My special fwiend Bonnie da Westie's story
Muvva was lukin for a doggy to keep her old collie Midge company and in prepurashon for wen Midge went over the Rainbow Bridge, as Midge was then 15 yrs old. So when she saw a litter of West Highland puppies for sale nearby she made an appointment to go and see dem.
It was a typical mucky farm but da kitchen woz warm and da lady seemed qwite frendly. She brort 2 puppies out for mum to see. Me an me sisfur who was half da size of me. I wanted to get out of dere pronto so me rushed ova to ware mum woz sitting an grabbed her bag and dragged it under da table. Mum fort dat woz cute, I woz just lookin for a bus ticket or sumfin in da bag to get away.
Anyway, mum decided to choose me, and paid da lady who gave mum a hand ritten pedigree wot looked very amachurish to mum but she didnt mind she juz wanted me as a pet. Da lady told mum I'd got upset tum and explodin bum as she was puttin me in da car.
Wot muvva didnt realise at dat time woz it woz a puppy farm. Da woman had lots of diffrunt doggies in barns round da farm. She glimpsed sum as she woz leavin da farm and wen we got home she reported da place to da RSPCA but dey neva did nuffin, and da woman still selling pups to dis day. A few munfs later wen me woz well enuff to go out on da lead mum met a lady wif a Westie and it turned out it woz me sisfur from my litter. She and me woz da only 2 dat survived from our litter, all da ovvers died of Giardia. Evduntly sisfur Westie, Holly she called, well her mum was gonna take her back an dats wen she found out all our siblings had died. So she changed her mind and took her home agen. I not sure if she still alive now, dat woz 6yrs ago. I hope she is.
Back to me story, mum took me strayt home to meet sisfur Midge who had stayed at home. That nite me wasn't very well. I woz in lot of pain and had exploding bum most of da night. So in da mornin mum took me to vets for a checkup.
Dey fort I had Parvo Virus, and took several samples of me poo and blood and evfurryfing and mum brort me home agen. Vet said we had to wait for results. Mum had to call vet out in da night as me got wurse and I woz given more tablits and mum told to keep me warm and take me back to vet in morning.
Dis went on for couple of weeks. Backwards and furwards to vet. Woznt Parvo but vet woznt sure wot it woz. Me woz getting sicker an sicker and fading fast and mum was in a rite state. I almost died several times it was a terruble time.
Evenchully vet discovered it woz Giardia. Now dats a little microscopic critter wot lives between da lining of da stomach and da stomach walls, hidden under da mucus stuff. And it don't hatch out regularly so iz difficult to diagonose or so vet told mum. All I know woz I almost got me wings.
Evenchully wif lots of meds and visits to da vets and lots of love from muvva, me got better, but me woz never da same after. Sensitive tum mainly.
I also suffered from regular urinary tract infecshons and in 2012 I had bladder stones. So had to have dem treated. I've neva bin able to hold meself ova nite, and always had to haf puppy pads put down so me cud get up and pee at least once ushually more evfurry nite. Mum didnt mind cuz she loved me. So was no bovva to put a few pads down by side of bed.
December 2012 weren't a good year. I woznt too bad just da usual wee infecshons, exploding bums and Westie wind. But me poor sisfur Midge woz goin downhill fast. She was 17 yrs old, almost blind, senile and occasionally incontinet, and not too good on her legs, she kept falling ova. Den one day, 2 weeks afore chrismuss her front paw curled unda and she cudn't walk properly. We woz all in da lounge I woz wotchin TV and Midge went and sat infront of mum wif her head on mum's knee. She woz telling mum she'd had enuff and woz reddy to go over da Bridge. See we can all talk to each ovva here, and muvva knows wot we want. Next day vet lady came and I had to stay in da lounge wif da kittehs while dey saw to Midge. Dey was very gentle and kind and mum held Midge da whole time. She went over da Bridge so peaceful, it woz bootiful. No fur cud wish for a nicer passing. Mum got Midge's ashes back a few days before Chrismuss eve and we lighted a candle next to her casket over da Chrismuss, as we duz evfurry year since. I did miss me sisfur and I still do. But I got me furbro Mojo now and me so glad me haz got him cuz us blind dogs needs a companion to help us.
In 2013 I had upset explodin bum agen, dis time due to an infecshon in me gums, and got vewy thin, as well as me urinary problums. So was ill for a long time wiv dat, and wen me was almost better I came into season and had a phantom pregnancy. It woz one fing afta anuvver.
It took all me mums savings to pay da vet and she made some hooge sacrifices to make sure me got da treatment me needed.
During me phantom pregancy I even had milk. I dunt do fings by halves pals. But while me had all dat going on I also got infecshon in me uterus so vet said as soon as me woz well enuff me had to go in and be spayed. I hadn't bin before cuz of me weak bladder and vet fort it wud make dat wurse, but now dere was no choice.
So I was spayed. Dats ware me famuss nickers originayted.
I got better from all dat but woz a long slow recovery as yoo can imagine.
Anyways, fings were goin along ok and we moved house in July 2014. Mum woz worried I wudn't be well enough but me woz.
A couple of munfs after moovin I was poorly agen wif anuvva unrinary tract infecshon and da vet found I had crystals in me bladder agen, but no stones dis time. So I went bak on da speshul diet to dissolve dem and dey went away.
