Pickles unique story comes to us from a family with a long history of Westie rescues! Pckles is a dedicated service dog who sticks by his handler’s side to signal for help if needed due to her life-threatening heart condition.
Pickles was diagnosed with Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, (KCS) also known as dry eye. This condition results when the tear ducts no longer produce tears resulting dry, itchy inflamed eyes (imagine a dry eye with sand in it) the inflammation causes a buildup of mucus that covers his eye, blocks his vision and if left to sit too long would create sores on his eyelids. Up until now, his owner had been able to manage it with meds & constant flushing of the eye, but the inflammation was beginning to starve his eyes of blood-flow and causing progressive blindness.
The request for help became urgent after Pickles walked into a branch that caused a cut near his right eye & in his panic to get away he nearly fell in a storm drain! “Watching him go through this breaks my heart,” said his handler who lacked the funds for the much-needed treatments Pickles needed. She noted that “he’s so full of life and losing his sight is crushing his soul, he’s getting more anxious and fearful of what he can’t see (including the two cat’s he lives with)”.
Pickles needed help and it was clear he could wait no longer so his handler set out to get him the care he needed. This is when they found a very promising treatment option using pickles stem cells. The treatment involves the removal of pickles own stem cells and re-implanting them into his eyes which has been shown to cause the faulty cells to regenerate and become functional again.
Currently, this procedure is being done at two universities (neither of which was near Pickles) and it has had very promising outcomes with eight out of twelve dogs having full remission and the remaining four having significant improvement. Luckily for Pickles, his handler was able to find a local vet willing to perform the procedure but it would be costly.
After trying to raise funds on her own, Pickles handler turned to WestieMed with this unique story.
As of now, he has undergone his first phase in the treatment and is responding well. After just two days, he’s showing signs of improved functioning in one eye.
Thanks to WestieMed for helping to fund his treatment.
It’s expected that Pickles will go on to live a long, happy and healthy life, working each day and positively touching the lives of everyone he meets.
Update November 17, 2016
Pickles eyes have had some improvement, (not as much as we had hoped for) but at least now, the medications that had stopped working for him are actually working again which is a godsend.
Otherwise, he’s doing well, he seems to be more comfortable overall.
Thanks again for your assistance in helping him. We GREATLY appreciate it.
Clancy was one of seven Westies picked up from a breeder. He is a young Westie boy with a bright future. Clancy warmed up to people quickly and now loves the attention of any kind. When running along with a group of Westies, if he sees me, he always veers off and runs over for a pat on the head. He loves to romp and play, but he always wants to be acknowledged by people.
Clancy doesn’t let his eye problems slow him down. He does have problems seeing things at their correct height and some depth perception trouble, but he is always up for anything! Imagine if you had skin and eyelashes growing from the center of your cornea! Clancy is very, very tolerant when he has his eyes cleaned several times a day. Discharge sticks to his dermoid growths and extra eyelashes and hardens quickly. He never fusses when having his 3 eye meds administered twice a day. He is a very good boy and seems to know that we are trying to help him.
Clancy’s eye surgery will remove the dermoid growths from both eyes and they will never grow back. He may need some eyelid reconstruction, but we won’t know that until the surgery is underway. He will always have dry eye syndrome, but it is very treatable with eye drops each day and many dogs have that condition. Removing the dermoid growths from his corneas will allow him to see perfectly for the first time in his life! Removing them will end any chance of the growths slowly taking his eyesight away.
Thank you WestieMed! This energetic Westie boy loves his new life of freedom and will soon be able to see perfectly! He has many wonderful days of living a good life ahead of him.
Sherry Moore Clancy’s Foster Mom Westie Rescue Southeast
Updated February 1, 2015
I wanted to let you know Clancy has been adopted. He has gone to live in Pinehurst, NC. He has been renamed Zeke. His new home is only about an hour away from a good animal ophthalmologist. If he needs to be checked by one yearly, per his vet, his family is very willing to take him.
Clancy is having some anxiety issues while settling in his new home. He adores his new family and showers them with love.
