The Westie Club of the South received Bella on March 25, 2022 at the age of 3 months. Her breeder surrendered her because of a disorder involving an ectopic ureter. We were advised by the University of Georgia (UGA) Veterinary Hospital that surgery was the only option for improving Bella’s condition. She underwent the procedure which was originally done with a scope in hopes the issue could be corrected without making an incision. Unfortunately, one of the ureters was not attached and was below the actual bladder and more surgery was needed.
The Vet at UGA said he has performed the procedure Bella had hundreds of times and has only seen Bella’s additional issues less than 10 times. Shortly after the second surgery, Bella developed a hernia due the wrong size of stitches used and the hernia would continue to grow if not surgically treated. The cost to repair the hernia if treated at UGA would be another $3,000. Bella’s foster caregiver urgently texted her own Vet, Dr. Shannon, after hours to discuss Bella’s situation and Dr. Shannon performed surgery the next day at a significantly reduced cost. Bella’s incontinence issues remained but worse were constant urinary tract infections. The rescue consulted a specialty vet in Greenville, SC and the recommendation was to perform a Vulvoplasty to fix the issue causing the infections. Dr. Shannon once again offered to perform the recommended surgery at a reduced cost.
Bella has gone through so much in a short time. She is doing great…very independent, but loving and sweet. She still has a “leakage” issue which more than likely will result in her continuing to be in diapers. We humbly thank WestieMed for their support of our organization and sweet young Bella who will now have a bright future bringing joy to others.
Carl was wandering the streets of LA and was picked up by Animal Control. He was in pretty bad shape. His coat was matted, he had painful foxtails imbedded in between his toes, ear infection, skin infection and a horrible upper respiratory infection. The shelter did what they could for Carl with medication, shaved his coat and removed the foxtails. However, there was no public interest to adopt Carl because he needed an expensive hip surgery.
Carl’s only chance of exiting the shelter was if rescue came for him and when we found out that Carl had been lingering there for several months, we knew we were his only chance. Oddly enough, when we arrived at the shelter, there was a person in line ahead of us there for Carl, but again, Carl was turned down because of the cost of surgery.
Carl needed time to recover from his upper respiratory infection and once he did, he had his surgery. He also had a dental at the same time and thankfully he did because foxtails were found imbedded in between his teeth! Overall, he did well only losing a few teeth, but had he not been on antibiotics for his upper respiratory infection, his mouth could have been much worse.
Carl has several weeks of rehabilitation ahead of him. We are doing range of motion exercises and short walks to aid his recovery. He is now using that leg and walking on all fours which is something he hasn’t done since coming to rescue.
Living on the streets and shelter life took a toll on him, but thanks to WestieMed, Carl has a new lease on life! This incredibly sweet and playful boy will now live pain free thanks to the surgery. This is something that he probably hasn’t had in a very long time.
Those of you reading this know the loss of a pet is heartbreaking. Anyone who loves dogs knows they are members of our family…irreplaceable and unforgettable. This story starts out with the loss of our Westie-terrier mix Buddy. We had found him as a stray on the road all matted and dirty. No one eventually claimed him so he became a member of our family. For 2 ½ years he gave us joy. We lost him this summer due to inoperable adrenal gland tumors. We were devastated, but despite the loss, we as a family knew that we needed to rescue another Westie or Westie-mix in the name of Buddy. That is when I saw a picture of Charlie on the rescue’s page. We knew that he was the one! One problem, he was at a rescue in Arizona. There was only one thing to do and that was to drive to Arizona to get this little guy. (People thought we were crazy, but look at him – that face!) The whole trip took about 6 days and instead of just coming home with one dog, we came home with two. Charlie and his brother CJ had been surrendered to the rescue by their owner. Charlie was being fostered with his bonded brother CJ (not biological brother). The rescue offered a 2 for 1 deal to keep them together and of course there was no question, we were now coming home with 2 dogs.
