On September 15th, I was contacted by a local veterinarian who had been caring for Rory, an eight to ten-year-old Westie for the last couple of years. Rory suffered from severe allergies, skin issues and extremely serious ear infections, which she had been doing her best to treat.
Unfortunately, Rory’s owners were a special needs couple who were incapable of following through with the home care and meds that Rory needed between vet visits. They did not understand that some of his skin problems were the result of allergies to grain and were feeding him a very low-quality dollar store dog food that was aggravating his problems. Since it was clear that his owners, despite how much they loved him, were incapable of providing the daily care needed to help Rory to recover and live pain-free, the vet recommended humane euthanasia because Rory was in so much agony and his parents agreed. Then she called me and asked if we could rescue and help Rory if his parents would agree to surrender him to us. After discussing it with Gloria, we agreed to take him, and I agreed to foster him since I had experience with both skin and ear issues.
When we got Rory, he was in pretty bad shape and in a great deal of pain. His ears were so badly infected that they were bleeding, very swollen and extremely painful; the prolonged infections have destroyed most of his hearing. His skin was infected and had oozing lesions, and he was significantly underweight. Several large, painful interdigital cysts on his paws made walking agonizing for him. His eyes were inflamed and infection had clouded his lenses. It took two months, lots of meds, lots of medicated baths, a diet change and lots of trips to the vet, but we finally got Rory’s ear infection and the accompanying swelling to a point where the vet could actually see inside the ear. He discovered a tumor that was complicating the infection and after consultation with the specialist, it was determined that surgery was required as soon as possible. The specialist recommended a Total Ear Canal Ablation.
Rory has made a lot of progress in the last two and a half months. His fur is coming back, his skin is getting pinker, the interdigital cysts have resolved and he is back up to a healthy weight. However, his ears are still problematic and painful. Rory is a sweet, lovable little guy who is learning how to cuddle and every day he makes progress. He deserves a life that is free of pain. Although he has challenges, he maintains a sweet and loving disposition in spite of the constant pain he endures.
The grant from WestieMed for his surgery will be a miracle for this sweet boy and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I can’t wait to write the follow up after he has begun to heal and we see his personality blossom as he begins to enjoy a life without pain.
Josie Smith New York Westie Rescue
Update December 16, 2015
Rory is doing extremely well after the TECA (Total Ear Canal Ablation) which is such an invasive major surgery. There is no redness or draining at the surgical site, just a little swelling, which is less every day.
He is almost back to his normal “Happy Feet” self and I can see his energy levels increase every day. He really got through the surgery very, very well and is doing better than anyone, including the vet, expected.
He goes back to see Dr. Brown on the 23rd to have the sutures removed and we expect an excellent report. He is doing so well, in fact, that I’m going to try stopping the pain meds tomorrow and see how he does without them.
He’s eating well and wants to play. You can see him plotting his next round of shenanigans in this picture. He sure doesn’t act like a ten-year-old dog that just had major surgery. And he’s full of kisses. He even kisses his “sister” Queen Lola, (another WestieMed alumnus) every single morning.
Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts! This little guy is FINALLY, FINALLY pain-free after years of agony!
Where would we be without WestieMed?
Josie Smith New York Westie Rescue
Update December 24, 2016
Rory saw Dr. Brown last evening to have the sutures removed from his ear. That ear is well healed now, but we are still fighting on again off again infection in the other ear. Dr. Brown flushed and deep cleaned the other ear canal and we now have a new regime to try to keep the infections at bay. So more meds and flushes for poor Rory, but we must do what we must.
Unfortunately, the news on the biopsy was not what we wanted to hear. It came back as positive for Squamous Cell Carcinoma. The good news is that they believe that they got it all and that it did not penetrate the cartilage. That said, there is always the chance that it has already metastasized. For now, we are going to monitor his lymph nodes closely. Dr. Brown will be having a discussion with the oncologist as well.
Radiation is an option if needed, but it would be pretty tough on a dog as old as Rory is, and require that he be anesthetized for each of the eighteen treatments. He would also be required to spend an entire five days of each week of treatment at Cornell, and only come home on the weekends. It would be hard on him, and us as well. At this juncture, we don’t feel like that is something that he should be put through after all he has already endured. No decisions will be made until we have more information. At any rate, we are hoping that since the biopsy revealed that the tumor had not gone through the cartilage, that
There is also still a chance that he may require TECA on the other ear unless we are able to lick this infection for good. It’s just gone on for so long that Dr. Brown isn’t optimistic. I’m encouraged about facing that prospect if it comes to it though, because of how very well he came through this one. He did really, really well, and healed quickly.
That said, Rory is like a different dog he is much more comfortable, full of energy and curiosity and loving life.
Thank you so much for helping this sweet old boy! He is a sweetheart and deserves to finally to happy, safe, loved and comfortable. He will remain with us, in his forever hospice home and be spoiled rotten and watched over by Her Royal Highness, Queen Lola.
We picked up Calli from Tri-State Yorkie Rescue in Evanston, Indiana the morning of January 14th. We found her darling face on PetFinder.com when we decided to look for another Westie after losing our little girl “Cotton” in December. She would have been fifteen years old this month. Calli was very fearful and wouldn’t make eye contact but sat quietly in my arms for seven hours till we got home in Michigan. She slept almost constantly and we attributed it to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and so just held her and loved her. She had never been out of a cage until her rescue, but with patience, she has learned to trust us and tries to please. She has learned to go through doors when opened and climb steps; she was so fearful of everything.
I noticed Calli’s ears were full of black “coffee grounds” looking stuff, so, thinking it was ear mites, the next day we took her to our Vet for a “wellness check”. He treated her for an extremely bad yeast and bacterial infection in both ears, mutating the ear canal membranes so much that they are almost closed off. She is very hard of hearing and can’t tell where sounds are coming from and therefore she bolts and cowers when startled. Surgery may be needed to open the canals at some time in the future.
She had two teeth removed because of rot due to sawdust being used as a filler in her food and she had also been spayed so we thought her lethargy was due to all the stress of these surgeries and also trying to acclimate to new surroundings. It was when she started to learn to play and run after her new “squeaky toys” we realized she had trouble breathing and thought that being so tired should not be lasting this long in a two-year-old dog. We took her to the Vet again and even though the “wellness check” had eliminated blood problems and heart issues, after two x-rays he diagnosed her with Chronic Bronchial Disease. He also re-checked her for Heartworms due to her lethargy. She has not responded to antibiotics or bronchial dilators and she is now on Prednisolone, which we were hoping she wouldn’t have to take because of the side effects. So far, tragically, she hasn’t responded in a positive way to any of these treatments. The sad thing is that now that she has learned to play, her disease causes her to gasp for air and she stops playing and now sleeps most of the time.
After another x-ray at the end of this month, to see if there has been any change after the prednisolone treatment, he has suggested that we will need to see a lung specialist. What that will lead to we don’t know.
Calli is such a sweet and adorable dog – very patient and good about all she has been put through to be treated for her ailments, and we haven’t even mentioned her footbaths for allergies. We were told about “WestieMed” by a really good friend who has also rescued many dogs. When we heard we were able to get financial support to help Calli have a healthier life, we were elated and very grateful. There will be ongoing expenses related to both, her ears and lungs. We will have to wait to see if we need to take her to a specialist because, so far, she hasn’t responded to any of the protocols our Vet has prescribed for his diagnosis of Chronic Bronchial Disease.
