Dog ate chocolate?

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Dog eats grapes.

Species: Dog
Breed: mix german shepard,
Age: 5-8 years
Hi. I live in rural Peru and have three dogs. I am writing regarding the oldest who is a mix german shepard and something brindled. She is 7 years old and has been treated for poison several times in her life, plus had a hysterectomy that went bad and had to go under anesthesia several times. Her health is generally good but I just came back from a 5-week trip returning to a dog probably 8 pounds heavier than when I let her (she was overfed by the person taking care of her). Plus, only recently did I learn that dogs should not eat grapes, and this one (and her brothers) love them and used to eat them regularly. I hear that the negative health affects can be cumulative so I am concern. So, with all that she has gone through, plus all the grapes, I am wondering about her kidneys and her other organ functioning. Perhaps she can appear healthy but in fact she is far from it. Veterinary services here are sketchy to say the least.

What I would like to know is – 1) is there a home remedy and/or special diet that I can give her to strengthen her kidneys and whatever else you think might need strengthening given her history?, 2) what vitamin supplements should I be giving her? (I can even give her shots if need be), and 3) what else can I do for her and the three of them to make sure that they live long and happy lives?

Please keep in mind that I have little to no access to the wide variety of health products for pets but I can at least try to find what you recommend. Still natural, easy to find – would be ideal.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Susan Bookman

Related Articles written by Dr. Marie:

Are grapes bad for dogs?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question Susan.

Grapes are a tricky subject. There are some dogs that can get serious kidney problems as a result of eating grapes. However, most dogs seem to be ok with grapes. I personally have not seen a dog get grape toxicity, but I do know that it happens. The problems with grapes do not seem to be cumulative as you have mentioned so you really shouldn't have to worry about any lasting effects. I would stay away from grapes from this point on, but I wouldn't worry about the fact that she has had grapes before.

There really isn't anything you need to do to strengthen Hampi's kidneys. Encouraging her to drink water is a good thing. Another thing that will help is to avoid feeding a diet that is extremely high in protein. If a dog eats a large amount of protein for a long time then this can put strain on their kidneys.

I don't personally recommend a vitamin for dogs as long as they are on a good quality dog food. Most commercial foods have a complete complement of vitamins. Sometimes, if you supplement dogs with vitamins, on top of their food intake, you can actually do more harm than good.

Here are some other things that can help with their overall health:
-avoid feeding dog treats or "human food", especially foods that are high in fat or salt.
-if you can find a dog toothpaste, brushing their teeth once or twice a week is very good.
-regular exercise can do wonders

I hope that helps, but let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you for your reply. I am glad that I do not need to be overly anxious or implementing some complicated thing for her or her brothers. Regarding food - I stopped feeding her (them) commercial dog food years ago. Since I live "off the grid", the food I myself eat is extremely healthy, so generally I feed them what I eat, but there are some exceptions. What I feed them is the following: 1)quinoa, 2) oatmeal, 3) eggs, 4) apples, cucumbers and other assorted vegetables, 5) occasionally i give them a can of tuna or some chicken, but not that often. Generally they are eating quinoa or oatmeal. I sometimes add some olive oil. Sometimes some light soy sauce. I also used to give them a potato dish here that is very high in fat but i will stop that from now on. My feeling is that eating quinoa, oatmeal, etc is better for them than eating some commercial dog food you buy off the shelf in rural Peru. Please let me know your thoughts. And thank you so much for the service you provide for our beloved pets!! Sincerely, Susan

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Something I plan to do in the future is write a really thorough article on the pros and cons of home cooking for our pets. At this point, it's hard for me to comment on what you're feeding your dogs as I really don't know. (It sounds like something I would like to eat though. :) )

The main concern with home cooking is that it is hard to balance a food and get the right amount of vitamins and nutrients in there. I have heard good things about a supplement called "Hillary's blend" which you can add to home made food to help ensure that there is the right amount of vitamins and minerals.

In Peru, do you have any of the same commercial brands that we have? I am a fan of Royal Canin, Science Diet, and Iams. I can honestly say that I don't know much about Peru!

Customer reply:

After a google search I see that Royal Canin is in fact distributed in Peru. Whether or not I can get it where I am is left to be seen. But I will consider feeding them that and getting them partially off the delicious food that I eat. My feeling was that commercial dog food is filled with unmentionable things harmful in the long run. But if there are brands that you feel are good enough for
"my children", I will give it a shot. Actually it would make my life easier.

If I cannot find any of the three brands that you have mentioned, would you mind very much if I got back to you with the brand that I do choose?

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Susan

ps: you are welcome to visit us in Peru and I will cook for you!! ;-)

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I actually feed my pets a Royal Canin food! Most of what you read on the internet about how evil commerical dog foods are is not true. I'm actually writing some articles to explain the truth about pet foods. You can read them here.

You are definitely welcome to respond again with some other pet food names and I can give you my opinion!

...and if I ever do go to Peru, we are on for dinner!!!

Customer reply:

Thanks Dr. Marie. I look forward to reading what you have written so far. And I am happy to hear that what I read were lies.

I am sure that we will be communicating more as I have 3 extremely darling and beloved canines and will surely have more questions. First, I will take care of the dog food and check back in with you after that. Then I will go thru the purchasing protocol again with a new line of questions.

Fingers crossed on the Royal Canin in Cusco!

Sincerely, Susan

"Hampi" is "medicine" in quechua.

The other two are Zorro and Don Diego de la Vega - brothers, part pekinese, part border collie, one black (zorro), one yellow (diego).

All three are to die for!

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.