Even before we got home my husband had gotten pet insurance on the little guys. As per the insurance there is a 14 day waiting period before illnesses are covered…we weren’t worried. Both CJ and Charlie seemed to have made the trip like champs. The only thing we knew we were goingto have to do was to work on their weight since both of them were overweight. Charlie was only with us a few days when we noticed he didn’t want to eat (which is VERY unlike Charlie). We got up the next morning and he didn’t want a treat, then we went outside and I was horrified to see him do his business and it was all bloody. We immediately got him in to see our primary vet. They were very concerned and diagnosed him with Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (vets don’t really know what causes it). I had no idea what that was and had never seen anything like that before. They immediately sent us to an emergency vet since apparently this can be a serious life threatening illness if not treated right away. I was so scared and didn’t know what I would do if we lost Charlie so soon. Charlie was admitted for hospitalization which was going to be a significant expense. We knew that he needed to be there and of course we were going to get him the help he needed, but remember the pet insurance…well all of this happened 3 days before the insurance kicked in. We had no idea how we were going to afford his lifesaving care. Then I saw the website for WestieMed. I applied for assistance with them and told them Charlie’s story. He obviously stole their hearts too since they decided to help us. Thanks to WestieMed, Charlie is now back home with his furever family. He is on the road to recovery and starting to transition back to normal food. We are so grateful to WestieMed and their support because having Charlie home and feeling better is a gift.
We lost our beloved Westie-mix Buddy and went to rescue Charlie, but he really rescued us. We feel the loss of Buddy, but every day with Charlie and the unconditional love this little guy gives us is priceless and we know just how lucky we are to have him in our lives.
Thank you WestieMed for being there to help Westies and their families in need like you did for us!
Orbison was taken to the vet by his previous owners with a request to put him down due to his skin condition. The family was moving and said they did not know what else to do. The vet saw that Orbison had a lot of living to do so requested that he be released to them and then reached out Westie and Scottie Rescue Houston for help. We immediately made changes to Orbison’s diet and medical regimen and his skin was improving but we noticed this sweet boy was having trouble navigating the elements of his foster home. A trip to the eye specialist showed that Orbison had cataracts in both eyes and was an excellent candidate for surgery. Orbison is spunky and loves to play with toys. We knew surgery would greatly improve his quality of life where he could enjoy many more years of toys and squirrel chasing.
Orbison had successful cataract-removal surgery on Thursday, June 23 (his 9th birthday!) There have been some concerns with his eye pressure post-surgery which has required additional monitoring, drops, and vet visits but Orbison doesn’t seem to mind. He is a patient little conehead who willingly takes his many eye drops throughout the day and is nothing but smiles at the dogtor’s office for his follow-ups. Orbison has a few more follow-up appointments to go but looks forward to playing with toys, chasing squirrels, and wrestling with his furry friends in his foster home and in his furever home very soon!
Thank you again for your grant to help him.
Update November 6, 2022:
Orbison now treats every day as a new day as he visually explores the world around him. His squirrel chasing game has improved greatly and he now jumps for excitement when you grab his leash. He carefully examines everything inside and out and happily jumps in the car to watch the world pass by his window.
It’s been almost 6 months since Orbison’s cataract removal surgery. While he had some initial concerns post surgery, Orbison has since healed and is enjoying life in his furever home!
We are grateful for the help WestieMed provided to allow us to give Orbison the gift of full vision and improve this goofy boy’s quality of life. Thank you!
Hello to the WestieMed family and to the supporters and recipients like myself who have received help from the WestieMed community. With gratitude I’m pleased to share my experience about the WestieMed family! I call them family because this is who I see them as. From the beginning to end these folks have been more than I expected for me and my baby Amber.
Amber was rescued and after 6 months we found an issue with her hip/ leg called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. This affected her ability to walk and, at times, even worse it broke her spirit. From the start Amber was a loving, sweet soul always cheerful by waggling her tail showing affection and so forth. But 6 months in I saw a drastic change where she began hopping on 3 legs – that is when I realized something was definitely wrong.
With me living on a fixed income, the first thing that came to mind is if a problem is discovered, where would the funds come from to cover the cost.