My husband and I are so grateful to WestieMed for their support and plan to love Calli and take care of her for the rest of her life. It’s been bittersweet – seeing her blossom and then realizing she has so many limitations.
Update June 25, 2015
You last heard from us on March 20, 2015. Calli was on a steroid and was thought to have Chronic Bronchial Disease. Our vet felt that since she wasn’t responding to either bronchodilators or the steroid, we should see a specialist, which we did on March 31, 2015. Calli received an ultrasound from a veterinary cardiologist, was treated for lungworm and they ruled out a fungal infection in her lungs and Pulmonary Hypertension. She was then seen by a specialist in internal medicine. The final diagnosis was Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). The high humidity here in Michigan is making it difficult for her to breathe, so, our air-conditioning is on constantly, which is helping. We are keeping her in the house as much as possible as this helps
Calli also has many allergy problems which are causing her much distress. She is currently taking numerous Pharmaceutical and Natural medications that are not totally effective, but, it is better than it was. Additionally, because of diarrhea and vomiting, she has been diagnosed with colitis and so, is now on special dog food that seems to be calming that down, but seems to be somewhat allergic to it which is exacerbating the itching in her infected ears. She is driving herself “nuts” with the scratching.
We never know, from one day to the next, how she will be breathing. Even so, she is a remarkably happy dog and brings us much joy. We love her and are committed to keeping her comfortable for the rest of her life, however long that may be.
Dorie and Jim Southwell
Update February 15, 2016
The short life of our dear little Calli ended on January 2nd, 2016, two weeks shy of being with us a year. She was a precious gift and brought us much joy.
We read about cold laser therapy on your WestieMed website in November and found a holistic vet forty miles away and we took her for many treatments – twice a week for five weeks along with some enzymes that were to help break up the scar tissue in her lungs. We did what we could to save her, but the Pulmonary Fibrosis was, evidently, too far advanced and we had to let her go.
Thank you so much for all your support. We will always be grateful for your help!
Calli was a special gift. Even though she was with us for such a short time, she knew love and gave love.
The idea of having a dog in our house came from my children. They often asked me when I would decide to get them a dog. That’s when I chose to check the Animal Care & Control of NYC located nearby because there are so many animals waiting for homes in shelters throughout the country that I felt the need to help save the life of one of these dogs who are left there heartlessly.
When I saw Ben up for adoption at the shelter’s website, it was love at first sight.
It was an early Saturday morning and I just could not wait to meet him. By reading his description, I said to myself he was the right fit for my kids and I was not wrong at all. We have loved Ben from day one, he is just a sweetheart, and we are immensely happy to have him with us.
His behavior is remarkable, it truly feels as if we have known Ben forever. I cannot understand why Ben’s previous owner left him at the shelter, as I was told by the staff that he just did not want to deal with Ben anymore. Knowing this just breaks my heart because Ben is adorable not only with us but also with strangers, who are often attracted by his looks and playful behavior.
Ben is a healthy dog just like I was told at the shelter, but I was not so sure about that because Ben was constantly scratching, where he had patches of hair loss, which turned into cuts in a matter of days.
Since this did not seem to heal, I took Ben to the vet so that he can be treated. The bill was so unexpectedly high that I felt awful for not having all the money available to treat him. I just paid for what I could at the moment. I started to resent myself for carelessly adopting a dog when I was not financially stable to care for one. I went and I got what the vet suggested at the pet store later on. But weeks later the skin condition started all over again looking worse than before. I was afraid of going back to the vet again, to pay for a treatment that did not seem to help, but I could not leave my dog like that either.
I reached out to WestieMed for aid, and to my surprise, they approved my request. Thanks to them, Ben will be able to receive the care he needs.
Update July 14, 2015
Ben has been doing great, attached is a picture of him taken today.
Ben’s health is good, other than the allergies he gets. A few weeks ago I had to take him to the vet which gave him a shot for the itching, and antibiotics for the irritation on his skin. the treatment worked and that same day he stops feeling itchy. I am glad to have found a vet that is affordable and really understand Ben’s allergies condition, I also have a Carecredit card for emergencies.
Ben is happy with us, we love him so much and even the tenants want to take him for walks from time to time, he is truly adorable.
Thank you so much for asking about Ben, and thanks to WestieMed for the financial support given to Ben when we most needed it.
I am a retired senior, that has been a Westie lover my whole life. My first Westie was named Jellybean by my kids that were very young at the time. My Jellybean lived to be eighteen years old. After I recovered from that loss, I adopted Casper from a shelter. He was a wonderful guy. He also lived a long spoiled life.
I was in a Petsmart store a while ago and was shopping for my cats when I spotted an elderly woman with a Westie. Well, I had to go and visit him. The woman was very nice and told me she had gotten Toby from a shelter but was afraid she wasn’t going to able to keep him. She said her husband was very ill with cancer and was in the hospital. She said she was afraid she was going to have to take him back to the shelter. I said, oh no!!! I gave her my phone number and asked her to call me if she thought she couldn`t care for him anymore. A week later I got a call from her, and I went and met her at the Petsmart. Toby came home with me. Love at first sight.
I am on a limited income, and when I realized Toby was going to need vet care, I was afraid of the high cost. Thank goodness I found WestieMed on the internet. I had no idea that there was such a bunch of dedicated Westie lovers!
Toby is laying at my feet right now. Goes everywhere with me, and, of course, sleeps on the bed!!!
Once again, thank you!!! Carole and Toby
Update July 14, 2015
Toby does have allergy issues that are seasonal. And recently he came down with a bacterial infection that required a trip to the vet. I was able to handle the expense myself.
We had recently lost our beloved seventeen-year-old Cairn terrier, Tesla and thought that our fourteen-year-old Westie, Sully, would be okay with being an only dog. After just two weeks of depression, we knew that we needed to bring another terrier into the family. We went to Petfinder.com for the third time in our lives to look for an older Westie, Cairn or Scottie we could adopt. There we found ‘Snowball’, soon to be Fiona. We knew right away she was the one for us just from her description: a female ten-twelve years old Westie pulled from a kill shelter somewhere in western Kentucky, described as active in the yard, chasing anything that was in her territory, okay with the foster Westies and loving with her people.
We filled out an application and two weeks later Fiona came for a visit. Things went well with Sully. We asked about her health and were told she was a healthy dog, and she seemed to be other than a skin fold sitting on her lower back at the start of her tail, and her tail which seemed permanently curled under her body. Despite being told we’d need to wipe the pouch out once a week, we decided the two dogs got along well enough, and she liked us too, so she stayed for the week. During that time, she stole our hearts! She gave Sully exactly what he needed to start eating, playing and sleeping through the night again. She gave us all the love we could take! After just three days with us, we decided to adopt her, contacted the rescue to let them know, and scheduled a veterinary visit for Saturday morning. We knew going into it that she had the skin fold, her tail was curled under and she was very itchy with allergies. We were not at all prepared for what the vet would tell us.
