Sunshine State Westie Rescue

Articles of Interest


Demodicosis or Demodectic Mange

Taz is a 4 year old male Westie that was a stray pulled from a Jacksonville shelter.  He was immediately taken to a wonderful Vet that specializes in Allergy and skin conditions where he was diagnosed with Generalized Demodectic Mange with secondary infections of the skin, eyes and ears.  In addition to the mange and infections he is severely malnourished.  The good news is that this type of mange is not contagious and if properly treated, can be controlled.

Demodicosis, also called demodectic mange or red mange, is caused by a sensitivity to and overpopulation of Demodex mites and Taz’s immune system is unable to keep the mites under control without help.

Demodex mites occurs naturally in the hair follicles of most dogs in low numbers around the face and other areas of the body.  In most dogs, these mites never cause problems. However, in certain situations, such as an under-developed or impaired immune systems, intense stress, or malnutrition, the mites can reproduce rapidly, as in Taz’s case.  This overpopulation of mites causes symptoms that range from mild irritation and hair loss on a small patch of skin to severe and widespread inflammation and secondary infections, again as in Taz’s case.

If you would like to learn more about Demodectic Mange follow this link:

Enter Mange in the search bar. 

Taz has endured a lot yet he continues to have a beautiful and tender personality.  Unfortunately he has a long and expensive road to his recovery ahead and he can use all the help he can get.

You CAN make a difference!  Sunshine State Westie Rescue appreciates every contribution made to keep our rescue going and to help Westies like Taz.  If you would like to make a donation for Taz follow the link below and make sure to note on the bottom of the form, “For Taz in Florida”. 

Donate Here


Make Yourself a Serious Pet Medical Emergency Kit

If you the type of person that likes to be active with your dogs outside of your home, you should carry a first aid kit. You never know when they might end up with a cut or scrape, or even worse. It never hurts to be prepared for an emergency. That preparation could end up saving your pet's or even some other pet's life.


Here are the veterinarian recommended items that you should have in the kit.

4 oz. Eye and Skin Wash or saline solution

artificial tear gel for after eye wash

mild grease-cutting  dish washing liquid to wash animal after skin contamination (pesticides, etc.)

muzzle to protect against fear inspired biting

non perishable can of your pet’s favorite wet food

cold pack (breakable cold sports packs are best)

styptic pencil or styptic powder for small bleeds

thermometer with case

4″ x 4 yd. flexible, cohesive, stretchable  gauze wrap

alcohol prep pads

2″ x 2″ and 3″ x 3″ sterile pads

gauze pads

two 5″ x 9″ trauma pads for compression

1″ x 2 yard adhesive tape

3 ply towels

iodine solution

hydrocortisone cream

triple antibiotic ointment

cotton swabs and cotton balls

latex or vinyl gloves

1 pair scissors

4″ plastic forceps or tweezers

hand wipes

antiseptic wipes

hydrogen peroxide, 3 % to induce vomiting

turkey baster to administer the hydrogen peroxide

blanket that can double as a pet sling carrier

Acknowledgments; This information came from the blog “TRAVELS WITH MY DOG”, found on and was posted by Raja, June 8th, 2011. The Three Rivers Veterinary Clinic in Madison , New Jersey assisted in putting together this list.

The benefit of vitamin E in your Westie's diet.

Vitamin E, an antioxidant, may be given to dogs to improve their overall health. Dogs with coat problems and immune diseases have the greatest need for vitamin E, but some veterinarians recommend vitamin E supplementation for all dogs.
  1. An Antioxidant
    • Vitamin E, an antioxidant, destroys the free radicals in a dog's body. Free radicals cause degenerative conditions in the body, such as aging. The presence of industrial chemicals and other pollutants increase free radicals, so dogs have more of a need for antioxidants than when the earth had less pollution. Vitamin E works to stabilize free radicals, so that they do not cause damage in a dog's body.

    Helping a Dog's Coat

    • Vitamin E works several different ways to improve a dog's skin. A supplement of vitamin E strengthens tissues and makes a dog more resistant to cold weather. Vitamin E also has an anti-inflammatory effect on some dog skin disorders. It can cut down on redness and itchiness due to allergies. If a dog does not have enough vitamin E in their body,it may become more susceptible to skin mite infestation.


    • Different researchers and veterinarians recommend different dosages of Vitamin E supplements for dogs. Some recommend 200 to 300 IU (International Units) for a dog weighing 15 to 50 pounds, and 300 to 400 IU for a dog heavier than 50 pounds. Another expert recommends 400 IU for all dogs under 2 years old, and 800 IU for dogs over 2 years old. No known side effects occur as long as the dosage stays below 4,000 IU of vitamin E each day.

    Applied Topically

    • Vitamin E also benefits a dog's skin when applied topically. Vitamin E capsules may be pricked with a pin, and the liquid vitamin E squeezed out onto a dog's skin. Vitamin E ointment helps to nourish, moisturize and heal dry skin and small cuts. This treatment may commonly be used on chapped paws and ears, as well as minor skin irritations under the coat.

    Other Supplements

    • Dogs receive similar and more effective benefits when vitamin E combines with other supplements. Large dosages of vitamin E increase a dog's need for vitamins A and D. B-complex vitamins complement vitamin E to improve a dog's skin. Vitamin C works with vitamin E to make it more effective in a dog's body. Selenium, another antioxidant, has similar and complementary benefits when paired with a Vitamin E supplement. As a topical medication, aloe vera also nourishes dry, damaged skin.

Read more: Vitamin E for Dogs |

written by Rachel Schwartz, eHow Contributor

Car safety for your Westie friends

As you all know, seatbelts save lives.  Have you ever thought about what could happen to your westie if you were ever in a car accident?  As you can imagine, it could result in some very bad, if not fatal injuries.  Pet seatbelt restraints could help save your pets life.  Not only would it help them stay safe in the event of an accident, but it helps keep them restrained to their seats instead of jumping all over the place and creating a distraction for the driver.  What about those dogs that like to dart out the door the minute it's opened?  This would absolutely help keep your dog safe in many ways.  

Ok, so what on earth is she talking about....I bet that's what you're thinking.  Well, I'm talking about the Clix, car safe harness.  This information comes courtesy of our Northwest Regional Director, Becky Ann, who has had up to 5 dogs to walk at the same time.  This is her review...

Although we aren't necessarily endorsing this brand, it's proven to be the best I've found. Very versatile - allows the pup to move around a little and get comfortable, sit, lay down or stand and see out the window, at the same time, being 'plugged in' to the seat belt buckle for safety. The padded chest piece lends comfort and safety. When traveling with multiple dogs, it is extremely reassuring to know they are buckled in safely, and cannot 'charge' the open door when you stop the vehicle.  This harness also doubles as a walking harness, unbuckling from the seat belt, attaching to a leash. I have walked 5 dogs in Clix harnesses at once, using only one leash!  

The 'small' size is a perfect fit for a 12 - 25 pound westie. Xtra-small would be recommended for puppies. 

This website is where she found the best prices so far available for this harness.


Here is one of her fosters, Willy, modeling the harness for us.

© Sunshine State Westie Rescue 2012
All Rights Reserved
Designed and Maintained by ©Bev O'Keefe and SEO Smooth