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Old 18-01-2015, 07:36 PM  
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Default Millies Wolfheart

I'm having a bit of a "let off steam" as I'm a bit shocked and put out at the mo.

My pup Elsa, as some of you will know, seems to have food sensitivities - we've been contending with diarrhoea/loose poo/soft poo for months. I've been to see the wonderful Jim with it as having tried to sort it on my own and failed I wasn't going to muck about. Some of you will remember Neo was very allergic - if it was edible he was pretty much allergic to it - so my first thought was food allergy and asked Jim to test for it - he refused point blank on the basis that you can get a false positive, but we are STILL faffing around and we don't have consistently firm poos. Jim is very good and I am happy to follow his advice - so we haven't done food allergy testing although I've raised it a few times - Jim doesn't think it will provide a reliable diagnosis.

He has tested for Campylobacter which she had so thats been treated, and did a blood test which suggested she has anti-biotic responsive diarrhoea, but he's resiling from that now.

We've tried a variety of foods, and generally if we avoid chicken (which I've concluded is a problem but don;t know if I am right or its coincidence) mostly things aren't too bad - we get some firm poos and some soft poos and occasionally diarrhoea but she is very itchy and uncomfortable so I do want to get this sorted.

Elsa isn't underweight far from it. She weighed at the last weigh-in almost 28kg and she isn't tall. Jim is very happy with her condition, I think she may be slightly on the chubby side but not enough to worry about -so apart from the poo things are pretty ok... just need to sort the food issue...

I've discussed and followed Jims advice on food - and in fact he has spent ages looking at food ingredients for me on more than one occasion but now he is muttering about trialling a prescription hydrolysed diet which I want to avoid if I can - experience tells me once they go on one they stay on it....

In asking one or two friends - someone suggested Millies Wolfheart saying they had a mutual friend who raved about it. So I looked at the website- and having had a conversation with Jim about glucosamine and chondroitin and being from "unspecified animal sources probably poultry" in relation to a few foods and him rejecting them on that basis - I decided to contact the two manufacturers I was thinking about and ask the question.

One, do tailor made food - they were very helpful but their glucosamine is poultry so I've decided I am not risking it at the moment. I then contacted Millies Wolfheart and gave them a shortened version of the above, and was shocked to get this reply

"Thankyou for your email

You say your vet does not wish to do tests , is this your decision I am rather astonished you as a customer and having a dog with such symptoms would not insist your vet does these tests for you as you are so desperate this would be the first test. I would insist on these tests for my dog, if it was in this condition.

As you see from our website our foods are produced chicken free, however we do use in some recipes duck and turkey.

Glucosamine is typically produced from shellfish and chondroitin is produced from cow or sheep cartilage. So I do feel you may have had some wrong information given to you.

We insist our products are chicken free and we insist all ingredients that are used are chicken free, we also do not have Chicken in any of our treats.

We would not suggest you trial any of our foods until you have a definite result to isolate what is causing your dog to be so ill and suffer.

As you say until you do you are “are stabbing around in the dark “

I hope our information helps you however I feel you should for the best interests of you poor puppy have the tests done.

Kind regards

Millies Wolfheart

01535 280319 or 08006124655"

To me it reads like I am a bad negligent owner. Full Stop. I was really upset when I read the response - all I wanted to know was about the poultry content of the food but the glucosamine in particular...

Rant over...
Eve Bramble and Elsa

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Old 18-01-2015, 09:12 PM  
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Well they're right about Glucoasmine being typically sourced from shellfish, but as Wikipedia says "Glucosamine is naturally present in the shells of shellfish, animal bones, bone marrow, and fungi" - clearly as that is not the only source you were absolutely right to ask and your information was in no way faulty.

I think they were trying to come across with good advice but made their points in all the wrong ways!

I feed fish4dogs superior, it includes
"Green Lipped Mussels providing a source of joint conditioners Glucosamine and Chondroitin" so you can be sure without asking where it's coming from!

In fact. Can I try and recommend it? Other LF'rs will have seen me pipe up about it several times and be yawning their heads off right now

But just look at the no-nonsense ingredients.

