kate added: “When he was on the drip he was very lethargic and not interested in what was going on around him. I saw my dog going from being a full-on in your face bouncy lurcher to being this poor, pathetic dog that had no energy. It has been a very worrying time, but the vets supported us all the way through.

“We are having to build him up as he has been inactive for so long that he has lost a lot of muscle.”

Arrow is due to undergo more tests to see if has suffered permanent kidney damage.

Rachel Chambers, principal nurse manager at Vets Now in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, said: “Arrow is such a handsome dog and it was desperately sad to see him so ill after eating the bag of sultanas.

“His case shows just how dangerous grapes, raisins and sultanas can be to pets. Sadly, we see a lot of dogs who’ve become ill after snacking on human foods that are poisonous to them. This should serve as a reminder to us all to do everything we can to keep temptation out of their way.”

The Vets Now clinic in Chesterfield– where Willow received treatment – was recently rated as “outstanding” in the delivery of emergency and critical care by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

It is one of more than 60 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.