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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
We got Lou Lou, half Westie half Italian Greyhound, a few months ago. She came from an abuse case in Texas. There were more than 30 puppies in a home. When the owner found out that she was going to face charges with running a puppy mill, she locked the doors and took off. For a few weeks these dogs were alone. Most were in very bad shape. Lou Lou was still a baby at the time and her mother took care of her well.
Authorities picked up the dogs and took them to a rescue in Texas. There are so many dogs needing adoption in Texas that they opened a shelter in Minnesota to transfer them too. All 30 of the puppies were loaded up and driven across country. When they were almost to the Minnesota facility, Lou Lou got out of her pen and they could not catch her. For about a week she was on her own in a rural area that is populated with wolves, coyotes, bobcat, bears and eagles. She somehow was found and because of her microchip, she was brought to the facility.
I had contacted the rescue a week or so earlier and told them about myself and how I was looking for a forever friend. We live on a small farm in Northern Minnesota where we raise our four children. My husband, Justin, and I are both disabled Navy veterans. Justin was injured and I have severe anxiety, depression, panic disorder and PTSD. I was just looking for a dog that was needing of some love and comfort as much as I am. A few days after Lou Lou was returned, they called me and explained her situation. She was very nervous and scared. She has high anxiety and won’t eat much. I packed up my car for the two hour trip and went to get her. I know right away we were just made for each other. Right away I noticed that her jaw was crooked. I called my vet and got her in to see her right away.
During that time when she was loose on her own, her jaw and several teeth were broken. By the time I adopted her, parts of the broken jaw were rotten and she could not chew. We didn’t know the severity of her injuries or that she was even injured when we brought her home. A surgery right away that day to try to stop the rotting was necessary. We spent nearly $1,000 that day plus her special milkshake-like food she had to eat through a muzzle (to hold her jaw in place) since then. It would be 8 weeks until she could take her muzzle off for an appointment. They were not convinced that their surgery was a success so we made an appointment with a dental specialist, but it would be a month until we could get in.
Since getting her I have made huge strides in my recovery and my anxiety is almost none when she is with me. Years of insomnia fizzled away as she lays on top of me to sleep. We are the same. I needed her as much as she needed me.
She was not a normal puppy. She didn’t want to play. She just wanted to chew on things like a normal dog. But slowly she came out of her shell and will wag her tail and chase the children as they run playing. She has learned that the sound of the blender means I am making her runny food she can drink. And she goes with me everywhere. Finally it was time for her appointment. She will still need one more surgery, but she will be just fine. Crocked mouth, but a normal puppy. I am in the process of worrying with my veterans Association psychiatrist to get her registered as my service animal.
I am grateful for a group of people far away who saw my worth and wanted to help my sweet baby.
Update October 14, 2021:
Lou Lou can move her jaw. They decided that the risk of the surgery making it worse or not helping at all was not worth the cost of doing it. She will always have a crooked mouth but if they pull her k9s, then her teeth won’t hit the roof of her mouth or her lip. She probably won’t ever be able to have a hard bone to chew on, but they said she can have stuffy toys and will be able to eat normal food and treats. They said to take the muzzle off after her last appointment since it was most just causing sores on the outside of her mouth. She has been crazy happy since then! We think the muzzle was making her depressed. Until they pull the teeth and for a few weeks after, she will still be on the liquid food and then we will be mixing it to get her on normal food. She played with her first toy the other day! It was a unicorn dog stuffy toy. She takes it with her everywhere! There is a possibility she may have arthritis issues in the future but the vet was pretty confident that she should be just fine.
Update October 28, 2021:
Lou is out of surgery and a little sore and groggy. She will be on pain meds for a week and in two weeks can eat normal puppy food! The Dr. said she did wonderful and there were no issues!
So forever grateful!!
Update October 30, 2021:
Lou Lou had a rough night. She was sneezing and rearranging her mouth all nigh. They said it would be normal for the runny sneezing nose because of how close the k9 is to her sinus. But that seems to have cleared up today! She doesn’t mind taking her pain meds because she gets to share a small taste of pudding with the kids! It makes her sleepy though. But she seems totally herself other than tired! We even caught her trying to steal my oldest sons slippers! She has a rug in my room that she brings all her treasures too. Her stuffies and other toys and anything of the kids she decides is hers as well as a few socks haha! The vet said by the baby teeth she had left, she was born at the end of February some time. Just a baby!
We are excited to see what she thinks of “real” dog food in a few weeks! We will let you know! Thanks again!