Thanks so very much to WestieMed for helping this sweet boy to have the best future possible.
Sherry Moore WRSE
Updated September 6, 2015
Clancy was adopted in December 2014. He is settled in and living happily ever after in NC.
Clancy’s name is now Zeke. His new Mom says he is a sweetheart and is already spoiled. He loves to play outside and chase balls. He usually gets to do this several times throughout the day. Mom knows he loves her, but can tell that Zeke is very bonded with his new Dad.
He has a crate and the door is kept open in case a loud noise scares him, he can dart in there and feel safer. WRSE rescued him from a puppy mill and it takes time to get over many of the things that can scar a dog mentally and emotionally. His open crate is his safe place. He enjoys riding in the car and loves going to the family beach house on the NC coast. Zeke has a buddy that lives next door and several dog buddies at the beach.
Zeke will always need eye meds, even though his surgery on both eyes was successful. There is a chance that he could lose the sight in his left eye when he is older, but we are all keeping our hopes up about that not happening.
Clancy/Zeke has filled a hole in his ‘pawrents’ heart. Their previous little Westie family member passed away. He is bringing lots of joy to them and they are his everything. Because he spent his life in a mill, he has a lot of catching up to do in belonging to a family. He is getting more love and attention than he could have ever dreamed of.
Thanks to WestieMed, Clancy/Zeke had eye surgery and is living like a Westie boy should. Thank you to everyone at WestieMed and the donors who support this wonderful organization.
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.
The day before Easter, a shelter in southern-most New Jersey notified me that they had a Westie and wanted me to take him. I said yes, of course, and I got Whitey on Easter Sunday. The shelter told me that another Westie Rescue group had declined to help Whitey before they called me, so I was his last chance.
Whitey had a retained diseased testicle which was the source of most of his troubles. That testicle was grossly enlarged and resulted in a lump the size of an orange hanging off his belly in the groin area. His skin was covered with deep dime-sized open, oozing sores all over his body, legs, tail, and head. This was a result of the hormones from the abnormal testicle, and a staph infection had also taken over his poor body and his skin. He also seemed to feel sick and was lethargic and not eating well, he had a Malassezia condition, and a great deal of flaking and dry matter was coming off his skin. In addition, his dry eye had not been treated and his eyes were infected, and his sight is almost entirely gone (it seems like perhaps he can see shadows out of one eye). He had an infected ear as well, and his teeth were in bad shape; many were so rotten they would break off when gently touched. My veterinarian performed emergency surgery the day after Easter, removing the diseased testicle and the rotten teeth; the vet cleaned his remaining teeth, not for cosmetic purposes, but in hopes that this could spare him a need for future dental work.
Whitey remains on antibiotics and anti-yeast medication. His prognosis is excellent: his skin and his spirit are healing well. He is a friendly boy who likes people and other dogs; he also likes to go for (short) walks and is not intimidated by the fact that he cannot see. He is also housebroken. I hope to find him a home with a loving owner who will continue his health care regimen and give him a good long life.
Lisa Curry Garden State Westie Rescue
Update October 15, 2013
Whitey is doing well. He’s over his infections and he looks and feels better in all regards. He was adopted to a very loving home close to where I live so I get to see him sometimes.
Seven years ago, I brought two little Westie puppies into my life: Max and Piper. They have been such a joy for me and my family (grandpops loves his grand-dogs!), and I’ve always known I’d expand our family one day. Because of my love for Westies, I check the Westie Rescue of Tennessee quite often to see the Westies they have for adoption, but the timing was just never right – and to be honest, WRT’s babies get adopted out very quickly.
However, back in early June, I came across a note on WRT’s Facebook page about a little blind Westie girl. When I read the note, my heart just broke for this poor little girl that had obviously been left to fend for herself. A farmer found her hiding under a shed on his farm. Her hair was extremely long and matted, and she had severe scabbing around her eyes, as well as ear mites. She was underweight and was in desperate need of some TLC – as well as medical help for her eyes.
