McDuff - WestieMed Recipient


January 2020

On November 24, 2019, a severely neglected white dog, tinged with brown fur from the filth and grime of the elements, was found by animal control, wandering as a stray, in the streets of Orlando, Florida. Upon intake into Orange County Animal Services, a high kill shelter, the county vet was unable to perform the necessary examination of him, due to severe matting, so the shelter groomer was tasked with completing a total shave down of him. It was at this time, the shelter staff became aware of the oozing golf ball-sized tumors he has on his head and back, along with about thirty other smaller tumors, of various sizes all over his body. Sadly, he was still put on the general floor for adoption, even in this poor condition; and, to add insult to injury, none of the shelter staff was aware this little guy was a Westie! After being at the shelter, for twelve days, the rescue coordinator finally released him for rescue, at which point a local rescue accepted him under their rescue umbrella, with my husband and I being contacted requesting us to accept and care for him, as a foster.

On December 6, 2019, he exited the shelter as a happy, alert dog, with severe kennel cough, which proceeded to pneumonia. After almost forty-five days of continuous care for the pneumonia, he is almost completely recovered, and we finally are seeing him have a zest for life, wanting to play with his foster brother and sisters, with a tail that seems to almost always be wagging. Since his arrival to our home, he has been under constant vet care, with us becoming aware that he is aged closer to ten years, versus the six years that the county vet had estimated him to be. Per labs, he has elevated liver enzymes, but thankfully he does not have Cushings. As we are unsure of the nature of the tumors, as well as to the cause of the elevation to his liver enzymes, we are not sure if he will be a candidate for adoption; however, my husband and I have committed to him, for the duration of his life, for however long that may be.

Thanks to the assistance of WestieMed, and its supporters, he can have the surgery to remove the tumors, as well as for a dental with extractions. Additionally, he will be seen by a specialist for an ultrasound of his liver and gallbladder, as well as for a bile acids test, and a complete liver profile. His allergy issues will also be addressed.

We have named him McDuff and are calling him “Duffy”. McDuff is very much loved by my husband and me, and even by his Scottish Terrier foster brothers, Hamish and Bruce; his Scottish Terrier foster sister, Zoey; and, even by the resident cat, Timothy (although their bonding is more characterized as a love/hate relationship).

We know each rescue dog has a story to tell, and we are hopeful that the ending chapters to McDuff’s book will be full of only happy memories, with the sense of security that comes from having a family that loves him unconditionally, and from being blessed to have caring people, like those of WestieMed, offer their kindness and support in his time of need.

Update February 6, 2020

Just wanted to let you know that McDuff had the tumor on the top of his head removed yesterday, under local anesthesia. The decision to use local versus general was sole because of the recovery period needed for his lungs after getting over pneumonia; however, since the tumor kept getting infected it becomes imperative that it be removed as soon as possible. Already, he feels so much better. Now comes the wait to find out the pathology results. Fingers crossed it is non-cancerous!

He is such a sweet boy that I want to be able to watch him chase the squirrels for many springs to come; to run the beaches in the summer months; and, to chase the lure on the dogs monthly outings to the lure line events.

This was for sure a major life changing event in his life: One we could never have accomplished without the assistance of WestieMed! We are so appreciative of your groups help in giving McDuff this chance to finally have all his medicals addressed.

Next major event for him is March 23, 2020, when he will have the dental with extractions, as well as more tumors removed – all those will be done under general anesthesia. Oh, and I wanted to let you know that he is now known as McDuff Johnson! We could not imagine sending him back to the rescue that pulled him, for many reasons, but the main one being that we love him!

Hugs to you!

Update February 20, 2020

I have some wonderful news to share with you on McDuff. The tumor on his head is NON-cancerous — we are so happy! It ended up being a Basal Cell Tumor (trichoblastoma).

So, end of next month he has the dental and hopefully the rest of all these tumors removed. The one on the back is back to draining. But, he was paid a huge complement today by someone that could not believe he is the same dog. He is so happy, and very energetic now.

Only other issue is his breathing, which we hope will continue to improve over the next month.

We are not having wheezing, just some coughing when pressure from the harness is present. He also is a snorer.