Veterinarian Dr. Nicole Harris met Fiona and began her examination. She knew immediately that Fiona previously had a broken back. This was confirmed on x-ray minutes later, and by determining that she had no feeling in her tail. Dr. Harris said that she most commonly saw this type of injury from when a cat, more often than a dog, had been swung by its tail or been run over by a car. Also, Fiona was diagnosed with a horrible case of demodectic mites – confirmed with scrapings off of her back feet and heels. And to top it off, she has probably never had a dental cleaning.
The vet advised us to eradicate the mites and ear infections first, and then to address the tail and skin fold removal. The tail removal being essential to Fiona’s future health, since the way the tail is curled under her body, the fecal matter gets on the tail and then right into her urethra. We spent three months killing off the mites with dips and pills and twice-weekly two-shampoo baths – all of which Fiona took in stride! She is such a sweetie and during bath times we really bonded.
Despite asking the rescue for help with some of the medical costs they have avoided us and will not respond to any contact via phone, email or even Facebook.
We found WestieMed out of pure luck or karma. A friend of mine posted a link to a dog magazine on Facebook, which led us to RedRover.org, which had a listing of breed-specific medical help organizations. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw the site for WestieMed. We read everything then went ahead and applied for assistance following Wendy’s lifelong motto of “I’ll ask – the worst someone can say to me is no.” We are scheduling her surgery to happen within the next couple of weeks and cannot wait for her to be fully healthy! Although we miss a wagging Westie tail on her, we know that she is happy in our home as she shows it us continuously, coming more and more out of her shell every day. Especially while protecting her yard from birds, squirrels, and even the local woodchuck!
A sincere thank you to all those at WestieMed and its supporters, Wendy, Lonnie, Sully & Fiona Eubank
Update July 14, 2015
To WestieMed – thank you so much for your help with Fiona. She is such a wonderful little creature. We just love her to no end! The surgery removed her tail as it was dead, and left her with a little cottontail, so we still have to clean her bootie once a day to make sure no-poo gets where it shouldn’t cause a UTI.
Fiona lost her Westie brother a year ago to lymphoma. After very careful consideration we had her meet an older Scottie and they got along so well he came home with us. Jack is an eleven yr old Scottie, from the TN Scottie Rescue. He lets Fiona run things and they are both quite happy with that arrangement.
Fiona is doing quite well, although allergies are tough this season, our vet is helping us get through it! She is such a little princess – a true terrier princess!
We would never have been able to get her all the medical care needed without WestieMed to help. We are forever grateful!
Update January 24, 2018
Unfortunately, Fiona passed away in July 2017. She was approximately seventeen -eighteen years old. In the end, she had lymphoma and was blind. But thanks to your grant four years ago, she was happy and healthy. We miss her.
Duchess arrived at Westie and Scottie Rescue Houston in July 2013 after her two moms died; the first when she was 3 1/2 years old and the second, her original mom’s sister, four years later. Because she is diabetic and blind from cataracts caused by diabetes, no other family members were willing to care for her. Daily insulin injections and the cost of insulin, along with caring for a blind dog, were overwhelming for them. After seven weeks in a kennel at her veterinarian’s office, the family released Duchess to WSRH. Her first stop was the intake house, where she was introduced to the resident pack and other fosters waiting for new homes. Duchess also was put on a healthy diet of grain-free food and was taken to see WSRH’s vet, Dr. Keith French at Bear Branch Animal Hospital. When Dr. French finished his initial exam and blood work, he implanted a microchip and a video of the procedure was shared on Facebook. To watch the video click here.
Duchess had always been an only dog so understandably was a bit overwhelmed with all the action and new dogs around her. She was able to maneuver around the dog room after a few days there but demonstrated her love of “caves” by crawling onto an open shelf in a cabinet. This became her daytime safe area. Fortunately for Duchess, it was only a week before first-time foster parents Dewayne and Cathy took her to their home. Although blind, she quickly learned to navigate the furniture in their house and established cave areas under furniture where she could hide after meals to try to avoid her insulin injections. This has become a game for her; lead Mom and Dad on a hunt for Duchess in her caves.
One discovery in her new foster home is that Duchess is a barker; when she is unsure of her surroundings when she can’t find the toy she dropped when she wants a playmate, the barking begins. Duchess has a strong prey drive and spends hours daily “looking” for squirrels along the backyard fence. She and her foster brothers run along the fence line while the squirrel runs along the top. When the squirrel is gone, the boys go into the house but Duchess continues to run along the bottom of the fence, barking. She likes to play with squeaky toys or toys with bells in them, however, when she drops the toy, the barking begins while she tries to find it.
Duchess and her foster brothers, two Westies and a Schnauzer mix, frequent the local dog park where Duchess is happily playing with smaller dogs. She tries to follow her foster brothers but they always run too fast for her to keep up. While the dog park has lots of open spaces for her to play, Duchess runs into fences and has fallen into the shallow pond. Duchess is socialized with other dogs, but her vision loss makes meeting new dogs difficult for her. When new dogs approach her too quickly or bark near her, she becomes frightened and looks for Mom or Dad to pick her up.
After monitoring Duchess’s blood sugar levels, Dr. French suggested that Duchess might be a candidate for cataract surgery because her diabetes was under control so he referred her to Gulf Coast Animal Eye Clinic. Dewayne made an appointment and took Duchess to see Dr. Jim Swanson who started her on a regimen of twice-daily eye drops to control swelling behind her corneas. After a month of this treatment, Dr. Swanson approved Duchess for cataract surgery and agreed to waive half his fee of $3600. With the help of WestieMed paying the remainder of the surgical fee, Duchess will soon be able to see the squirrels she loves to chase.
Duchess will always be diabetic but cataract surgery will make her more adoptable and allow her to lead a fuller, safer life. We are very grateful for WestieMed and all of its supporters for the assistance provided to Duchess and the other Westies who need extra help in getting them ready for forever homes.
It seems the holidays, more than any other time of year, remind us to be grateful for the blessings we receive. Duchess was one of those blessings and WestieMed multiplied the blessing tenfold. When we took Duchess in, she had outlived two owners and was blind due to cataracts caused by diabetes. Our wonderful vet helped us get and keep her blood sugar under control and, thanks to a grant from WestieMed, we were able to have the surgery done to remove her cataracts and restore her eyesight. Duchess was still healing from the surgery when a wonderful person whose Westie also was older and diabetic, saw her profile and knew that she had to have Duchess in her life. As as soon as the surgeon cleared her, Duchess moved to her forever home.
Duchess’s forever mom sent us the attached photo showing how happy this beautiful girl is now. We always will be grateful to Dr. Keith French at Bear Branch Animal Hospital, Dr. Jim Swanson at Gulf Coast Animal Eye Clinic, and WestieMed for making this beautiful creature’s life brighter.
Maggie Escriva Volunteer, Director Westie & Scottie Rescue Houston
Update July 29, 2015
We are happy to provide additional updates as the gift WestieMed helped provide is a lifetime of vision for this dear girl.
Duchess was adopted by a wonderful woman who has another older Westie girl who also is diabetic so she is quite familiar with dietary and medical needs.
Her mom told us that Duchess and her sister, Leia, had good reports at their recent vet checkup.
Thank you to WestieMed for enabling happy tails like this.
