In mid-February, we were contacted by a kind Samaritan in a very rural part of Middle Tennessee. An elderly co-worker of hers (and nearby resident) had found 2 little dogs who were either lost or had been turned out. She found a rescue to take the other little dog, and we agreed to take in Piper after this gal exhausted all efforts to find Piper’s home. She kept her for several weeks, bathing her almost daily to try to get her clean and cared for; this while working full-time, taking care of a toddler and another young child and her own animals!
Piper was in a TERRIBLE mess, but the sweet gal had given her yet another bath the morning before she brought her to us at the vet clinic. She came to us with a severe ear infection…for starters. One ear has so badly affected that the ear could no longer stand up. The infection in both ears was so bad that the vet opted to just clean them as thoroughly as she could without hurting her further, then thoroughly clean while she was under sedation for another severe issue…her mouth, gums and teeth. We lucked out as she only had to have 4 teeth pulled, and her mouth must have felt so much better after the dental surgery!
The ears continued to improve slowly, but little Piper was soon diagnosed with an even worse situation…a severe bladder infection that didn’t seem to resolve with numerous trips to the vet and various antibiotics. She was also producing blood in her urine. We were afraid of what might be going on with this precious girl! The vet wanted to send in and grow a culture to see if Piper was resistant to a certain (or numerous) antibiotics. While we were waiting for the culture results to come back, we agreed to have the vet run an ultrasound and radiographs to rule out any masses or other problems. At this point, it was determined she had a number of EXTREMELY large bladder stones. This poor girl had been through the ringer with obviously NO CARE from the previous owner (more than likely a backyard breeder) then just turned out to fend for herself. There was no idea how long she had these stones and if they had done permanent damage to the bladder wall, so time was of the essence to get her scheduled for surgery right away. She was obviously in pain and felt the need to urinate constantly. We also were not able to identify a spay scar, but the decision was made that if she still had a uterus when the Cystotomy surgery was performed, that the vet would spay her at the same time (which ended up being the case).
The surgery went very well, and the vet communicated with us several times throughout the day with updates. EIGHT stones were removed (of which FIVE were very large) from this petite Westie girl, which were taking up 90% of her little bladder!!! Thankfully, the bladder wall did not appear “angry,” and we were SO thankful for that. The other good news was that her ears were doing better on the antibiotic pack treatments.
Piper stayed in ICU care overnight, with fluids and pain meds. She started urinating properly almost immediately and got to return to her foster home the next day. This has been the most precious little angel of a dog. Even with all of the horrible things wrong with her and all of the severe pain she has endured for God knows how long, she has been the sweetest girl and as compliant as can be! The vet staff were all instantly smitten with her!
She promptly went home with her new prescription urinary health food and ate dinner like a champ, followed by a really good potty break! She is being well-loved by one of our former adopters and her other rescue Westie pup, Avery. We were just alerted officially yesterday that Piper has found her furever home with her foster mom, Elizabeth. We couldn’t be MORE thrilled as she will have a nice quiet home with a lovely Terrier-enriched backyard with a mom and sister home with her most all the time.
We really don’t have any idea how old this little gal is, but the vet seems to think between 7 and 8 years old.
We cannot express our gratitude to WestieMed enough for helping us with funding the final large invoice for her abdominal surgeries! Even though she was a VERY expensive LWD, she is worth every penny of it! Happy Trails to Piper in her new life going forward!
Abby was picked by the shelter as a stray. She was listed as “code yellow” which means she was not available to the public, only to rescue. The shelter called WROC as a last resort and, of course, we took her. She had three large bladder stones, each the size of a handball. She went directly to our vet and was operated on the next day. Her bladder walls were weak and did not hold the stitches from the first surgery, so she had a second surgery to repair and replace the stitches.
We took her home and she would not eat or drink for almost a week. We went back to the vet for fluids and medicine. X-rays and bloodwork showed that she was recovering, but it took her quite some time to come around. Then one evening, she started wagging her tail and cleaned her bowl. She is a very sweet girl and we are really happy that we were able to save her. She is still recovering and will be available for adoption in a few weeks.
Thank you for your assistance.
Kay DeLoach Westie Rescue of Orange County & Beyond
Update May 2, 2020
Abby was happily adopted by Melodee, a retired registered nurse. Melodee had been looking for a companion for some time and discovered Abby on our website.
Thanks to WestieMed who provided financial assistance for her bladder stone surgeries, WROC was able to give Melodee a healthy and happy Abby. We sincerely appreciate all that WestieMed has done for us over the years. Attached is a picture of Abby’s favorite place in her new home.
Please let everyone at WestieMed know how grateful we are!!
We really appreciate WestieMed’s support of WROC over the years. Abby and her Mom Melodee are doing just great. Here is what Melodee wrote: “Abby and I are fine! I feel so blessed to have her with me during this crazy time. Abby passed all her vet checks with flying colors. She is wonderful!!”
Thank you so much for a very happy ever after for Abby! Kay DeLoach
In December 2018 we received a call from a woman on Long Island who had a six-year-old Westie that “we have no time for”. Wizard was spending most of his time crated or tied up outside with little positive human interaction. The family admitted to neglecting him and thankfully called rescue so he could have a better life.
Wizard went to live with a family who had lost their Westie. They were excited to have him and were going to foster him in hopes of adopting. Wizard had not had any veterinary care in five years so that was the top priority. Wizard had an extreme thirst and was having accidents so the vet did a series of tests and ruled out Cushing’s disease, Diabetes Mellitus and bladder infection. The vet diagnosed him with Diabetes Insipidus and put him on a bedwetting medication to help with the accidents.