Mum noticed around dis time me was barkin a bit more and couldn't jump up on da sofa or bed by meself. And I was also easily startled. I also started drinking a lot, and I meanz a lot, and coz I woz drinkin a lot I was also peeing a lot too. Every half hour, day and nite. Even haffin accidents in da house which I neva dun before.
So mum took me for a Cushings test but it woz clear. I woz given antibiotics and told it wud clear up. It didn't. Den me sight got worse and I woz bumpin into fings, although me eyes still looked normal, dark brown and healthy. So mum took me back agen to vet and was referred to da vets eye expert at Bude, Cornwall. It was a long way from our new house but mum didnt want to change me vets at this point, and fort it best to stay wif same one til me health woz sorted out.
So we attended da appointment at Bude, it took an hour to get dere from home. Da eye vet examined me and told mum he suspected I'd got SARDS and explained wot it is and how it affects me. Dere's a page all about it on me blog so just click da tab to find out.
Da eye vet sed he wud refer me to a opthalmic specialist and an appointment woz made. The opthalmic specialist Mr Jim Carter, had his clinic at Newton Abbot, which woz even furva away from home. Da eye vet sed I needed an ERG wich wud be very very expensive.
Mum woz distrort. She had no money for an expensive specialist, and she had nuffin to sell to raise money eitha. She cried a lot dat nite. She tried not to let me see or hear, but I did. It didn't upset me cos of me illness it upset me cus I fink I got da best mum in da werld and she wood moov mountains to help all us fur babies, and has always helped evfurryone else she cud one way or annova.
A Twitter fwend suggested she start up a youcaring page to ask for help wif my vet bills. Mum sed she cudn't do dat cus it like begging and she too proud to beg. But Twitter fwend sed as we had dun so much for ovvers and raised so much money for charity in da past people wud want to help us. So mum made a youcaring page and asked peepul to help explaining wot for and why we needed it.
We woz amazed by peepuls generosity and kindness, and mum woz cryin agen den, cuz she cudn't believe how wondfurful evfurryone woz to us. So now she had no worries about takin me to da specialist Mr Carter.
So anyways, mum and a lovely Twitter fwend took me up to see Mr Carter and dey had to leave me dere for a few hours to haf speshul tests and be sedated and all dat stuff. I fink dey went off and had lunch at some beach cafe and enjoyed demselves pffftt.
Wen mum came to collect me, she woz told me definittly had SARDS and dere was no cure for it. I'd had to have an electroretinogram fingie wich is electrodes on me eyeballs to record da level of reaction to lights and stuff.
Mr Carter sed me readin flatlined wich meant dere was very little sight left in me eyes. He also sed he wanted mum to arrange for me to haf anovva Cushings test as a lot of dogs wif SARDS also haf Cushings. Mum paid da bill and a follow up appointment woz made for February.
In da meantime, me sight got wurse. By the time I went for me Cushings test I woz totally blind. Mum had scoured internet in hope of finding something to help, and found Dr Plechner in America who said he could cure SARDS dogs, but it was too late for me, my sight was alreddy gone.
I had me Cushings test and it woz positive. So now me had SARDS and Cushings. Not a good prognosis. Most dogs wif Cushings only live 6 to 12 mths after diagnosis wif no treatment, and wif treatment up to 3 or 4yrs from diagnosis. But the treatment is expensive. Regular ACTH tests to measure da amount of cortisol in bloodstream, as Cushings makes yoo produce too much, and da medication is rilly expensive.
I was started on a very low dose of medication, 30mg as too high a dose can kill a dog. Then 14 days after I had to have anovva ACTH test and my levels woz still too high, but vet said another test in 4 weeks to double check before increasing the dose.
Ov corse as da dose goes up so duz da cost. And da ACTH tests int cheap either. Almost £100 a time.
I had me checkup wiv Mr Carter at a local vets ware he holds a 2 wkly clinic for just checkups, no treatments, and he did a few tests and sed me woz now 100% totally blind, and wants to see me in 6mths for anuvva checkup, to see if da retinal cells dat are no longer in use are causing any problems, as eviduntly as dey break down and dissolve into me body dey can cause an infecshon inside me eyes. So he wants to keep an eye on dat every so often.
So dats ware me is at da moment. Vets tryin to get me on rite dose to control da symptoms of me Cushings, wivout killing me or makin me ill.
Once dat all sorted out, muvva is gonna register me at a local vets, ware Mr Carter holds a 2 weekly clinic just for checkups (can't do nuffin dere as he not got specialist equipment dere). Da vets is recommended and is only 15mins away from home, so shud dere be an emergency wif me due to da meds or Cushings, mum can get me dere quickly rava dan drive for an hour to get me to da Devon vets.
Me is so dependant on me pals to help muvva cover da cost of me vets bills. If eva da fund runs out, dat wud mean no more meds or treatment or checkups for me, and mum wud haf to fink about sending me over da Rainbow Bridge, and me not reddy to go dere yet pals.
That is me story.
Lukin on da bright side, I fink fings happen for a reason, and if me can help wif advice or informashon for any furs dat find demselves wif SARDS or Cushings den I will. And da idea of dis blog is for mum to put fings here so people can find dem like ware to get halo coats, or anyfing dat will make life easier.
We mite not haf as long as most furs but we must make each day count, and live it like its our last, and help and love all furs ware eva dey be.
I love you my fwends