In January of this year, we were contacted by Bocci’s owner. She had gotten Bocci as a puppy and he was fine and healthy for years. Then he began having ear infections. She said she worked with the vet for a few years but the infections just kept coming back. Her vet told her the only way to treat him at this point was an ear ablation surgery. She had a baby and was a single mother with a new baby and other children to care for. She contacted us for assistance because she could no longer afford the cost to continue treating him.
Bocci came to us on January 29, 2017. Our first intake exam confirmed the ear infection. That vet referred us to a specialist, who also talked about the ear ablation. Unfortunately, the person that had agreed to foster Bocci was having a difficult time caring for him so we moved him to his current foster home. The distance between the foster homes required us to take him to yet another vet who really felt that they might be able to help him without the surgery. Sadly, it didn’t work and we need the surgery to help finally clear up the infection.
Update January 24, 2018
Thank you again to WestieMed for the help for Bocci.
He is doing so well now. The pain he was always in from the chronic ear infections is gone and he is enjoying life again. The surgery went very well, though it left him with a droopy ear, which makes him even cuter.
Unfortunately, due to his advanced age at twelve years, we’ve had no interested adopters, but he loves his foster home.
Chloe is a typical 6-year old Westie with plenty of Westitude, she has the most charming prance, head held high and a proud gait, we call it “going to the White House”. She comes from an incredibly loving family that has had her since she was a puppy and due to life changes they made the heartbreaking selfless decision to surrender her to rescue so that she can have access to the medical care she needs and be in a more stable environment.
When she was one and a half she began to scratch her ears and cry, the vet put her on antibiotics and Prednisone along with ear drops. For the next four years, Chloe experienced recurrent ear infections. As the vet explained, long-standing ear infections can result in irreversible damage to the ear canal which is exactly what happened with Chloe. Due to chronic inflammation, the ear canal became thickened and turned into bone. As a result, Chloe’s infection cannot be treated with medication.
By the age of five Chloe’s ears completely closed; for anyone who is not familiar with this the only way to describe it is to say her ears looked more like a belly button. However, even though her ears were closed, the infections continued, resulting in the formation of an abscess in her cheek that needed to be opened and drained. The vet informed her mum that Chloe needed a double ear ablation- surgery in which the diseased ear canals are removed entirely.
With the help of WestieMed Chloe is getting the surgery that she needs. Prior to surgery, Chloe has been put on a strict diet – prescription food, water and no treats (poor girl no treats!) The vet said that potentially she could have severe allergies adding to the inflammation in her ears. Until we can narrow allergies she will not even be receiving oral heartworm meds because of the flavoring.
Prognosis is very good post-surgery. The hope is that Chloe is going to feel like a “new dog” and might be acting more like a puppy again. The vet said that typically a dog that has chronic deep-seated ear infections like Chloe will be much less active than a normal dog because they do not feel well. Once she receives the surgery infections are most often times cured permanently.
Update April 12, 2017
From her adopters/new forever family:
She has settled into our household and is a wonderful, playful, funny and in every way great dog. Our household now includes my son’s rescue dog “Moose.” Chloe and Moose are BFFs – they watch out the windows together, take a long morning walk together and usually race out to the back yard together.
She had a dental cleaning a couple of weeks ago – she didn’t need any extractions just cleaning. There was a small mass in an area of her gums which the vet removed and sent for biopsy. He didn’t expect any serious problem and turned out, fortunately, there wasn’t.
She is really comfortable in her new home and not as needy of me as she was in the first months. She may snuggle up for a nap. She still likes to hop up on the back of a chair or sofa and nap right beside one of her humans who happens to be watching TV or reading a book or whatever.
She is great with people, including visitors – no snapping, growling or any kind of aggressive behavior. We will soon be going to the Cape more often so I will stop by to see Kathryn and so Kathryn can visit Chloe. Oh, I meant to mention – she is one of the lucky 10% of dogs who have had ear ablations but still have some hearing. She turns towards sound and responds to a call of her name. She also sits and waits for her meals and sits for a treat.
