New Sponsored Pack Member – Selena Bray

Selena Bray has achieved continual successes with multiple dogs, of different breeds and sizes spanning over a few decades.

Selena started using Akela for their five strong team of competitive dogs and two retirees about a year ago after struggling to find a suitable food for all her dogs.

Selena1There’s a mixture of different breeds in the Bray household, including two Border Collies, an Australian Kelpie, two miniature poodles and two working cocker spaniels, and all but one (who is currently a few months old) are highly regarded in the sport of agility

They compete at the top level in the sport, qualifying and winning a vast amount of finals over the years, including those at Crufts and Olympia, also holding ‘Agility Champion’ status too.

The health and wellbeing of dogs is very important to Selena, training and asking her dogs to perform at their best takes a lot of energy and diet is paramount to any active pet.

Selena said ”since trying Akela we’ve never looked back!”

We look forward to hearing more about Selena’s success during 2017.

Pledge for Pippa – Stop Alabama Rot

Jessica Worthington recently got in touch with this pledge, which we felt we should share with our pack. Grab a coffee and take a minute to learn a little more about Alabama Rot.

What is CRGV?
Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV or ‘Alabama rot’) is a serious disease which has only recently been recognised in dogs in the UK. It causes lesions on the skin and occasionally in the mouth, which can look like bites, sores, wounds or stings. Some dogs go on to develop life-threatening kidney failure. Any age, sex, or breed of dog can be affected. The disease has been under investigation by Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists (working closely with a number of other organisations) for as long as the disease has been in the UK. Many possible causes, such as common bacterial infections and exposure to toxins, have been ruled out.

CRGV is a disease caused by damage to blood vessels of the skin and kidney. It causes tiny blood clots to form in the blood vessels which blocks them and can ultimately lead to damage of the affected tissue. In the skin, this causes ulceration; however, in the kidney it can lead to severe organ dysfunction (kidney failure). CRGV has not been seen in animals other than dogs. Owners of dogs affected by CRGV have not been affected by this illness in these cases.

CRGV- The facts
CRGV has been known since the late 1980’s in the USA. Since 2012 there have been 94 confirmed cases across the UK including in the New Forest area where the disease first became apparent. Unfortunately the disease cannot be confirmed unless a fatality occurs. The definitive diagnosis of CRGV is made by histopathological assessment of the kidneys at post mortem.

The cause at this time remains unknown but investigations are ongoing, an environmental cause for this disease is considered possible but it has not been proven with testing to date. Recent work by the senior curator of herbology, from the Natural History Museum, suggests that plants are an unlikely trigger for CRGV. Since 2012, more CRGV cases have been seen between November and May than between June and October, suggesting a possible Winter / Spring seasonality.

Treatment Options
CRGV is treated symptomatically. Skin lesions are usually managed with antibiotics to stop secondary infection and daily blood testing is indicated to check kidney function. Patients usually undergo intravenous fluid therapy to help support the kidneys during their hospital stay. Urine output is monitored and urine is tested to check protein levels. If evidence of kidney injury becomes apparent then there are various treatment options, many of which are very invasive and high risk. Treatments include
• Plasma Exchange- A process in which the patient’s blood is removed from the body, separated and plasma removed and replaced for donor plasma.
• Plasma transfusions- In which donor plasma is infused into the circulatory system.
• Dialysis- Which uses an artificial device to clean the blood of waste products.
Unfortunately despite numerous treatment options prognosis is still very grave. If a patient with CRGV develops kidney injury there is a ninety percent fatality rate.

Pippa’s story
I lost my beautiful dog Pippa to this cruel disease on the 15th December 2015 after an innocent, fun walk in the woods with my other dog Molly. They both developed skin lesions but 4 days later Pippa started to show signs of kidney damage.

