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Kennel Club warns of toxic Christmas food for dogs
34 per cent of all its claims of grape and raisin poisoning occurred last Christmas.
Food such as grapes and raisins can be harmful.

The Kennel Club has urged dog owners to practise caution at Christmas, when more dried fruit poisonings are claimed with its insurance partner.

The dog welfare organisation has released data from its insurance partner, Agria Pet Insurance, which reveals that 34 per cent of all claims relating to grape and raisin poisoning occurred during last year’s Christmas period (November 2022-January 2023).

Both fruits are ingredients in several Christmas foods, including Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies, which dogs may be able to reach during the festive season.

Some dogs may not show any symptoms of poisoning, while others may display vomiting, diarrhoea and a painful abdomen. Grape and raisin poisoning can result in kidney failure, and even death.

The insurance company reported that January was the highest month overall for grape and raisin poisoning, with almost double the monthly average.

One such case saw a 15-month-old cocker spaniel, Darcey, eat several mince pies that her owners believed had been placed out of reach. She was rushed to a veterinary practice for emergency treatment, where she stayed for two days before making a full recovery.

Grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas are some of many festive foods which can be harmful for dogs if ingested. Other Christmas delicacies such as chocolate, macadamia nuts, blue cheese and alcohol can be toxic for dogs.

The Kennel Club recommends that, with January showing a peak in claims, pet owners stay vigilant throughout and after the Christmas season.

Robin Hargreaves, senior veterinary advisor at Agria Pet Insurance, said: “Traditional Christmas foods, such as mince pies and Christmas pudding, are full of things that are toxic to our pets, including raisins and grapes, and there are often no symptoms until the dog becomes very ill, very suddenly. Owners who think their pets have ingested any of these should contact their vet for advice immediately.

“Of course, prevention is key and it is always far better to be extremely vigilant and prevent access to these foods, as well as other Christmas hazards, throughout the festive season.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.