The tests showed that Wizard’s liver levels were elevated so after a month a new blood panel was done and showed the liver levels were even higher so an ultrasound of his liver was done which showed he had a bladder full of bladder stones, 50-60 they estimated. Surgery was scheduled right away. During the bladder surgery, they also did a liver biopsy, the vet feels he may Copper Storage Disease and that the bladder stones were caused by his liver issues. We are still waiting for the results of the liver biopsy but Wizard is recovering nicely from his bladder surgery and is back to his normal routine.
We are hopeful that once we get the results and a treatment plan Wizard can be adopted into his forever home and have the life he always deserved. He is a sweet little man that has so much love to give. He had a bad start in life and now has a chance at a very bright future.
Wizard’s ongoing medical issues were a financial strain for our little rescue. His surgery was much more than we were originally quoted and more than we were prepared for. We take in many seniors and ill Westies. We have a few that are forever fosters as they are unadoptable, so our budget is always tight. The help from WestieMed is a tremendous blessing as it helped us to help Wizard and helps us to continue our work to save more little white dogs.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank WestieMed!
Best Westie Regards,
Westie Rescue of New England & Wizard
Update November 20, 2019
We thank you for your financial assistance for Wizard’s surgery on April 1, 2019. When Wizard first joined our family in late December of 2018, he was underweight, snapped and bit us, was scared of a leash and was kennel protective amongst other issues, and no vet visits for 5 years – his teeth were almost black! The most serious was his biting and constant urination in the house regardless of being taken out moments before. These issues were almost deal-breakers.
His many visits to the vet resulted in a variety of medications for bed-wetting and ALT levels. When he started urinating in his sleep, we knew it was more of a medical issue. We’ve never had a dog wet in his sleep! After an MRI, we learned that Wizard had bladder stones. Surgery was performed and resulted in the removal of 50-60 bladder stones poor guy was probably in pain and I assume those stones caused him involuntary urination and anger issues! Also, a biopsy of his liver was performed and determined very high ALT levels.
Following his recuperation, he became a new dog! He was placed on a liver diet and a daily dose of Denamarin for his liver issues. Jackie sent Chinese herbs for his liver but Wizard did not like them and refused to eat his food so we discontinued the herbs. He’s now up to about eighteen pounds, seems happier, has settled in, is no longer involuntarily urinating, no longer bites, his anger issues are under control, his ALT levels are down to about 380, from almost 900, and continue to fall. We take him to the vet about every two-three months to check on his ALT levels, and his shots are all up to date and have had dental care.
Wizard has become very affectionate, loves to play with his many toys, has learned to trust us (for the most part), obeys most commands, and has become a valued member of our family. We recently moved into a new neighborhood and Wizard has embraced everyone he meets! To think that if the MRI had not been completed, and if Wizard had not had this surgery, he would not be with us today hat surgery and your financial assistance saved this poor guys life!
He has made our life richer and we so love him to pieces! THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE to this well-deserved little guy!
Best wishes to WestieMed. We hope your involvement with other Westies in need results in positive outcomes as well.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Kathy & Tim Johnson
Update November 20, 2019
We thank you for your financial assistance for Wizard’s surgery on April 1, 2019. When Wizard first joined our family in late December of 2018, he was underweight, snapped and bit us, was scared of a leash and was kennel protective amongst other issues, and no vet visits for 5 years – his teeth were almost black! The most serious was his biting and constant urination in the house regardless of being taken out moments before. These issues were almost deal breakers.
His many visits to the vet resulted in a variety of medications for bed wetting and ALT levels. When he started urinating in his sleep, we knew it was more of a medical issue. We’ve never had a dog wet in his sleep! After an MRI, we learned that Wizard had bladder stones. Surgery was performed and resulted in the removal of 50-60 bladder stonesâ€¦poor guy was probably in pain and I assume those stones caused him involuntary urination and anger issues! Also a biopsy of his liver was performed and determined very high ALT levels.
Following his recuperation, he became a new dog! He was placed on a liver diet and a daily dose of Denamarin for his liver issues. Jackie sent Chinese herbs for his liver but Wizard did not like them and refused to eat his food so we discontinued the herbs. He’s now up to about 18 pounds, seems happier, has settled in, is no longer involuntarily urinating, no longer bites, his anger issues are under control, his ALT levels are down to about 380, from almost 900, and continue to fall. We take him to the vet about every 2-3 months to check on his ALT levels, and his shots are all up to date and has had dental care.
Wizard has become very affectionate, loves to play with his many toys, has learned to trust us (for the most part), obeys most commands, and has become a valued member of our family. We recently moved into a new neighborhood and Wizard has embraced everyone he meets! To think that if the MRI had not been completed, and if Wizard had not had this surgery, he would not be with us todayâ€¦that surgery and your financial assistance saved this poor guys life!
He has made our life richer and we so love him to pieces! THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE to this well-deserved little guy!
