Grapes and Raisins

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Grapes and Raisins

Post by MouseLover on Thu 07 Feb 2019, 6:50 am

I have seen some websites list either grapes or raisins as unsafe/poisonous to mice. The RSPCA website for example lists grapes/raisins as poisonous to mice. Other than these websites stating this as fact, I cannot find any evidence for this being true (such as references to scientific data, case studies etc).

The fancy mouse breeders forum lists them as safe, and a breeder I am in contact with has recommended to me a certain mouse mix/diet that includes raisins, so I have been looking into the grapes/raisins debate and trying to find evidence either for them being safe or unsafe to mice. The only scientific studies I can find are about how grapes are good for eye health in mice, grapes support immune function in humans and animals (included mice), and anti-cancer properties of grape seed extract and other grape products in mice. Grapes and raisins are also accepted as safe/healthy for rats, and also for hamsters (the only caveat being that sugar consumption needs to be low in certain hamster species). I cannot see why they would be safe for both of these species, but not mice?

There seems to be some anecdotes floating around about mice dying after eating grapes (though I've never heard someone claim this personally, it's usually a case of "I heard that this happened to someone once"). Grapes in themselves cannot be a danger to mice if they've been used to positive effect in scientific research. So, assuming that the anecdotes are true, these are the only risk factors I can think of: 1. potential to choke on grape skins? 2. potential of pesticides on grapes, which whilst pretty harmless to humans is a larger amount to something the size of a mouse. That's assuming that the types of pesticides used on grapes are even harmful to mice, but I don't know enough about pesticides to comment either way.

In the unlikely event that anyone else finds this subject of any interest (lol)... Does anyone have any thoughts/knowledge on this subject? And is there any specific reason that on this forum we list grapes as safe, but raisins as not?

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Re: Grapes and Raisins

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Thu 07 Feb 2019, 7:46 pm

I've never seen anything that explains exactly what the mechanism of toxicity (if any) is for any animal other than dogs.  And even then I knew a dog who ate grapes for years and years -- wanted them peeled first and absolutely LOVED them.  The owners were unaware of the toxic aspect (although they would not feed their furry little fellow raisins because of the nasty adverse gaseous effects they caused).

There is ONE way (maybe you ran across it?) that grapes proved highly dangerous to mice:  https://www.outbreakobservatory.org/outbreakthursday-1/7/19/2018/of-mice-and-microbesor-the-grapes-of-rats

Well, highly dangerous to mice and humans both.  egad.

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Re: Grapes and Raisins

Post by MouseLover on Fri 08 Feb 2019, 5:53 am

@MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop wrote:I've never seen anything that explains exactly what the mechanism of toxicity (if any) is for any animal other than dogs.  And even then I knew a dog who ate grapes for years and years -- wanted them peeled first and absolutely LOVED them.  The owners were unaware of the toxic aspect (although they would not feed their furry little fellow raisins because of the nasty adverse gaseous effects they caused).

Yeah even with dogs it's not exactly clear how many grapes are fatal, and why some dogs seem to get away with eating quite a lot and others die from a small amount. When I was a teenager I had a friend who used to feed her dog grapes as treats... I didn't know anything about grapes being bad for dogs at the time, so I didn't say anything. But that dog did suddenly die from kidney failure Sad this was after probably having been fed a few grapes nearly every day for a few years, but he wasn't an old dog so I do suspect that this is what caused it Sad

But chocolate is poisonous to dogs and not to mice, so it doesnt necessarily follow that because grapes are dangerous to dogs that they are to other mammals. Mice are much more omniverous than dogs. Personally i'm inclined to believe the forum of mouse breeders over the RSPCA on the grape issue.

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Re: Grapes and Raisins

Post by Roseheart on Fri 08 Feb 2019, 8:19 am

I've fed my mice grapes tons of times and they are perfectly fine
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Re: Grapes and Raisins

Post by CallaLily on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 1:29 pm

I ran into trouble finding clear answers on this too. Ended up leaving them on my “unsafe” list because I figured better safe than sorry.  Pardon


As for the list on the forum. It wasn’t originally a safe/unsafe list. It was a thread on the old forum where I was double checking some foods and looking for help on foods I couldn’t find info on. I’d post in it to ask about a food and the members there would answer yes or no. Sometimes giving a reason, sometimes not. Eventually that thread was turned into the stickied list you find on this forum. I don’t remember who. But it’s definitely not a complete list and some things on the unsafe list are just there simply because clear answers could not be found. I have no clue why I was told grapes are ok but raisins are not. That always seemed silly to me. My list here at home has them both down as better safe than sorry.

Please do not take that list as anything too serious. I mean, everything down as safe is definitely safe. But most down as “unsafe” is really unknown - either I couldn’t find clear info or someone on the old forum was insisting NO for whatever reason. And then there is a lot that never made the list either way.

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