In April 2013, Stewart (a nine-year-old male Westie) was found huddled in the corner of an outside apartment storage closet. The tenant of the apartment had terminated his lease three days earlier abandoning the westie. Stewart was filthy and it was initially thought his collar was embedded in his neck; however, his collar was entangled with the mats of fur covering his body. The closet was littered with his feces. The only sign that there had been a human providing the minimal care/shelter for Stewart was the empty food bowl, small water bowl and wet cardboard box draped by a towel.
Stewart was picked up by the city of Austin Animal Services and taken to the Austin Animal Center on April 10, 2013. The veterinarian that initially examined him at the shelter recommended he be euthanized. Stewart was diagnosed with severe ear infections, severe eye discharge with scarred corneas and possible blindness, severe dental disease/ gingivitis and severe internal parasite infestation.
The individual that abandoned Stewart had told authorities that he found Stewart in a barn late 2010. Since then, there were only two known veterinarian visits – both within the first three months. Stewart’s ears were noted to have infections at the first visit and treatment provided; however, during the second visit (two months later), the ears were still infected but the individual did not want to pay for the ear cytology leaving Stewart’s ears untreated since January 2011.
We had been contacted by another Westie owner that lived in the same apartment complex when Stewart was taken to the Austin Animal Center. She and others that knew Stewart were concerned for his well being. We asked at the Center about Stewart when we were pulling another westie from the Center three days after his intake. We were told of the initial recommendation to euthanize but because it was a weekend day, the coordinator didn’t have the most current info and promised to get back with us.
Approximately thirty days after his arrival at the Center, we were contacted to see if we would be able to take Stewart into our rescue program. The Center provided us with a copy of Stewart’s lab work taken with his initial examination at the Center. We asked our veterinarian to review for her opinion. She told us that the results showed signs of starvation and suggested to ask the Center if they would be willing to do Stewart’s blood work again since he had been in treatment for thirty days. This new blood work did show that Stewart’s body was responding to the treatment; however, the Center still stressed that Stewart might be considered a “hospice” for our rescue.
Meeting Stewart…there was really no hesitation that we had to bring this guy into our rescue and show him the good life regardless of how short-term or long-term. It was still not really known if Stewart had any vision or hearing, but he clearly had the zest for life that westies are famous for. Stewart walked out of the Austin Animal Center holding his head high and enjoying the smell of freedom. Stewart’s past baggage was clearly left in that nasty apartment storage closet.
We took Stewart straight from the Center to our veterinarian clinic for an exam. He was very generous with his kisses (everybody overlooked the odor attributed to his extreme gingivitis) and won the hearts of all the staff at the clinic that met him. We were sent home after Stewart’s initial exam at our veterinarian clinic with a plethora of medicine and a lengthy checklist. Even though Stewart had been receiving treatment for the last thirty days at the Center, his ears were still infected. Initially, it was difficult to determine if the “goop” in both ears were medicine or drainage – sadly, it was drainage. His right ear canal was completely blocked which initiated the discussion of the Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA). His left ear canal was horribly infected with a small opening. His eyes had some crust around them – when tested showed no evidence of tears. Stewart’s skin was dry with flaking and scabs – chronic dermatitis. Stewart was to return in fourteen days for a check on his response to the meds and treatments.
Stewart walked into his foster home without hesitation. We were still trying to determine his vision and hearing status but he was not content to be “sheltered” from the other furkids. Stewart wanted his freedom that he had been denied for so long. We let him out of the dog run and he began to explore the huge backyard. As happens so many other times, it appeared that the other furkids knew Stewart was special and they never challenged him but let him do his own thing. Stewart had the run of the house as well as the big backyard – this boy was not going to be crated or contained again.
At the follow-up visit with the veterinarian, fourteen days after his initial exam with our vet, Stewart’s left ear had shown good improvement. They were able to see inside the left canal at this time but treatment was still needed. The right ear showed no real improvement. His eyes were still crusting so Tacrolimus was prescribed to provide relief. We also learned from the earlier blood work that Stewart was hypothyroid and began Soloxine.
We were referred to Central Texas Veterinary Specialty to get another opinion regarding Stewart’s ears. Again, he kissed his way through this exam. We felt hopeful with the initial comments by Dr. Zacher; however, after her thorough exam in conjunction with the dermatologist, it was agreed that Stewart’s right ear canal was completely blocked and would require surgery. They both said without the surgery that Stewart’s prognosis was guarded and with the Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) surgery his prognosis was good. During the initial month that Stewart had been with us and since, he never exhibited any discomfort because of his ears. Without this surgery, Stewart would be at risk of continued infections in his ear which could result in a ruptured eardrum. Dr. Zacher agreed that it did not appear that there was an urgent need for the TECA so we opted to wait to allow Stewart some time to stabilize his other health issues but also learn to savor his new life.
Now, there is no doubt that Stewart is unable to hear anything. He sleeps through the loud barking of the other furkids when someone walks into the house. Since his arrival, we have determined that he does have some vision but limited. He compensates for his deafness and limited vision with a keen sense of smell. He loves to go outside and explore the backyard. He clearly loves his independence, yet he is content to sit in a lap and give out kisses. Stewart shows no pain even though his teeth are in horrible condition. He has a healthy appetite and enjoys supplementing his diet with carrots, apples, bananas, green beans, strawberries, and homemade chicken liver treats. Our veterinarian has said Stewart will require two sessions for proper cleaning; however, his right ear is a higher priority.
Just six months ago, Stewart was abandoned in a dark closet, scoring a five out of five (with five being the worst) on a Tufts physical care score and a recommendation to be euthanized. Five months ago, Stewart was on seven different medications to clear up various infections and currently he is only on two routine medicines (eye drops and Soloxine). He learned the routine of the foster house quickly and adjusts to days that are not routine. He wakes up each day in freedom and enjoys life. With the help of WestieMed, Stewart will be scheduled for the TECA – eliminating the risk of future emergencies. He is safe, dry and warm – loving life and people!
We are grateful for an organization like WestieMed that provides support for these precious little white furkids. This organization and their support go a long way to help large and small rescues. WestieMed is like a safety-net for so many. Stewart sends a bunch of kisses to all who have made this possible. Thank you just doesn’t seem adequate to express our gratitude.
Linda Duncan Westie Rescue Austin
Update November 12, 2013
I was able to go by and visit Stewart this afternoon during the visiting hours. He surprised them with his readiness to eat yesterday after his surgery. I took some Cinnamon Apple muffin treats I had made earlier this afternoon for him to enjoy and he did. I wish I had taken more but really wanted to be cautious and not jeopardize his recovery. He doesn’t have any dizziness which is good. He has a short-term nerve side effect with not being able to blink his right eye but they expect that to disappear within two weeks. The nurse told me when I was leaving that if he keeps going as well as he is, he will be coming home tomorrow! Yea! They suggested a Pro-Cone or is it Pro-Collar. The blow-up collar won’t be good for his surgical area. So I will be getting one before I go pick him up tomorrow. Again, we are grateful for the support of WestieMed for Stewart’s surgery. He is just one of many benefiting from this fabulous organization.