Best wishes to WestieMed. We hope your involvement with other Westies in need result in positive outcomes as well.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. Kathy & Tim Johnson
Update May 2, 2020
Wizard is doing great. He receives lots of attention and walks since my son is quarantined with us as well! He returns from his two-three daily long walks exhausted and tries to hide in one of his many beds! Wizard appears to be very happy, eats well, and has become very affectionate – on his terms! He barks and looks at you with his big black eyes when he wants to sit in your lap or get on the sofa however, he does continue to growl when you want him off your lap or want him to get out of bed to go out. We’ve accepted this ‘growling’ as his way of saying “I’m happy here, don’t bother me!” but he still gets moved but hasn’t quite gotten the message yet- his growling isn’t as strong! He hasn’t urinated in the house since his bladder surgery and has learned to go to the door when he wants out he just hasn’t figured out he needs to bark so we know he needs to go, hence we just keep an ear out when he starts walking around. To our surprise, he can hold his pee from around 10 pm, until we force him up the next morning (he doesn’t like to get up in the AM) and he never seems like he’s in a hurry to get out! He has many toys but most of all he loves to play with his ‘moose doll’.
We have Wizard’s ALT levels checked about every 3-5 months, highest was in April 2019 at 890; June 2019 at 471; October 2019 at 306; Feb 2020 479; and April 2020 478. He is on Denamaran, 1 tab daily and is on a diet of Hepatic wet and dry dog food by Royal Canine. He’s a treat snob so he doesn’t like many treats and we don’t feed him table scraps. His weight has been consistent now for the past year and averages around 18 lbs. He seems to have bouts every 2-3 months with vomiting but the Vet hasn’t been able to find anything even with blood workups. He had an episode about 2 weeks ago when he repeatedly vomited so we took him to the Vet right away. By the time we got there he was wagging his tale and running around like he was never sick. Vet still couldn’t find anything wrong. The only other issue we have noticed is that sometimes his rear legs noticeably shake, Vet still couldn’t find anything. Wizard had a second dental cleaning Feb 3, 2020, and as noted at his first cleaning, he has gum disease so we are trying to brush his teeth more often, which he doesn’t like to say the least.
He has become the neighborhood mascot-everybody loves him and he in turns loves everybody. We think he is doing well in spite of his background. The Vet described him as an “old 7 year old” last year.
We thank WestieMed for their financial assistance but most of all NE Westie Rescue for their support and patience in assisting Wizard to live a happier more deserving life and finding a forever home – think he found one!!!
Cosmo is a two-year-old Westie who found himself in an unfortunate situation on June 16, 2017. Cosmo has an unfortunate disease called portosystemic shunt (PSS) that he has likely had since birth. A portosystemic shunt is a disease where the blood that is normally taken through the liver to be filtered is redirected around the liver via a vessel that is not there in a normal dog. When this happens the toxins that would normally be filtered out of the blood by the liver remain in the blood and can cause symptoms that can complicate the lives of the dogs with the disease. While some dogs do not develop signs and can live a semi-normal life, Cosmo was not so lucky. Cosmo is normal on the outside and loves to play, explore, and bird watch out the window; however, he has had difficulties with the side effects of the PSS.
Cosmo experienced urinary tract signs and symptoms of PSS including the development of bladder stones and urinary tract infections that were hard to control along with bouts of diarrhea. Cosmo’s previous owner paid for surgery to have the stones removed and even started medical management in an effort to control the signs and symptoms of the PSS.
Unfortunately, Cosmo still struggled and began urinating in the house multiple times a day. As much as Cosmo’s former owner loved him, it became too difficult to take care of Cosmo’s extra needs and clean up the messes. Cosmo was brought in to be humanely euthanized when his veterinarian asked if she could try and find a home for the adorable, life-loving pup.
A day later, I, a fourth-year veterinary student at Louisiana State University, went home to visit the clinic where I have worked since I was fourteen years old. My wife of one year and I were visiting with the veterinarian when Cosmo came running around the corner exploring his temporary home. My wife saw Cosmo and immediately fell in love wanting to foster him. We have a few other dogs and I immediately indicated that this was not a great idea and he would find a home. For about a week my wife would ask me if I thought we had made the right decision and if I really thought Cosmo would find a forever home. I would answer, “I’m sure he’ll be fine.” After a week of my wife trying to find homes for Cosmo, I told her that if she wanted to go pick him up and he got along with our current dogs we could foster him until the clinic could find him a home.
Cosmo came home with us six days after our initial meeting and he fit right in. On the second night of his stay with us, Cosmo slept right next to my head and I fell for him as hard as, if not harder than my wife had. He is so personable and loves to play so much that he truly adds to the joy in our lives. After discussing it, I told my wife if we could raise the money to get Cosmo’s condition fixed we would keep him. I took Cosmo to school with me the next week and began talking to clinicians in the hospital and we commenced testing to find out exactly what was wrong with Cosmo. That day Cosmo was officially diagnosed with PSS after an ultrasound revealed a large vein bypassing the liver. Options were discussed and surgery is the absolute best treatment for this particular condition. We started Cosmo on two weeks of medication to prepare his body for the surgery and scheduled the operation.
As a single income family, with myself in school, it was not going to be easy to pay for this surgery, but Cosmo had stolen our hearts. We began looking for ways to raise money for his surgery. That is when I found WestieMed and reached out to them for any help that they could offer. Their staff has been great to work with and help us along this process and they have been so generous to make this surgery more affordable for my wife and I. We are looking forward to Cosmo’s surgery and recovery allowing him to live a more normal life! Thank you WestieMed!
Kevin, Joy, & Cosmo
Update July 24, 2017
We wanted to update you on Cosmo’s status. He underwent surgery on Tuesday (7/18). While they were doing the surgery, they took a biopsy of his liver. Unfortunately, there were significant changes in the liver that indicate a lack of oxygen and cellular death, which means he will likely have liver issues for the rest of his life. However, the surgery itself was successful.
