Eight-year-old Samson was walked into his vet’s office one day but not for a regular appointment. His owners asked the vet to have the sweet boy put down because they could not take care of him. One of Samson’s eyes was malformed from birth but that had never slowed him down. When he arrived at the vet clinic that day, he had horrible skin and hair loss, fleas, intestinal parasites, bad hips, and a severe heartworm infestation.
The vet asked Samson’s owners to release him to her care and promptly reached out to Westie & Scottie Rescue Houston (WSRH) for help. The vet treated Samson’s intestinal parasites and started addressing his condition with bloodwork and medications prior to sending him to WSRH. He was in a small town about four hours from our primary location so several volunteers offered to do a relay to transport him and one of our experienced fosters who has taken care of many dogs with heartworms took him into her home.
Samson was taken in to see our vets at Bear Branch Animal Hospital where he was examined by Dr. Kim Hilscher who confirmed he was heartworm positive and assessed the condition of his heart, lungs, and hips with x-rays. It was determined that his bad hips were due to fused vertebrae and the vet recommended pain management for the time. Due to his poor condition, we decided to work on Samson’s general health prior to starting a split treatment to kill the heartworms. After a month of good quality food, medicated baths, and a couple of rounds of doxycycline, Samson went in for his first injection of Immiticide, after which his activities were restricted while the medication did the work of killing heartworms. Vet appointments at two weeks and then four weeks later confirmed he was doing fine, so then Samson was given the full treatment of two Immiticide injections and another month of restrictions.
Things went well for Samson and he received clearance from the vet for successful heartworm treatment so his next job was to find a forever home. While waiting for the right person to take notice, Samson took ill quite suddenly and was rushed to the emergency vet for vomiting and passing blood. Samson was admitted to the hospital where he received fluids and medication to stabilize him and x-rays werer taken to help determine the cause of his distress. Samson spent the next three days on fluids at Bear Branch until he was back to his normal self and returned to his foster home. There was no definitive cause found for this issue but Samson has not had a recurrence.
The next step for Samson is to meet approved adopters who are interested in adding him to their family. We are very grateful to WestieMed for help in treating Samson and making it possible for him to get healthy and find a forever family of his own.
Westie & Scottie Rescue Houston
Update June 28, 2017
We are ever grateful to WestieMed for helping us help Samson get well and find his furever home.
Not long after recovering from the emergency room visit, Sam caught the eyes and hearts of a wonderful family of terrier people and it was mutual love at first sight when they met. Thankfully he had finished all his restrictions before meeting his new furry siblings, especially BFF Colleen, an adventuresome Scottie who joins Sam each day running, playing, and watching for birdies. All the running (and digging!) has helped strengthen Sam’s legs and improve his balance. Sam’s furever family loves him very much, stating the highlight of the day is each evening before bedtime when daddy gets on the floor to play and Sam talks to him.
Thank you, WestieMed, for helping us give Sam a well-deserved happily furever after!
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!
Sugar, a darling westie mix, was rescued at the tender young age of five months. Her breeders were unable to sell her through a newspaper ad and thus decided they would simply keep her and breed her, like her mother to make more westie-mix puppies. Rather than allow her to become a backyard breeder producer of yet more unwanted mixed-breed puppies, I managed to convince them to surrender her to me.
Upon getting Sugar home, we discovered she had a number of parasites, and needed several vet visits and a few rounds of medication to become healthy, which we are grateful to WestieMed for providing. After a few weeks of treatment, she is looking much better and really starting to put on weight, and is now healthy enough to be spayed soon.
Sugar was lucky to be saved from life as an overbred, sickly dog with little quality of life, producing litter after litter in hopes of earning her owners a few extra dollars. This is how the pounds end up full of dogs who started out as “cute puppies” and then when the novelty wears off, they end up unwanted and neglected, ultimately populating the pounds where they are often euthanized. It is critical that every one of us do what we can to help break that cycle whenever possible.
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
Winston came from a shelter in South Carolina in November 2001. Soon after arriving in rescue, he was treated for internal parasites and vaccinated, and he tested positive for heartworm. It was also determined that he was in a very weakened condition. His x-rays showed that he had an enlarged heart and a lot of fluid around the heart. Due to his weakened condition, the heartworm treatments would need to be spaced one month apart. His second heartworm treatment was received in December 2001. On January 15,2002, he was back in for a recheck and cough that had developed. Blood work revealed a secondary infection, and x-rays revealed his heart was still enlarged; however – he was clear of heartworms! Because of the continued heart enlargement, an echocardiogram was suggested for further diagnosis. This was performed on January 29, 2002. The echocardiogram showed that the right ventricular was thickened and there is a small amount of leaking. Additional x-rays are recommended in one month prior to anesthetic procedure for neutering. Winston will also need to take a baby aspirin every three days for the rest of his life, after the antibiotics are completed. Another echocardiogram is recommended again in six months. Since arriving, Winston has been kept confined with little to no activity as required for his care. Any exuberant exercise or activity could cause him to have an aneurysm. Winston should be able to lead a normal life once he has recovered, but he could be susceptible to congestive heart failure at a earlier age.
Update – August 2002:
Thanks for inquiring about Winston, my favorite subject! He is doing well. He was adopted on May 1, 2002, and now resides in West Virginia. His health has greatly improved. If you are planning to attend Montgomery County weekend this year (in October) you may have an opportunity to meet him at the parade of rescues. Thanks for caring about Winston.