She was brought to Nancy, a Westie breeder in Arkansas, who shared her story with WRT. Nancy provided her shelter, food, and medical care, but the goal was to find her a furever home where she would feel loved and protected.
After I read the story, I knew Ellie had to come home to Alabama and become part of my Westie family. I looked up from my laptop and asked Max & Piper (yes, I asked the kids!) if they wanted a new sister…? Max’s ears perked up and he ran over to the toy basket and picked up one of his favorite toys – a little pink elephant that I call Ellie. Well, that was enough of a sign for me. I had always said my next girl dog would be named Zoe or Ellie, and Max bringing me that toy just sealed the deal! Thanks to some wonderful volunteers (Nancy, Patti Holden, and Carol Utley), we were able to get Ellie to her new home on 6/25. Little did I know what I was in for!
Ellie came in and instantly peed on the floor! I thought, “Oh no! I’ve been living with two dogs for seven years that are housebroken – what am I going to do?!” I just went back to what worked with my two little ones, and before I knew it – just two weeks later – Ellie was housebroken and I no longer had kept her in her pen (it was a nice large area), if I left for an extended period of time. She was using the doggie door like Max and Piper and using the outdoor potty pad if I had to be gone longer than normal.
She has very quickly learned how comfy the sofa is, and after only a couple of days, she learned to use the doggie steps to get up on the sofa and the bed. She still sleeps in her crate at night because I’m worried she might fall off of the bed, but she loves her little “house” at night – especially the down pillow she sleeps on! She has her favorite treats and, after prying them away from Max, has found 2 favorite toys – a pink piggy and a pink “diva dog” purse.
My biggest concern with Ellie was her eyes, of course. Although I had been given an antibiotic eye ointment to use on her eyes (the vet had given Nancy a sample before she was brought to Alabama), her eyes would still get mucky and crusty. Another wonderful Wesite supporter, Diane Vann, pointed me in the direction of Veterinary Eye Specialist in Birmingham (and also WestieMed).
I assumed they would tell me the worst – that Ellie had cataracts or had no sight and would never see. But instead, they told me wonderful news! While Ellie’s sight would never be 100% and her extreme dry eye condition was permanent and ulcers had formed on one of her eyes, she should get some sight back in both eyes!
I was so excited, but since I am currently out of work, I was worried about paying for her eye drops and vet visits each month. Thank you WestieMed for alleviating this financial burden for the next year! Believe it or not, after only a week of using the special eye drops, Ellie’s eyes are already improving. They look normal, not quite as bright and shiny as I want, but there is no muckiness or crusting.
She may have to have these drops for the rest of her life, but I don’t care! I would do anything for this little Westie/St Bernard (she gives some very sloppy St Bernard type kisses!). So here we are now, one big happy Westie family! I am amazed every day at how well Ellie does with such little sight. And while I know Ellie is thankful to have a home and forever furr-friends, I am even more thankful for the love and joy she brings me every day!
Update September 26, 2011
I just wanted to give you an update on our little Ellie! She is doing great!
She has been on special eye drops for the dryness and Terramycin for infection. Her tear ducts are producing tears, but she’ll probably be on the meds for life. As far as any sight regained, I know that she seems more sensitive to light, but time will tell with that. Her little eyelids are funny, b/c the lashes grow in too think so I trim them weekly so I can see her great big beautiful brown eyes – which are shiny and rarely have any crusting or “gooping”. I don’t know how she does it, but she loves all of the pink toys we have – she has her own little set and has to have at least one to go to bed with at night – piggy, Ele the elephant, the pink princess purse, and, our newest, monk-monk – our pink monkey. I bought one in blue and one in pink and she totally ignores the blue one.
She loves her little crate at night. I just say, Ellie, it’s time to go nite-nite, and I’ll have one her toy waiting for her and she’ll grab it out of my hand and head straight into her down-filled little house. The next day, she always goes back and gets whichever ever animal she took to bed. While I’d love to have the crate out of my room, I don’t think I will ever let Ellie in the bed like Max and Piper. I’m too scared she’ll fall off. Plus, three dogs in the bed?? I don’t know. They may take over completely if I do that!