He stayed in ICU for 4 days and received medication for pain, seizure preventive, and antibiotics. He was finally able to come home on Friday with the understanding we’d watch him for seizures, which is a possible complication of the surgery. He is now on a special diet and will remain on the prescribed medication for eight to sixteen weeks. He goes back in two weeks to have his incision checked and will go back in six weeks after that to have bloodwork done. That will tell us if the surgery has started closing off the shunt. He will then go back again in another eight weeks and hopefully by the shunt will be completely closed. At that time we can start weaning him off of medication.
We wanted to keep you guys updated. Thank you again for WestieMed’s generosity. Your financial assistance made it possible for Cosmo to have this necessary surgery and have a full life. Even though his liver is not normal, he will have the best life possible with us and his siblings at home!
Sincerely, Kevin, Joy and Cosmo Shrewsberry Class of 2018 Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine SCAVMA, AABP, AAEP, AASV, HSVMA, ASV
Update January 24, 2018
First, let me express our thankfulness for WestieMed’s financial assistance in Cosmo’s veterinary care. It was a long process to get Cosmo’s liver working better, but he is definitely a healthy dog now!
From the first day I met him, Cosmo was a happy, outgoing little man. However, now, he is even more exuberant (if that is possible) displaying the Westie characteristics! He is definitely a special part of our family’s life. He loves to play with his brothers and sisters; even when everyone else is sleeping, he will go to each sibling and annoy them until someone plays with him. He is convinced he is the largest dog on the block and takes his job as guard dog very seriously until he realizes he could get a scratch from a human or meet a new dog friend then his toughness melts away to wags and licks. Finally, he is a master at expressing his feelings 100% of the time. If we kennel him and he doesn’t like it, he will sit there and make noises like he is having a conversation with us about his situation (it’s especially hilarious when guests are over because they don’t know if they should respond or what). We rescued Cosmo because he was in need of help – regardless of his breed. But it has been a bonus to get to enjoy his Westie personality. Dynamite definitely comes in small packages!
Health-wise, Cosmo is doing well. I can tell he has become stronger. Before his surgery, he would need to stop and have me hold him on our walks. Now, he leads us the entire way! Before the surgery, he would have two to three accidents a day (at least) in the house. This was a primary reason his first owner surrendered him to a veterinary clinic. Now, he rarely has accidents! Cosmo is still on a special diet due to the damage already done to his liver. If it were not for that fact, you would not know he had overcome the disease of a portosystemic shunt (PSS).
Thank you again for helping us give Cosmo the best life he can have! Cosmo always seems to have this little grin when I look at him for more than 5 seconds as if he is saying, “Yeah, I’m pretty awesome”. We are forever grateful for your generosity toward our Cosmo!
In the middle of August, Westie and Scottie Rescue Houston (WSRH) received a request to take in a Westie mom and her puppies. The person surrendering this little pack said Pippa had been dodging cars on a busy highway so they picked her up and took her home. Two weeks later, she gave birth to four puppies. The finders kept the little family for nearly four months when they realized they were unable to provide the vetting that five dogs required so they reached out to WSRH. Realizing that the puppies were four months old and had no veterinary attention or shots, we immediately said yes and took in the little pack.
Pippa was a great mom! She was very attentive to her four pups which were almost her size already and still were nursing. The first job for the volunteers at WSRH was to get rid of the fleas and worms, then get them to the vet to be checked out and start their shots. Dr. French at Bear Branch Animal Hospital examined the little family and found the pups to be quite healthy, however, he was concerned with Pippa’s health. X-rays confirmed she had bladder stones while a heartworm test was running and would bring us bad news. Pippa’s bladder stones were quite large so Dr. French wanted to get them out as soon as possible, however, since she was still nursing, we needed to allow her a little time for her body to recover. At four months old, the puppies were old enough to be fully weaned and they had no trouble eating whole food, so it was time to give mom a break. WSRH worked with an all-breed rescue group to place the pups, who looked nothing like mom.
After resting for two weeks, Pippa was scheduled to have her bladder stones removed and be spayed at the same time. The surgery went well and, after two weeks of recovery, she began treatment to eliminate her heartworms. Heartworm treatment can be very hard on a dog. It is reported that the medicine which destroys the heartworms also can cause pain and inflammation in the dog, making them lethargic as we would feel with the flu. It’s also hard on dogs who do not experience as much discomfort because they have to be confined for at least a month: no jumping and playing, no exercise which may cause an increased heart rate. Pippa is in a foster home with retired foster “grandparents” who are able to watch her closely and make sure her recovery continues to be uneventful.
Pippa has cleared the two-week mark following the start of heartworm treatment and is doing very well. If she continues to do well, we expect Dr. French will release her later this month and she will be available for adoption.
We are very grateful for WestieMed and all of its supporters for being there to provide assistance for all Westies who need extra help in getting healthy and well and ready for forever homes, especially our little Pippa.
Westie & Scottie Rescue Houston www.WSRH.com
Update August 12, 2015
On behalf of Pippa, we send our sincerest gratitude to WestieMed for the help provided to remove her bladder stones and heartworms. Pippa did well in heartworm treatment and made friends with Louie, a Scottish terrier going through treatment at the same time. The two friends often curled up together during their confinement and seemed to find comfort in each other’s company.
