Isabel - WestieMed Grant Recipient May 2017


Our friend and companion Nigel, a male Westie, died 5/28/16 after a year-long illness.  We got him as an eight week old and we were together at home, showroom, and visits to family and friends.  He had a big outgoing personality, noisy and friendly to just about everyone except other small non-Westies.  I really loved the guy and mourned his passing.

I never thought I would find and accept another Westie until I saw an ad in Pet Finder and saw a picture and description of Izzy also stating what type of home Garden State Westie Rescue was seeking for her. She rang all the right bells for me, and after speaking to Lisa Curry of Garden State, we both agreed that this would be a good fit for all. We adopted her mid-January 2017 and spent the next three weeks learning about each other. We found her a charming, polite, somewhat stubborn dog who really wanted to be part of our lives. We did note that she never finished any of her meals and wanted to go out every few hours. She also became somewhat lethargic after three weeks with us and began to vomit frequently, symptoms not observed by the rescue or her prior home. 

We took Isabel to a veterinary hospital, who over the course of two weeks gave her infusions for her dehydration, took blood samples and diagnosed Addison’s disease and we were given appropriate meds and a diet change to a medical soft diet.

All went well, she stopped vomiting, began to eat and appeared to be recovering.  She wasn’t.  Over the next three weeks, Izzy started to have the same complications as before but this time more severe. A visit to a different emergency hospital, some fluids, blood tests, and ultrasound indicated that Isabel had Cushing’s disease.  This hospital has many specialists and we made an appointment the next day to see Dr. Ward, a Gastro specialist.  We left Izzy overnight to be infused again for dehydration and receive an endoscope for a better look at her digestive system. The final diagnosis was Irritable Bowel Disease, which is treatable with a daily dose of Budesonide, Pepcid and a diet of boiled chicken and rice. I was taught to give her daily infusions until she began to drink again. 

Izzy is a month free of symptoms, has her med and Pepcid every day and really enjoys chicken and rice. I want to thank Lisa Curry for her referral to WestieMed, Dr. Ward of North Star Veterinary Hospital for the diagnosis and recipe for Izzy’s recovery, and Lucy Ryley of WestieMed for her help in recovering a large portion of Izzy’s medical bills.  I’m glad to tell Isabel’s story because it has a happy ending. As seniors ourselves we look forward to whatever years Izzy, Lois and I have to be together.

Mitchell and Lois Cohen
Mount Laurel NJ