K9 Ryder's Medical Expenses

My name is Becky Wessels and I have been a Search and Rescue K9 handler since 2014.
I always joke that everyone knows my K9 partner but not me so I thought I should introduce myself .
K9 Ryder is a once in a lifetime dog. He has time and again gone above and beyond what everyone expected of him.
He has never questioned the weather or terrain or hour of night we have loaded up to help someone who is missing.

On August 23 2017 I noticed a change in my K9 partners health. His pupil was not responding and his third eyelid would not retract. We immediately made a Vet appointment to find out what was going on. He was diagnosed with Horners Syndrome.

August 25 2017 we found ourselves back at the Vet needing a nasal flush because his left nostril was packed with infection.
We started medication and prayed for the best.
Unfortunately the medication didn't work and he started losing muscle mass on his head and jaw.
We were referred to the University of Minnesota Veterinary medical center in Apple Valley.

September 7 2017 Ryder's nose became very clogged with infection and an emergency nasal scoping and flush was needed.

September 20 was our First Appointment with the U of M . They recommended that he go to the Campus for more in depth testing to try and diagnose the cause of muscle loss and Horners Syndrome.

I took Ryder outside and the tears started coming, there was no way I would be able to cover the expenses. I had already lost most of my hours at work.
My phone beeped that I received a Email.
That email was from Spikes K9 Fund saying that they would cover the testing and surgery at the University of Minnesota.
This was one of the most amazing moments of my life. The blessing of knowing he could go get help was overwhelming. He has never refused a task I have asked of him and now I wouldn't let him down in his moment of need.

October 5 2017
The big day. I was filled with emotions as Ryder visited the ophthalmologist, neurology and oncology. He would be having surgery the following morning.
When I left him with the staff at the hospital he cried and howled as two staff members held on to him as I walked out to my empty car. My heart shattered into a million pieces. I prayed we would get answers.

A week later they called to say the only thing that they could find was embedded foreign matter in his Nasal cavity.
Our plan was to watch for improvement and if he regressed more testing would be beneficial.

October 18 2017 My employer has decided that they have to replace me due to the hours I can work not being beneficial to the team. I am now unemployed.

November 22 2017
The infection had returned. Our local Vet prescribed a different antibiotic in hopes that it would take care of the infection.

December 12 2017 the infection of his nasal cavity is back and worse than it has been before. He is seen at his local Vet and all avenues of testing are done.
His urinalysis is showing crystals and his white blood count is high. We are currently waiting on a culture of his nasal infection to find which antibiotics will kill the infection.
In efforts to avoid steroids he now has to have a special diet and increased water consumption.
We have 5 days until the culture comes back and then I will have to have him on a higher level of antibiotic .

It is very hard for me to reach out for help.
Ryder has many more years of being resource to law enforcement and a hero to those who are missing.

Funds will be used for his future Vet bills and medications . Canned dog food and cranberry supplements. Gas to appointments .
And what ever he needs to get better.
He loves his people and lives to help strangers in their time of need.
Any donation and every share on social media helps!
Thank you all in helping my K9 partner get well and back to bringing home the missing!

  • Nancy Sandell 
    • $30 
    • 44 mos
  • Erika Schneider 
    • $20 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Scott Gundy 
    • $200 
    • 45 mos
See all


Becky Wessels 
Belle Plaine, MN
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