The wrath of grapes was, unfortunately, all too familiar for many furry companions in 2008. Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (VPI) analyzed more than 400 claims from last year involving toxic plant ingestion. The primary focus of the investigation was to pinpoint the plants and plant products most likely to poison cats and dogs.

Topping the list of toxic offenders were raisins and grapes, followed by mushrooms and marijuana. VPI reported that the average amount claimed for plant poisoning was $427 in 2008. According to the insurer, pet owners have ample cause to take the threat of grape/raisin ingestion seriously. Even in low doses, ingestion can place pets at risk for acute renal failure. The exact cause is unknown, but some experts think that there may be a toxic component in the skin of the grape/raisin.

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