Cunning Archie spends Christmas in hospital

A naughty Labrador called Archie spent Christmas in hospital after stealing FIVE large mince pies. 

The homemade pies were just out of the oven last Christmas Eve and cooling down on the kitchen worktop when streetwise Archie realised no-one was looking. 

His owners Paul and Debbie Walker had turned their backs for just five minutes to dash to a corner shop to get kitchen foil for their turkey for the next day. 

And in that very brief window of opportunity, cunning Archie managed to wolf down all five pies, leaving not a crumb behind. 

Raisins and currants are highly toxic to dogs — and even just a handful can cause potentially fatal poisoning and organ failure. 

Fortunately, Debbie, from Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, was already aware of this and immediately called us for help. 

Then she and Paul headed back out — this time with nine-year-old Archie in the car — for the hour-long journey to our 24/7 pet emergency hospital in Glasgow. 

Archie the Labrador looking up
Raisins and currants are highly toxic to dogs — and even just a handful can cause potentially fatal poisoning and organ failure.

Debbie said “As soon as we got back home I noticed five mince pies were missing and Archie looked sheepish. 

“We still have no idea how he managed to reach them from that height and it’s been many years since he’s stolen food, so clearly the mince pies smelt as good to Archie as they did to us! 

“Archie was his usual bouncy happy self and there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with him — but Archie is such an important part of our family that we just couldn’t take any risks.” 

Archie the labrador lying on settee
"It’s been many years since he’s stolen food, so clearly the mince pies smelt as good to Archie as they did to us!"

Our team admitted Archie straightaway, carried out a series of checks and then induced vomiting to clear his tummy of as much of what he’d eaten as possible. 

Debbie said: “They took blood samples, and monitored him continually before advising us he should stay in overnight for observation. 

“It was Christmas Day by the time we got home and clearly an emergency trip to the vets had been the last thing we were planning for Christmas Eve. 

“But it was really important for us to have that peace of mind that he was getting the right care. 

“Archie ended up staying in until Boxing Day and we were delighted to get the call to collect him, totally healthy and well thanks to the team at Vets Now Glasgow.” 

Our emergency teams see a big rise in cases involving stolen mince pies around Christmas. 

Archie sitting on the grass
The Vets Now team carried out a series of checks and then induced vomiting to clear Archie's tummy.

Emergency vet Dave Hollinshead, who is part of the Video Vets Now team, said: “Our vets and vet nurses treated dozens of dogs last year who had eaten mince pies left out for Santa and we are expecting similar this year. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness that the raisins in mince pies can be toxic to dogs. 

“If your dog gets hold of a mince pie, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding or anything else with raisins and grapes please don’t delay in getting them checked over by a vet.” 

All of Vets Now’s premises always have a vet and vet nurse on site.   

We also offer an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice more easily available.   

While the service is not suitable for life-threatening emergencies like Archie’s, our experienced vets are available to discuss any worries or concerns you might have.   

If your pet needs an in-person follow-up appointment at any vet practice, Vets Now will refund the online consultation fee, so you never pay twice.