Update April 10, 2014
Stewart continues to thrive. His dogtor was pleased with his smooth recovery and no complications from his TECA (Nov 2013). Stewart had already lost his hearing in both ears prior to this procedure because of the neglect and lack of treatment for his ear infections. We do continue to fight his two other issues – skin and eyes. He gets the prescription eyedrops in both eyes daily along with GenTeal gel. We are giving him medicated baths which help provide relief to his itchy skin. Because of his surgery, he had almost three different lengths of fur all over his body so early February we groomed him giving him a short fur cut. With the unusually cold winter we experienced and his short fur, we had to find him a fleece sweater and discovered that Stewart is a clothes hound! He actually pranced when we put his new hoodie on him!
This month (April) also marks the one year anniversary of Stewart being taken into the Austin Animal Center after being found abandoned in the storage closet at an apartment. Stewart can now decide if he wants to go out and come in! It brings us great joy when we look and Stewart is far off exploring the backyard!
Stewart continues to perfect his two hobbies. One is eating and the other is sleeping! He knows the feeding routine and eagerly goes to his “station” for his food bowl. Stewart is not shy…he is more than happy to thank you with a kiss. Stewart is a happy boy and blends in well with the other furkids.
In the next month or so, we anticipate scheduling Stewart for a dental. His dogtor has said that she anticipates it will take two procedures. We are sure there will be extractions but know that slow Stewart down when he is eating.
Once again, we are grateful for WestieMed’s assistance with Stewart’s TECA but also for their help with all the Westies that need help. If Stewart could give everybody with WestieMed a kiss, he would!
Thank you again! Linda D/Westie Rescue Austin
Update July 27, 2015
Stewart continues to do well with no complications from the surgery as expected. He is two years older now. His eyesight has gotten worse but that has not seemed to slow him down. He knows the routines of the house, where his favorite doggy beds are (although he sleeps on my bed at night) and when it is time to eat. We are struggling with his skin this year but Stewart practically sleeps through his medicated baths.
It still amazes us that Stewart is so accepting and loving considering the two years (at least) of neglect and chronic health problems. And we are grateful to the support of WestieMed for Stewart and all the Westies in need.
My name is Spencer. It was about a year ago when my parents decided to surrender me to Westie Rescue of North Texas. I had started scratching and lost most of my hair to something they called allergies and my parents couldn’t afford the dogtor bill.
I was pretty scared about being with new people, but Aunt Melanie and Uncle Paul made me comfortable. I have been living with them for about a year now. I have one foster sister and four foster brothers. They have all made me feel at home and we get along great! Uncle Paul calls me Roonie, kind of short for Spenceroonie. I guess he calls me that ’cause I like to sing and it sounds like “rooo roooo”!
Right after I moved in, I met a great dogtor. His name is Wes Taylor and he loves us Westies! I got a lot of my hair back, but Dogtor Taylor says that I’m not out of the woods. I still have a setback every now and then. I’m on a special diet that tastes pretty good, but I wish I could just get well. I take a bunch of medicine: Cyclosporine once a day, Fluconazole twice a day, and Temaril-P every two days. Uncle Paul and Aunt Melanie give me a bath every three days with Douxo Chlorhex PS Shampoo. Since I had my last setback, I’ve been getting my ears cleaned with some cleaner from Animal Dermatological Laboratories and I use Otibiotic Ointment from Butler Schein.
Most of the time, I feel pretty good. I have a special bed to sleep on and a couple of special places where I like to nap. I potty outside and I love people! I go to the dogtor every three or four weeks and I like to meet everybody. I have a special seatbelt for the car and I love, love, love to ride! I get along great with my foster sister and brothers and I have one special friend. Last summer, my foster sister Lizzie had a puppy named Sugar. Aunt Melanie and Uncle Paul’s daughter Stephanie adopted Sugar and she comes to see me every now and then. We are best buds and we like to play tug o’ war! Sometimes though, I just have rotten days because of my allergies. Uncle Paul calls them cooties. I do feel a whole lot better than I did before WRNT took me in!
I’ve been to a few adoption events that WRNT has had, but it seems like nobody wants me since I don’t have all my hair back and since I have to go see the dogtor so much. It’s kind of sad for me sometimes, but I know that Aunt Melanie and Uncle Paul love me ’cause they take such good care of me. One day I’ll have a forever home, but I’ll always remember the love that WRNT and WestieMed gave me. Thank you WestieMed for approving the funds to help take care of me.
Update August 8, 2012
Hello from Spencer and Paul. We want to tell you about our trip Thursday to Animal Dermatology Referral Clinic where we met Dogtor Reid Garfield. Spencer has asked me to compose the message as he relates it to me. He had a wee dram of anesthesia and was cautioned about operating machinery or independently making critical decisions. In case I commit one or several hundred literary faux pas, please recall that my nickname for Spencer is Roonie.
Spencer came under the care of WRNT on 8 November 2010. He was surrendered from his Southlake home because of severe allergies and hair loss. With the exception of a couple of days, Melanie and I have provided foster care for Spencer and continue to do so. Spencer’s primary veterinarian has been Dr. Wes Taylor at Highlands-Eldorado Veterinary Hospital Dr. Taylor has been treating Spencer for nonspecific allergies. Other than hair loss, symptoms include incessant itching and scratching, skin lesions, and the intermittent presence of staph, yeast, and bacteria on the skin and in the ears. During the course of treatment, Spencer’s therapy has been adjusted only slightly. Prior to Thursday, 3 November, it consisted of the following:
· Bath every third-day using Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo · Fluconazole, 100mg once daily · Cyclosporine (compounded), 50mg once daily · Temaril-P, once every two days · Otic flush and otic antibacterial as needed to stay wax buildup
From November 2010 until May 2011, Spencer’s condition gradually improved and he regained approximately 80% of his coat. However, in June of this year, he quickly became and remained symptomatic, again losing a large percentage of hair.
At this point, Dr, Taylor ordered a thyroid panel and senior screening, but there were no anomalies detected. With the exception of changing from Ketoconazole, 200mg to Fluconazole, 100mg in June and in October adding a 21-day course of Cefpodoxime (Simplicef), Spencer’s meds remained unchanged. Additionally, allergy testing to this point had not been performed. At our September and October appointments, Dr. Taylor was away on speaking engagements, so we relied on two different visiting veterinarians who were covering for Dr. Taylor, both of whom had different opinions on Spencer’s condition than Dr. Taylor.
Needless to say, we were now at the point of much frustration and heartbreak because nothing that we were doing seemed to give Roonie any relief from constant itching and lesions. Fortunately, Dr. Garfield entered Spencer’s life on Thursday. We both liked him instantly, and he spent a very thorough 30 minutes talking with us and examining Roonie. Dr. Garfield collected several slide samples and after studying them made a preliminary diagnosis of Immune-mediated skin disease. He explained that by saying that basically, Spencer is allergic to himself. From Dr. Garfield’s report:
History: Chronic allergic dermatitis initially responding to Temaril-P, Cyclosporin, and anti-yeast medications, and restricted diet with exacerbation in May 20 11 and poor response to medical management. Multifocal crusts and small pustules over the dorsolateral trunk. Diagnosis: Immune-mediated skin disease; Pemphigus foliaceous; Cutaneous drug eruption; Concurrent allergic skin disease (atopic dermatitis, food allergy) Test: Skin scrapings negative for demodex canis mites Impression Cytology: Numerous neutrophils, occasional macrophage, with small numbers of acantholytic keratinocytes and bacteria not observed. Biopsy: four 8mm punch biopsies pending-call Wednesday PM
1. Discontinue Temaril-P and Cyclosporin. 2. Begin Prednisolone at four 5mg tablets orally once daily for 30 days. 3. Continue Fluconazole at one 100mg tablet orally once daily for 2 additional weeks. 4. Continue Cefpodoxime (Simplicef) at one 100mg tablet orally once daily for 2 additional weeks. 5. Continue restricted diet with Royal Canin Hypoallergenic PV potato and venison and discontinue all other treats, flavored medications, pill pockets, etc. 6. The sutures are absorbable and do not need to be removed. 7. Additional treatment recommendations pending biopsy results.