Pasha started her journey as a foster in March 2013. She was very withdrawn, three kgs plus overweight, unfit, not socialized, had a severe yeast infection, typical Westie skin problems, wispy and thin hair all over her body, her back was dipped with the weight as she had a big round belly! She also had a severe bacterial infection in her ears called Pseudomonas. Her ears were in a terrible state, the skin inside the flap was very dry and split and the ear canal was nowhere to be seen. She didn’t bark and, as she was withdrawn, she spent her days finding places to hide and staying there until you managed to coax her out, usually for a treat! She had also been on a high dose of steroids.
When she came to live her first foster mum, she was taken off the steroids immediately, switched to a raw feeding diet and saw a homeopathic/holistic vet. Everything was going to be natural from here on in for Pasha.
Her weekly routine consisted of baths every 2/3 days with a natural shampoo and every other day her ears were cleaned with Malecetic Aural and a pinch of Thornit powder.
As the days and weeks went by she grew in confidence. Initially, she didn’t even know how to walk on grass; her daily walk with two other rescue Westies helped build her confidence. She lost weight and started to develop a little ‘Westietude’.
We were following Pasha’s journey on Facebook. In June 2013 we lost our little Westie, Poppy, and we were heartbroken. We made the decision we had to get another little Westie so we made inquiries about fostering Pasha. We met Pasha twice and we got the wonderful news we could foster her.
Towards the end of July 2013, Pasha came to live with us as a long-term foster. We continued with the raw feeding, weekly routine of baths and ear treatment and gave her plenty of exercises. Her skin improved, her hair grew back and she became a happy, contented dog. Despite a setback in December 2013, she continued her recovery until April 2014 when she began to have problems with her ears.
Unfortunately, her ear condition did not improve, even with a course of antibiotics and weekly ear cleaning. As the seasons changed she picked up four ear infections. We had blood tests undertaken, skin scrapings to check for allergies and biopsies taken which showed she was resistant and sensitive to most antibiotics! The decision was taken, after lengthy consultation to undertake a double Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA), which has left her completely deaf. Whilst her vet was performing the operation, he discovered cysts in both ears, one of which was so big and pussy it was pressing on skull causing a lot of pain. She had also become quite aggressive; we believe this was a result of what was happening with her ears.
As a result of losing her hearing, she lost all her confidence, withdrew into herself again and started to isolate herself again. She didn’t want to go out for a walk and was very hard to bathe without her becoming aggressive. So much so that when she went to be groomed, she became a ‘psycho’ dog when she sensed the clippers so she is unable to be groomed without being under sedation. We could completely understand this. To go from not hearing very well and in constant pain, to then waking up, unable to hear and in even more pain, her whole world had been turned upside down.
Her journey to recovery started, which wasn’t easy. She was very aggressive, withdrew even more and would snap at our other rescue Westie, Hamish, for no reason at all. We were not going to give up on her though. We kept remembering Pash as she was before her ear problems and we knew she’d come back to us with time as a friend whose dog had the same operation had taken two years to return to herself. Patience and determination is all we needed, and we had lots of that!
We had a behaviorist come in to help us and gradually she started to trust again.
At the end of November 2014, Pasha took a turn for the worse. Her blood sugars dropped dramatically, her legs went all wobbly and we had to give her glucose to bring the blood sugars back up. She kept falling over, her eyes went really gooey and she had a blank look in her eyes if that makes sense. Her skin went really dry and her hair was falling out whenever she shook or scratched. We actually thought we were going to lose her or have to have her put to sleep. She started a low dose of steroids which we really didn’t want to do considering her past with steroids but we had no choice. This was the last resort; if this didn’t work there would be no other choice but to put her to sleep. We were over the moon as she responded really well, her eyes became bright, and she started playing again. She wanted to be cuddled, we were so happy to see her like this.