Superior (includes joint conditioners)
Salmon (Min 27%), Potato (Min 27%), Salmon Meal (15.3%), Pea (16.6%), (Starch 15.3%) Pea Fibre 1.3%, Salmon Oil (9.2%), Salmon Digest (1.8%), Seaweed Meal, Yeast Extract, Malt Extract, Potassium Chloride, Green-lipped Mussel Extract, Spirulina

Finest (without)
Salmon (27%), Potato (21%), Pea Flour (19%), Salmon Meal (11.7%), Salmon Oil (10.7%), Beet Pulp, Brewers Yeast , Minerals

There is a white fish option too, and you might find the trial size 1.5kg bags very handy for a try and see. We've all heard about dogs with allergies to certain meats or wheat products but there are none those in fish4dogs.

Gemma had constant loose stools whilst I was feeding her a chicken+rice kibble that the breeder used. I can only suspect there was something in there she didn't get on with. But instead of spending a lifetime trying to find out, I moved her to fish4dogs and within 48 hours she firmed right up!
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Old 18-01-2015, 09:47 PM  
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I actually thought "good on 'em"

They are at least giving you an honest, in their opinion, answer on their products, and I'm impressed that they recommend you have further tests done, rather than just selling you their products regardless......
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Last edited by TaraBanana; 18-01-2015 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Grammar error
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Old 18-01-2015, 10:20 PM  
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Although they were quite negative about you following the vet's instructions at least they didn't just push their own food so in my mind that goes in their favour.

Did the vet test for guardia?

Chappie Original is the usual recovery food recommendation but I'm not sure if it has chicken in it. Itmust be really frustrating not knowing what the problem is.
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Old 18-01-2015, 11:28 PM  
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Thinking about it when they have had the Campylobacter it can take some time settling down to regular firm poo's, this I found out when Mischa was a pup, it did seem to be 1 month good next soft, this was off and on for what seemed like forever.

The gut does seem to take ages to get the good bacteria back and combat the upset tums, [spoonful of yoghurt can help this I think, I did try it but was never sure if it was the yoghurt or just luck or myth].

I also think it is tempting to try different foods to get normality back when they start getting softer for no apparent reason, I think many of us are guilty of this, so to be honest I now make a decision on what food to give and stick to it for as long as necessary [initially adjusting amount down as it can be the quantity or spreading it over 3 small meals so as not to overdo the processing while the tum is repairing itself.

Just in case you want a recommendation on Millies I now feed all 3 of mine on the Salmon and Veg and have no complaint, especially with Bruno's output, it was always a bit whippy off and on but now is consistently firm.

I also feed the low end of the recommended amount and all 3 are keeping to a nice 25/26 kg, and their coats do look pretty good [often getting comments on their condition].

I do agree about the Chappie as a standby for a really upset tum, but my lot are known to feast on anything they find when off lead including poo, so Chappie original is in the cupboard for when they have picked up a nasty, a week at the most usually sorts them out.

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Old 19-01-2015, 08:54 AM  
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I used to ask questions on their FB page, Eve, but the woman who replies, although she gives good advise, can be rather abrupt. It sounds like it was her who replied to your email.

I do rate their food and their policy of not pushing their food to you, if they don't feel it's right, but I do feel this particular woman maybe losing them customers, simply because of her overly direct attitude.

So don't take it to heart what she wrote, as she just seems to lack certain communication skills
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Old 19-01-2015, 09:52 AM  
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My experience of Millies Wolfheart customer service has been good so far. I rang to ask whether the tripe in the Tracker food was beef and they were really helpful. I explained my dog was allergic to beef and he asked if I had proper tests done and how high were the readings. He said he wouldn't advise to give her the Tracker as although only 4% tripe he said her allergic reaction was too high to tolerate it. I was impressed with their response and suggested they were more than just telesales people!

Eve, don't let it out you off the food though. I am very happy with it.

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Old 19-01-2015, 12:39 PM  
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OK well I feel a bit guilty now since I was the one who said our mutual friends used the Millie's - sorry

However I think Jules is right I think this lady is just a bit abrupt and probably didn't mean it the way it came across. We know you're a great owner and that you know about all this stuff but she doesn't and she might have thought you were one of those wally types who see something in a magazine based on no facts whatsoever and believe it, she doesn't know you've been through the mill and back again and know far more about allergies than she does or is probably ever likely to. Try to see it as her trying to help even if she got it a bit wrong. I often try to help and come across as overbearing and I honestly don't mean to its just I forget that other people aren't necessarily interested in the same things as me or in minute details or 26 thousand reasons why or why not... I am trying to improve!