Recheck: 30 days
I did notice a slight change after one day of the new therapy. Roonie has always been a happy boy, but yesterday, he showed signs of being happy all day, and his itching seemed to have decreased slightly. Some of that observation is probably due to wishful thinking on my part, but I do look forward to receiving the pathology report from the biopsies. It seems that there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
Please know that I respect Wes Taylor as a doctor and that personally, I enjoy his company and conversing with him. Also, please know that I am in no way suggesting that Dr. Taylor provided anything other than top-quality care for Spencer.
One evening late last August, I was on the computer and saw a message come in from Westie Rescue of Missouri’s (WRM) Facebook discussion board. Four months earlier I wrote a post about a recurrence of furunculosis in my eight-year-old former mill dog, PeachPie – the issue had long since resolved. A reply was posted, and I was tempted to ignore it but opened it anyway. It simply read that the writer was encouraged that my dog’s ailment had healed at least once…her dog’s hadn’t and it had been a very long time. I wrote her back and said I’d try to help with some info, but it would take a while because I was swamped. An email came back saying she (Lisa) understood and she would wait. She included a photo of her dog, Dodger, taken that evening. It stopped me in my tracks.
From the photo, Dodger, a two year, eight-month-old Westie, had a horrible growth under his chin and huge, awful looking paws. I was pretty dumbfounded but learned Dodger lived in central Louisiana and had been seen by numerous vets and even LSU Veterinary Clinic. No one really seemed to know what was wrong, what to do, or how to do it. One vet diagnosed Dodger with “the canine equivalent of Scleroderma” and recommended Dodger be put down.
I sent the photo along with the medical reports Lisa had emailed to everyone I knew and heard back from Karen Simondet. She offered to send the reports/photos to specialists she knew in California, but it was Labor Day weekend, and it took a little more than two weeks for the information to come back. Both the specialist and Westie Specialist, Dr. Kay believed Dodger’s problems were allergy-based bacterial and yeast infections.
WRM recommended I contact BJ – a woman with a lot of experience in holistic alternatives for info as well. For two months Karen, BJ, and I tried to support Lisa and Dodger from a distance but he got worse. By mid-October I received a heartbreaking email from Lisa. Dodger’s “chin mass” got worse and ruptured and his feet were no better. Lisa said for the first time in two and a half years, she no longer believed she could get Dodger well.
Lisa, Karen, BJ and I came up with a plan for Dodger to come up to me – just outside of St Louis – close to BJ. We thought if nothing else a new environment and a new vet might help. And WRM gave Dodger WRM Honoree Rescue status, allowing my vet to “officially” treat Dodger as a dog in rescue – waiving many fees and substantially discounting care and supplies.
On November 1, 2010, Lisa arrived from a two-day drive from Louisiana with Dodger in tow. Dodger exceeded all of our worst expectations. The first night alone, the smell of yeast was simply awful-within an hour the house reeked. Dodger went to the yard, but unfamiliar with its terrain, he tripped several times, breaking open some of the growths on his feet. They just oozed more. I called to get a vet appointment the next day and Lisa headed out to start her long trip back to Louisiana. Through all of this, Dodger was the sweetest dog and acted like everything was ok. He seemed to smile when he looked at me.
When I took Dodger to the vet the next day, the technician came in to get Dodger’s history and to look at him. You could just tell by the look on her face. She left the room and returned with my vet a few minutes later. By that time the exam room reeked. When Dr. Chris came in, he was friendly and professional as always, but the look on his face spoke volumes.
Dr. Chris didn’t know what to think about it all. He’d seen some pretty bad things before, but nothing like Dodger. He took some samples for cultures and dressed Dodger’s front feet in an antibiotic ointment. He changed the oral antibiotic from Baytril to Cephalexin and reduced Dodger’s two-month-long 10mg/day Prednisone dose down to 5mg/day. He increased Dodger’s Ketoconazole to 1/4 tab twice a day and later to 1/2 tab 2x/day. He also wanted daily cleaning of Dodger’s “chin mass” by scrubbing with Malaseb equivalent shampoo. He immediately took Dodger off the Metacam he’d been taking occasionally for pain and put him on Tramadol. Dodger also went on Doxycycline for a month when E-coli was present per the sensitivity cultures. Dodger also went on a limited ingredient diet to help his immune system to return to normal.
I asked Dr. Chris if he’d mind me bringing Dodger in every week or so, just to make sure everything was okay. After he looked at me like I was from Mars, he told me Dodger would be coming in every two to three days “for a while”. “Awhile” was a month.
Dodger’s first month was difficult. He ran into numerous problems – terribly constipated from a raw-only diet I’d put him on within his first week, sick from Ketoconazole, frustrated at having his feet and chin squeezed and prodded by the vet three times a week, and frustrated with rough scrubbings of his chin every day. For a while, the infections got worse too. But he never had a bad day and never growled through any of it. He always seemed to smile as if he knew I was there to help him, not hurt him.
In early December Dr. Chris biopsied three of the feet after Dodger had more problems with his feet. At this time, Pat Baker, an avid Westie lover, and groomer that I know through Facebook suggested I ask my vet to look into a compounded antifungal to help with Dodger’s nausea and anorexia, as her own dog experienced the same problems with the drugs.
My vet ordered a compounded Itraconazole and WRM helped with Dodger’s two-month supply. Within two days of that change, Dodger’s appetite bounced back and within a week the yeast began to retreat. The biopsies came back with the paw problems being follicular in origin. By mid-December Dodger was also off Doxycycline and down to 5 mg Prednisone on alternating days. His dressings came off and he was changed to 2x/day soaks/scrubs of his feet and chin and the vet gave us the okay to use immune-boosting supplements, so BJ developed Dodger’s nutritional support/supplementation plan. Dodger also remained on his very limited ingredient diet which the owner of a specialty grooming and specialty dog food store a few towns over chose for him.
By mid-December, Dodger was doing very well and the vet wanted to cut away the granulomas to his feet and to cut away Dodger’s “chin mass” that never did stop producing sterile pus. The vet believed surgery would reduce the opportunity for yeast and infection to grow/hide and would give Dodger a better quality of life. Dodger had to wait three weeks for my schedule to allow for his surgery – it was scheduled for 1/3/11. In the interim, he went to once a day soaks/scrubs.
Lisa relinquished Dodger to me on New Year’s Day because she loved him dearly and wanted this sweet boy to live knowing that returning him to Louisiana could be very detrimental to his health.