Update July 3, 2020

McDuff - WestieMed Recipient
McDuff – WestieMed Recipient

McDuff has had a long road to recovery due to having pneumonia. He has undergone one surgery for the removal of a tumor on his head, as well as just a second surgery for a dental and tumor removal. He will hopefully be available for adoption soon, under the care of our state’s breed-specific rescue: Sunshine State Westie Rescue, which he has been transferred from me to them to ensure he goes to a Westie specific household.

Sincerely, Mina Johnson

McDuff was transferred to us from Mina Johnson, on May 26, 2020. One June 22, he went into surgery to have the dental done and two growths removed. We are currently screening applications for his placement. I needed to wait for the biopsy results to come back before we actually make any choice. The great news we got is that the mass that was the biggest concern that was on his back, was benign and the second mass was on/in his ear. He is recovering well from the procedures. He’s a funny and sweet boy and I don’t think there will be any problem finding him a great home.

Aggie Latyak,
Sunshine State Westie Rescue

Update December 1, 2020

McDuff was transferred to us from Mina Johnson, on May 26, 2020. On June 22, he went into surgery to have the dental done and two growths removed. We are currently screening applications for his placement. I needed to wait for the biopsy results to come back before we actually make any choice. The great news we got is that the mass that was the biggest concern that was on his back, was benign and the second mass was on/in his ear. He is recovering well from the procedures. He’s a funny and sweet boy and I don’t think there will be any problem finding him a great home.

I wish I had a better update for you. McDuff was given serious medical care, including another $1000 we put in on top of your generous $2500 for his medical care. We had an ugly tumor removed and another suspicious one also and biopsied to be sure it wasn’t anything to be concerned about. They were negative and he was ready for his new home. He was adopted by an amazing couple who loved him unconditionally. Unfortunately, two weeks into his adoption, he suddenly became very ill. After all the tests the vet believed he had a blockage of some kind. He went into emergency surgery and what they found was that he had a tumor in his stomach and it had metastasized into other organs. He showed no signs and lived a great life right up until the last couple of days. When they were advised by the vet how bad it was, they decided he should not, could not suffer. He went to the bridge on July 31, 20. Sorry for the bad news.

Aggie Latyak
Sunshine State Westie Rescue

Trooper - WestieMed Grant Recipient November 2019


Before Trooper

My son, now eleven, has been asking for a dog of his own since he was around five years old. I work at the same elementary school my son attends and during school breaks we would house and pet sit. Being a single mom with a small child it wasn’t the right time to have our own pet. But, we had so many pets to love, play with, and care for in and around our neighborhood. Less than a year ago, a client referred me to a friend of theirs who needed a pet sitter for their two purebred Westie puppies – brother and sister. It was love at first sight! From then on the only dog my son would ask for is a West Highland White Terrier. I started shifting my no to a maybe. When school let out last summer, I made a deal with my son: if he helped me with feeding, walking/running, grooming, playing, etc. with pets – without complaint – during the summer to show he’s up for the responsibility of a dog we would adopt one. He stuck to it… and it was a busy summer! End of July we started researching breeds that would best fit our lives and Westies were on the list. Yay!!

We Meet Trooper

The 3rd visit at Bradshaw Shelter we saw him. He was in a little room overcrowded with other small dogs. We stared at him and he was staring at us. He wasn’t ready, though, since he was a stray and the shelter had to do their due diligence. Aug 6th was his available date and I was there before the shelter opened, my son was visiting family out of town. The volunteer announced his number and asked if anyone else was there to meet him. A few raised hands. There was a lottery…and I WON! I go meet him, and I knew the moment he came in: he was our dog. I knew it was going to be a rough road at first. He was matted all over, flea dirt all over, paws were raw, and you could feel every bone in his body he was so skinny. And, he was at least 5 years old and not neutered. We picked him up Friday, Aug 9th, the day he was neutered. We barely slept that weekend and the following week, and many more nights to follow. Poor guy was so hungry but would throw up after he ate, had diarrhea all day. He was in pain from surgery (it took about three weeks to heal), had kennel cough and had to take antibiotics. The antibiotics also helped with his paws, but they were still a bit raw. To try to prevent further infection, he received a shot of Cytopoint in hopes he wouldn’t be so itchy and stop chewing on his paws. It helped very much, and his paws look so much better! The diarrhea continued for weeks. Then, when it stopped, he was extremely constipated. He would moan and couldn’t get comfortable. Couldn’t sleep, licked his sides, and wasn’t himself. After normal blood tests, x-rays, meds, and fluids I decided to have the vet administer an enema to give him some relief. He was so happy. Now he is eating better, but still has a ways to go. Food and environmental allergies are a focus as well. Judging by the length of his matted fur when we met, he was probably homeless for a long time. I love seeing him happy, and I cannot imagine life without him. He is on his way to living his best life!

