Monday, 17 September 2012

dogswheels.com Dog Carts Dog Wheels IVDD - Customer Review Terrible Customer Relations.

http://www.dogswheels.com/

Harvey our mini Dachshund became paralyzed 2.5 weeks ago.
He has been on strict crate rest and steroids for two weeks.

I immediately began researching and like most things on the internet there is conflicting advise. 

In relation to buying a cart for Harvey, our vet refused to comment and support groups advised not to buy a cart too fast as there was a good chance he would walk again in 3 months after crate rest.

The problem for us is we have our own health issues and both work full time and nursing Harvey which requires our full attention for 85% of our waking day is stressful.
Plus he cannot really support himself when he needs to go potty so it's a messy stressful affair for him and us.
He is crated or carried he has his food and drink and medication brought to him we have to toilet him by taking him to and from the yard and support his back legs as he tries to hobble about to "squat"
The steroids make him thirsty which make him want to urinate more which means we have to potty him more...

In the crate he is manic from the steroids which make him hyper but confined to a cage so he sits there panting and whining and its just very hard to watch and live with on top of the day to day working and general life commitments. 

So I decided I wanted to get him a cart  but of course I needed to research whether it would be good for him at such an early stage in his rehabilitation. The last thing I wanted to do was make his spinal damage worse by allowing him to move about on wheels.

Buying a cart was new to me. Having a paralyzed dog was new to me. We had just moved house and had not settled yet. My partner has Rheumatoid Arthritis and works 50 hours a week and could not take time off work. I have health issues and I am actually in bed as I write this. 

Dental abscess, flu type virus and just run down with stress in general.

The care and research for Harvey falls into my lap. I am the nurturer and the one who is at home all day but I also have my own work commitments which have had to be put to one side during this time. 

Anyway, long story short is this:

I contacted someone on eBay about some cart wheels and naturally I had some questions.

Here is my first communication to the eBay listing:    

Dear jimcoted,

Hi

My mini Dachshund has been very recently diagnosed with partial spinal trauma or ivdd.
He has ability to walk on his back legs but they're weak and wobbly.
He is currently resting in a crate most of the days and is on an anti inflammatory drug (No pain thankfully)

He can urinate and he can poo etc...so far so good.

I don't like keeping him crated up, as you know Daxies are high energy curious dogs and it's tearing me apart watching him sat inside a zipped up tent like crate.

Anyway, my question is can these wheels be used to keep his spine and legs supported and stable as he recovers in the house, no steps etc?

Or does he have to stay crated for 6 - 8 weeks and then we buy the wheels if he is still unable to walk properly?

The vet said his condition is mild.

I just want him to be happy as possible and being caged in for 8 weeks is upsetting (probably more for me than him as I feel guilty!)

Many Thanks in advance.


And his reply: 

Dear roseenglish_2009,

Some years ago we built one for a Daxie in Tamworth, 8 years old named Bob. His vet advised against an operation saying it would cost thousands and might not work. He recommended this esign of wheelchair because it is fully supportive. 9 months later Bob was walking unaided again. Because Daxies have such short legs they can also lie down in this design. I thnk it would benefit him greatly. If you wish to go ahead scroll down the listing till you come to contact details click on it and you will get my email address, email me and I will send you measuring instructions. Jim Colla

- jimcoted
So that letter was helpful and encouraging but again, I wasn't 100% sure it was not too early to be putting him in a cart and I had hoped perhaps in a week or two he may be walking or at least showing some indication of recovery. At this stage (A few days after diagnosis) I was still green and unsure of so many things.
But after a week Harvey was actually worse which I now understand is typical. They often get worse before they get better. 

Anyway. I wrote back to the eBay seller just to get some more reassurance that it would not aggravate Harveys condition. 
Here's my second letter: 
Dear jimcoted,

Hiya

I wrote to you a week ago and you replied.

I have a mini dachshund who has been crated for 2 weeks. His rear legs are weak with one just dragging behind the other just about supporting him when he needs a wee and poo.
We carry him to the yard to do his business but its breaking my heart and making me anxious watching him dragging and tumbling side ways as he sniffs for his potty patch as every step is dangerous.
He is in no pain that we can tell Thank God.

I REALLY want to get him a cart to aid his recovery but the Vet would not comment one whether carts would be good or bad for him as they said they have no experience of them.

My only real question is this:

With the cart keep his back/spine from twisting. I know it will keep his back legs off the ground which is important for the next 6 weeks at least but I don't want to aggravate what ever is wrong with his spine by using a cart.
It will be used a few hours a day on the ground floor and when we take him to do his business.

- roseenglish_2009
And his reply to my second letter as follows:  
Dear roseenglish_2009,

Our carts are the ONLY design that is fully supportive of the spine, all the others use a fabric harness which will allow the body to twist our carts do not do this.We have a saddle that is made from 8mm solid round aluminium bar , shaped to your dog and then welded into position once welded it is then padded. This fully supports the dog and has helped a few recover from operations. I told you a while ago to scroll down our listing till you come to contact details click on it and get the email address then e-mail me for measuring instructions. Your dog can stay in our design for hours because it will fully support him. This design is used for rehab in the USA.