Pippa since has been adopted and was able to stay with her newly found BFF, Louie. The wonderful lady who met them decided she wanted to keep them together so they get to continue to enjoy each of their companionship as well as the love and care of a doting mom.
Thank you so much to WestieMed for helping this sweet girl live a full and pampered life.
It was last December when I lost my beloved Westie, Teddy. He was the light of my life, my best friend and confidant. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him terribly.
Knowing it was probably time to move forward after my loss, I considered bringing a new best friend into my life. At the encouragement of my brother Tom, I decided to browse the local Humane Society’s website. There, I found a familiar little white face: A ten-year-old Westie, surrendered by his owner four days before he was to be euthanized and all because he’d started to have accidents in the house. Thank goodness the veterinarian at the shelter was able to convince the owner to sign Mac (then Skipper) over to them. (It’s not very uncommon for an unneutered male to have problems of this type.)
Making it a point to visit Mac at my first opportunity, I was instantly smitten as he sauntered over to greet me. Consulting the vet on staff, I was advised of Mac’s ear infections and skin allergies. My beloved Teddy had had both of these conditions at the time of his adoption, and neither was ‘the deal-breakers’. We proceeded on the assumption that his enlarged prostate, a result of never having been neutered, was the likely cause of accidents he’d been having at home. I was sure time, love and understanding would turn this situation around. After making a final decision to adopt, Mac was neutered; a few bad teeth were pulled, and his ears medicated.
I wanted to tackle any problems Mac was suffering from as soon as possible, so I made an appointment to see Dr. Campbell the very next day. Chronic ear infections were confirmed, while blood was drawn to get a baseline on his condition. Dr. Campbell agreed that Mac’s enlarged prostate was the likely cause of his indoor wetting, so it appeared that having him wear a diaper while waiting for his prostate to reduce in size was the appropriate course of action. Allergy medicine for his sneezing and a diet of lamb and rice in conjunction with a special shampoo were recommended to promote a healthy and beautiful white coat. Mac didn’t fight to wear a diaper, so waiting for his symptoms to disappear was just a matter of time or so I thought.
On Mac’s third visit to Dr. Campbell, a month after he arrived home, there seemed to be no improvement. At home, outside his urine stream continued to be very weak. The doctor suggested an x-ray and I agreed. When Dr. Campbell returned, he said, “I have good news and bad news. His ears are much better but he has bladder stones. Unfortunately, they’re not only in his bladder, but several are blocking his urethra as well.” My heart sank. He continued, “It’s like trying to pass a grapefruit through a straw, so they’ll need to come out.” The thought of Mac’s pain made me wince, and at that moment I knew I couldn’t let him down. Mac was helping me get past the loss of Teddy, so I had to return the favor.
With the help of such a wonderful organization like WestieMed, Mac was able to have his surgery and did very well. The doctor sees no reason why he won’t do just fine now. A bumpy start to our life together, but kind people who seem to watch over us help to pave the way. I believe people do watch out for us; the nice folks at WestieMed, my Teddy from up above and brother Tom.
Thank you so much for your help. Sue and my new best friend ‘Mac’
Update July 6, 2012
Mac is doing great. He has fully recovered from surgery and has quite a spring in his step for an eleven-year-old (or around there). He is a wonderful companion and I silently thank that silly man that brought him to the shelter all those months ago, definitely my good fortune. I’ve attached a picture.
Thank you doesn’t really seem enough to say to an organization like WestieMed, making such a difference in people’s lives, but thank you, thank you, thank you.
Sue and Mac (my little angel)
Update January 7, 2013
This past November Mac and I celebrated our one year adoption anniversary. He is doing just fine thanks to the help we received from WestieMed and the skill of Dr. Campbell.
Mac has been a blessing from the day we found each other. From helping me work through the loss of my beloved brother (Mac was my brother’s gift to me). Before his passing he had encouraged me to find “the best little shelter dog” to bring home, he didn’t want me to be alone. Mac has certainly fulfilled that role, a big role for a little dog. To recently, being by my side through the worst storm ever known to my small town in New Jersey. Mac provided comfort and courage through a terrifying experience. ‘Courage’, nothing new to the little terriers we love so much.
Thanks for checking on Mac, thanks I truly can’t convey with words.
George Carlin said “Life…is a series of dogs. It’s true! You just keep getting a new dog.” Wally is our latest arrival in a long line of rescued dogs of many breeds, one Collie Lucky, two Irish Setters Clover & Lexi, one Lhaso Apso, Raggs, one Golden Retriever mix Goldie, one Airedale, Harry, a Shephard mix, Ralphie, a Black & White English Setter, Mya and currently we have Mollie, an orange and cream English Setter and Maggie, an English Cocker Spaniel. I added this information to show you that most of our dogs have been large in the frame. We had stayed away from smaller dogs fearing their dispositions…well, Wally has totally disproved that notion.