She is in treat Heaven, and she knows when I’m cooking their dinner –she runs around and around the kitchen until it finally hits the bowl.
She’s even learning the art of playtime with Max & Piper. I think it scared her at first, but now she just plays along.
All-in-all, we are one big happy Westie family! Thank you WestieMed for your support!!
Update July 7, 2012
Ellie is doing great! She still has to continue to get eye drops every day, but her sight has actually improved.
Being out of work (Still!), WestieMed’s help was invaluable!
Bailey was an owner release from a family of Pearl City, NY to Westie Rescue of NY. Bailey is eleven years old. When his previous owner contacted us, we were told that Bailey had some “skin issues”. They let me know that they tried to help him, but he needed more time and attention that they were able to give him because they have three small children. We were sent a few photos, which we later found out were about nine months old. Upon contact with their Vet, we found out that Bailey had always had skin issues that were addressed sporadically. It seems that they took him into the vet, but didn’t always follow through on treatments. It was the Vet’s opinion that Bailey desperately needed treatment and follow through. We agreed to take Bailey in and deal with all his issues.
Through the great generosity of the volunteers of Westie Rescue of NY, we were able to coordinate transportation across NY state from Pearl River, just outside NYC to Rochester, NY, approximately 325 miles away. Upon meeting Bailey for the first time, my heart broke. This Westie had the worse skin condition I had ever seen. His left eye was almost completely sealed shut. Just to the left of his mouth a large sore broke through his fur. His underbelly was completely black with very tough skin. But, through all this Bailey was a sweet boy. The lady who transported Bailey let me know he was very good during the whole trip.
Bailey arrived in Rochester, NY on a Sunday. The next day I made an urgent call to our Vet and was able to secure a late afternoon appointment. Bailey was diagnosed with an eye infection, chronic Dry Eye, UTI, Malassezia and skin lichenification.
Bailey was put on Clavamox for his infections, for his eyes he was prescribed Mycitracin Ointment and Optimmune Ointment and he was to be bathed with Malaseb shampoo on a regular basis
It’s been over a month since Bailey has been with us. The sore next to his mouth is gone, his eye infection is gone, although he will have to have Optimmune Ointment administered to his eye twice a day for the rest of his life. His skin has greatly improved, although I have been told that he will always have skin issues. We are committed to seeing everything through. On his next Vet appointment, we hope to find out his UTI has completely cleared up.
We will be updating again soon. Gloria Mueller, President, Westie Rescue of NY
Izzy came to Westie Rescue of TN on a volunteer rescue transport in late January. It was freezing cold and the wind was howling the night she was taken out of the cargo van and put into my car. She was in a cage stacked ceiling-high in the cramped van. It was so full because the rescue angel was trying to get as many dogs as she could out of their horrible living conditions. She still had an all-night drive ahead of her to deliver the various breeds of little dogs that did not yet realize that their lives were about to change. They were off to different rescues in several cities.
Izzy was in my car with six other dogs, including three other Westies. They got as far back in the crates as they could. They backed into the corners and trembled when we would reach in to touch them. They didn’t understand what the warm blankets and soft towels in the crates were. None of them cried none of them fussed, none of them dared to complain about the bitter cold during the time it took us to locate them in the cargo rescue van and transfer to my car. It took a while because Izzy and the other Westies were almost unrecognizable as Westies. There are no words to describe the filthy, disgusting shape they were in. Even though the wind chill factor was in the teens, we drove the 225 miles back home with the back window vents on my SUV open. The urine that permeated the inside of the car burned our eyes so strongly that we had no choice. Windows down, heat blasting. The little dogs had lived in their own urine for so long, it had become a part of them. Each one of them had a blank look in their eyes that I will never forget. I had to look hard to find Izzy’s little eyes. They were covered by so much dirty, matted hair.