She has just had a groom where she has had a full coat of fur underneath and it is healthy fur; this the first one. There is just one patch on her leg which she will not leave alone, licking and chewing it when she feels stressed. She barks now, will sit at the back window and watch out into the garden and the trees beyond; she loves watching the birds and animal programs on TV. She is loving her walks and really finding a zest for life again. We still have the aggression every now and then but this is more of a warning than wanting to bite us.
Pasha is a regular visitor to our lovely vet Neil Coode at Brookmead Vets in Cranleigh. She has been to see him two to three times a month, on average, and sometimes weekly. Unfortunately due to all her problems we cannot insure Pasha.
She has been battling for more than a year with a constant ear infection. She is still undergoing treatment as its refusing to heal. She has been on and off antibiotics and now antifungal treatment throughout the year. She has started a course K-Laser therapy which is a treatment that helps promote healthy tissues following an operation, resulting in a quicker healing process. We have just completed one course of K-Laser therapy and have two more planned.
We are so thankful for WestieMed helping Pasha with her treatment. Without your funding, she would not be able to have this treatment. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
All our love,
Debbie, Kevin, Pasha and Hamish
Update June 20, 2016
Following the initial K-Laser the ear flap really started to heal. We went on holiday to Scotland and we all had a great time. Pasha loved it and did lots of investigating round the locks and the woods.
We came back and all seemed OK. Her ear then had a flare-up. Back to the vets we went. Another course of K-Laser. Our vet has since been in contact with the lady from K-Laser who has been in contact with HQ in the States. They have devised a specific program for Pasha called Deep Healing which is every other day treatment for ten days and twice a week for two weeks, then to review and see how the ear is getting on. She also has another infection in the ear which she is on a ten-day course of antibiotics for. Following all this, Neil, her vet, and so are we, are really hoping this will kick the infection so her ear can finally heal. What Neil wants to avoid is further surgery as its not a surgery he can do and Pash would have to be referred to a specialist. He really doesn’t want to do this as he feels it would be more harmful to her and possibly dangerous. We’re hoping and sending her healing that this latest course of action will work.
I have also attached some more pictures as I realized I’d sent collages of pictures – these are to follow.
Thank you once again for your help, without your lovely donation, Pasha wouldn’t be able to have this treatment, thank you.
Best wishes, Debbie, Kevin, Pasha & Hamish x
Update May 20, 2017
I thought I’d send you an update on how Pasha is getting. OMG, how she has changed.
November last year she had a healing session from a friend. She asked us to keep her collar off in the house and only use it for walking her. Well, that change has worked, her ear is completely healed and she is trusting herself that she doesn’t hurt and wow, she has changed. She’s happy, she’s playing, she’s trying to get her stepbrother Hamish to play as well and when their on their walks she will often now run around like a headless chicken, she’s loving life. It’s so lovely to see her happy, she makes us laugh and cry.
We just want to say another massive massive thank you to WestieMed for your kind donation, without it she wouldn’t have been able to fight the infection and have the laser treatment, a combination of this and taking the collar off have really made the difference, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
I’ll send some pictures of our recent trip to Scotland. We all climbed up Cairngorm mountain, a total of 1600 feet, we thought it would tire them out, oh no, they both had a snooze and then wanted to go for a walk.
Thank you again.
Debbie, Kevin, Pasha and Hamish
Update September 3, 2017
I’m afraid I’m writing with sad news. On Monday 21st August, we had to say goodbye to Pasha. On Monday 7th August she had a stroke, she was recovering really well, and we were informed if she recovered over the next two weeks she would be ok.
In the second week, we were given the all-clear to take her out for a walk in her stroller, she’d also pulled her ACL. She had a lovely walk that Sunday and enjoyed the pub. That night she had another stroke and was in a bad way, we made that horrible decision. Her vet came, agreed with us and also wonders if she might have had a brain tumor, we’d been thinking that for over six months.
She’s home with us now in her heart casket and I have her fur & ashes in a heart pendant.
Thank you so very much to WestieMed for your help when we adopted her.
