Nutley vet treats dog who ate toxic grapes thrown by parrot

Vet Anna Garvey (left) with Boris's owner Helen Finch
Vet Anna Garvey (left) with Boris's owner Helen Finch

A Nutley dog owner described her relief after her three dogs were treated for the effects of eating grapes, which are toxic to dogs.

On March 18 Maltese Terriers Boris and Cassidy and Gus, a Shih Tzu x Pug owned by Mrs Helen Finch, were encouraged to eat the fruit by her Congo African Grey parrot, Peaches. Mrs Finch said Peaches had called the dogs and thrown fruit to them while the family was out for the afternoon.

Grapes contain a substance which can cause acute renal failure in dogs andcould kill them. Returning home Mrs Finch noticed grapes was missing and quickly realised what had happened. She knew the dangers so took all three to Portland Vets, East Grinstead to be seen by vet Dr Anna Garvey as an emergency. She treated each with activated charcoal which helps prevent the absorption of toxins from the stomach and intestine. The dogs were given intravenous fluids over the weekend to help to clear their kidneys. Tests confirmed no long-term damage and they have returned home. Mrs Finch decided not to keep grapes in the house in future. She said: “Peaches flies freely around the house but returns to her cage when I’m not home. She’s a fantastic mimic. She called each dog over by name to be fed and dropped the grapes in front of them from her cage. Boris, Cassidy and Gus then tucked in to their illicit meal. I was horrified when I realised what had happened as I know how dangerous grapes can be.”

Anna Garvey said: “In cases of poisoning, speed of response is important so Mrs Finch did the right thing coming to us quickly as it meant we could flush out most of the toxins before they had a chance to cause serious harm to the dogs.”