This is when I first encountered the WestieMed family. I reached out to them seeking help and some assistance. Within minutes the WestieMed family replied in concern to help and the requirements needed for assistance. I provided the information to them and they didn’t hesitate to render their assistance!
I received financial help to correct that issue and Amber had surgery. I felt the issue was taken care of, however, periodically Amber would begin hopping on the leg like before and also lost her appetite. I took Amber for a veterinary consult and I found out the same issue was still there and the surgery did not repair it!
Second time around I reached out to the WestieMed family and again they walked with me through every step of the way! Amber’s surgery was a success and was paid through the WestieMed organization.
My Ambie can now live free from this issue and we look forward now to a normal life! I am grateful and thankful for all the help we received from the WestieMed family and just want to say I can’t speak about any other Charitable organizations out there but this one. The dignity, respect, integrity, support and the relief of stress this organization offers is immaculate.
May I say thanks again for the help and assistance we’ve received from you. It is truly appreciated.
Because of the WestieMed family Amber is recovering and healing up, even moving around periodically on the leg. She went for a post-op surgical care appointment and all is well.
She will have to do therapy because over time she lost 90% of mobility on that leg, but thankful and grateful we found the WestieMed family to help us through our trying time.
Maxwell Martin (Adams = Fostering) Maxwell came to the West Highland White terrier Society (WHWTSOC) following the passing of his 90-year old owner through the thoughtfulness of a neighbor who had helped with his care. The owner had made no provisions for Maxwell in the event of the owner’s death. There were no family members who wanted to take him. The neighbor wanted to have Maxwell placed in a good home with folks who appreciated the breed and, who knew how to handle a dog who was clearly sight-impaired with cataracts on both eyes. The neighbor researched Westie Rescues and found the WHWTSOC.
Living the closest to Glastonbury where Maxwell was located, Pam & Tom Adams, with the help of Joann Philips, picked Maxwell up at the end of October of 2021. He had been well taken care of and was healthy other than having cataracts on both eyes. For years, Maxwell had not walked for more than 300 feet a day. He had no knowledge of the common commands. He now can walk close to a mile and, responds to “come” – sort of. The neighbor found Maxwell’s AKC Registration Papers and, it turns out, Maxwell was bred at the same Kennel as the Adams’ Gilligan and Lisa Regan’s Fiona. Maxwell and Gilligan were born 12 days apart in the same year.
The WHWTSOC Rescue Committee decided that Cataract Surgery would improve Maxwell’s quality of life. Maxwell was taken to the Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine, Inc. in North Haven, CT. The initial examination showed that only one eye was a potential candidate for Cataract Surgery while the other had a detached retina that, likely, had been detached for a long time. The Pre-Op testing yielded more bad news. The left eye which originally was thought to be a candidate for surgery was found to have a detached retina as well and, glaucoma. The Vet said that the pressure in his left eye was nearly 4 times higher than it should be resulting in Maxwell feeling like he had a constant Migraine Headache. Since Maxwell was totally blind already due to the detached retinas, the decision was made to remove the eyes and replace them with prosthetic eyes. In the end, only one eye could have a prosthetic, the other had an infection behind the eye precluding the implant.
Maxwell is back home with the Adams and doing well. He moves about the house like a little white Roomba – bumping into walls or gates then, redirecting. He is getting around well and his appetite is far better than it was pre-surgery. He seems happier and, when he no longer has to wear his Cone, he will be able to resume going up and down stairs and play out in the yard. He will certainly thrive.
Funding for Maxwell’s surgery came from the generosity of the WHWTSOC Rescue Fund, Pam & Tom Adams and WestieMed.
Update November 6, 2022:
Maxwell is doing very well. Despite the fact that he is totally blind and, seems to have some hearing issues, he is moving around the house fairly easily. At times he looks like a little white bumper car but, does not hesitate to wander about with ease. He especially enjoys exploring our backyard pen, sniffing his way around and, leaving his “calling card” on the plants and fence. He will even return to the deck, negotiating the 2 steps up to the deck and, walking to the backdoor. (All of this is contained within the pen so, there is no danger of him getting lost. We are also out in the pen with him and, his brother and sister anytime they are outdoors.)
