Kiki - WestieMed Grant Recipient September 2018


Kiki is a Westie female about 5 years old. She came from an East Bay (California) shelter on July 9, 2018, with a terrible skin condition and two diagnosed mammary tumors. She was not spayed and appeared to have had multiple litters of puppies. The shelter believed she was a breeding dog. She weighed in at a skinny sixteen pounds. She was picked up as a stray.

Kiki was placed in a foster home and baths were immediately started along with a vet appointment to get medications. Kiki responded to her new environment immediately with medication, diet, baths, lots of love and toys.

A consult was arranged to evaluate her tumors and a suspicious cyst on her side that appeared to be a sarcoma. Surgery was scheduled for August 2, 2018, in an effort to get her skin condition under better control before surgery. Her skin infection posed a risk of infection. Her surgery was fairly successful per her oncologist. She recovered quickly and without any infections but Kiki’s oncologist did not feel the margins were sufficient on the cyst (sarcoma) and follow-up treatment was needed.

After evaluation of the treatment options, it was decided the best option for Kiki and her long-term survival was a second surgery called a ‘scar revision’ on the sarcoma to get an adequate margin although it could do some muscle damage. The surgeon felt she would bounce back from the second surgery quickly. There is very little medical evidence to support radiation in the treatment of mammary tumors in dogs. A second opinion was sought from another oncologist who reviewed Kiki’s medical records. He also felt the scar revision surgery was Kiki’s best option.

A scar revision surgery was performed on August 30, 2018. The oncologist felt the news was excellent on the second surgery and there was “complete excision” and “no further treatment is needed for “the cancer”.

Barbara Mordy
Westie Rescue and Placement (WRAP)

Update July 2019

Kiki was adopted on October 4, 2018. Unfortunately, her cancer returned and her adopters paid for two additional surgeries before she passed away on June 3, 2019. Here is her obituary:

Kiki came to WRAP on July 9, 2018. She was found on the streets of an East Bay city in very rough shape. She had terrible skin issues and had obviously been used for breeding. She had two large mammary tumors- which we knew were probably cancer. Barbara did not have a foster home for her, but she was definitely a Westie, so my husband and I agreed to foster her. Kiki came into our home silent and depressed. Her first surgery was 2 weeks later. She had mammary cancer and a sarcoma. Her recovery went well and with each day we could see her spirit get brighter.

This spirit was simply amazing and we adopted her. She loved to play with toys; she always wanted to be on our lap….we even built a little box for her to get on the sofa herself.

Kiki was a godsend for us. She reminded us how we can take our health for granted. She was so happy each day, playing with toys and our other two Westies. My husband fell in love with Kiki, and they had a special bond. He got on the floor to play with her most mornings, and Kiki would bark at him when he did not. Kiki loved sitting on my husband’s lap when he read the paper in the morning. It was their routine.

She became the happiest little Westie we had ever seen, and we adored her!

Kiki made me laugh….I mean really laugh every day! Kiki had plenty of Westitude and oh, how she loved to boss me around! Especially when it was time to eat! I have many videos of her and I am so thankful for them.

We had to say goodbye to Kiki on June 3, 2019. We spent the morning holding Kiki, taking turns doing so. Even to the end, she was loving. She had stopped eating, though, and we know she was in pain. We had to let her go, but we miss her to this day. She died in my arms, resting on my shoulder. Eleven months with Kiki was not enough time. Eleven years would not have been enough time. That BITCH cancer took another sweet life. We have had a lot of Westies. They all ARE and WERE special and wonderful, but there was something extra special about Kiki. She was one of a kind. She reminded us to stay in the moment and to take each day as precious.

I know in time I will laugh again. And yes, we will foster again after our hearts have time to heal. Don’t be afraid to foster. You might get lucky enough to find a Kiki.