Missy’s Story

Photo of Missy after being handed over to Westie Rescue IrelandWe took Missy in in March 2006. She was fostered by a wonderful foster-carer called Tara in Dublin.

Missy was in a simply dreadful condition, suffering from extremely advanced Atopy, often called “Westie Skin”.

She was in dreadful pain, she couldn’t bear to be touched, she even found it painful to move.

Photo of Missy showing her advanced Atopy skin condition
Missy was missing most of her hai/her skin was bleeding in places, and she had an extensive secondary bacterial and yeast infection.

We had to try to decide whether it would be kinder to put poor Missy to sleep as she was in such pain.

But after long discussions with the vet, we decided we had to give her a chance, and treatment started in earnest immediately.

Photo of Missy after a week of treatment for AtopyDespite her pain and dreadful itching, Missy remained kind-natured and patient. She had to receive medication every day, and was bathed in a medicated shampoo 3 or 4 times every week, to help relieve the itching and kill of the secondary infection.

A week later, you can see that Missy’s coat is brightening up, hair is starting to grow on the bald patches, and her skin is healing.

She’s also taking more of an interest in things!

Photo of Missy a month after treatment

Even still, Missy always sought out cold tiles to lie on to help cool herself down from the hot itching.

Here’s Missy a month after treatment started, and what a difference! The skin is healing beautifully, and she has grown a lot of her coat back. Her wagging tail is a blur!

Around about now, a lovely couple, originally from Bray, contacted me in search of a new Westie.

Photo of Missy 7 weeks after treatment

They weren’t bothered about whether their new dog looked perfect, and weren’t phased about taking on an Atopic Westie.

I told them all about Missy, and they were hooked!

Missy said her goodbyes to Tara, who had done a first-class job helping this dotey little dog.

Photo of Missy in her new home

Here’s Missy shortly after moving into her new home, about 7 weeks after we first took her in:

Missy’s owners spend a lot of their time in Spain now, and Missy has become a sun worshipper!

Photo of Missy beside a swimming pool in Spain

As you can see, her coat is perfect now, after lots of hard work and dedication from fosterer and new owners.

Missy is well worth all the effort though!

 Photo of Missy enjoying the sunshine in Spain

She is a gorgeous, sweet-natured little Westie, and typically, like to get up to mischief to when the opportunity arises!

Atopy is a horrendous disease which causes untold suffering for the dog, and is expensive to treat. It is extremely itchy and makes the dog feel like she’s burning up.

Some Westies do not respond to treatment and have to be put to sleep. The condition tends to manifest itself when the Westie is about a year old, although it can show in young pups, and appear suddenly in older dogs.

This is yet another reason why it’s so important to choose your breeder carefully should you decide to purchase a Westie, as knowledgeable breeders are trying to eliminate this condition from the breed.

But we are fighting an uphill battle against the hundreds of cowboy breeders in Ireland today. Only when buyers become more discerning and insist on better breeding and better conditions from the breeders they’re buying from, will such horrible conditions stand a chance of disappearing.

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