I would later learn that she suffered from severe dry eyes that had never been treated. The worst-case the vet had ever seen. Imagine your eyes hurting and burning and scratching for four or five long years and not being able to tell anyone. Not that anyone, where she came from, would have cared. Because of not being treated, she suffered eye damage and will now have a vision impairment that can never be healed. She will need eye drops every day for the rest of her life to ease her discomfort. She also had infections in both eyes. Both of her dewclaws were so long that they had embedded into her skin. I can only imagine how it must have hurt to walk. She had infections and yeast on all of her feet and between her pads. She had an infection in both ears. Places on her skin were infected from pure filth more than likely. She had hook and whipworms. She had a urinary tract infection. Her little mouth was in horrible shape. She had severe dental disease and had to have teeth pulled. A week after arriving at the vet, Izzy had to have surgery for bladder stones. Izzy was so traumatized that I began to wonder if there was even a little Westie left in that tired and mistreated body. If only there were some way to show the people that go to the pet shops what is left behind when the puppy truck pulls out to make deliveries. All they see are the cute little clean puppies. They never see the broken, tired and dirty little bodies that make those puppies possible because they are forced to. They never look into the breeding dog’s face and see the pain and long-suffering.
Izzy stayed with the vet for two weeks. She received all kinds of medicine for her many infections throughout her little body. Imagine how wonderful it must have felt for her eyes not to itch and hurt. Even though it was uncomfortable for a little bit, it soon felt better to walk without the sharp nails grown into her skin. Her mouth began to heal and her appetite picked up. She had her spay surgery and was on her way to better health. Soon Izzy was off to her foster home. When we arrived there, Izzy stood perfectly still in the driveway. She didn’t dare move. She did not understand the open space, the feeling of not being confined. She was afraid of the unknown–freedom. Her little foster host Westie ran around her to welcome her to their home. Izzy just stared straight ahead and shook. Her sweet foster Mom walked over and took her into her arms and welcomed Izzy into a safe world for the first time in her life.
Izzy continues to blossom and heal, both physically and mentally. She patiently waits at her wonderful foster home for the family that will take her into their home and makes her theirs forever.
Thanks to WestieMed, our rescue did not go into the red after taking in these four sweet Westies. We did not have to temporarily shut down our rescue while we paid off our over $3,000.00 debt and then try to start over. Thanks to WestieMed, we are able to continue to move forward with our determination stronger than ever. Bette Heidorn, WestieMed and all the wonderful people there are inspirations to us. It is their heart’s desire to help heal every little Westie that they possibly can. WestieMed makes a difference in countless little Westie lives every single day. The dogs they affect move on through life bringing joy and companionship for many, many people. If Westies could talk, I am sure they would sing the praises of this wonderful organization. I know a little girl named Izzy that would be in the front row of that choir!
On the morning of May 5, 2001, I got a call from the director of the Islip Town Animal Shelter saying they had a Westie they thought I should take a look at. He was picked up as a stray and they thought he might be around five years old. I was told he was in pretty bad shape but I was not prepared for what awaited me. When they brought him to me in the director’s office my first thought was that this dog had been set on fire. His skin was blackened with raw, red patches, sores oozing yellow and fur falling off in clumps. His eyes were two pools of yellow pus and his ears were so infected and swollen they were closed, causing him to be deaf. He was extremely thin and weak. Not able to lift his head he would rest his nose on the floor. I did not think this dog could be saved. Then he slowly, painfully walked to me and wagged his tail ever so slightly. I scooped him up and brought him to my vet.
Dr. Pollack worked on Buddy for two hours, cleaning eyes, ears and taking tests. Buddy was found to have severe Malassezia which developed into a fungus. The infection in his eyes was due to dry eye and his deafness because of a raging yeast infection. The test showed Buddy’s white blood count was dangerously high and his blood proteins were very low. He weighed in at just fourteen pounds and couldn’t keep any food down. We were in a fight for Buddy’s life.