M. McClain

Stella - WestieMed Grant Recipient Sept. 2019


Stella’s story starts in early February 2019 when her owners surrendered her to their vet. Stella who was known as Lulu at the time was in pretty rough shape. She was admitted to an Animal Hospital on February 5, 2019, suffering from severe allergies that caused hair loss and also damaged her skin, ear infections, she weighed twelve pounds and overall was just looking for some TLC. While at the hospital Stella started receiving the care she needed-medicated baths, prescription diet food, ear care, eye cleansing, her skin started to heal, grew some hair back all the while she stayed a loving playful Westie.

On February 20th Stella was released into the care of Garden State Westie Rescue and Lisa Curry who continued Stella’s treatment. While scrolling through Westie sites on Facebook I came across a post from Garden State Westie Rescue stating Stella’s condition and that she was gentle and loving with people and other animals and she was up for adoption. My wife and I talked it over, we contacted the rescue and on March 25, 2019 we became the new parents to Stella.

One of the first things we did was take her to our vet for a thorough checkup. We had her microchipped and had a blood test to determine what allergies she has and how to go about treating them. Since our first checkup, Stella has had numerous visits to the vet to control her itching and ear infections. Cytopoint seems to work along with her medicated baths but she has a long road ahead of her. The ear infections will also be part of her life due to her allergies. In the six months we have had her Stella is now at a more healthy weight of eighteen pounds, is a hearty eater and a playful, cuddling, loving puppy.

She has brought some life to our thirteen soon-to-be fourteen-year-old Westie girl Bailey with her antics. Stella is just a treasure to be part of our family. We want to thank WestieMed for their generous financial help. We can hopefully get Stella’s allergies under control.

Sincerely yours,
Bernie and Barbara Dougherty

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.

Chevy - WestieMed Grant Recipient January 2018


Chevy was owner surrendered to Westie Rescue of Western PA a couple of days after Christmas 2017 when he became jealous of a new baby.

I was made aware that Chevy needed to go to the vet right away because he was sick.  He was urinating blood and had blood in feces.   We also became aware that Chevy needed all vaccinations and neutering.  The meds were immediately given, but neutering would be done when he was healthy.  We also had blood work done, urine analysis and feces tested.  It revealed that Chevy had a urine infection, ear infection, allergies, and Lyme disease.  After the vet visit, his world would begin with love and attention.  Westie Rescue of Western PA covered all the costs for the vet visits and meds. 

I find Chevy to be a very sweet and loving Westie.  He loves to snuggle next to me on the couch, with his head on my lap.  He follows me everywhere.  He loves when I scratch his head or rub his belly. 

I can tell he is happy – happy to be part of a family who cares for him with meals, treats and meds.  He just wants to be loved by a person.  Unfortunately, Chevy does not play with toys, except when he wants to crunch a water bottle. 

Currently, Chevy has someone interested in adopting him.  But, Chevy needs to have surgery for a luxating patella.  We contacted WestieMed and applied for help to cover the surgery. Thankfully WestieMed will pay for the surgery.  Westie Rescue of Western PA is extremely grateful.  

We know the future for Chevy is bright, with the help of people who love our sweet Westies unconditionally. 

Linda Martino

Update February 9, 2018

Westie Rescue of Western PA wants to thank you all so much for the generous donation towards the medical expenses for our rescue Chevy. The surgery of Chevy was successful and he is on the road to recovery. We truly appreciate your compassion and empathy for our little white dogs.