We received a text from Tink’s owner asking to surrender her to rescue because they could no longer care for her. This little girl just turned 5 last week and had been suffering for quite some time. Her itch is so intense that she received 3 baths in less than 24 hours of receiving her and was whisked off to our vet the very next day. Tink has a severe case of Malassezia dermatitis which is why her skin resembles elephant’s skin. Her ears are swollen shut, her nails were considerably overgrown, she has a heart murmur and is in need of a dental. Poor Tink is not spayed and was bred with the owner’s other dog. We will spay her once we get her skin under control. Her initial vet bill was extraordinarily costly and we will incur more cost once she gets her dental and spay.
This little girl is as cute as a button and so sweet and gentle. She has a long road of recovery and we are so thankful we have her now. She needed us and with the help from WestieMed, this little nugget will get everything she needs. We are committed to her health and happiness.
Karen Simondet and Kay DeLoach, WROC
UpdateOctober 28, 2021:
Tink has been in rescue for three months now and we’ve made quite a bit of progress. Her fungal and yeast infections have been eradicated, though we are still dealing with three types of bacteria. We’ve pushed out her spay and dental procedures because we do not want to do a surgery with bacteria on the skin. She is still receiving her medicated baths, every other day. The biggest change is in her personality. Though very sweet and quiet from the start, Tink has a bit of a wild side and loves to play! Now that she is feeling so much better, she exudes confidence that every little girl should own!
Update March 1, 2022:
It has been six months since Tinkerbell came to WROC and we’ve held off getting her dental and spay surgery done due to her persistent bacterial infection. However, during her recent checkup, several palpable mammary masses were discovered, so we bit the bullet and proceeded with surgery and sent out for biopsy. The good news is that the mammary tumors were benign. There was quite a bit of bleeding and her abdomen filled with fluid, so we continued with warm compresses several times a day. Turns out the surgery was the easy part. Tink suffers from Epidermal Dysplasia and though management of this condition is possible, curing it is considered impossible. Since we are unable to bathe her until her stitches come out, Tink has taken a step backward so we are doing everything we can to help control the itching until we can bathe her again. We must remain diligent in treating her to ensure long term comfort which is costly. We are so thankful to WestieMed for helping us accomplish this! In true Westie fashion, keeping Tink quiet has been a challenge! Nothing seems to phase this little girl. She is tough, resilient and lives every day to the fullest.
Senior and special need dogs are very close to our hearts, so after losing three very special geriatric forever foster dogs within weeks of each other in April 2020, we became aware of Herbert, a 12-yearold Westie with chronic skin, back and leg issues and diminished eyesight. Herbert was found roaming the streets by a good Samaritan and Westie & Scottie Rescue of Houston took him in where he remained in rescue for 1 ½ years. They took fantastic care of Herbert, but with no potential adopters willing to take on Herbert’s chronic issues, the cost that goes with it and Herbert’s advanced age, we felt it was in his best interest to come to WROC as a forever foster.
Amid the pandemic, we flew to Houston to pick up Herbert and flew back to California the same day. Herbert is being treated by an ophthalmologist but unfortunately, due to the lack of care before he reached rescue, Herbert’s eyes are permanently damaged, and he will be on four eye medications, three times a day for the rest of his life. He is also being treated by our dermatologist specialist and though he no longer scratches and is comfortable, he has permanent hair loss due to damaged follicles. Along with having compressed discs in his spine, Herbert is now in need of bilateral TLPO surgery to repair his torn meniscus, torn cruciate ligament and luxating patella in both legs.
Herbert will have surgery on both legs at the same time in June with a board-certified orthopedic specialist to the tune of $9300.00. We knew going in that Herbert’s on-going medical issues would be costly, which was the reason we bought Herbert to WROC as a forever foster so that he will always get the care he needs. We can manage the irreversible damage to his eyes and skin due to previous neglect, but with Westie Med’s help, Herbert will receive surgery that will prolong quality of life, a promise we made to Herbert and all our forever fosters before him.
Thank you WestieMed!
Karen Simondet and Kay DeLoach, Westie Rescue of Orange County & Beyond
Update October 28, 2021:
It has been four months since Herbert had his bilateral TLPO surgery and what a difference it has made with his quality of life! Herbert no longer limps and moves about very comfortably. The surgery has also helped ease discomfort with his compressed discs in his spine. He did gain two pounds which is a lot for a dog his size because he was on strict crate rest but now that he has recently been given the okay to resume his daily walks, we are working on walking off the extra pounds.
Our little big Texan dog at heart is living the dream!
We owe WestieMed a huge thank you for helping Herbert live his very best life.