I lost my Westie, Spice, to kidney disease in July 2022. I have had Westies most of my adult life. After Spice passed I was hesitant to get another dog and was worried about getting a dog with health problems as that was quite the journey. However, after 7 months of not having a fur baby I realized that I had to get another because my fur babies have always been what brings me the most joy in life.
I was having coffee on a Sunday morning and one of the sweet vet techs at my vet’s office sent me a pic of Stella Mae in January. She was at the shelter in New Braunfels. I didn’t know anything about her and the shelter had absolutely no background information or history on her. I knew I had to go rescue her but without knowing if she would be a good fit I reached out to Lone Star Westie Rescue to see if we could bring her into rescue to adopt her. They thankfully said yes without hesitation and told me to go rescue that baby.
I called the shelter Monday to inquire about her. They said they had MANY applicants and didn’t know where I stood in line. The next morning I received a call that I was the first applicant! I knew this was a sign she needed to be with me. I got to the shelter and she gave me a sweet kiss and we instantly bonded.
We got home and she seemed to feel right at home and adjusted to the house perfectly. I did notice she wasn’t drinking much water. She was absolutely filthy but couldn’t have a bath because she had just been spayed. She went to the vet that Monday and all her bloodwork looked good.
Fast forward a week. My dad had a stroke and had to stay with me for three months. It was quite a trying time. When he came to my house Stella Mae was extremely fearful (and still is of any strangers that come to the house). I was not able to care for her and my dad at the same time. So, three lovely human beings in rescue offered to help me and take her in and foster her until I could get her back home.
She had 15 teeth pulled and was spayed. She then started having recurrent UTIs and was treated. After three months of recurrent UTIs, multiple vet and emergency vet visits she had one ultrasound done that didn’t show any masses or anything of concern. She then had a CT done that also didn’t show anything of concern. Her vet did a vaginal exam and said she had some scar tissue that he thought might be causing the issue with emptying her bladder. He did surgery 5/30 to fix that issue. She recovered from surgery but was still squatting frequently.
He did another ultrasound a week later and saw something small along her bladder wall. He did a urine test to test for bladder cancer. It came back negative. He went in to do surgery again on 6/6 and found a bladder tumor that came back as Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC), an aggressive form of bladder cancer. He removed as much as he could but could not get all of it. I was absolutely heartbroken as I just started my journey in getting to know this sweet angel that I believe was sent to me for a reason. She recovered well from surgery but was still squatting frequently. She started on a drug called Peroxicam to help with inflammation and hopefully keep the tumor from growing. The drug can cause some digestive issues and the kidneys have to be watched closely. She will also be under the care of an oncologist to do everything we can to keep her around as happy and comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
We do not know her history (most likely a back yard breeder dog), but it is evident this baby has not been loved and was treated badly. The vet said her tail had literally been chopped off. She has major separation anxiety and has extreme stranger danger but is getting better.
In spite of all she has been through she is the most loving, grateful, sweet and adorable baby! I have only had her three months and am completely in love and obsessed with her lol. She is my best friend and has the most hilarious antics and makes me laugh daily. I am so grateful that right now she is feeling good, has great energy chasing lizards, birds, squirrels and geckos in the sunshine every day.
I had become overwhelmed with vet bills and reached out to WestieMed. I am so incredibly grateful that they offered to help which allows me to continue the care she needs. I am researching daily and working closely with her medical team to provide the care plan we possibly can for her. I am so saddened with her diagnosis but am trying to stay present and be in the moment with her and cherish my time with her each and every day!
Thank you to WestieMed and all the amazing human beings I have met through rescue! Thank you for all you do for these amazing fur babies and families taking care of them!