Hi, please don’t slate me for this, and I think people should know about this. We chose our cockapoo mainly because of what we’d heard about their lovely temperament and the fact they don’t shed hair, or the majority don’t. We bought Mollie just over 7yrs ago, so I’d still say a young dog. She’s the love of our life. This is our story about what happened to her. Mollie has always been fed a balanced raw diet, not done by me, bought in frozen. She loved it. Anyway earlier this year she seemed to go off eating, she’d been what they call lip smacking for a while and whatever we did to encourage her she wasn’t interested. The one thing we knew she’d eat would be cooked chicken but even that didn’t work. After 4 days and her being not even interested in her ball and just sleeping a lot we took her to our local vet. On spending £2,500 on her at the 3 local practices, she’d had blood tests, x rays, ultrasound, scans, you name it she had it, we even had to have a feeding tube put in her neck and for over a week she was fed every 3 hrs, sterile water first, then increasing the liquid food, then more sterile water and cleaning the site twice a day, and it took over half an hour feeding her, starting at 7, then 10, 1, 4, 7 and 10pm feed, so literally that seemed to be our life. Then to be told they weren’t sure what it was. She initially had a temperature so was put on antibiotics, which actually is not ideal in some situations as it can mask things. We were referred to a specialist in Winchester, AndersonMoores. She had to spend 6 nights there which ended up costing a further £6,500 so £9,000 so far. Our insurance was only £5,000 so now we were into our money. They repeated some of the tests as they said they had better equipment and they also said sometimes they still never find out what the problem is. She was knocked out several times, she had spinal taps and joint taps, and a fine needle biopsy. We picked her up with lots of painkillers and 3 steroids a day to start with. The diagnosis was meningitis, poly arthritis so in every joint so that’s why she wouldn’t eat as she was in a lot of pain. Her liver enzymes were 100 and should have been 10. Because she was already on antibiotics when she arrived here there was no significant problem they found with the liver apart from the high enzymes. She was always hungry and she was limited to walking for some while. After a month the steroids dropped to 2 a day, there was a blood test before she dropped and everything was dramatically improving so much so everything was back to normal after 6 weeks on the steroids. Then a month and dropped to 1 but our vet I feel made a mistake, they said just 1 steroid a day for 3 weeks and then 1 every other day for another 3 weeks, then she can do whatever exercise she wanted. The vet specialist had said she could relapse after a few months, or go years without a problem or never have another problem. Not in our case. 4 weeks after coming off them she didn’t want to eat and we were going on holiday the following week. A few days before we went away, she did have a temperature again, her c reactive protein and inflammatory markers were really high again. One day she had blood tests and the next she had a ultrasound and fine needle biopsy into the liver again and obviously as she wasn’t on antibiotics they thought it might show things with the liver. Anyway she has got liver disease, but not too bad. Their still not sure if the liver caused the arthritis or vice versa, but it is an auto immune problem. Anyway at this precise moment in time she’s on 3 steroids a day again. She went from 3 to 2 but unfortunately this time round after blood tests on the drop to 2 her inflammatory markers went really high so we are so disappointed as steroids are really not good for them, they can cause lots of health problems, including diabetes and Cushings Disease. The last few days she has had really bad diarrhoea and not herself at all. Whether this is connected to her problems I don’t know. Will see what she’s like tomorrow, I’m just boiling chicken fillets and giving her little and often. She is also on Vetpro liver capsules and destolit (half a tablet a day, this is a human drug). Our insurance renews the end of this month which I know we will obviously be stung, they have said they will pay for regular blood tests, hoping to go from once a month to once every three months, they’ll also pay for the steroids and other medication. We have been told she won’t come off the steroids, if we can get her to one a day, they want to try then every other day but if that isn’t so good can just increase slightly. In all with the food we like to give her, Different Dog, which is brilliant, we are at this moment in time including insurance, boosters, wormer and flea treatments, blood tests and her meds, we are paying out almost £90 per week. Why I said at the start of this lengthy note not to slate me, the vets have said these poodle type dogs, cockapoo, labradoodle, dogs with poodle in them, are prone to getting autoimmune problems. My friends daughter is a veterinary nurse and at this moment in time she said they are getting a lot of poodle type dogs in, about 6yrs of age, and they have all got autoimmune problems. Now what is that saying do you think. We did lots of research before we bought Mollie. So far, including the insurance, we have now spent £11,000. Please make sure you have enough insurance, we’ve spent £6,000 of our own money and it’s only because my mum died a couple of years ago and had inheritance that we’ve been able to spend on money, otherwise she would have been put to sleep, with these astronomical vet prices. I hope you will post this for me. Mollie is our first dog and will be our last also. There would never be a dog to match her and it’s way too expensive if if only I’d known that these breeds can get these autoimmune problems we would not have got a cockapoo. Don’t let this out you off, nobody knows which dog will get it.