Linda Martino
Westie Rescue of Western Pennsylvania

Update July 11, 2018

Chevy is doing great.  The new owners took him to the vet recently and he got a clean bill of health.

The new owners said they would send pictures, still waiting. I will send you a picture when I get one.

Many, many thanks to you all in helping Chevy. Will keep in touch.Linda Martino

Update July 21, 2018

Chevy - WestieMed Recipient January 2018
Chevy – WestieMed Recipient January 2018

Chevre is an eight-year-old rescue West Highland White Terrier who was previously called Chevy. He was kept in a crate for a minimum of eight hours a day plus all night on weekdays. On weekends, he was kept in a crate six hours a day plus all night.

In addition, his previous owners did not protect him from fleas and tics; as a result, he got Lyme disease. He required a leg operation due to the damage caused by Lyme disease.

Westie Rescue paid for his operation and it was a complete success.  He went to our vet on July 3rd and got a clean health report.  He now goes everywhere with us, including some restaurants.

He is a dear, sweet, little boy who sleeps in our bed and loves his freedom.  Chevy is our 2nd rescue.


JuJu - WestieMed Recipient December 2017


In September I was web surfing and found the Rescue Westies of Missouri site. I filled out an application of interest, since a month before we had lost our previous Westie “Cutty” to cancer, and were missing our little boy. My wife and I had decided we would never have another dog because it was so painful to lose them. Then I received an immediate response that our application was received, but there were not dogs available. I had mentioned in the application we had spent thousands on our precious little boy, because of a congenital heart condition, and we were not ready to handle another Westie with significant issues.  I received a Facebook post of an abused dog that found a forever home, with the caption, “you can’t change the world, but you can change the world for someone”.

Approximately ten minutes after being told there were no dogs available, we received the first picture of JuJu in the cage, sadly we were to find out that she was significantly better in that picture, then when she was found. My wife and I looked at her, and after we quit crying at the sad shape she was in, we called and talked to Sue Hon about this rescue. The hope was she would get better, may grow hair, but was deaf, and there was no one interested in her.

We told her it would be a week before we could drive across Missouri to see her. We set up a time and one week later got to meet JuJu. The rest is history, she was ours, and we promised to change her world, she cuddled up to us and seemed to say, OK let’s go home.

JuJu - WestieMed Recipient December 2017
JuJu – WestieMed Grant Recipient

We have had our little girl for two months, the second picture shows her love to watch her iPad, and relax on the porch.

She has had multiple vet visits, medications, and special food. She was referred to a Dermatologist after there was minimal improvement, on a closer exam, and, skin, tissue, and hair analysis, a new care plan was developed.

It will be a long road for her, at least a year of medications, three times a week shots, special shampoo baths, and a strict special food diet.  BUT the good news is she is showing some improvement, all open areas of skin are closed and healed, she seems happy with us, and is completely comfortable taking over the entire king-sized bed we sleep in.

Our lives are better because she is in it, our first Christmas will be special. Life is what happens after we make our plans, next year will she have hair, be beautiful, and forget what had happened to her, I don’t know the future but she knows we are hers and we love her.


Update June 2018

JuJu - WestieMed Recipient December 2017
JuJu – WestieMed Recipient

It is good to hear from you, and that you remember our little girl JuJu. It has been a long struggle with some successes, since October when we adopted her. I think the best way to say it is, two steps forward and one step backward. She continues to get significant swelling in her feet, she has one spot on each foot and the base of her tail that she will attack and still chew and lick raw. She continues to get recurring ear infections.

Now the good news, she is down to just weekly allergy shots, they had hoped it would be only every other week, or be done with shots by now. They are thinking she will never be able to stop them. We are transitioning her into nonprescription food, god love her she is so spoiled with daily deli-sliced meat and scrambled eggs, we joke that when it is time to start, the hair/coat diet she will turn her nose up at it. The positive side is that digestive wise she tolerates the change. All her skin cultures are returning negative, which means all the yeast, staph, MRSA infections are gone, and all her skin is intact with no open areas. Her ear infections are less frequent and she actually had periods when both ears are clear and healthy.