Dodger’s surgery was done on 1/3/11 and inside each granuloma, on each paw, the vet found a hardened mass of infected hair follicle. The chin mass had little blood supply but was still laden with pus. Dodger will return to the vet tomorrow to remove the bandages to his three paws. Later this month he will have allergy testing. And after that, he will have teeth cleaning due to the hyperplasia of his gums. They aren’t expected to improve. Dodger also needs specially formulated heartworm prevention that costs more than regular preventative, and because he had a bad skin reaction to Revolution, he has to take Comfortis for flea/tick prevention.
As you can imagine, Dodger’s vet bills, food bills, and supplements have been quite high these past two months, even with my vet’s generosity. The grant Dodger’s received from WestieMed will do so much – paying for this week’s surgery, upcoming allergy testing and serum, the dental cleaning and medications, special heartworm prevention, and Comfortis. By the end of this month, we expect Dodger to primarily require preventative maintenance medications and baths as well as a limited ingredient diet. We’re thankful to everyone who’s been involved with Dodger’s journey, the support we’ve received from Facebook connections, most of whom we’ve never met and from WestieMed for supporting Dodger and helping us cover his medical bills. Sometimes it was that support that got us from a bad day to the next day! It really DID take a village to give Dodger his life back.
Thank you WestieMed! We will keep you updated on Dodger’s progress.
Daine and John Brundage and Dodger Westie Dog (DWD)
Update January 8, 2011
DWD pulled out of his back right leg bandage yesterday and again this morning while I was running errands. When I came home I could see it had bled a little. His front right foot is hurting him a lot again today. And after the vet visit, DWD insisted on running in the field for a while with Sandy Neighbor Dog – so he’s probably going to be pretty sore for the rest of the day and into tomorrow. The vet visit went well. We should have the bandages off Monday. He continues on California Natural Lamb/Rice and Bravo lamb grind and California Natural Lamb/Rice (with oatmeal) bars (treats). He will stay on 250 mg Ceph 3x/day through January and then down to 2x/day. He will stay on the Itraconazole compound through January and then probably to ketoconazole every other day. He’s changed from every other day Pred to 5 mg on MWF. He still takes zinc. He gets coconut oil, Prozyme, and Wobenzyme as supplements. He gets Animax applied to his chin 3x/day and will get it on his feet 2x/day when the bandages come off for a while. He will get allergy testing in about three weeks.
While we were at the vet today, there was a tiny Rottie mix puppy that Dodger was very interested in so he got to check the pup out and he was very gentle with the pup, it was very cute. Everyone at the vet’s office agrees that he’s never had a bad day through this all. Thanks again for caring about this LWD and have a great weekend. Daine
Update January 10, 2011
DWD had his bandages removed today and then ran alongside me while I went to get Sandy Neighbor Dog out. It was a little too much for him. The smaller of the granuloma on the right front foot was the deepest of all, it went all the way through to the bottom of his paw – but that was the ONLY one that did that. His feet are obviously swollen and hurt him a lot right now. He has Animax ointment on his feet/chin – 3x a day now and he’s wearing children’s athletic socks over his feet secured above the paw with self-sticking velcro. For they’ll get changed 2-3 x a day. His chin looks great. He goes back on Saturday to have the sutures removed. Dr. Chris put some sutures in where the big granuloma was cut away. DWD will have his allergy testing on 2/3/11. We want to sincerely thank you all again for the support you’ve given DWD and us. It’s made things so much easier.
Update January 15, 2011
DWD had the stitches from a couple of his toes removed this am. He’s doing very well and he’s healing nicely. He stopped taking tram on Tues or Wed night. He’s not having any pain and has definitely found his wag. He sat as quiet as he could while the stitches came out this morning, but became very brave and bossy and barked up a storm while sitting in John’s lap. There’s very little swelling of his paws – especially compared to Monday’s pics. But today we can tell that both of the huge granulomas – the big nasty pink/red one on his right front paw and the BIG, nasty black one on his left front paw actually did grow through the paw – top to the pad. Dodger will get a soak and light scrub of feet and chin for at least the next week. We are leaving his feet uncovered through most of the day now – covered and with Animax at night. I expect we’ll start using the malaseb spray again at night too before long. His medications and his supplements and food are still the same. In February he will go down to 2 Ceph/day and the vet will decide about the Pred and Ketoconazole or alternative then. Dodger Westie Dog will have his allergy testing blood drawn on 2/3/11. This will be the last update until 2/3/11 unless there’s something worth sharing. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your support over the past two and a half months and for caring about this LWD. Lisa wrote to me yesterday and said she misses him terribly. She’s thrilled with his surgery and it’s the outcome so far though, and she starts college classes again on Monday and said she made the right decision to let DWD go.
Update February 2, 2011
DWD went back to the vet today. Dodger’s front feet are doing very well. So is his chin.
His rear left paw has some swelling and bloody draining. This is the foot that was lanced and biopsied in early December. No granuloma has grown, but this was a change for the worse compared to last month. His right ear has become much softer/thin, but the left ear is about as leathery as it was at last visit last month. His meds were changed to: Ceph 250 2x/day, ketoconazole 1/2 tab/day x 30 days, zinc daily, Pred on M/W/F. He’s still on prozyme but the vet wants him off wobenzyme for now. He still gets some coconut oil in his food each day. He gets Antimax on his paws at night and they are covered. He’ gotten the wraps off his left front paw quite a bit recently, and his feet aren’t covered during the day as it’s been very wet here. He had blood drawn for allergy testing today.
Oh – vet wants me to spray with Genesis spray once a week. DWD will probably go back to the vet when the allergy testing results are in – about ten days. Otherwise, DWD is doing well. He’s gotten bored with his treats and food, so that’s become a bit of a battle and he’s managed to grab others’ treats sometimes. He also has a very bad habit of eating things in the yard – birdseed, leaves, twigs, etc. He’s also grabbed and eaten some other dog’s hair (from clippers). Found a no-fail way to get him to take his meds. He gets them in a small amount of Bravo as I SHOW him another wad of Bravo. He’s greedy so he gobbles down the first wad with the meds, without his usual inspection, and goes for the second wad. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or thoughts. Thanks for caring about this LWD. Daine
Update April 6, 2011
It’s been just over three months since Dodger had surgery to remove the masses to his three paws (fourth was done four months earlier as a test), so it seems like a good time to send an update. Dodge’s chin has healed nicely. And his paws are doing very well too, but they continue to be a challenge. Dodger’s had a couple more growths – one that the vet had to remove from the first paw that was done back in November. Dodger is holding his own but the paws still blister at times and always seem to drain – but not much. He gets a 15-20 minute foot soak and scrub with a boar bristle brush on most days, followed by Genesis spray to all paws. And every night he gets Antimax ointment rubbed in between his toes and his feet are covered with socks ’til morning. He’s been on allergy shots for almost two months now and is at ten-day intervals now. Dodger’s going to stay on a limited diet of California Natural Lamb & Rice, he also gets some peanut butter and raw food – but not much, and the occasional cat food he steals. One problem we have is that he has the equivalent of Pica for dogs. He eats a lot of what he finds outdoors – plants, grass, seed pods, you name it – he’s not fussy. Our vet decided its better for Dodger to remain on Ceph (2x/day), Ketoconazole (1/2 tab/day), and Pred (3x/wk) along with supplements and probiotics until Fall’s first hard frost than to risk it. But instead of going to the vet three to four times a week – now he goes about once a month. WestieMed, we can’t thank you enough for the assistance you provided with Dodger’s medical bills! Dodger, Daine, & John Brundage
Update December 20, 2011
Well, our first full year as Dodger’s permanent guardians is quickly coming to a close and what better time to send an update to WestieMed about him.