Max has been back to Dr. Dorbandt at Central Hospital for Veterinary Care twice since his surgery. The last visit showed that Maxwell had a little dry-eye in his prosthetic right eye. We were prescribed eye drops to solve that issue. He gets one drop I the AM and, another in the PM. Other than that, everything is going very well. Maxwell is in great health, eating well, becoming a little more sociable and, wagging his tail a lot more frequently. Maxwell has even begun playing with toys, something he never did when we first got him.
A huge Thank-you to WestieMed for the grant that allowed us to get great care and treatment for Maxwell’s Glaucoma, eye infections and detached retinas.
Lainey was relinquished to an animal shelter because her owner was getting a divorce. Our very good friend who is the animal control deputy of the shelter alerted us to Lainey’s situation. She was listed as a 12 year old, but her microchip was registered so we had a birthdate on her. She is a precious 14.5 year old senior lady.
Lainey was covered in fleas and her backend was urine stained. The shelter cleaned her up, treated her for fleas and we picked her up the very next day. During the drive, she lost control of her bladder. Once we got her home, she drank buckets and buckets of water. Over the next 24 hours, Lainey continually drank water and urinated. The poor little girl would also urinate while she was asleep. It was heartbreaking and she was getting baths several times a day.
Lainey has had several vet visits in one week! We treated her ear infections, ran her bloodwork, and urinalysis and sent it out for culture. Her bloodwork did not have the markers for cushings, but with her extended abdomen and water consumption, we ran a dexamethasone suppression test to check for cushings syndrome. The test did not reveal cushings, so we set up an abdominal ultrasound with an internist. Lainey faired pretty well and does not have any masses. One kidney shows an old blood clot so we submitted bloodwork to evaluate for evidence of hypercoagulability. One test evaluated her overall clotting abilities which shows that she has a tendency for clot formation. The second test evaluated for the presence of clot breakdown part which is an indirect way of saying that she is having ongoing clots in her body. These tests tell us that Lainey is at risk for blood clots or strokes so we have started her on a blood thinner medication.
Since Lainey’s tests have not produced a diagnosis, we are treating her for Diabetes Insipidus. There is no test for this except by process of elimination. We started Lainey on Desmopressin acetate which is the treatment of choice for central diabetes insipidus. Her symptoms have dramatically improved and we are keeping a log of the amount of water she consumes. There is room for improvement so her dosage may be adjusted. We will continue to monitor her electrolytes and her first retest shows her electrolytes are normal so this is great news. We have increased her medication and will retest again in 5 days. She will also be retested for cushings down the road.
To get Lainey to this point has been costly. But as it turns out, her owner relinquishing her to the shelter was the best thing for Lainey because she now has received the help she so desperately needed. She already feels better and her true Westie-ness is starting to shine through!
Karen Simondet – WROC
Update September 28, 2022
Lainey continues to do well. We started Lainey on Desmopressin acetate which is the treatment of choice for central diabetes insipidus. She just had her follow up vet appointment and her prescription was refilled at the same dosage. The biggest change in her life is her new home! Lainey was adopted by Rick and Debbie and shares her home with two other westies. Her story is truly a happy beginning!
On June 8, 2021, Lone Star Westie Rescue was contacted about a male Westie (Snoopy) surrendered to a Texas shelter due to rectal polyps and prior owner could not afford medical treatment for Snoopy. Gladly LSWR came to his rescue. Soon after Snoopy was evaluated by our vet and received a much-needed dental.
Although, rectal polyps are an infrequent and usually a benign disease, we were informed to monitor him while in foster care because the likelihood of him having issues were high and he’d likely have to see a specialist to have surgery to remove the polyps. Snoopy joined his new foster family and fit right in with his laid-back, easy-going personality and loved every human and pup he’d meet. He loves to show off his toys and breaks all the Westie rules by being a lap dog. Symptoms from his polyps began increasing in severity and more frequent. At that point he was referred to a specialist to have his condition evaluated. After the consult with the specialist, he was put on antibiotics and steroids to help with the inflammation in his bowels and so the specialist would be able to proceed with a colonoscopy and polyp removal.