The Dermatologist and the two vets that care for her, feel that her allergies are what continues to be the underlying problem, and it may a full year of the continued treatment and shots before it is completely under control.

Her hair has filled out well on top and neck, and portions of each leg and feet have filled out some, but her belly remains pretty bald, with little fuzz developing, they are not sure due to the skin damage if she will ever get hair in those areas. We have the most incredible dog groomer that hand trims her, to make her look as much like a Westie as possible.

Being deaf, she can’t hear when we tell her how much we love her, but she does allow us on our king-sized bed at night and she has learned to share our pillows with us. She loves to go on walks, has developed a friendship with a neighbor Westie (Phoebe) and a Corgi (Wally). She finally has started to smile from time to time and not have such a sad look as she did for so long. She will let you hug and hold her for hours on end if she has finished her napping. When we take care of the grandkids when they are ill she always sits by them and watches over them the whole time they are here.

The Dermatologist thanks us for being so diligent with her. She claims to be putting her daughter through college on our fees, always happy to support higher education. We are blessed that all the people working with her are as caring and concerned for her as we are. Truly we had hoped she would be this beautiful healthy white Westie by now, but that dream is still some time in the future.

Lencsi - WestieMed Grant Recipient February 2017


Lencsi is an approximately nine to ten years old Westie lady who was rescued in May 2016 in Hungary. She was found in the countryside on the street in horrible condition, so Westie Rescue Hungary picked her up immediately the same day. She did not have a microchip and her owner was not found. Probably that was her luck.  

During her first examination at the veterinarian, the following was diagnosed:

  • Ultrasound examination – small lime crystal sediments are visible on the liver and kidneys. Hernia, probably the uterus is protruded. Operation is URGENT.
  • Lacrimation check – very low, KCS disease, treatment twice a day.
  • Skin issues – infections, alopecia, scratching, postulate, the overall state is devastating. Antibiotics for 2 weeks, mono-diet with hypoallergenic pet food, biweekly bathing. The ear also infected daily treatment.
  • Blood was taken and sent to the lab – the result is promising, only the leukocyte is higher but only due to the inflammation in her body.
  • Heartworm test: POSITIVE
  • Transponder inserted

So we needed to look into her eyes and decide how to proceed, we had to be honest since we had doubts if we can succeed. She was in a lot of pain and we probably never had such a complicated case. But her sweet face and calm, kind nature convinced us that she will fight, she will recover so we started the long rehabilitation

Due to the heartworms, before the surgery we made a heart ultrasound examination as well, which showed that the adult worms are in the lung artery, blood pressure was normal. We operated on her hernia and was obviously neutered her at the same time. Although it was a dangerous operation, her will to survive was strong enough to stay with us. Both back legs had a torn knee ligament – examined by a specialist before the surgery – but we concentrated first on the heartworms and her general condition.

In July allergy test was performed as the improvement was not that satisfying. After the results, we continued with suitable hypoallergenic pet food.

In August we could proceed with the heartworm removal with a catheter which was performed by an Italian specialist – the first time we had this kind of surgery on a Westie. As a result, two adult heartworms were removed and medical treatment was continued. Her skin became better and better with time.

In December we made a control blood test and the results were perfect. The lacrimation check also showed significant improvement. All vaccinations could be given to her and the control heartworm test gave a NEGATIVE result. So we were very happy!

We got the green light to do the surgery of her leg and in January 2017 after an x-ray, the surgery was performed. Her leg will never be perfect, but she won’t have pain anymore. After a short break, we plan to operate the other leg in March. And after that, almost one-year rehabilitation will end and Lencsi will hopefully find her forever home.

Lencsi’s medical costs were high, so we can say that she is one expensive Westie, but WestieMed will help us to cover most of it for which we are very grateful.

Update November 22, 2017

Lencsi - WestieMed Grant Recipient February 2017
Lencsi – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Lencsi had been adopted yes and she is doing fab.

Chloe - WestieMed Grant Recipient September 2016


Chloe is a typical 6-year old Westie with plenty of Westitude, she has the most charming prance, head held high and a proud gait, we call it “going to the White House”. She comes from an incredibly loving family that has had her since she was a puppy and due to life changes they made the heartbreaking selfless decision to surrender her to rescue so that she can have access to the medical care she needs and be in a more stable environment.