After a long search including ads posted for a Westie online, I came across Westie Rescue of Alabama and worked with Phyllis, an absolute champion for rescued dogs. She told me wonderful things about a little nineteen-pound male Westie by the name of Wally aka ‘Little Man’ as she also called him respectfully Seemed he was about as well adjusted a Westie as one could adopt. Seems he had been surrendered from a loving home in Florida, then stayed in Alabama for two months with the rescue for testing and observation before adoption, then he was driven northeast to Tiverton, RI arriving late one night on 3/31/11. These two brave scouts had driven near straight through, twenty hours, to get my ‘dog’ to me. Note: Due to recent surgery, I was unable to drive out halfway. The minute he pranced across our kitchen floor, I could not believe my eyes, as the little white dog that I had longed for so long had arrived. With his walk, he showed that he thought himself to be a much bigger dog. He went right over and greeted our other two dogs, Maggie, our six-year-old English Cocker Spaniel, alpha girl, and Mollie, our seven-year-old English Setter, a sweet & mellow long-suffering lass. The room was filled with all shapes and sizes of dogs sniffing and wagging, no growling…just friendly acquaintancing. I know I must have been beaming from ear to ear, my hubby was so pleased to see full joy return to my face. (As in October 2010, we lost our sweetheart dog, Mya…she was the spark plug of love & life that was sorely missed. Since her passing the two other dogs seemed to sleep most of the day, no more pig piles of dogs, speed chases, nothing).
Well, one could see in an instant that Wally was a gleeful lad who seems to feel at home here and wanted to play and be played with. Wally’s big black eyes take you away, you melt just looking at him. He’s charming, and loves to play teasing games with us, i.e., ball and ”’wormie”. It wasn’t long that all three dogs were running, jumping, playing tag, and yes, even playing pig pile with Mollie on the bottom as usual. Wally rounds out our dog family…he’s the spark we all needed to have in so many ways.
Shortly after Wally arrived, we noticed a few spots of blood before he urinated we attributed it to the dogs’ horseplay as it only was observed that once only.
Then after a professional grooming, Wally developed circular patches on his abdomen that he would scratch. The vet diagnosed this as dermatitis and prescribed a one-time dose of steroid IM as well as an antibiotic. He examined him thoroughly. The next morning, we noticed twenty or so drops of frank red blood (from his penis) before he urinated. the vet advised that he felt that this had nothing to do with his examination but that he probably had bladder stones & to bring him in for an x-ray.
The x-ray showed an empty bladder with stones, large and small – the concern more for the smaller stones obstructing urine flow. Phyllis directed me to notify WestieMed. I sent off an email detailing our situation and the urgent need for help. I received a call from Bette within hours who reassured me that WestieMed would be there for us and asked if surgery could be scheduled sooner i.e., tomorrow versus the scheduled date of 8/1, etc. Bette had such a calming reassuring voice and manner to her. The call was surreal. I could hardly believe what I had heard as this news was all too wonderful to hear.
The next five days before surgery were long and difficult for us to watch Wally suffer through. At times, he bled twenty to thirty drops of blood before urinating, both inside and outside the house, straining so long to try to get some relief. He was so concerned with his ‘accidents’. He would try to get to the blood before we did, he would lick at it. He also tried to clean anything that was soiled, such a fantastic little guy.
Wally had surgery on 8/1 as scheduled. The surgery went well yet because two sharp-edged stones had embedded into the top of his urethra, he required a catheter and an overnight stay. I was reassured that he would be medicated for pain and sedated slightly. Well, come the next morning dear Wally had had enough, he pulled out the catheter himself and was cleared for discharge.
Homecoming was quiet but joyous!!! Just to have our Wally, our Little Man, back is everything. His recovery has been uneventful thankfully. All systems seem to be working well. The sutures remain intact with unchanged fullness, swelling around them and he returns for a recheck with suture removal in ten days.
Thank you, WestieMed, for all your immense assistance and help with our treasured West Highland Terrier, Wally. We marvel at his intelligence, youthful spirit, playfulness & energy. We will keep you updated on his progress, health, and adventures.
A few weeks ago we had a phone call from our local shelter about a purebred Westie named Sugar, who was turned in by her owner. She was about three and a half years old, according to him, and he gave no reason for no longer wanting her. He did say, however, that he had paid a lot of money for her and, since she had not been spayed, he wanted to sell her papers to whoever adopted her from the shelter. The shelter manager told him that would not be allowed and that, furthermore, all dogs adopted from the shelter are required by law to be spayed or neutered.
We made an appointment at our vets and went to pick her up at the shelter. Her vaccines were not up to date and no heartworm preventive had been purchased for a couple of years. We were concerned that she would be heartworm-positive. And she was very thin with no flesh over her ribs.
When I arrived at the shelter the manager was walking Sugar outside on a leash. It was very obvious that Sugar was in distress as, in spite of constant squatting, she could not urinate but a few drops at a time. We realized that her medical needs were urgent. When we arrived at the vet clinic, Sugar continued to squat and this time we were able to see that her urine was bloody. Dr. Foster examined her, brought her vaccines up to date and ran a heartworm check which thankfully was negative. She also had intestinal parasites. But, she suspected bladder stones and the x-rays confirmed the presence of three very large stones which had been causing her distress and had put her life in jeopardy. She had surgery the following morning after spending the night at the clinic on IV’s. We knew she was finally in very good hands and was going to get the medical care she needed. We had asked if it would be possible to spay her at the same time as when the stones were removed and Dr. Foster said that if she could, she would but that it depended on how extensive bladder surgery was going to be.
Dr. Foster called that afternoon to say that Sugar was doing well and that she had been able to spay her at the same time. We were able to pick Sugar up the next day. She had removed three bladder stones that were as big as walnuts. She gave us two of the stones and sent one to the lab. The results came back indicating that they were struvite stones and that she had been suffering with them along with a bladder infection for several months. Her bladder was really rough from the stones and it will take a while to heal.
Sugar arrived at her foster home on pain meds and antibiotics with instructions to keep her quiet and only leash walk her. She will have to be on a prescription diet for the rest of her life and have periodic testing to be sure stones aren’t forming again. Her appetite has returned and she is finally beginning to feel a lot better!
