September 2013

It has now been a year since we published this website in memory of our two boys Austin & Harry.

We still miss them both terribly, but time is a great healer and they will never be forgotten.

We have been astounded to have had over 4,500 visitors worldwide to our site in this time. It just goes to show how rife this disease seems to be.

Our thanks go to the many people who have contacted us offering an insight to their own experiences in dealing with the disease, some of which we have posted up on our visitors page. We have managed to reply to as many as we can.

We sincerely hope that the information we have been able to provide on this site has been beneficial in helping other Westie owners going through what we did.

As far as we are aware, over the last 12 months, the treatment being handed out by veterinarians hasn’t progressed any further. In the many visitors we have had, steroids (both orally or inhaled) appear to be the principal mode of treatment with the sole purpose of trying to hold off the development of the lung scarring. There may well be developments in progress but nothing significant from vets seems to be forthcoming having heard from visitors to our site.

On a more positive note, several visitors have been trying alternative methods of treatment, in the form of enzymes, with good if not better results than compared to steroids. They have been found to hold off the increased scarring but they are not clinically tested drugs merely classed as supplements, and ultimately the scarring always wins in the end. Unfortunately we are unable to provide any guidance from our own experience as to dosages or how they work etc. as we didn’t use this method ourselves.

Having said that Ann Robertson (see Visitors Comments – 18 August 2013) provided us with the following information as a guide for her Westie Molly : “The tablets I am buying are Natures Aid and are 80,000iu High Potency and am giving one in the morning and one in the evening.”

A couple of examples of alternative enzyme experiences can be found on our visitor’s page. If you wish for us to pass on your details and any questions you may have to the Westie owners who tried this mode of treatment, please drop us a line and we would be happy to forward them on. They have advised us that they would be happy to share what experiences they have had directly with you.

In addition to the notes on Visitors Comments from Fiona Green, she very kindly pointed out to us in January 2014 that she bought some serrapeptose for herself from http://goodhealthnaturally.com . What was interesting was that they also had some specifically for pets, at 80,000 dosage, which is also the recommended human dose level. Whilst they are only a supplement, they clearly have a significant role to play in helping fighting lung conditions in both humans and pets.

November 2013

We received a note from a group of ladies in the USA who are seeking to find alternative options for treating WLD. Their findings involved the use of using cold laser therapy.  We believe that this treatment isn’t something that is readily available or offered in the UK, although some vets may have come across it’s uses for other conditions. Their information surrounds a westie called Kalie, who has had WLD for over 5 years and is seemingly doing really well getting this therapy. Their owner’s vet wrote an article in 2009 and recently added a follow up for Kalie’s IPF.  Attached is the link with the 2013 update at the bottom:

http://www.westiemed.org/health/pulmonaryfibrosis/

For anyone who is interested in this treatment we would advise you to refer this option to your own vets, for their consideration and for you to discuss with them. The highly dedicated group are happy to send information to anyone who wishes to explore this therapy further. If you wish us to forward your details on, please drop us a line on the contact us page.

A cure may be a long way off but after many years of there being little hope, if there are small fruits of peoples’ endeavours which may just be finding a way to stave off the effects of WLD, this must be seen as positive steps forward.

November 2013

We were contacted by Professor Cécile Clercx (small animal internal medicine) at the University of Liège in Belgium and she is highly concerned with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. She is the coordinator of a European project to better understand this disease; they have several veterinary partners in the UK also (Dr Sheena Warman from Bristol University is the local coordinator). They also collaborate with Westie breed clubs. Attached are a couple of PDF documents with more detailed information about their project. We felt it was a good opportunity to make Westie owners aware that such a project exists.

Attached you will find the letter that has been sent to the owners, just click on the following link – Letter for breeders 2013
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Another attachment is included, that is a folder for owners about the project. just click on the link – Folder IPF English
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The aim of this is that all visitors to our website can be more informed and aware of the project they are co-ordinating and could have the opportunity to directly contact Professor Clercx and Dr Warman by email if you wish to obtain additional information.
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Since then, in May 2014, we received a note from Prof. Clercx with regards to a new website they are developing in the area of Pulmonary Fibrosis in Westies. It is currently being updated and can be found by pointing your browser at http://www.caninepulmonaryfibrosis.ulg.ac.be.
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February 2014
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We received a note from Matt Huentelman in the USA who is a researcher at a non-profit making academic research institute and is working on a Genetic Study into Westie Lung Disease. He is currently looking for DNA samples from dogs with the disease. All that they need is a quick collection of saliva from your dog using a special kit that they will send you by post. It is fast, doesn’t harm your dog, and can be done in the security of your own home. If you, or others, would like to enroll their dogs in their study it can all be done directly via their site at: https://canine.tgen.org/k9/Kit-Request/28/West-Highland-White-Terrier-with-Interstitial-Pulmonary-Fibrosis-IPF.html. Our hope is that by providing them with more information, it provides a better hope that one day they and others can unlock the terrible secrets behind WLD.
April 2014
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On 13 April we received a note from Rachel Taylor who sadly lost her beloved Springer Spaniel Meg to pulmonary fibrosis, the same disease that is known as WLD. Further details can be seen on the Visitors comments page dated 14 August 2013. As part of her quest to help seek for a better treatment or even a cure for this, she is embarking upon a fundraising challenge which we’d like to bring to your attention should you wish to donate and her the cause.In honour of her memory and other dogs who have suffered at the hands of this cruel disease, she has set herself a challenge to complete the Yorkshire Dales Three Peak Challenge on 21 June 2014 to raise money for research into the condition for the University of Edinburgh Veterinary Hospital.She has set up a Just Giving Page and the link is here www.justgiving.com/Rachel-Taylor25. We wish her well in her fundraising.
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May 2014
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We would like to thank Ann Robertson with her Westie, Molly, for her continued help, support, and on going advice to people who have enquired into the use of and application of enzymes. The initial introduction to enzymes came from a valued visitor, Fiona Green, and Ann has taken this on with Molly and is helping a good number of people nurse their beloved pets with the WLD condition. We would also like to thank Sonia Stanyer for her continued updates with Benson who is also taking enzymes, giving us all encouraging news alongside Ann’s findings. Sonia’s notes can be found on Visitors Comments (circa November 2013).
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One interesting but very sad note is that since our site was established in September 2012, we have now had in excess of 12,000 visitors, which just goes to show that the disease is becoming more widespread and needs the attention to find a cure that it so dearly deserves. It serves to underline the fact when choosing a Westie pup, you would be well advised to research the breed lines as much as possible and wait to get one from reputable breeders who know the family tree of your pup.
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June 2015

We received some sad news from one of our long standing correspondents, Sonia, with Benson who had battled with WLD since being diagnosed in early 2012. He passed away on the weekend of 20 June 2015. During all that time his only treatment was Serrapeptase, and Sonia tells us that he ought fought WLD, being beaten by something else in the end. Sonia’s story with Benson and her latest update is at the foot of the Visitors Comments page. He was a real trouper and proved to us all that the enzyme route certainly worked for him. We thank Sonia (and Benson) for all their help and feedback for everyone else share and hopefully benefit from.