Pasha started her journey as a foster in March 2013. She was very withdrawn, three kgs plus overweight, unfit, not socialized, had a severe yeast infection, typical Westie skin problems, wispy and thin hair all over her body, her back was dipped with the weight as she had a big round belly! She also had a severe bacterial infection in her ears called Pseudomonas. Her ears were in a terrible state, the skin inside the flap was very dry and split and the ear canal was nowhere to be seen. She didn’t bark and, as she was withdrawn, she spent her days finding places to hide and staying there until you managed to coax her out, usually for a treat! She had also been on a high dose of steroids.
When she came to live her first foster mum, she was taken off the steroids immediately, switched to a raw feeding diet and saw a homeopathic/holistic vet. Everything was going to be natural from here on in for Pasha.
Her weekly routine consisted of baths every 2/3 days with a natural shampoo and every other day her ears were cleaned with Malecetic Aural and a pinch of Thornit powder.
As the days and weeks went by she grew in confidence. Initially, she didn’t even know how to walk on grass; her daily walk with two other rescue Westies helped build her confidence. She lost weight and started to develop a little ‘Westietude’.
We were following Pasha’s journey on Facebook. In June 2013 we lost our little Westie, Poppy, and we were heartbroken. We made the decision we had to get another little Westie so we made inquiries about fostering Pasha. We met Pasha twice and we got the wonderful news we could foster her.
Towards the end of July 2013, Pasha came to live with us as a long-term foster. We continued with the raw feeding, weekly routine of baths and ear treatment and gave her plenty of exercises. Her skin improved, her hair grew back and she became a happy, contented dog. Despite a setback in December 2013, she continued her recovery until April 2014 when she began to have problems with her ears.
Unfortunately, her ear condition did not improve, even with a course of antibiotics and weekly ear cleaning. As the seasons changed she picked up four ear infections. We had blood tests undertaken, skin scrapings to check for allergies and biopsies taken which showed she was resistant and sensitive to most antibiotics! The decision was taken, after lengthy consultation to undertake a double Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA), which has left her completely deaf. Whilst her vet was performing the operation, he discovered cysts in both ears, one of which was so big and pussy it was pressing on skull causing a lot of pain. She had also become quite aggressive; we believe this was a result of what was happening with her ears.
As a result of losing her hearing, she lost all her confidence, withdrew into herself again and started to isolate herself again. She didn’t want to go out for a walk and was very hard to bathe without her becoming aggressive. So much so that when she went to be groomed, she became a ‘psycho’ dog when she sensed the clippers so she is unable to be groomed without being under sedation. We could completely understand this. To go from not hearing very well and in constant pain, to then waking up, unable to hear and in even more pain, her whole world had been turned upside down.
Her journey to recovery started, which wasn’t easy. She was very aggressive, withdrew even more and would snap at our other rescue Westie, Hamish, for no reason at all. We were not going to give up on her though. We kept remembering Pash as she was before her ear problems and we knew she’d come back to us with time as a friend whose dog had the same operation had taken two years to return to herself. Patience and determination is all we needed, and we had lots of that!
We had a behaviorist come in to help us and gradually she started to trust again.
At the end of November 2014, Pasha took a turn for the worse. Her blood sugars dropped dramatically, her legs went all wobbly and we had to give her glucose to bring the blood sugars back up. She kept falling over, her eyes went really gooey and she had a blank look in her eyes if that makes sense. Her skin went really dry and her hair was falling out whenever she shook or scratched. We actually thought we were going to lose her or have to have her put to sleep. She started a low dose of steroids which we really didn’t want to do considering her past with steroids but we had no choice. This was the last resort; if this didn’t work there would be no other choice but to put her to sleep. We were over the moon as she responded really well, her eyes became bright, and she started playing again. She wanted to be cuddled, we were so happy to see her like this.
