Warning from vets to Eastbourne dog owners of ‘potentially fatal’ Christmas treat

Eastbourne dog ended up in the vets after eating a mince pie.

Monday, 21st December 2020, 11:50 am

Claire Grout, owner of cockapoo Winston, spent her Christmas Eve 2019 at the vets after Winston climbed up on a sideboard to swipe a mini-mince pie left for Santa.

Claire said, “None of us even like mince pies – it was just something we left out from our four-year-old daughter in a place that would normally be out of Winston’s reach.

“We’d not long got back to the house from visiting my mother-in-law when I heard an ominous noise. I thought - that’s Winston somewhere he shouldn’t be - and rushed off to investigate.”

Winston the cockapoo SUS-201221-104629001
Winston the cockapoo SUS-201221-104629001

Claire found Winston with the tin foil stuck to his nose as proof he’d eaten the pie.

“I’d only turned my back for a minute. We are always so very careful when we’ve got chocolate and raisins around because we know how dangerous they are for dogs.”

A few minutes later Winston was being admitted to the Vets Now Eastbourne pet emergency clinic – where emergency staff gave him medicine to make him sick and clear his stomach. By 10pm Winston was on his way back home with Claire.

Claire said, “He came out feeling very sorry for himself. He was fine the next morning and in some ways it all sounds quite funny – but it wasn’t remotely funny at the time. It was very upsetting, and I really wouldn’t want anyone to suffer the anxious wait we had to see if he’d be okay.

“Santa is definitely only getting a carrot at our house this Christmas.”

This comes as vets brace themselves for a 880 per cent rise in emergency admissions from greedy dogs who’ve eaten mince pies meant for Santa.

Vets Now, the UK’s leading provider of emergency pet care, said the raisins in the sweet treats are poisonous to dogs and eating them can lead to sickness and diarrhoea – and potentially even fatal kidney failure.

Every year Vets Now is inundated with mince pie-eating dogs on Christmas Eve and into Christmas morning.

In 2019 alone, its vets treated almost 130 dogs who had eaten mince pies on Christmas Eve — up from an average of 14 cases during the rest of December.

Vets Now is expecting an even bigger increase this year due to the fact so many people have acquired puppies during lockdown.

Dave Leicester, head of telehealth at Vets Now, said, “We see more cases of raisin toxicity on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day than we do in an average month and that’s why we want to raise awareness of the threat they can pose to dogs.

“Even tiny amounts can be toxic in individual animals and the effects cannot be predicted, so real caution must be taken with foods that contain them, including mince pies and Christmas pudding.”

Dogs of any age, breed or gender can be affected by raisin and grape toxicity. Owners who suspect their pet has eaten grapes or raisins should contact a vet straight away to ensure treatment can be given before the toxins in the fruit can be absorbed.

Vets Now Eastbourne can be contacted on 01323 325168