By Dan Coles
A dog owner has issued a warning this Christmas after her cheeky pooch nearly died due to snaffling a mince pie.
Pauline Warren, 62, only noticed 15-month-old Belgian Shepherd Mickey had helped himself to one of the festive treats from the table as she left the room to answer her front door in Derby earlier this month when he began licking his lips.
But a quick Google search revealed the raisins in mincemeat can be fatal to dogs, causing unnoticeable kidney failure which can lead to death within 48 hours.
Train production manager Pauline quickly rushed rescue dog Mickey to the vet’s – where after being put on a drip, having his stomach pumped and undergoing £1,000 in treatment – he made a full recovery in time for December 25.
She said: “Mickey ate the pie at 10.30pm, and I was talking to the vet by 11pm and there by midnight.
“He was put on a drip at 1.30am and he remained on that drip for 48 hours.
“I didn’t want to leave him that long, but vets told me it was either 48 hours on a drip, or hope and wish he would be ok.
“When I spoke to the vet, she revealed just one raisin could have killed him.
“Don’t put your mince pies in arms reach of pets – you’re gambling with your dog’s life.”
Pauline was first alerted to the dangers of raisins when consumed by dogs via a Facebook post.
But as Mickey weighs 30kg (Xst) she thought a single mince pie would just cause an upset stomach.
When she checked online, she realised the effects could be much more serious than she’d initially thought.
Mickey was rushed to Scarsdale Vets’ Pride Veterinary Centre in Derby where the night team made him sick to get rid of any residual mince pie in his stomach before putting him on an IV drip for the next two days.
Due to only having Mickey for several weeks after he was rescued from Cyprus, she did not yet have pet insurance for him so was forced to splash out £1,000 in savings on his care.
Pauline, who has two other pooches, said: “The vet told me that it didn’t matter what the size of dog was, it’s case by case and leaving it risks kidney failure.
“They told me that if we didn’t put him on a drip and he got kidney failure, he would have had to go on a drip for three weeks, and could still possibly die.
“Some dogs can eat a raisin, or sultana and be lucky, but it’s a risk for any dog.
“I had been saving for some furniture but when this happened that money went straight on the treatment.
“There’s no way I was putting Mickey’s life at risk.
“I can do without the furniture but I can’t do without my dogs.”
Pauline now wants every owner to understand the risks toxic raisins pose to dogs, and for them to be taken more seriously.
She said she knew raisins were no good for pooches to consume but had no idea how much harm just a single one could cause.
Luckily, her family secretly visited the vets whilst Mickey was receiving treatment and paid off £480 worth of the bill, meaning she still had money to go towards the furniture she was planning on getting.
Pauline said: “This year my Christmas present is my dogs health, which is the best gift I could ask for.”
Senior Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon Debs Smith, who was part of the team who treated Mickey, said: “Mickey was one of four dogs treated that weekend for eating something toxic.
“Sadly this is something we see a lot of at this time of year and other holiday times.
“Mickey was given IV fluids as raisins, sultanas and currants can cause kidney failure.
“We take the ingestion of any toxic ingredients very seriously.
“In the case of raisins and currants where the method of how they can cause such detrimental effect on the kidneys is not understood, we advise treatment if even the smallest amount has been eaten.
“We’re so glad Mickey is back to full health and that he will be with his family for Christmas.”
CHRISTMAS ITEMS TOXIC TO DOGS:
– Mince pies and Christmas cake (both contain raisins, sultanas and currants)
– Turkey, chicken and goose bones
– Holly, mistletoe, poinsettia and ivy