Sweet Sugar is recovering very well and she is a wonderful happy little girl who gets along with her foster mom’s dogs. She wants to play but we are still on ‘play hold’ until she is fully healed. We do roll a ball for her to catch, but not too far, and she thinks that’s great for now.
We look forward to placing this cute little girl who deserved so much more than she got, in a home where she will be loved, can cuddle with her new family, and be properly cared for, for the rest of her life. We will be very careful to make sure that happens!
We would like to thank WestieMed for their help in enabling us to bring this little girl’s health back to where it should be. And with your help, we will be able to get the dental work done for Sugar’s gingivitis which she desperately needs!
Update May 21, 2010
Great news! Sugar was adopted today!
Her new mom came down from DC to meet her and we all decided it was a perfect match. Sugar will be living with 2 male Scotties.
Susan, her new mom, has a live-in housekeeper so she will seldom be without human companionship.
I’ve attached a photo of Sugar with her new mom, Susan.
Update May 29, 2010: Sugar now named Marin
Hi everyone! I renamed Sugar Marin because all my “kids” are Ms — Madison (whom I lost last year), Monroe, and Morgan. Marin didn’t know her name was Sugar so she does not seem to mind. I haven’t found any words she does know, actually, including the all-time favorites: dinner, cookie, outside, sit, down, come. We had a challenging week because of this and the fact that she is quite possessive of me and not really great to my two Scottish terriers. She’s pretty aggressive with them, and they had a pretty sedate, calm life before she arrived. My oldest Scottie — Monroe — is eight and a half and a distinguished older gentleman. He’s not happy with our new addition at all and earlier this week, for the first time in his life, he somehow slipped under the fence and showed up on our neighbors’ porch, essentially saying, “I’m moving out; may I come to stay with you?” Fortunately, they called.
We had a breakthrough last night when I realized that Marin is very much like a puppy, regardless of her three and a half years. She doesn’t know any rules or have any manners, chews my fingers like a puppy, and runs wild. So, I have decided to treat her like a puppy who needs to start at the beginning with training and strict rules.
Today we had our first vet appointment; overall she’s in good shape and her gingivitis is not as bad as I thought it would be; they suggested we wait a couple of months before we put her under to get her teeth cleaned and thought that wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, she also had some white blood cells show up in her urine, so she still has a UTI or bladder infection. We have another course of antibiotics and “cranberry” pills to make that better; she does not seem in distress, however, and her previous surgeries are all healed nicely. Some other good news is that the vet thinks there’s a good chance that she does not have to be on the prescription food for her lifetime because the bladder stones were likely just from an untreated infection; we’ll keep her on the special food for a couple of months more and then re-evaluate.
It was a full day for Marin because she also had her first groomer appointment with our groomer (a lovely woman who breeds championship Scotties and used to groom the former President’s dogs — Barney and Ms. Beazley); she was patient and gentle with a nervous little girl who didn’t want her tail or feet touched. She does not look so wild anymore; she actually looks exactly like my precious Madison, which endears her to me more. She’s actually a very sweet little girl, and, although she just doesn’t know what to do, I can see that she would very much like to do the right thing and wants to be accepted.
There will be more challenges, but she is now part of our family. She has hundreds of toys to play with and gleefully dives into the toy box all the time to try them out. She has her own comfortable, safe bed in my room and has started to play in a healthy way with my youngest Morgan. She and Monroe were even chasing each other around last night; she runs like the wind. She’ll be okay.
Thank you all for your help and support.
Update September 5, 2010
I adopted Sugar (now named Marin) in May. She had severe bladder stones when her previous family gave her up, as well as gingivitis. She was on antibiotics for several months after I picked her up, but her bladder infection is all gone now, and her gingivitis is cleared up due, according to her new vet, a healthy diet. She has gained weight, which she needed.
She is also settling down into her new home, and she seems very pleased to be a member of our family, which includes two Scottish Terrier brothers. They play well together and go on long walks with my housekeeper, who also takes loving care of them.
Marin is asleep on the foot of my bed as I type this evening, where she likes to sleep “bottom to bottom” with my youngest, Morgan. He only tolerates that but it’s very sweet to see.
I am attaching a photo of Marin with her new afghan, especially crocheted just for her by my sister.
Thank you for taking care of our girl before she came to us.
Update April 5, 2012
WestieMed and a rescue group in Virginia saved sweet Marin’s life before she came to us, and she has been on a really healthy, happy track ever since. She has not had a health crisis in the almost two years since then. She is incredibly energetic, and she loves everybody, including her two brothers, Scottish Terriers Morgan and Monroe. She sleeps in her bed in my office while I work, and has lots of toys (which she loves) to play with.
Marin’s spirit is definitely indomitable, and we love her very much. Susan
My name is now Linnie because I am loved. I used to be just a number and the only love I got was from my puppies. Despite the fact that I have always lived in a small cage, I loved people and attention. I am a licker and a tail-wagger and when my jailers in Missouri decided I had to go, my rescuers from Westie Rescue Indiana brought me and a lot of my friends here to live a normal life.
My trip to the vet discovered a number of things wrong with me but the most major thing was that I had a bladder stone the size of a hen’s egg that was blocking my urethra so that I was miserable and peeing small amounts of blood mixed with urine. I also got an x-ray to see if I was pregnant. I wasn’t so I got spayed along with my bladder surgery and antibiotics to keep me from getting an infection. I have to always eat special urinary food so I don’t ever get these bladder stones again.