That first day I was sent home with Optimmune Cyclosporine ointment, Triple Antibiotic HC ointment, Synotic, Maleseb shampoo, Keflex, Atarax, and Ketoconazole. Buddy needed to be bathed daily and have his eyes and ears flushed. He was fed small amounts of food until he could eat without vomiting and then we just let him eat as much as he could hold. The vet said puppy food would be best as it was higher in calories and Buddy needed to gain weight.
Dr. Pollack saw Buddy approximately every ten days to do a complete blood workup. In the first two weeks he didn’t gain any weight and his blood count was worse. Then gradually Buddy began to respond to treatment. His eyes cleared up and his ears started to open. He was gaining weight and his hearing was slowly returning. His skin wasn’t so raw and had started to heal. But his blood work continued to worry us. Dr. Pollack ordered some x-rays and found his liver was slightly enlarged but everything looked okay.
We continued to give Buddy his daily baths and medication. He started to act more like a Westie, bouncing around the yard, barking at rabbits and investigating everything he could get his nose into. The next round of tests gave us good news. Buddy’s blood work finally came back normal. He was up to nineteen pounds and the fungus was nearly all gone.
On June 25, 2001, Dr. Pollack gave us the go-ahead to have Buddy neutered. His appointment is set for June 30. Once he is recovered from surgery, Buddy will be going to the forever home that has been patiently waiting for him.
Thank you WestieMed for your assistance with Buddy’s enormous medical bills!
Renee Savaria New York Westie Rescue
Update August 2001
Angus has been bathed twice this week. he gets his pills in a ball of liverwurst and loves it. He is a good eater and also likes the dog biscuit treats we got for him. He takes turns following Gene and me around the house. He sits in my gym and watches us work out every day and runs right over to be petted, whenever either of us stops to rest for a few seconds.
It is hard to believe that he has been with us for just one week today, for he has become a full-time member of our family, sitting on the couch with us or lying in bed with us and getting scratched or petted constantly. He does not kiss us yet, but we make up for it by kissing him. He is happy and full of life, wagging his tail at lightning speed, playing with the tennis balls that I bought him. He immediately decided that if we roll them to him he can roll them back with his nose, paw or mouth. If he uses his mouth, he does it by clicking his teeth together and it can be heard throughout the adult community we live in. Our grandchildren adore him and the youngest, Jacqueline, informed everyone that he is happy because “he loves her so much.”
We have told the folks in the village about his background and he is now pointed out and viewed as a hero, which, indeed he is, cheerfully coming through his horrendous past. He was truly blessed by Westie Rescue and his “nurse” Renee Savaria and my wife and me are now blessed with Angus. His new name hasn’t caught on with him yet, but I told him, this morning, that he and I share our Celtic heritage and that is why God gave him to us. Thank you all for filling our home with happiness.
Ed and Gene McGrath
Update July 2002
Angus is healthy and extraordinarily happy, since the entire adult community where we live, Sunrise Village, love him, as well as our children and grandchildren. The grandchildren are more thrilled that Angus is coming to visit, than the fact that we are arriving at the same time. Our children have gotten dishes and food for him, at their homes. When we take him into the town of Sayville with us, he is surrounded by children and adults alike. It is difficult to get through the town with his fan club. When he meets new folks, we always tell them about Westie Rescue on line. However, his skin condition is constantly lurking in the background and will flare up at any moment. What surprises us is that it gets almost out of control within a few days, despite bathing, apple vinegar dips, and medication. We started to take him to our original veterinary but felt that they didn’t understand the urgency or severity of his allergies and so, we have returned to the Sayville vet. Everyone who has treated him there has been very caring and seem to be more knowledgeable about his condition. He is diagnosed with a dual problem. The first is the skin allergies to his environment, grass, etc., which we treat, along with his eyes and ears, on a daily basis. They feel we must get this controlled and then attack the virus, which they refer to as “elephant skin” or areas of dark, thick skin. We hope to get it all under control by the Fall. We love him and it is evident that he loves us and has made himself at home. By the way, he is incredibly well housebroken. He is just a good guy. Many thanks to you folks. By the way, he weighs 23 pounds and may have to lose a pound, to regain his svelte shape.