Hi, my name is Sharon and I’d like to tell you about a gorgeous little Westie named Betsy.
I previously adopted Sally (formally Phylan), a Westie, from Many Tears Animal Rescue and occasionally checked out the MTAR website to see how other Westies were doing.
I noticed a very small scared-looking Westie called Betsy on the website that wasn’t up for adoption because MTAR was trying to sort her ear infection/abscess out before she became available. She was an ex breeding bitch that was not treated for her ear infections, which lead to a blocked ear canal and a very large abscess. Betsy needed a major operation called a Total Ear Canal Ablation but the vet based near Many Tears Animal Rescue in Wales was unfortunately unable to carry out this vital operation on her because of the complications of the infection, abscess and the pain she would have to endure during. He suggested that she be put down
Sally Wallace, a long-standing fosterer for MTAR took on Betsy in the hope her local vet would be able to do the operation. Unfortunately, he was unable to carry out the TECA as he thought it would be far too painful for Betsy to be put through. The only solution left was to put Betsy up for adoption on the understanding that she may only have days, weeks or months to live and to have a final chance of as much pain-free peace and quiet, in a loving home, as possible.
I happened to check the MTAR website a few days after she was put up for adoption and my heart went out to her instantly. Reading her prognosis cemented my resolve to give her the best possible end to an otherwise neglected and painful life. I have two other Westies and they instantly took to Betsy when I visited Sally to collect Betsy. The very next day I took Betsy to my local vets called Newnham Court Veterinary Hospital to register her and have her ear checked over. Blood tests were taken and it turned out the infection in her ear was a nasty one (MRSA) that is resistant to all antibiotics bar one, which is injectable only. On hearing this I thought it would be all over for her but it turned out this practice had a specialist in ear complications such as this one. Martin Smith BVSc MMedVet (Med) CertVD GPCert (EM&S) MRCV is the specialist that saw Betsy and confirmed that he could do the operation. Because of this nasty bacteria that has infected Betsy’s ear, it would make the operation particularly difficult to do, due to removing as much of the infection as possible. There was also the possibility of facial nerve damage during the operation because of the very large abscess, scar tissue and possible growth around the facial nerves. The nerve damage would be cosmetic only and would not affect her quality of life. The ear canal had to be removed because the ear was completely blocked and the infection was trapped inside the inner ear and had burst through the inner ear wall to below the ear lobe causing the very large abscess.
The initial quote for the TECA operation was about £2500 including medicines required. She needed the operation ASAP so, on the advice of Mrs. Sally Wallace, I set about starting a Go Fund Me page. With the help of the Westie community on Facebook, Sir Hamish McTavish Westie Rescue Fund, Westies Rescued UK and many other very generous people the donations to date have reached £2855. The vet’s bills have so far totaled £5,450 due to her staying in the hospital for two weeks following the operation trying to fight the MRSA. The MRSA infection has been eradicated but she has another infection that’s taken its place. Luckily this is treatable with antibiotics at home. She also recently needed a small piece of the ear lobe tissue removed because it wasn’t healing as expected. It’s been so painful for her to have her ear flushed clean that she’s been sedated for each one.
With the vet bills mounting each day I had to ask for help from WestieMed. I wasn’t guaranteed funding so when I received the email saying that the Board of Directors had approved funding and the full amount available, I broke down in floods of tears. I am eternally grateful to WestieMed for helping me to help Betsy.
I was expecting not to have Betsy for very long but it turned out she had a chance of recovery and a possible fulfilling life ahead of her. This is meant to be for Betsy. Her journey had bought her to one of the very few vets in the country that was willing and able to carry out this type of operation with the complications and increase her chance of survival. (Nothing was guaranteed).
Betsy is now recovering at home and her ear still has a way to go in the healing process but this has not stopped her happy sweet nature and she sure loves her hugs and kisses.
I owe a great debt of gratitude to so many loving and generous people. Thank you to all who have helped Betsy and all the other Rescue Westies out there around the world.
