Mojo - WestieMed Grant Recipient November 2014


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.

Mojo - WestieMed Grant Recipient November 2014
Mojo – WestieMed Grant Recipient

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.

Karen Simondet
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.

Westie Rescue of OC & Beyond

WeZoe - WestieMed Recipient October 2008


Named Zoe, meaning ‘life’, this adorable little puppy came to me from a shelter in central Wisconsin. Zoe was so cute and cuddly, but what I didn’t know is how truly sick she really was.

When I adopted Zoe, I wanted my home to be her forever home so I could give her a life, unlike the one she’d had the eleven weeks prior to me adopting her. All I knew about her was that she was found roaming the streets of Chicago with a male pup that looked very similar to her, I’m assuming it was her brother. They both were shipped off to a shelter in central Wisconsin to be adopted out.

Zoe really chose me that day. When her eyes caught mine, I knew I was supposed to take her home. As I was filling out the paperwork to adopt Zoe, she was so adorable, scratching at my pant legs to come to sit on my lap. She loved to be held.

After getting her home and situated I then realized that something was wrong. Zoe wasn’t running and playing like I thought a normal pup of eleven weeks old should be. I called my vet immediately and she came to give Zoe a complete check-up. We found out that little Zoe was sick with a respiratory infection and coccidia. My vet started her on antibiotics right away, only after a few days she was not improving so I made an appointment to get an x-ray and blood work done. Come to find out in the x-ray that she didn’t just have a respiratory infection but she had pneumonia. I was advised by my vet to take her to the Vet Emergency hospital immediately for her best chance of survival…I knew I had to do it…to give her the best chance I could to survive because she deserved a long healthy life after what she had previously been through. I admitted her into the hospital and she spent five long days there. When I would visit her, she was so cute, the minute she heard my voice her little tail would start wagging. With all the pain she was in she still found enough energy in her to wag that little tail and make me feel better.

Little Zoe passed away on Monday, October 13. Even with her small improvements her little body just couldn’t take any more. I am so sad that she was so young and so sick that she didn’t get to be a normal carefree puppy. I could literally picture her running around in the yard and in the house…how I wanted her to get better so those images could come true.

I will always remember little Zoe, she was such a trooper and hung on as long as she possibly could. She loved to snuggle and listen to me talk to her and I will greatly miss her. She was only with me a very short time but that time will never be forgotten. 

She has left a footprint on my heart.

I truly want to thank WestieMed for all of your support…I know Zoe and I really appreciate your donation to try and help her get healthy. It truly is an amazing organization that you have.


Alex - WestieMed Recipient


July 2003:

My Little Old Man

I met Alex one day driving down the road. I stopped at a stop sign and as I looked to my right this skinny virtually hairless dog caught my eye. He had a collar and was walking rather slowly. I stopped my car hoping to help the little guy home. As I approached this poor little dog I noticed he had no tags. He couldn’t hear too well because he was older and had severe ear infections. His eyes were infected, his nails were about and an inch long and he smelled really bad. I felt so bad for him how could anyone neglect this innocent creature. I brought him to a couple of animal hospitals in the area to see maybe if they knew him. They did not. I was also told by my vet he was anywhere between ten to fifteen years old. I was than asked if I wanted to keep him I should run a battery of test. My heart sank. I knew I could not take him home. I already had two Wheaten Terriers, Jake and Bailey, a nine-month-old baby and my cocker spaniel, Joshua passed away one year ago. I knew where I had to go next, the dreaded animal shelter. I couldnt bear to see him go. I cried and cried. This nice woman who ran the shelter saw I was upset. She told me she knew someone who could help place “Alex” in a home. I felted a sense of relief because I knew he would not be adopted from the shelter because of how he looked, smelt and his age. This woman called this angel and she said she would pick her up. I left my number for this kind individual and asked if she would call me so I could find out Alexs future (In the meantime I hung lost posters in the three surrounding towns where I lived to see if I could find the owner. Of course nobody called. I thought that was probably the best thing since they neglected this poor little animal).

A few days later I received a call from Karen and she said she had someone to adopt him. I felt good but, at the same time sad because I had developed a bond with the little guy. I told Karen if anything fell through to please call me and I would try and take him but the chances were slim. Well Karen called back and told me the woman could not adopt Alex. She told me she was going to have to bring him back to the shelter at the end of the week and have him destroyed. She couldnt keep him she already had too many animals.

Alex - WestieMed Recipient
Alex – WestieMed Recipient

I WOULD NOT let this poor dog be destroyed. I knew I had many medical bills ahead of me. Alex was put on eye drops for his eye infection, Baytril for his respiratory infection (he had massive amounts of mucous draining from his nose and eyes. He had so much mucous that one of his nostrils was closed shut many days), steroids, ear drops, antihistamine and ketoconazole. He was diagnosed with Malassezia along with a host of other problems. 

I have had Alex now for about one month and he has turned around so much. He has become a member of my family. At first because he apparently was sleeping in the streets where he was always disturbed he probably never had a good sleep. Whenever he would sleep he would jump, startled if approached. Now he sleeps like a baby. He initially could barely walk. He still has some problems but he runs and plays with his toys and has a great appetite. He no longer has mucous discharge. He is very sweet dog everyone loves him. 

I wanted to extend my thanks to Westie Med for helping with Alex’s medical bills. I am sure Alex appreciates it as well. I am glad I was able to help my little old man. Thank you again.

Sincerely, Connie P. Blue Point, NY

Alex has a skin condition called Malassezia (yeast infection of the skin). This condition is becoming more and more prevalent among Westies. Westie Rescuers are seeing cases of this all over the country. This condition is very treatable…if treated properly. To help other Westie owners, we are making information about this condition available on our web site. You can read about it here: Malassezia.