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists referred her to the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (RVC) for Plasma Exchange, plasma transfusion and Dialysis treatment. Despite intensive and aggressive treatment, the disease had taken over and she could not be saved. My dogs are my absolute world and this disease has left me truly, truly heartbroken. I am without my baby girl and Molly is without her sister.

Fundraising
A few weeks at home living without Pippa urged me to start fundraising to help develop research into this relatively unknown disease. I do not want any other dog owners to feel the heartache that I am living with.

All money raised will be donated to The Alabama Rot Research Fund. Research into new diseases requires a lot of funding. This pays for the development of new diagnostic tests, investigation of the causes of the disease and ultimately the development of more effective treatments which could help numerous dogs in the future.

Pippa’s charity facebook page is ‘Pledge for Pippa. Stop Alabama Rot’
For information regarding the charity and disease www.arrf.co.uk is that best place to go.

Akela “Highly Commended” by Your Dog Magazine readers

It can be hard swimming against the flow, which is how it has sometimes felt here at Akela. We believe in our food, independent nutritionists believe in our food and dog owners are joining our pack by the hour. With money going into ingredients rather than an expensive marketing allowance it can be hard to get noticed.

So when our pack members rallied together and voted for us in the Your Dog Magazine Award we were absolutely over the moon. We really feel this is a sign of things to come; an award that has always been dominated by a grain-based diet finally recognising the benefits of grain-free and high meat diets.

At time of writing we are still the number 1 dog food on eDogAdvisor (based on customer reviews) and we have the 5/5 from AllAboutDogFood (based on nutritional content of the food). We have also just come back from a fantastic Crufts following the launch of more products in our range – what will the rest of 2017 hold – we cannot wait to find out!

Akela Dog Food Award

Crufts Memories

Akela’s first visit to Crufts went fantastically well. As Crufts celebrated its 125th year we had our first stand at the show and although it was not the first time our staff have walked through those doors it never fails impress with the sheer number of dog enthusiasts it attracts. Sure, the dog showing world and The Kennel Club usually has some negative press around the event but we like to focus on all the good points from the four day event. Below are our highlights, through the eyes of our Product Manager, Jackie.

Goody Bags

Our goody bags went down very well, giving new and existing customers a chance to try out some of our treats and our new wet food, whilst grabbing themselves a cool canvas bag and even one of our funky new car stickers. It was great to see people coming back the next day or a few days later to pick one up for their friend who had been jealous, or even come back to buy more of the tins or the dry kibble. Apparently we were not making up how tasty our products are to dogs (we told you so!).

Memphis with Akela Goody Bag
Memphis enjoying his goody bag
Titan with Akela goody bag
Titan and his goody bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Products Sold Out

By far the best sellers were the kangaroo dog food tins, goats’ ears dog chews and beef tails dog chews. We even had to get extra stock shipped in on the Saturday but we still sold out of most lines by the close on Sunday, great news for our staff as that meant there was less to pack up. Whilst we know that the ‘roo tins were mainly chosen for the novelty factor, this flavour was introduced with a serious agenda. With more and more dogs suffering from allergies to the more usual meats, the kangaroo provides a novel and extremely healthy protein option. For similar reasons the goats’ ears, which sit in size between lambs’ ears and cows’ ears, are a fantastic novel product. The long lasting beef tails went down well with owners of Staffies, Labradors and other strong chewers.

New Friends & Doggy Banter

On and off the stand it is amazing who you bump into at Crufts. Of course you can catch a glance of the likes of Clare Balding and Noel Fitzpatrick, but perhaps lesser known are the hundreds of charity workers and founders as well as their dogs and their stories all waiting to be discovered. We were visited by Allen Parton of Hounds for Heroes and met the famous EJ (Endal Junior, for those of you who have read the Endal book) and Rookie.

Hounds for Heroes
Visit from Allen Parton, EJ and Rookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A personal highlight for me was getting to see Winnie, the Dogue De Bordeaux puppy being taken care of by Cinque Ports Rescue. This beautiful girl stole my heart at Discover Dogs in 2015 and it was lovely to see her still up and about on her three legs, even wearing her Akela harness for a bit of support in and out of her trolley.