Update November 17, 2016
Sorry I’ve not got back to you. I’m in the middle of moving from Kent to Somerset, starting a new job and it’s hectic.
Despite all the vet’s efforts, Besty didn’t make it. She went in for an operation to open her up further because the infection just kept coming back and the drugs were being changed to tackle it regularly. We ran out of options.
When she was opened up, it was found that the infection had spread down her neck and under her chin to her other ear. I got a call while she was on the operation table and still under anesthetic to say it would be kinder to put her to sleep. It was devastating but the right thing to do for her. I cried my heart out for her.
I can honestly say I’ve never met a dog like her and no other dog will ever match her. I miss her so much every day.
Thank you for your help and I’m so sorry that she didn’t make it. Without your help, I would not have been able to help her as much as I possibly could. We really did take it to the last hope.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I will be donating in the future, just very tight on money due to losing job. xxx
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.
Angel came to us via a small rescue group in Arkansas. We learned about her by reading a post on Facebook, she had been turned into a small city-run dog pound by someone who claimed they found her as a stray. The Arkansas rescue ladies drove the dog to St Louis, a kind volunteer of another terrier rescue group in St Louis drove the dog to Columbia, MO where I met her on a Sunday afternoon and drove five hours home. We named the dog, Angel, in honor of the group who had originally rescued her. Angel was pretty vocal in her kennel at first but settled in nicely for the ride home. It was shockingly apparent that she would require a great deal of help from our veterinarian to regain her health.
Upon arriving in her foster home, Angel settled in quickly learning the routine, the yard and began playing with the other dogs. Her visit to the veterinary clinic the next day brought us a diagnosis of intestinal parasites, anemia, yeast and bacterial infection of her skin and ears, her eyes were completely devoid of tear production, her front teeth were missing and broken to the gum line, and she tested positive for heartworm. She was also not spayed. We initially questioned whether or not we should proceed with the costly course of treatment but Angel quickly showed us that she was not ready to give up and that she thoroughly enjoyed life and especially the good, home-cooked meals topped with goat’s milk that she is served twice a day.
After a course of thirty days of treatment with doxycycline, and with help from WestieMed, our vets will take X-rays and repeat the blood work in anticipation of the heartworm treatment. We hope that Angel’s future is much happier than her past but regardless of the outcome, we will do whatever we can to make this chapter of her life a happy one filled with love, fresh air and sunshine, a huge yard to romp in, rabbits and squirrels to chase, and toys filled with squeakers and stuffing. We will pamper her and love her regardless of the outcome.
Janeal Dominico, CPDT-KA Wag N Train Terrier Rescue
Update February 16, 2016
Angel is still recuperating from her heartworm treatment. After the initial treatment, she still tested positive so our vets had to give her a third injection. She will be retested again in a couple of weeks at which time if she tests negative, we will then proceed with her much-needed dental work and her spay surgery.
Her foster mom bathes her weekly to help with her skin and she remains the happiest girl one could imagine, given that her condition causes miserable symptoms.
Angel does have an approved adopter that is eager to take her home and make her a part of the family when cleared by our vets.
Janeal Dominico, CPDT-KA
Wag N Train Terrier Rescue
Update November 17, 2016: (Angel now called Addie)
Angel was cleared of heartworm and then spayed and had her teeth cleaned at which time she lost several badly infected teeth.
Soon after she was adopted by Scott and Hanna, who are both college students here in Omaha. This little girl now known as Addie is their entire world and vice versa. Don’t you just LOVE happy endings?
Thank you to the donors who make funding through WestieMed possible. Angel owes her life to the kindness of many, many strangers along her journey to good health and happiness.
Janeal Dominico, CPDT-KA Wag N Train Terrier Rescue “Tender Loving Care for Terriers in Need”
Casey is a five-year-old male Westie that was surrendered to Westie Rescue of TN and AL in July 2015. His owner had been dealing with Casey’s medical issues for several years and nothing was helping. She realized it was time to turn Casey over to someone that could help him get well and contacted WRT/AL.
