“We bought Oscar our Cavapoo from Little Rascals on 17th August 2013 (much to my embarrassment for not doing my homework) after we’d seen them advertised on Preloved. He was £575.
I was concerned when we got there because it’s not where I imagined getting our first dog. I aired my concerns about puppy farming and she assured me that wasn’t the case. I knew I couldn’t walk away without giving one a home.
We picked the first one that came running to us. I asked to see the parents. The mum was brought out from the back where the puppies came from and what they said was the dad was carried across the yard and NOT put on the floor.
We were given a puppy pack and a puppy training pad to put on my knee for the journey home. Half way home Oscar got very restless and started with the diarrhoea which included a little blood. We got home and I rang them to be told by them that it’s because he been taken away from his siblings, and to feed chicken and rice.
Before we left I had noticed something brown on the other boy puppy’s face which I now think must have been faeces that they hadn’t cleaned off properly before they brought them out.
The diarrhoea continued through the night and we were at the vets next day. He was given antibiotics, Canikur paste and Panacur in case he had worms. He was eventually diagnosed, after poo samples were taken, with Coccidia. Antibiotics were given again.
I spoke to Little Rascals’ vet who had microchipped him and given him his first vaccination the day before we bought him, and she said that all looked fine and that she didn’t see signs of diarrhoea. It did concern me when she said she had no contact with the mum and that she was only there for the puppies.
I had been in contract with Bridgett Dickens from Little Rascals all through this and she even said we could take him back, but there wasn’t a chance I was taking my dog back to that place. I did insist she paid the £100 excess for the insurance and, after lots of prompting, we did eventually get a cheque.
We have struggled to get his poo firm since having Oscar, and I have changed his food several times because we thought he was intolerant to something in the kibble. The vet told us to try Purina pro plan for puppies with sensitive tummies – still no better, so we went on to try James Wellbeloved, Arden Grange, Wainwrights, Burns and a duck and potato, also a very good food which I got from a local man recommended to me. We eventually put Oscar on nutriment completed raw.
His poo got better but the weight started dropping off, he went from 9.20kg down to 7.55kg at his lowest. Thankfully for us our vet had an idea what to test for, and he was diagnosed with EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) in June last year. The vet wasn’t sure if the parasite had damaged his pancreas or if it was genetic.
I did speak to the vet that deals with Little Rascals because I was concerned they were still breeding from the dogs and potentially breeding more EPI dogs, but she didn’t seem interested. She said she was going to see Bridgett Dickens later that week but I never heard anything back. Obviously they think its not their concern.
It has been a very emotional time but Oscar is now doing well. We give him Lypex enzymes, Dorwest tree bark herbs for colitis, b12 powder and coconut oil with his food, and at the end of April he reached 9kg which was an achievement.
I can’t understand why, with so much information, Little Rascals keep getting their licence. It’s giving people false security on where to buy their dogs. I thought, because the vet was involved, they must have been checked properly from the correct people and that I was buying a dog that was safe and well cared for.
There was another family there with two small children when we bought Oscar and they had the other boy in the litter, he must have had the same parasite that Oscar had. I just hope that they haven’t had as many problems as we have but I wouldn’t hold my breath about that.”
The vet Yvonne spoke to is Nicola Williams of Orchard House Vets, Metheringham. According to Little Rascal’s website statement:
“Vet checks are carried out weekly by a senior vet from Orchard House Veterinary Practice- they are normally in attendance for at least one afternoon a week”.
By ‘senior vet’ we assume they’re referring to Nicola Williams, but according to her remark to Yvonne, she only attends for the puppies, not the parents.
July 14, update from Yvonne:
“Unfortunately they are still selling sick puppies – a work friend’s cousin bought a little white one two weekends ago and it become very sick within a couple of days and sadly passed away in the vets hospital a few days after that, I don’t have any more details at the moment other than the owner rang Little Rascals before it died to be told they ‘never had a sick puppy before’. Such blatant lies, how do they sleep at night?”
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