Acute kidney injury in dogs following ingestion of cream of tartar and tamarinds and the connection to tartaric acid as the proposed toxic principle in grapes and raisins

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2022 Nov;32(6):812-816. doi: 10.1111/vec.13234. Epub 2022 Jul 23.


Objective: To (1) describe exposure history, clinical signs, treatment, and diagnostic findings in 4 dogs following ingestion of tamarinds, and in 2 dogs following ingestion of cream of tartar, and (2) discuss tartaric acid, the common denominator, as the proposed toxic principle in tamarinds and grapes.

Series summary: Reports in which dogs developed acute kidney injury following ingestion of cream of tartar or tamarinds were identified from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center electronic database. In these cases, decontamination was not performed, and treatments were delayed. Despite IV fluids and symptomatic and supportive care, 2 of the dogs became anuric and 1 became oliguric. Four dogs were euthanized, and the outcome is unknown for 2 of the dogs. Necropsies were performed on 3 of the dogs. Clinical signs, laboratory findings, and histopathologic lesions were similar to those reported in grape and raisin toxicosis.

New or unique information provided: Acute kidney injury may develop following ingestion of cream of tartar or tamarinds in dogs. Connecting these reports with findings in grape and raisin toxicosis and the sensitivity to tartaric acid in dogs, tartaric acid is identified as the likely toxic component in grapes and tamarinds.

Keywords: AKI; Vitis vinifera ingestion; canine; nephrotoxins.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / chemically induced
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / veterinary
  • Animals
  • Dental Calculus / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases* / chemically induced
  • Dogs
  • Eating
  • Tamarindus*
  • Vitis*


  • tartaric acid