From looking at his pictures before we picked him up we initially thought he had the typical Westie skin and ear issues but soon realized that it was much worse than we thought. When he was picked up by volunteers Diane and Patsy, his eyes were matted, his ears were red, swollen and full of scabs, and his hair was non-existent in places on his body, particularly around his backside and tail. The poor little one was pretty miserable and in obvious pain, as he would cry out when you touched him on his head.
As Casey was in desperate need of a bath, he was whisked off straight to a tub for gentle cleansing. Through all his pain and the turmoil of that afternoon he never growled, snapped or fought our help. He was such a gentle little soul and just looked at us with confusion, yet love. He knew his life was going to change for the better. He seemed so appreciative of the smoothing bath and care he was getting.
Casey had always been an outside dog so he was not accustomed to being inside in nice cool air. We had to laugh at him in that he realized very quickly inside the house was much nicer than outside in the humidity and heat. After being taken outside to dry off and “take care of business” he immediately found the back door and sat waiting to get back inside. Smart Westie, no more living outside for this little guy.
The next day Patsy took Casey to our wonderful vet at South Franklin Animal Hospital for treatment. Casey spent two weeks at the vet’s office being treated for his skin, eyes, and ears. He won everyone over at the vet’s office with his soulful eyes and gentle Westie personality. While his eyes and skin will heal with treatment and medication, unfortunately, his ears are going to require surgery. The infection and mineralization in his ears are to the extent he will have to have all the infected tissue and entire ear canal removed from both ears for any hope of controlling his pain. And this is where WestieMed comes to our rescue by donating to his surgery. We cannot thank them enough for contributing to his care. Casey is one sweet little guy and deserves a chance to live life without pain.
Right now he is with one of our wonderful fosters, Sandy, waiting for his ears to heal to the extent he can have surgery. He is loving being an inside pet and has made sure his “human” knows she belongs to him. His foster Mom reports that his “Westitude” is beginning to emerge and he is doing great.
We anticipate his surgery to take place within the next couple of weeks and we will update everyone on his progress. Thanks again to WestieMed for supporting Westies in need.
Diane Vann, Officer
Westie Rescue TN/AL
Update December 8, 2015
Casey is doing wonderfully and is now up for adoption. His ears finally healed to the extent that he was able to have his surgery in early September. As it was a very extensive surgery and involved both ears, the healing process took a considerable amount of time.
Additionally, obviously parts of his head had to be shaved and for some period of time, he was styling with a mohawk cut so we wanted to wait until he looked a little less “punk” Westie, ha. He is now pain-free, finally after 3 years of enduring pain so intense you couldn’t even touch his head to love on him. He is a happy-go-lucky Westie, full of Westitude and loves to share with someone.
Thank you WestieMed for your help with Casey and so many of our other LWDs around the country. Casey sends tail wags and Westie kisses to you all.
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.
Molly, age five, spent her life in this decrepit rabbit hutch. She was born into a puppy mill situation.
She was forced to live in cramped quarters with several other Westies. Chicken wire for flooring and rotting wood with chicken wire sides were her home. If she could stand long enough on the chicken wire, she could see the other fifteen hutches filled with other animals.
At night the only warmth she had was the body temperature of the other Westies in her hutch. Many nights were below zero. After several months of negotiations, we were finally able to have the owners surrender all the dogs in these outdoor hutches. We took in five Westies and one Westie-mix. Molly was one of those Westies.
Molly immediately went to the vet. The vet immediately knew Molly lived on chicken wire. Her paws were sore, irritated and inflamed. She also had a twisted nail or two. Molly was severely matted and her fur was filled with flea dirt and just general filth. Her fur is stained due to urine and feces. She had diarrhea.
A fecal exam showed several types of worms and parasites in her system – whipworms, hookworms, giardia, and lungworms. The living situation was filthy.
Her skin was red, had scabs and was also inflamed. The vet prescribed short term use steroids, an antibiotic and some ointment for the paw pads. Additionally, medicated shampoos are needed.