Snoopy’s colonoscopy revealed more than a few polyps and the decision was made to remove the section of his colon that was riddled with polyps. The colon resection was a step in the right direction for Snoopy even though this procedure would not make him completely disease free, but it would make him more comfortable and help maintain his overall digestive health. Patients that undergo a rectal polyp surgery have a good recovery prognosis. Single polyps usually will not reoccur. Canines that had multiple polyps removed may experience the reoccurrence of the polyps. He was a little trooper with his follow-up visits and his incisions were completely healed by three weeks.
Snoopy is living his best life with his forever family. They are thankful for the care he’s received while in foster care and are understand what it will take to manage any future polyp issues.
Thank you WestieMed for helping Snoopy, a gentle loving Westie in need of rescue!
Update November 6, 2022:
Thank you to Westie Med for helping with Snoopy’s surgery. He was riddled with polyps and his surgery gave him a second chance to have a healthy colon and start a diet and supplements to give him a comfortable and healthy existence.
We are happy to say that he is our foster fail and love him dearly. He is the sweetest boy and his condition is being successfully managed.–
Dilly’s story is a sure a strange one, but she ended up in the right place!
Dilly is not her original name…. we’re not sure what that was. She was called “Dilly” because she looked like an armadillo. When she was rescued, the poor girl had only a few tufts of hair. The rest of her skin was black and wrinkled. The skin on her front legs was so inflamed and swollen, it folded over onto itself. She was surrendered by people who could not take care of her. This was certainly evident. We were told Dilly was 10-12 years old.
Dilly came my way after she did not fit in with her foster home. All the attempts, adjustments, and tricks that we know didn’t allow for a peaceful household. She joined my crew of two male Westies in October 2021. I’m not going to say she fit right in…. but what female Westie does anything peacefully? It turns out she was not spayed, and to say she was boy crazy is an understatement. Luckily, within a month she was healthy enough to have the surgery.
Dilly had a bad case of atopic dermatitis, along with a heart murmur, fractured teeth, ear and eye infections, and did I mention she was boy crazy? Our first trip to a vet was very helpful. Within a few days she had stopped her constant scratching, which let her focus more on, well, boys.
We addressed each ailment in order of severity, all along giving many Nizoral baths and cold laser therapy treatments for her skin issues. (I love Westie Rescue of Orange County’s skin protocol, it’s worked wonders in the past). Within a month she was able to receive a rabies vaccine. The vet thought she was so medically compromised a vaccine would not be able to produce an immune response at all during the first visit.
She is a pistol. She is very smart and ornery. If she is 10-12 years old, she was a handful as a puppy. She is full of Westitude and very affectionate. We’re very grateful to WestieMed for help with her medical bills. Sometimes you don’t know what life will throw at you, but I’m very glad Dilly landed here.
Update December 14, 2021:
When Dilly was strong enough for surgery, two veterinarians both thought she was not spayed. No scar, no tattoos, (although her skin remained so dark and mottled, it was hard to tell). Spay surgery was a go until the docs found she had already been spayed. That surgery quickly became a dental checkup and Dilly had SEVEN teeth pulled. You would never know from her eating abilities before or after the extractions that anything was amiss. Her skin has settled down which means fewer baths. Throughout all her vet visits, her ears remained flat out “gooey”. We finally had the germs her ears cultured to find out exactly what kind of medicine would be best.
Dilly insists she is no ‘run of the mill’ Westie, and therefore apparently needs ‘special’ everything. As she healed, we moved down the hierarchy of medical needs. Next were her eyes. I knew she had poor vision, as she ran into things, but seemed to adapt quickly to her surroundings. For once, the ophthalmologist said there was hope her eyes would improve! Years of dry eyes had scarred the corneas, but with special drops (again…special) her vision should get better. She is sure patient to get 2 types of eyedrops twice a day. Did I mention special ear drops? And hypoallergenic food? Some would say high maintenance, but Dilly insists she’s just “special”. She sure is!