It is rather handy to know they don't use chicken and they have taken care with that and that Chloe, Jules and June's dogs are ok on it, that's really the only reason I ever considered it. As you already know I'm also in the try chappie camp though if that hasn't worked for you before I can see why you wouldn't want to.

Elsa looks good in the photos and its great her weight is fine. Chicken elimination definitely sounds like the way forward, how about going with John's suggestion of the white fish Fish4Dogs, steer clear of the added joint supplements altogether and then there is no issue about provenance.

A long time ago when I was in mega-worry-mode with Sammy I did contact Barking Heads and they were absolutely lovely about checking things, they do a few chicken free ones as far as I can tell so they could be an option too.

Whatever you decide I will have everything crossed that it works xx
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Old 19-01-2015, 01:56 PM  
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Thanks all for your comments - Emma's been through this with me really from the moment Elsa started having problems, so she knows whats been going in - probably in far too much detail - sorry Emma - and she's been a fantastic friend, making all sorts of suggestions and listening to me rabbiting on debating what to do, what not to do, getting my knickers in the proverbial twist..

And don't feel bad about making helpful suggestions - its not your fault that instead of giving the information or asking more questions they just launched off on a diatribe, maybe the person was about to go home and annoyed at another query coming in...

I've been through food allergies with Neo, so its not something that phases me - and whereas Neo was seriously ill - 15kg at 13 months, Elsa isn;t. My vet has said he doesn;t think this is a particularly serious problem and I am inclined to agree - she is almost 28 kg at 11 months, and is pretty well covered, she doesn;t look underweight, we just have this irritating problem which I cannot seem to get sorted.

I don't want to criticise my vet - if it wasn't for him Bramble wouldn't be here - but thats a whole other thread with all the efforts that he has gone to for Bramble - and consequently changing vets is not, for me, an option, although I DO wish he would be more active on Elsa's issue and get it sorted!

It was the reply that really upset me and i have to say I took it very personally indeed - hence my letting off steam here. When I compare their response with Arden Grange's both for Neo and for Elsa - their response is just wholly lacking. Arden Grange were helpful, listened and were very supportive - especially with Neo -AND they were honest, the first thing they said to me about Neo was "our food won;t sort this. I hope it will help but it won't sort it" - instead of launching off on a diatribe like the Millies Wolfheart person they asked questions to find out more information about what had and hadn't been tried, and then gave advice. I have, needless to say tried Elsa on Arden Grange but their foods contain Chicken (thanks Emma - I failed to spot that on one food I tried for Elsa!) in some form or other - and they haven;t worked.

And I have to say I was very offended when they suggested I was lying when I said that it was the vet who had refused those tests and suggested I had declined them!!

I've now asked that someone review the correspondence rather than say I am making an official complaint about it, but I am minded to make such a complaint - I still think the tone is utterly unacceptable.

And currently I am not minded to put a penny their way I see no reason to pay them for being abused! I am bothered about Elsa - not to the same extent I was about Neo (as I am sure Jules will recall!!!) - and a bit disappointed with the lack of veterinary support - although again some tests have been done and I do think he is right - but I hate her being loose and seeing her itchy....

I might very well give the Fish4dogs finest a go John - thanks, its funny as I've always actively wanted joint support in the food, but my vet was adamant that it be excluded - and having asked another manufacturer and been told that theirs was sourced from poultry I could see the point, but it goes against the grain as joint support was always something I actively sought!!

Anyway rant over.... we are currently trying a food that the vet recommended I'm not sure its working, but it isn't obviously NOT working so we need to carry on trialling it and see what happens before I muck about with her food again...

Fiz, yes we've retested for Campylobacter and she was clear - but it hasn't escaped me that there could be something entirely unfood related going on as well.

Thanks all!
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Eve Bramble and Elsa

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Old 19-01-2015, 02:57 PM  
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Eve it was Pam who suggested it may worth testing for Guardia, I know my vet has usually tested on one then the other to rule it out.

Just how long ago was the positive test for Campylobacter done?

I hope you manage to sort it out soon, I know it is a worry when you are going over and over what may be causing dodgy tums.

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