Due to neglect, the dental disease is quite advanced. She will need a complete dental examination and we anticipate that Molly will need several extractions. She will also need to be spay.
The vet also stated that it appears Molly has lost a significant portion of her muscle mass in her rear legs. This was either due to being forced to breed continuously a genetic issue, or a lack of exercise. This issue is still being evaluated.
Molly is very needy for attention. She wants to be touching her foster mother all the time. It was determined that she recently had another liter. Some of her anxiety and feeling unsettled is probably due to early separation from her puppies. It has taken Molly some time to acclimate to her environment. When meeting new people she seems to be very shy, anxious and timid.
The foster mother will be taking Molly to some pet training classes to work with some behavioral as well as socialization issues. We are fortunate to be able to have Molly in our care getting the much-needed vet care and behavioral training. As she learns to trust and feel better, she will be a wonderful addition to a family that will give her the attention she has lacked her entire life.
Westie Rescue Michigan, Inc. wants to thank WestieMed, Inc. for its generous grant to help Molly get the treatment she needs and to heal and find her forever home. Thank you for your good work WestieMed.
Update August 6, 2015
From Jean with Westie Rescue Michigan:
What can I tell you about being the foster mom for this one? So many firsts when she was with us (I have two girls myself and an old guy who is a permanent foster in my home). My girls do a lot of the work in terms of doggie manners, but this girl was sooooo eager for love and affection, she was easy. She was in horrible condition when we got her (another one of our homes gave her a bath before transporting her to me and it took three washes to get her clean — before the bath, she was so dirty that she was a color match for Brent’s car hart jacket, and the jacket wasn’t dirty!). She had ear infections and some really horrible teeth as well as very long nails and sore feet from the wire flooring in her rabbit hutch. All of those issues were fixed with great vet care, a dental (which didn’t turn out as bad as we thought it would be) and some too.
To have been probably the first person who held this little one while she slept was just awesome. She was damp and chilly from her bath and probably a bit frightened. I picked her up and settled her in my lap and she slowly began to relax. Then there was a big sigh and she was asleep. Magical!
We worked with her for about five to six to get her healthy and housebroken and then started looking for a match for her. I thought she would do best as an only dog, but I was also looking for a fenced yard (she escaped from my yard and that was scary, but she was just next door investigating the brush pile). The Moorheads fit the bill and fell in love with her immediately. She’s living the kind of life any dog would envy, totally doted on and loved to bits! She’s had many adventures since being adopted and will have a lovely life. Another happy ending!
Thank you for everything you do for our LWDs and for your help with our Midland Mill girls. We were quite overwhelmed with the bunch all at once, but I am so proud of the work that Westie Rescue- MI does and very honored to be associated with the organization.
From Molly’s foster parents, Terese and Paul:
I think Jean must be sick of reading my Facebook updates about Molly, but I can’t help it! We look at Molly so often, wondering how did this sweet and gentle dog come from the horrific conditions that she had endured at the puppy mill. Seriously, we can take her anywhere, and people of all ages come up to her. Kids who nicely ask if they can pet her get to meet this very calm and sweet Molly of ours. We can take no credit. We haven’t even taken her to obedience school. An elderly lady yesterday said that Molly had made her day. She has been visiting my elderly mother in a nursing home and has been a gem to all the patients and staff.
Right now, we are on a road trip to New England, and she is a very important part of our lives. We keep wondering how were we so lucky to get her!
We also can’t thank the WestieMed for all the care and support they gave to Molly.
Wherever we go, we always give the highest praise to Jean and Westie Rescue of Michigan. We are in awe of the devotion, kindness, and patience you provide to these dogs. So, just know-for every compliment we get about Molly, we say thank you and then mention you guys!
We are so in love with her, and she is so priceless and precious!
Update December 2016
Little Miss Molly has a very happy life with her pet parents, Paul and Terese ever since she was rescued from a puppy mill in Midland, MI (and was given wonderful medical care, grooming, and love from Westie Rescue of Michigan as well as WestieMed). She’s been completely ensconced in our lives since April 2015 and has been extremely sweet and healthy.
