Copyright 2014, Starlight Westies, All Rights Reserved
Starlight Westies
Coat and Health

Westies have a double wire coat, daily brushing is recommended.   Pet
grooming  (clipping) and bathing should be done every 2 months or so,
depending on the dog. If you are showing your dog he will need to be hand
stripped every week.
Between grooming we found that baby powder with corn starch will help
clean your westie just fine,.Sprinkle a bit all over ( avoiding the eyes  and
head area) , wait a couple of minutes and brush out, for a surprising
cleaning effect. . Be sure to do that outside or you will have white powder all
over your house. Nail trimming should  be done every week or every other
week maximum, we use a dremmel grinder for this.
Westies  are generally a healthy breed,  proper coat care, exercise and
nutrition can contribute for a better overall heath.
Westies as any other breed may suffer from several ailments, for more
information on westie's health concerns dig here

Nutrition and More

Health is one of our priorities when raising our dogs.  We have found that
nutrition and strong immunity is of paramount importance for the westies
overall health. Our dogs are feed an BARF( Bones and Raw Food) or ARF
(Appropriate Raw Food) diet, and pesticides, insecticides and toxic
chemicals  such as flea, tick  and heartworm  products are never used.
This guidelines are followed to give our dogs a healthy immune and
digestive system , helping diminish vet visits due to strong health and
The Benefits of an ARF diet include:
  • Stool are less and less smelly
  • Clean teeth, and good breath
  • Dogs show more vitality, proper body weight and muscle mass
  • Strong immune system, better coat, no allergies, better overall health

You know what is being put in your dog’s plate, you control the ingredients,
these are foods you would cook for yourself, you don’t eat processed
kibble, why should your pet?
A chance for a long life for your companion, avoiding cancers and other
diseases that are an epidemic today..


We follow the Jean Dodds Protocol


W. Jean Dodds, DVM
938 Stanford Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310-828-4804; Fax 310-828-8251
e-mail: hemopet@hotmail .com

Note: The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs
where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable.  The
schedule is one I recommend and should not interpreted to mean
that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less
satisfactory.  It's a matter of professional judgment and choice.
Idade dos Filhotes
Vaccine Type
9 - 10 semanas
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
(e.g. Intervet  Progard Puppy DPV)
14 semanas
Same as above
16 -18 semanas (optional)
Same as above (optional)
20 weeks or older, if allowable by
1 year
Parvovirus + Distemper, MLV
1 year
Rabies, killed 3-year product (give
3-4 weeks apart from
distemper/parvovirus booster)
Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three
years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies virus
according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written
waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian.  In that
case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the
waiver request.  See


An interesting article about vaccines written by Dr
W. Jean Dodds, DVM
938 Stanford Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 828-4804; FAX (310) 828-8251

The challenge to produce effective and safe vaccines for the prevalent
infectious diseases of humans and animals has become increasingly
difficult. In veterinary medicine, evidence implicating vaccines in triggering
immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis) is compelling.  
While some of these problems have been traced to contaminated or poorly
attenuated batches of vaccine that revert to virulence, others apparently
reflect the host’s genetic predisposition to react adversely upon receiving
the single (monovalent) or multiple antigen “combo” (polyvalent) products
given routinely to animals. Animals of certain susceptible breeds or families
appear to be at increased risk for severe and lingering adverse reactions to

The onset of adverse reactions to conventional vaccinations (or other
inciting drugs, chemicals, or infectious agents) can be an immediate
hypersensitivity or anaphylactic reaction, or can occur acutely (24-48 hours
afterwards), or later on (10-45 days) in a delayed type immune response
often caused by immune-complex formation. Typical signs of adverse
immune reactions include fever, stiffness, sore joints and abdominal
tenderness, susceptibility to infections, central and peripheral nervous
system disorders or inflammation, collapse with autoagglutinated red blood
cells and jaundice, or generalized pinpoint hemorrhages or bruises.  Liver
enzymes may be markedly elevated, and liver or kidney failure may
accompany bone marrow suppression.  Furthermore, recent vaccination of
genetically susceptible breeds has been associated with transient seizures
in puppies and adult dogs, as well as a variety of autoimmune diseases
including those affecting the blood, endocrine organs, joints, skin and
mucosa, central nervous system, eyes, muscles, liver, kidneys, and bowel.   
It is postulated that an underlying genetic predisposition to these conditions
places other littermates and close relatives at increased risk. Vaccination of
pet and research dogs with polyvalent vaccines containing rabies virus or
rabies vaccine alone was recently shown to induce production of
antithyroglobulin autoantibodies, a provocative and important finding with
implications for the subsequent development of hypothyroidism (Scott-
Moncrieff et al, 2002).  