When she was one and a half she began to scratch her ears and cry, the vet put her on antibiotics and Prednisone along with ear drops. For the next four years, Chloe experienced recurrent ear infections. As the vet explained, long-standing ear infections can result in irreversible damage to the ear canal which is exactly what happened with Chloe. Due to chronic inflammation, the ear canal became thickened and turned into bone. As a result, Chloe’s infection cannot be treated with medication.

By the age of five Chloe’s ears completely closed; for anyone who is not familiar with this the only way to describe it is to say her ears looked more like a belly button. However, even though her ears were closed, the infections continued, resulting in the formation of an abscess in her cheek that needed to be opened and drained. The vet informed her mum that Chloe needed a double ear ablation- surgery in which the diseased ear canals are removed entirely.

With the help of WestieMed Chloe is getting the surgery that she needs. Prior to surgery, Chloe has been put on a strict diet – prescription food, water and no treats (poor girl no treats!) The vet said that potentially she could have severe allergies adding to the inflammation in her ears. Until we can narrow allergies she will not even be receiving oral heartworm meds because of the flavoring. 

Prognosis is very good post-surgery. The hope is that Chloe is going to feel like a “new dog” and might be acting more like a puppy again. The vet said that typically a dog that has chronic deep-seated ear infections like Chloe will be much less active than a normal dog because they do not feel well. Once she receives the surgery infections are most often times cured permanently.

Update April 12, 2017

From her adopters/new forever family:

She has settled into our household and is a wonderful, playful, funny and in every way great dog. Our household now includes my son’s rescue dog “Moose.” Chloe and Moose are BFFs – they watch out the windows together, take a long morning walk together and usually race out to the back yard together.

She had a dental cleaning a couple of weeks ago – she didn’t need any extractions just cleaning. There was a small mass in an area of her gums which the vet removed and sent for biopsy. He didn’t expect any serious problem and turned out, fortunately, there wasn’t.

She is really comfortable in her new home and not as needy of me as she was in the first months. She may snuggle up for a nap. She still likes to hop up on the back of a chair or sofa and nap right beside one of her humans who happens to be watching TV or reading a book or whatever.

She is great with people, including visitors – no snapping, growling or any kind of aggressive behavior. We will soon be going to the Cape more often so I will stop by to see Kathryn and so Kathryn can visit Chloe. Oh, I meant to mention – she is one of the lucky 10% of dogs who have had ear ablations but still have some hearing. She turns towards sound and responds to a call of her name. She also sits and waits for her meals and sits for a treat.

Murphy - WestieMed Grant Recipient August 2016


Murphy is an eight-year-old Westie. When his owner died he was passed around between family members for a couple of weeks while they decided what should be done with him. They then contacted our rescue to see if we would be willing to find him a new home and I agreed to take him into foster care. When I picked up Murphy the first thing I noticed was the horrible smell he had. I immediately washed all of his belongings but it didn’t help. Murphy also had substantial hair loss and darkened skin on his neck, chest, and sides so I took him to the groomers the next day and had all his hair cut off. What lay underneath was a red dog. All of his skin was red, inflamed and burning hot. The dark areas of skin were moist and purulent and he still smelled awful. He also started to limp so I ran him into the vet. There was nothing visibly wrong with his leg but he had an enlarged lymph node on that side.

The vet was horrified at the state of his skin. Murphy had arrived to me with two medications and some ear drops but clearly none of that was working for him so Murphy had skin scrapings and blood work done to see if that might render any clues. The skin scrapings showed Murphy definitely had lots of yeast growth on his skin but nothing else was abnormal.

Murphy was prescribed an antibiotic for the lymph node and possible underlying skin infection, an anti-fungal medication along with daily anti-fungal baths. He received Apoquel as a type of anti-inflammatory and new ear drops. He was also started on a new protein source food. We are trying this regime for a month to see if Murphy’s skin can be restored to something close to normal. After just ten days I can tell Murphy is a new dog. He is running and playing with his toys and barking at anything that comes near the house. He no longer limps or spends any time scratching or chewing himself and only occasionally shakes his head. Clearly we are on the right track. Murphy will still have to undergo more blood work to ensure the drugs are not having adverse effects on him and he will also have to maintain a strict diet until we can determine what items he can tolerate. I know he is missing his carrots!