Molly sleeps deeply through the night – even snoozing until Mom and Dad are all done getting ready first. Once awake, she sticks to her fitness regimen of a bit of doggy yoga followed by four yawns, rises on her hind legs and gives each of us our own personal “good morning” greeting! Once her wake-up routine is done, she does one more stretch and heads downstairs for breakfast. Molly loves her big backyard, where she thinks she’s a huntress in search of her prey. The squirrels’ chuckle at her failed attempts from their branches, while Molly’s content to quietly lie at the base of the tree and stare up at them. Aside from the squirrels, Molly loves to lie in the sun and go for walks with Mom and Dad. In the evenings, she’s content to cuddle under a blanket on the couch, right next to Mom! Molly has been on a few road trips for summer vacation and she learned to like riding in the car eventually!
As Christmas 2016 approaches, Molly, Paul, and Terese would like to thank all the incredible, giving people from WestieMed and Westie Rescue who saved her, cared for her and helped her blossom into the happy, healthy and gorgeous little Westie girl that she is now!
Little MoJo lost his home when his owners brought him to the San Pedro Animal Shelter. They felt that MoJo was “too high maintenance”, cost too much to groom and complained that he was always constipated. This was a very sad day because not only did they dump this very sick little boy, they took home another dog from the shelter. We picked him up within just a few hours of him being dropped off at the shelter.
MoJo was taken to our vet where he had to be sedated in order to shave him down. The mats embedded his skin, but as our vet always does, they left his head alone. Everyone knows not to shave our Westies’ heads! A complete blood panel was performed and aside from an upper respiratory infection, ear and eye infections and obvious dental disease, he was sent home with antibiotics, eye, and ear meds until his dental could be scheduled at a later time.
Over the next few days, we noticed a lump that would come and go at the right side of the base of his tail, but his appetite was healthy and within a few days he started playing with toys and the other dogs. Two weeks after arrival, his dental was scheduled.
On the morning of his appointment, he did not seem to feel well, so in keeping with our appointment, we planned to get him to the vet and change his dental appointment to an observation stay instead. As we headed off to the vet, MoJo became violently ill on the ride there. He was examined, blood work was redone, he was hospitalized and put on fluids. His blood showed his ALT levels were off the charts and he was diagnosed with a Perineal Hernia. Surgery had to be put on hold until we could get his levels back to normal, but in the meantime, his hernia was getting worse. He struggled to potty and cried each time and we were constantly pushing it back in. We ran a third blood test several weeks later and his ALT levels were back to normal and he has been cleared for surgery.
During surgery, his surgeons spent the first hour trying to control blood vessels. It was obvious when they opened him up that he’s had this for a very long time. This problem is rarely seen in castrated males and it’s a bit of a mystery as to when MoJo was neutered but we do know it was recent as his stitches were still intact. Our vet also discovered a mass lump above his rectum adhered to his rectal tissue. It was not attached to his anal glands which is good news! His colon was herniating as was the fat from the prostate. This fat was necrotic so they cut it all out and the decision was made to leave the lump because it has so adhered to the tissue and this being a delicate surgery, to begin with, the chance of fecal incontinence with is always a risk with this type of surgery so a needle biopsy will be done at a later time. While he was under, an enormous about of debris cemented onto his teeth was removed. MoJo is recovering as planned and has come home to heal.
We are so happy that we rescued MoJo and with the generous sponsorship from WestieMed, MoJo had a surgery that he should have had a very long time ago. This is just the beginning of a wonderful new life for this very sweet boy.
Westie Rescue of OC & Beyond
Update December 6, 2014
Mojo’s bladder is full and it can not be expressed. We may be looking at either a urethral obstruction or tumor or inflammation. We will do an x-ray. We were prepared to move ahead with his treatment, but his little body shut down and sadly Mojo passed away.