She has just had a groom where she has had a full coat of fur underneath and it is healthy fur; this the first one. There is just one patch on her leg which she will not leave alone, licking and chewing it when she feels stressed. She barks now, will sit at the back window and watch out into the garden and the trees beyond; she loves watching the birds and animal programs on TV. She is loving her walks and really finding a zest for life again. We still have the aggression every now and then but this is more of a warning than wanting to bite us.
Pasha is a regular visitor to our lovely vet Neil Coode at Brookmead Vets in Cranleigh. She has been to see him two to three times a month, on average, and sometimes weekly. Unfortunately due to all her problems we cannot insure Pasha.
She has been battling for more than a year with a constant ear infection. She is still undergoing treatment as its refusing to heal. She has been on and off antibiotics and now antifungal treatment throughout the year. She has started a course K-Laser therapy which is a treatment that helps promote healthy tissues following an operation, resulting in a quicker healing process. We have just completed one course of K-Laser therapy and have two more planned.
We are so thankful for WestieMed helping Pasha with her treatment. Without your funding, she would not be able to have this treatment. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
All our love,
Debbie, Kevin, Pasha and Hamish
Update June 20, 2016
Following the initial K-Laser the ear flap really started to heal. We went on holiday to Scotland and we all had a great time. Pasha loved it and did lots of investigating round the locks and the woods.
We came back and all seemed OK. Her ear then had a flare-up. Back to the vets we went. Another course of K-Laser. Our vet has since been in contact with the lady from K-Laser who has been in contact with HQ in the States. They have devised a specific program for Pasha called Deep Healing which is every other day treatment for ten days and twice a week for two weeks, then to review and see how the ear is getting on. She also has another infection in the ear which she is on a ten-day course of antibiotics for. Following all this, Neil, her vet, and so are we, are really hoping this will kick the infection so her ear can finally heal. What Neil wants to avoid is further surgery as its not a surgery he can do and Pash would have to be referred to a specialist. He really doesn’t want to do this as he feels it would be more harmful to her and possibly dangerous. We’re hoping and sending her healing that this latest course of action will work.
I have also attached some more pictures as I realized I’d sent collages of pictures – these are to follow.
Thank you once again for your help, without your lovely donation, Pasha wouldn’t be able to have this treatment, thank you.
Debbie, Kevin, Pasha & Hamish x
Update May 20, 2017
I thought I’d send you an update on how Pasha is getting. OMG, how she has changed.
November last year she had a healing session from a friend. She asked us to keep her collar off in the house and only use it for walking her. Well, that change has worked, her ear is completely healed and she is trusting herself that she doesn’t hurt and wow, she has changed. She’s happy, she’s playing, she’s trying to get her stepbrother Hamish to play as well and when their on their walks she will often now run around like a headless chicken, she’s loving life. It’s so lovely to see her happy, she makes us laugh and cry.
We just want to say another massive massive thank you to WestieMed for your kind donation, without it she wouldn’t have been able to fight the infection and have the laser treatment, a combination of this and taking the collar off have really made the difference, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
I’ll send some pictures of our recent trip to Scotland. We all climbed up Cairngorm mountain, a total of 1600 feet, we thought it would tire them out, oh no, they both had a snooze and then wanted to go for a walk.
Thank you again.
Debbie, Kevin, Pasha and Hamish
Update September 3, 2017
I’m afraid I’m writing with sad news. On Monday 21st August, we had to say goodbye to Pasha. On Monday 7th August she had a stroke, she was recovering really well, and we were informed if she recovered over the next two weeks she would be ok.
In the second week, we were given the all-clear to take her out for a walk in her stroller, she’d also pulled her ACL. She had a lovely walk that Sunday and enjoyed the pub. That night she had another stroke and was in a bad way, we made that horrible decision. Her vet came, agreed with us and also wonders if she might have had a brain tumor, we’d been thinking that for over six months.
She’s home with us now in her heart casket and I have her fur & ashes in a heart pendant.
Thank you so very much to WestieMed for your help when we adopted her.
Lots of love,
Debbie, Kevin and Hamish