It’s been a year full of ups and downs for Dodger. Unfortunately, the growths on his feet returned and were removed several times, much more so on his front paws. We don’t know what stimulates their growth, but we’re pretty sure it’s environmental and he’s much worse in the humid, hot summer months.
In June Dodger got a very bad infection in one of his back legs that turned out to be pseudomonas, an opportunistic bacteria. He spent a month on Baytril and beat the infection but it was a scary time.
We’ve had lots of ups this year too! After Dodger’s pseudomonas episode, Dr. Chris decided to take him off the prednisone he’d been taking to suppress his immune system for well over a year and Dodger did great! Since then we’ve also cut his ketoconazole to 1/4 tab 3x/wk from 1/2 tab every day! Oh, and that “thing” that was cut off his chin in January – it never came back and all the hair grew back!
Dodger gets his allergy shots every month now and he eats a limited ingredient diet.
He doesn’t have to have to have his feet soaked and scrubbed anymore because we learned it didn’t really help him, we put Antimax antibiotic ointment on Dodger’s feet and cover them in socks each night. He’s been free of yeast infections this past year and that’s been wonderful! Also, there’ve been no lampshade collars for Dodger to endure since he joined our family in late 2010 and we’re really happy about that, too.
But Dodger’s skin is very thick which makes it quite difficult to give his allergy shots and it’s become all but impossible to intubate him; thankfully so far and he’s been able to have what medical procedures he’s needed with local sedation. Over the past months, Dodger’s had a harder and harder time evacuating his bowels so we’re watching that closely and hoping the problem won’t cause any problems or worsen.
Dodger’s got a wonderful disposition, he’s a bossy, chatty, opinionated little white dog who always seems to make the best out of whatever life dishes out to him. He loves people and attention and gives our vet’s staff and our visitors gentle “love bites” whenever he can. Oh, and Dodger eventually wore us down at bedtime and staked claim to a good portion of our bed a few months back. He’s very pleased with himself about that accomplishment and I swear he smiles when I put him on the bed each night.
In closing, we want to thank WestiMed once again for being there for Dodger and for us! It’s made all the difference in the world to know there are so many in WestieMed-land who’ve cared about and rallied for our little, bossy guy.
Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday and a prosperous new year.
Update June 22, 2012
I am sad to tell those of you who knew Dodger that we had him put to sleep this morning. Dodger came to us on 11/1/10 – initially to stay with us a few months, but it took a NY second for all of us to realize he’d come home. He brought John and me so much joy and laughter and happiness at the same time our hearts broke at the fate he was destined to on this earth. I will be forever grateful to all the wonderful people who shared our joy and sadness and who rallied for him and loved him from afar. Your support and encouragement were very much appreciated by Dodger Westie Dog and by John and me.
Summers were never easy for Dodger and this one was worse than the last two. He struggled for the past six weeks with boils that came back with a vengeance. Until yesterday we were able to cover the pain that came and went as the sores came and left. But by last night even high doses of tram and rimadyl barely helped. There were other problems too – related to the treatment and to the disease, whatever it was. After we got him comfortable today, he spent the morning in the yard, lying on his island and in the grass – barking and watching all the things that go on in the yard. Today he was as he always was – happy, opinionated, bossy, and stoic.
Thank you again for all your support and love – to Dodger and to me. It made all the difference in the world.
If there is a place that transcends the pain and suffering of live as we know it, and I believe there is, Dodger is now able to run and eat and drink free of the pain, suffering, encumbrances, limitations, and challenges that he experienced in his life up til now.
Hello, my name is Rosie. I am about four years old and I have spent all of my life in a PA Puppy Mill. My home was a wire cage and I was used for breeding purposes only. I had very little contact with people. Due to the wire cage and poor care in the puppy mill, my feet and teeth are in terrible shape. I have had repeated infections in all my paws.
One day a very kind person from the PA AG Department came and rescued me from my poor environment. She called the MD Westie Rescue to find me a good loving home. Due to the kindness of the MD Westie Rescue, I was placed in a temporary foster home for about a month for evaluation, for medical care, and for finding me a loving family. Then some nice people found out about me and brought me home with them. I have been in their home from January 2010 to the present. My current owners are known to me as “Momma and Poppa”. They take good care of me and I have been under the care of a veterinarian who gave me multiple antibiotics and pain medications for my infections. I have been on medications since I have been living with Momma and Poppa. I had numerous surgeries (5) on all my paws. My Momma changes my dressings every other day.
When I first came to my new home, I was very timid and afraid of any human contact. My Momma and Poppa have been very patient and good to me. They give me lots of love. They take me on car rides and I can watch TV with them. I love to play outside. Now, I am much more sociable and even walk on my hind legs when I get excited.
I am restricted in what I can eat because the Vet believes I may have an allergy. I am on special dog food and allergy medication. Hopefully, this will prevent me from getting any more infections. Once my infections are under control, they will take care of my dental problems.
All this care has cost my owners, Momma and Poppa, a lot of money. Due to the wonderful people of WestieMed, they will receive financial help. Their bills total over $2,400 and climbing. I feel so much better now than I have ever felt in my life. I am beginning to trust and feel much love at my new home. I know this will be my “forever home”.
We want to thank WestieMed for all your help and support. We love our little “Rosie” and we will do all we can to make life better for her.
Thanks again and God Bless, Bill and Marge Lutz Fallston, MD
Update May 3, 2010
Basically, Rosie is doing very well, except for her two paws, one of which requires lots of care. The other three are a lot better than when we first got her last Jan. We spend ~ $260/mo. (includes a 20% discount) on her caretaking her to see our vet and having him clean out her re-occurring cysts and 4 drugs given daily. We will send you a more detailed update on Rosie when we get back from vacation in October. She is a sweet and lovable lady.
Update April 15, 2011
We had Rosie for the past sixteen months and as you can see via the attachments, she is 100% better than when we got her. She only had two flare-ups in the past six months and she recovered very nicely. As long as Rosie gets one Atropica tablet every other day is fed venison and potato dog food that we get from our Vet and wears her boots very time she go outside, her flare-ups seem to be controlled and eventually eliminated. One thing we need to do is to housebreak her. She does know how to tell us when she needs to go outside and thus she pees either on the floor or on pads. Thus, Rosie is restricted either to the kitchen or on our bed (she doesn’t mess on the bed). Rosie and our cat gets along very well — no fights. She is also good around our grandsons (ages two and four), but we need to watch them to ensure they don’t hurt her. There are times when I believe that she remembers her past, from the way she reacts when she is sleeping and having bad dreams. All-in-All, she is a wonderful pet and companion and we love her dearly. She weights ~ 22 pounds and in good health except for her allergy.
Any suggestions you may have in getting her house broken will be greatly appreciated.
We thank WestieMed for their help in getting Rosie back to good health.