Well, that is about it except that I am waiting for my forever home. Thank you WestieMed for helping with some of my medical bills.
Update April 29, 2010: Linnie is now named Lynn.
Linnie, or Lynn as she is now called, has a great home with her new owner. She is well-loved. I will try to get some pictures.
Update October 22, 2010
Linnie has a perfect home with a wonderful nurse named Judy for her mother. She even has her own nanny who walks her during the day so she never has to be alone.
She loves chasing squirrels and birds (even caught one once), taking walks around the neighborhood and even cons her mom to carry her when she gets “tired”.
She has lost all the ugly brown stains from the cage that she called home for so many years in the puppy mill in Missouri.
She has a light in her eyes that weren’t there before and she lives life to the fullest thanks to WestieMed’s help.
March 16th started out like any other day. Woke up, let the Beagle man out, made coffee, checked email – Subject caught my eye: WHO CAN CARE FOR ME? I’VE BEEN ABANDONED!!! – I had to read on….
‘… as people struggle in this difficult economy, it is often our loyal and loving animal companions who suffer the most. This sweet little girl was found abandoned on a blanket, in a park in Framingham day-before-yesterday. The dog officer surmised she had been there all night, in the 19 degrees cold and rain. She is a sweet young dog who, as you can see, has a skin condition. She has had three skin scrapings to test for mites and they were all negative, however, the results of the tests confirmed a yeast infection. If no home or foster can be located for her, she is scheduled to be euthanized this coming week.”
LOOK at that face! I was smitten! When I arrived at the Framingham Animal Control office that day, she was standing in the back of the large concrete kennel — she had no hair, her skin was red, full of sores and lesions, her nails were long and curled, and HOW, HOW could a small dog smell so terrible? The Officer walked her out to my car – every three to four steps she would stop to pee — what was wrong? To be honest, I was wondering if she would make it at all… she was bleeding. Off to the most amazing Vet in MA – Dr. Holly Kelsey – her techs took this little one from my arms, washed her and soon after the Dr. started the examination, blood work, urine cultures, skin scrapings, x-rays, etc. Beenie was so agreeable. She was, no doubt, in pain yet not one growl, bite, or flinch. She had just surrendered.
Results: yeast infection, allergies, skin infections, bladder infection, ear infection, anemic, underweight, and the worst was the X-ray showed a bladder full of large stones. Stones that were too large to dissolve or pass; surgery was needed immediately. (I started to panic) I want to help, but how can I do this? What is going to happen to her? I can’t afford a $1,400. surgery… I wanted to cry. I thanked the Dr. and I took Beenie home. That evening she curled up on my lap on a towel and slept – I could feel the weight of her little tired body. For the next three hours, I made phone calls and emailed and I learned of WestieMed – and soon of ‘Bette’ – wonderful, unbelievable – with their support and this little girl’s determination, I thought pffft…she’s going to MAKE it!
After surgery, staples, antibiotics, allergy medication, special food, ear drops, medicated baths, up-all-night peeing, diarrhea, vomiting, etc… I can say that seven weeks later…
She’s the boss! She’s my little CEO. (True to this breed I’m told) She talks a lot, and she’s quite the conversationalist, she has opinions on EVERYTHING! She’s definitely a ham and a camera hog, but the best thing is her spirit. She is just so happy to be alive that it shows in her face every minute of every day.
I would have expected her spirit to be broken, or fearful of people, or overly aggressive. I mean, I would have more issues than The Reader’s Digest if I’d been in pain for that long. If you could translate her ‘Beenie-speak’, I would bet she says “LOOK, I’M SMILING! I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO TODAY! I LOVE MY FRIENDS, BROTHER, MOM, NEIGHBOR, MY FENCE DOG FRIEND JOYCE, PETCO, BELLY RUBS, PARK, CHICKEN, BALLS, EAR SCRATCHES, NURSING MY STUFFED MOUSE TOY, CHASING, RUNNING…’ She stole my heart from the very first time I met her!
She’s gained plenty of weight (because her Mommy is definitely qualified to fatten up a dog!) and now I can’t feel her ribs or backbone anymore. Her skin is healed and soft, her fur is completely back thick, shiny, soft and full.
We could all take a lesson from Ms. Beenie – happiness is a choice, a state of mind, not the result of your current circumstances. She’s made it!! Lucky me. My little Been Bag today! twelve pounds!
Update September 22, 2009
Allie is my heart!
She has a chronic urinary problem, but we address this every day with antibiotics (two pills a day), and one allergy pill every other day, with a side of prayer that bladder stones do not form again. She sleeps in bed on a towel and she knows just where to go when she’s allowed up. Of course, the towel is right on the passenger side of the bed at the pillow for comfort. 🙂
She looks extra cute these days and super feisty with the weather change.
Kind regards, Crystal
Update February 22, 2010
She has had no further problems. At all. Nothing. Not one thing. No bad urine samples, no stones, no allergies, etc… She’s on a daily regime of one chewable vitamin C, bottled water, and WD Chicken crunchies. She snacks on carrots, apples, cucumbers, and the occasional biscuit.
She’s as healthy and happy as could be.
She’s the most determined little girl ever… sometimes I get frustrated and then I look at her (and I say this out loud), ”I LOVE THAT ABOUT YOU”… she wags her tail….
Little girls are made of sugar and spice, mine has spirit and moxie…. I LOVE HER