We first saw this little Westie girl on a Facebook “found dog” post after she was found as a stray on the side of a country road. She was well-groomed, happy, and appeared to be healthy so we were certain her people would come looking for her. The finder had her scanned and she was microchipped but the chip had not been registered. When we reached out to the finder to help, she indicated she was not able to keep the dog so we offered to hold her in one of our volunteer foster homes while continuing to look for her owners. Our volunteer picked her up and called her Gladys. Within a few days, someone reached out to us claiming to be the owner so we requested proof. Then Winter Storm Uri hit the area and our attention was drawn elsewhere.
Once the storm passed, we reached out again to the person who claimed to be Gladys’ owner and she confirmed it was indeed her dog, sending copies of vet records and the microchip number as proof. She told us that she had been giving it more thought and she had decided to rehome the pup. She told us she had a special needs child and it was getting to be too much to have the dog as well. While we were disappointed to not reunite them, we were able to learn more about Gladys’ personality and received all of her medical history so could set about finding the best furever home for her.
Gladys has a unique, spirited personality. She has an opinion on everything – either she loves it or she hates it and there is no real in-between. While that is helpful with things she loves (tennis balls and treats!) it makes things she hates a little more challenging. In one of her foster homes, we noticed that she flinched a lot when approached on the right-hand side. She also hated being petted on the head and being approached from behind. A trip to our veterinarian determined that she had an unusual- shaped oval cataract on her right eye. Gladys was referred to a doggy ophthalmologist where they determined she was an ideal candidate for cataract-removal surgery. While we were happy to have a definite diagnosis, we were also concerned about preparing Gladys for surgery.
If Gladys didn’t like her head touched or being approached from behind and flinched constantly, how were we going to give her all of the needed eyedrops without her snapping out of fear? We knew this was best for her and so the work began. Gladys’ foster mom practiced taking a muzzle and e-collar off and on and practiced administering saline and anti-inflammatory drops. This process took several weeks and once we felt Gladys trusted her foster mom enough, we scheduled her surgery.
Thanks to WestieMed, Gladys had successful cataract-removal surgery on Monday, October 4th. She will continue to get 12-14 eyedrops a day for the next several weeks which requires the muzzle, e-collar, and a lot of patience. Gladys also has at least four additional follow-up appointments to ensure that her eye stays healthy during recovery. Once fully recovered, Gladys will be matched to her furever home, one that understands that trust is gained over time and one that will play ball for hours on end.
Westie & Scottie Rescue Houston
Update July 21, 2022:
It has been a little over six months since Gladys successfully had her unusual cataract removed and life has changed in many ways. Still spunky and sassy, Gladys has been busy exploring parts of life that were previously unseen. Squirrels are no longer safe in the backyard and she regularly hunts bugs on her nightly walks about the neighborhood. Earlier this year, Gladys helped foster a pack of puppies and enjoyed evening playtime where she could be a puppy again.
Gladys has been busy looking for her furever home. While many have applied for her, none has been the right fit for her unique personality. We know her perfect furever home is out there. In the meantime, she enjoys cuddling with her foster mom, bossing around her foster siblings, serving as copilot for car rides, and learning what it means to be a loved dog.
Gladys has completed her follow-up doctor appointments with flying colors and continues to take her eye drops without any complaints. Although she has been cleared from the eye doctor, she will continue eye drops for a year to make sure the healing is complete.
We are grateful for the help WestieMed provided to allow us to give Gladys the gift of full vision and improve her quality of life. Thank you.
Volunteer, Intake Coordinator
Westie & Scottie Rescue Houston
Update November 9, 2022:
It has been about a year since Gladys’s surgery and life could not be better!
Gladys found her furever home!She found the perfect furever home, complete with a patient mom and feisty fur brother (WSRH Alum Travis). Gladys now enjoys daily walks, lots of playtime, and more ball time than she ever could have imagined.
Gladys still takes her eye drops without any complaints and recently got a good follow up report from the eye doctor for her one year check up, but this time with her MOM!