Winnie
Winnie the DDB puppy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also very emotional was walking around the stands and spotting Nym, a dog helped by the Blind Dog Rescue UK. Having recently had to have my own dog’s eyes removed due to Glaucoma this was the first time I had seen a dog without eyes since and she almost left me in tears. Although you can see how settled, happy and well looked after she is now, her history tells of a much deeper and darker past in a different country. Many people would not get the chance to interact with dogs like Nym if it was not for the wonder that is Crufts, just one of its many gifts.

New Sponsorships

If you watched some of the Agility in the main ring you may well have spotted one of our Akela shirts on Martin Reid; our first sponsored owner. We will be telling everyone about Martin and his wonderful dogs Spring and Flash in a blog post real soon, but he made time in between his runs to pop and say hi so we could meet the extremely cute Spring.

Martin and Spring
Sponsored agility team Martin & Spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also have picked up one of our leaflets introducing the Akela Rescue Dog Agility League. We met the organiser of the league (previously called DARL: Dog Agility Rescue League) and one of the young promising handlers who is competing. We will be sharing lots more information about the league but for now if you have a rescue dog and would like to know more you can see their page here.

New Sponsorship
Akela announced as new Rescue Dog Agility League Sponsors

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting Up With The Pack

It is always a pleasure to meet up with pack members new and old, with many owners being able to spot their dog or dogs on our pack wall. With so many visitors to the stand it was quite crammed on occasions but it was lovely to see Extra, Daisy-Mae, Buddy and everyone else who came onto our stand. Right at the end we were also paid a visit by three beautiful little Italian Greyhounds and their lovely owner who was sharing with us how amazing the breed is. With three ladies on the stand and three beautiful pooches in front of us it was very tempting to take one each and run!

Daisy-Mae
Cuddles with Daisy-Mae

 

 

 

 

Italian Greyhounds
Beautiful Italian Greyhounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See You Soon!

Following on from the success we are planning to do as many shows as possible out and about across the country and of course we are intending to be back at Crufts next year, even bigger and even better.

If you saw us at crufts and have any questions please get in touch via email, facebook or livechat.

Planning for Crufts 2016

Crufts celebrates its 125th year this year – that’s 875 in dog years!

We are pleased to say we are going to have our first ever stand at the event and we have lots of planning still to do. We know we have new products – more than you can count on two paws – and new merchandise to show you but we are still working hard on our plans for a goody bag and other show offers.

We hope to meet lots of our pack there in between their agility and obedience work and also find some new members. With so many wonderful stands to visit we know people can be pushed for time, but we are making plans to ensure a stop to see us will be well worth it – so we will expect to see you there.

Akela at discover dogs
Our very popular Discover Dogs stand in 2015

Akela for Cats Coming Soon!

There is a problem occurring in kitchens around the country. It is more common than we first realised and has stopped our tails wagging. It seems our feline friends have acquired a taste for Akela and are literally stealing it from under the dogs noses as they eat from their bowls!

Those not quite cheeky enough to steal from the bowls have been helping themselves to any bags left on counter surfaces not sealed up correctly, much to the disappointment of the floor-bound dog the food was meant for, often being left watching in a pile of their own drool.

But, not to worry as a solution is being crafted as we speak. We will soon be launching a wet food for cats, shortly followed by a 90:10 dry kibble cat recipe. So keep the crafty cats out of the dogs food for just a little longer, they will get there turn soon.

akela_cat
Akela cat food coming soon

On a more serious note, owners have been asking us if the Akela dog recipies are dangerous for cats. The answer is no in small amounts. They can eat the food without issues, but it does not contain added taurine that cats need so it is not advised as being suitable as a complete diet for cats. Don’t worry though, we are sure they will love the new cat recipe as much as the dog one.