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.
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 serrapeptase for herself from http://goodhealthnaturally.com . What was interesting was that they also had some specifically for pets, at 80,000iu 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. More recent searches on the internet show that the product is readily available and can be found on the High Street at all good Health Food shops.
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 water 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
We recently bumped into a chap who we see from time to time whilst out walking with our new dogs. As the story goes, about 5 years ago, we noticed that his Westie, Stanley, appeared to be struggling with an intermittent cough. Back then we tentatively asked if his boy had been diagnosed with WLD and sadly he was, albeit in the early stages, and had been prescribed the usual steroids by his vet. When we ran the idea of Serrapeptase past him, he took the decision to take his dog off steroids straight away and replace them with the Serrapeptase supplement, which he bought locally, taking one tablet in the morning & another in the evening. When we bumped into him in April 2018, we looked around to see if his Westie was still with him, and he replied “Yes, he’s still doing his usual thing, sniffing & mooching along somewhere back there!” To our amazement, there was Stanley….as bright as he was 5 years ago, but naturally a bit older & a bit slower….but still going strong. Whilst Serrapeptase clearly can have a really positive impact if you can catch the disease early enough, it isn’t a miracle cure, but it must have the ability to hold off the onset of WLD. We have found that it is always worth a try, and as it is easily bought locally or on the internet, & simply being a supplement, it can’t really bring your dog to much harm. If you are ever in any doubt about giving your dog Serrapeptase, always run it by your vet to get their opinion. We have found over the last few years that vets seems to be slow to provide this “alternative” treatment (the cynic in us believes that it is because the vet doesn’t make any money out of it), but more & more are becoming open to the idea and supporting people wanting to take this option up.