Jim Colla
 

At this point I did as he instructed and contacted him on his direct email. Here is my letter dated 12th Sept .
Hello,
What measurements do you need from me to place the please?
Length from the back of his neck to the start of his tail?
Width of his chest (Left to right) ?
Height from his bottom of his paws (front and back) to the tip of his middle back area?
Thanks!  

He replied as below and attached some measuring instructions in PDF format with pictures.

With a littlke daxie try to be as accurate as you can, not to the mm but a a few cms out on a german Shepherd wouldnt noice on a little chap it will
I attach measuring instructions in both word and pdf format. Thigh is a straight line width measurement. Do not add anything to them 'for a bit of room' we will calculate that ourselves.
Jim Colla
You had to make a caliper from cardboard which I managed to do but we struggled as some of the instructions seemed to contradict and we was not 100% confident. 
So after 15 minutes of lifting and moving Harvey about and us both getting stressed and worried about the damage we may be doing to Harveys spine...we said we would come back to it... soon.

Last night, I did a little Google browsing to see if there might be an easier cart to buy. One that you could adjust to fit the dog rather than having one custom made.
After all, we hope this is only going to be a short term solution not a life long commitment. 

As is often the way with these things, you visit one website which has links to another and I ended up on what I thought was "Eddies Wheels" 
This is the first time I had written to any dog cart website so I had no reason to recognize the page or the name of the company.
I thought it was new inquiry to a new possible dog cart manufacturer.

I sent this email last night:
Hello

Our 7 year old mini dachshund (Harvey) has been crated for 2.5 weeks when he started to lose mobility in his rear legs.
He is not in pain. His tail wags and there is DPS (Deep Pain Sensation) in both rear legs but potty times are stressful as he currently cannot support his bottom to wee or poo so it's messy.

He is on steroids and the vet has just reduced them with a plan to wean him off explaining it was literally a matter of rest and time for his spine to recover.

We still think crate rest is important but we are desperate to allow him spine supported mobility on the ground floor for a few hours a day and to give him the support to urinate and poo when we take him to the garden.

He is 17 KGS (  i think its kgs) which the vet said is perfect.

I want to order the least bulky (toy cart) that is shown on your products page - the one with the pink wheels and the daxie in it.

But I wanted to ask if we can raise his back feet off the ground so they don't drag?
Does the cart maintain support for a rehabilitating spine? (no twisting left or right too easily)
Can we at a later stage lower his back legs in the hopes he will regain mobility and therefor aid in rebuilding muscle tone and flexibility? 

We are hoping he is not going to be permanently disabled and so we see this as a tool for rehabilitation or an aid to support his recovery.

Assuming the above questions are what we need, how fast can you get us a cart?

We live in Lancashire.

Thank you  
This morning I awoke to a barrage of angry replies to what I now realize is Jim the eBay Seller and and owner of dogswheels.com

You have been asking me these same questions for the past weeks and I have answered all of them via ebay and then via my e-mail address given on ebay and now you are asking me them via the website address. Kindly go elsewhere I have more important things to do that to be continually telling you the same thing via different avenues.
Jim Colla
Jimcoted (ebay)
------------
Look almost two weeks ago yet instead of getting him wheels you are still firing the same questions off to all and sundry when he could have been on his wheels a week ago!!!!!!!!!
Jim Colla
I replied as follows:

Jim.

I am sorry that I got you confused with what I thought was another creator of wheel carts.

I did get your instructions and I did get as far as making the caliper but we struggled understanding the instructions and so "i" Googled to see if there was another cart that did not require measurements, a cart that might be built for a specific size and weight but would also allow for adjustments on straps.

I contacted you from your website last night (not ebay) and thought you were "Eddies Wheels" after following the links that took me to your website.

We are both under extreme stress both physical and emotional. We both have our own health issues, I have M.E (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and my partner has Rheumatoid Arthritis and we are both just newly moved into a new house and both working so "forgive" my memory and confusion.

I find your customer care given the nature of what you are supplying somewhat lacking in patience and empathy.

Forget me or my feelings but what about my dog Harvey? Why should he suffer because of my memory and your loss of patience.

I am very upset with the "Go away I am too busy for this nonsense" customer care response.

Thanks 

I was hoping he would calm down, see how easy it was for me to be confused under the situation of eBay and his website and not realizing there were the same but instead I got this! : 

You asked me these self same questions two weeks ago, then again days later then I send measuring instructions then you ask the same questions again. Enough is enough. You either urgently wanted your dog to get mobile again or you want to be continually asking the same questions of different people. You appear to take the view that because we are in the business of helping animals to walk again and therefore sympathetic to the owners needs we are fair game to be asked the same questions over and over again without ever getting fed up with it. I make weheels to get animals mobile again I am not a vicar or a social worker and I am too busy to be answering the same questions continuously I have wheels to build for dogs that cannot walk.
I have no idea whether dogswheels.com carts are good as Jim Colla refused to deal with me  because I was annoying him by asking him the same questions. 
In my opinion. This is a company that cares about money and reputation "for" the benefit of more money.
I am appalled and upset that I was spoken to like I was some annoying troll when I was just very early in the learning of IVDD and trying to work out what was best for Harvey.
I don't think 3 emails is a lot of bother for something that could be life changing and costs £195.
I deal with customers all the time for a lot less ($20) when we are trying to determine a custom request for some textures they want making. 
I would never tell a customer to "go away" just because they seemed un sure or confused over something new, scary and expensive.
 










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