Vaccination also can overwhelm the immunocompromised or even healthy
host that is repeatedly challenged with other environmental stimuli and is
genetically predisposed to react adversely upon viral exposure. The recently
weaned young puppy or kitten entering a new environment is at greater risk
here, as its relatively immature immune system can be temporarily or more
permanently harmed. Consequences in later life may be the increased
susceptibility to chronic debilitating diseases.

As combination vaccines contain antigens other than those of the clinically
important infectious disease agents, some may be unnecessary; and their
use may increase the risk of adverse reactions. With the exception of a
recently introduced  mutivalent Leptospira spp. vaccine, the other
leptospirosis vaccines afford little protection against the clinically important
fields strains of leptospirosis, and the antibodies they elicit typically last only
a few months. Other vaccines, such as for Lyme disease, may not be
needed, because the disease is limited to certain geographical areas.
Annual revaccination for rabies is required by some states even though
there are USDA licensed rabies vaccine with a 3-year duration. Thus, the
overall risk-benefit ratio of using certain vaccines or multiple antigen
vaccines given simultaneously and repeatedly should be reexamined. It
must be recognized, however, that we have the luxury of asking such
questions today only because the risk of disease has been effectively
reduced by the widespread use of vaccination programs.

Given this troublesome situation, what are the experts saying about these
issues? In 1995, a landmark review commentary focused the attention of
the veterinary profession on the advisability of current vaccine practices.
Are we overvaccinating companion animals, and if so, what is the
appropriate periodicity of  booster  vaccines ?  Discussion of this
provocative topic has generally lead to other questions about the duration of
immunity conferred by the currently licensed vaccine components.  

In response to questions posed in the first part of this article, veterinary
vaccinologists have recommended new protocols for dogs and cats. These
include: 1) giving the puppy or kitten vaccine series followed by a booster at
one year of age; 2) administering further boosters in a combination vaccine
every three years or as split components alternating every other year until;
3) the pet reaches geriatric age, at which time booster vaccination is likely
to be unnecessary and may be unadvisable for those with aging or
immunologic disorders.  In the intervening years between booster
vaccinations, and in the case of geriatric pets, circulating humoral immunity
can be evaluated by measuring serum vaccine antibody titers as an
indication of the presence of immune memory. Titers do not distinguish
between immunity generated by vaccination and/or exposure to the
disease, although the magnitude of immunity produced just by vaccination
is usually lower (see Tables).

Except where vaccination is required by law, all animals, but especially
those dogs or close relatives that previously experienced an adverse
reaction to vaccination can have serum antibody titers measured annually
instead of revaccination. If adequate titers are found, the animal should not
need revaccination until some future date.  Rechecking antibody titers can
be performed annually, thereafter, or can be offered as an alternative to pet
owners who prefer not to follow the conventional practice of annual
boosters. Reliable serologic vaccine titering is available from several
university and commercial laboratories and the cost is reasonable (Twark
and Dodds, 2000; Lappin et al, 2002; Paul et al, 2003; Moore and
Glickman, 2004).

Relatively little has been published about the duration of immunity following
vaccination, although new data are beginning to appear for both dogs and

Our recent study (Twark and Dodds, 2000), evaluated 1441 dogs for CPV
antibody titer and 1379 dogs for CDV antibody titer. Of these, 95.1 % were
judged to have adequate CPV titers, and nearly all (97.6 %) had adequate
CDV titers. Vaccine histories were available for 444 dogs (CPV) and 433
dogs (CDV). Only 43 dogs had been vaccinated within the previous year,
with the majority of dogs (268 or 60%) having received a booster
vaccination 1-2 years beforehand. On the basis of our data, we concluded
that annual revaccination is unnecessary. Similar findings and conclusions
have been published recently for dogs in New Zealand (Kyle et al, 2002),
and cats (Scott and Geissinger, 1999; Lappin et al, 2002).  Comprehensive
studies of the duration of serologic response to five viral vaccine antigens in
dogs and three viral vaccine antigens in cats were recently published  by
researchers at Pfizer Animal Health ( Mouzin et al, 2004).    

When an adequate immune memory has already been established, there is
little reason to introduce unnecessary antigen, adjuvant, and preservatives
by administering booster vaccines.  By titering annually, one can assess
whether a given animal’s immune response has fallen below levels of
adequate immune memory. In that event, an appropriate vaccine booster
can be administered.   

W. Jean Dodds, DVM, is an internationally recognized authority on thyroid
issues in dogs and blood diseases in animals.  In the mid-1980's she
founded Hemopet, the first nonprofit blood bank for animals. Dr. Dodds is a
grantee of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and author of over
150 research publications.  Through Hemopet she provides canine blood
components and blood-bank supplies throughout North America, consults in
clinical pathology, and lectures worldwide.

This website is intended to be a source of information and it is for
educational purposes only.  We cannot accept responsibility for any
use of the provided information, please consult your veterinarian for
advice on the care of your pet.