Murphy lives peacefully with my pack of two large dogs and four cats. He is a little bit too interested in my rabbits (he is a terrier after all) but is called off quite easily and he is completely non-destructive when left alone. He could use a bit more training however, so I have enrolled him and me in the Canine Good Neighbor class starting in September. Hopefully, his new owners will continue with his training.

This past weekend Murphy came with me to a pet exhibition held in our city of Victoria, BC. He was just fantastic.  He was happy to meet people and dogs alike and at one point tossed himself off his stubby little legs and onto his back in the middle of the walkway in order to receive belly rubs. He became a bit of a celebrity at the event and I have heard that people were looking for him after we left. We are confident that Murphy will now have an excellent quality of life and that we will be able to find him a wonderful home where he will receive the love and care he deserves.

The Greater Victoria Animal Crusaders would like to thank WestieMed for supporting our efforts to make Murphy a happy healthy dog. Your help is very much appreciated.

Marion Boulstridge
Greater Victoria Animal Crusaders Board Member

Rupp - WestieMed Grant Recipient - January 2016


We recently received a call from a local vet about a Westie in urgent need named Rupp.  He is five years old with severe skin allergies and his owners dropped him off to be euthanized.  The vet knew that with the proper medical care, right home, and time, he could recover.  Unfortunately, his family felt that they didn’t have the time, resources, and energy to care for him any longer and wanted him euthanized that day.  Instead, the wonderful vet convinced them to surrender Rupp to the clinic to give him a chance.  The vet called our rescue group and asked if we could take him in.

We didn’t even pause and said what time can we pick him up?  When our volunteer arrived she said Rupp had the worst case of skin allergies she had ever seen.  He was covered head to toe with open sores, oozing wounds, scabs, flaky itchy skin, and extensive hair loss.  He was immediately put on antibiotics, anti-fungal meds, pain medication, and medicated baths daily.  Even though his skin was really bad, the worst part of his condition was you could look into his eyes and see he had given up on life.  He was in a lot of discomfort and felt defeated.  He just wanted to be left alone to lay in his bed and had no interest in eating (and what Westie doesn’t want to eat).  

We knew that besides healing him physically, we needed to help restore his Westie spirit.  After a few weeks, his skin improved and his wounds were healing.  Best of all, he started to perk up, bond with his foster family and started to play with their Westies.   Toys started to interest him again and he even destroyed his first plush toy in true Westie fashion.  Despite all his progress, his itching was not improving.  The vet determined that we could continue to treat his flare-ups with medication, but his best chance of complete and full recovery was to see a dog dermatologist and start allergy treatments.  

Allergy treatments can work miracles, but they are expensive and cost more than we can afford, especially as a new rescue.  Fortunately, WestieMed has stepped-in to cover his allergy testing and treatment so Rupp can have a long, healthy, and happy life.  

We are so extremely thankful to WestieMed for being Rupp’s guardian angel and providing the funding for medical treatment he so desperately needs to he can recover and find his new forever home.  Thank you again so much!   

Preston Cares Network/Kentucky Westie Volunteers

Update December 23, 2016

Rupp - WestieMed Grant Recipient - January 2016
Rupp – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Thanks to WestieMed, Rupp was able to receive allergy testing, allergy shots, and daily medication to help control his severe allergies.   It was a long road for him to recover and for his hair to regrow.

We had many setbacks with flair ups and more medical treatment, so he stayed in his foster home for ten months total.

However, after a lot of searching, we found the perfect home for him in Louisville Kentucky. It seemed like it was meant to be since new mom Megan is a pharmacist and is very knowledgeable and comfortable giving allergy shots, medication, and lives only a few minutes from his vet dermatologist!  

He now also has a new Westie sister named Lexi who has shown him the ropes including where the squirrels like to hang out in the back yard.  

Without WestieMed Rupp would not be starting his new life.  Thank you so much for helping these little white dogs!