Schnauzerfest Funds Help Unpick The Mystery of River
Just before the Schnauzerfest weekend, a dog arrived into the experienced care of DBARC. River the schnauzer had spent her life in a breeding facility and as soon as DBARC manager, Janet assessed her, she knew this was a dog with severe and multiple problems. River was most obviously petrified of humans – a behaviour common in dogs from puppy farm backgrounds – and the lightest touch terrified her. But she’s far more complicated than this and to date her problems remain a baffling mystery. Janet and her team have cared for many dogs with varying degrees of physical and psychological trauma and River is one of the most challenging cases she has ever seen.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, including veterinary and other professionals offering much expertise and decades of combined experience, the root of River’s severe problems has yet to be determined. I asked Janet to share more of what it’s like for River.
“She’s a very complicated girl. I think fear does play a big part, but she most likely also has some neurological issues. She can be very chirpy some days and it’s lovely seeing her barking at me for her food and wagging her tail. But then, without any apparent trigger it can all go badly downhill very quickly as she has, well what I can only at this stage call one of ‘her episodes’.
She goes rigid and appears to have mild seizure-type crises. She’s unable to feed herself for days when in one of these bad spells and we have to support her by hand feeding and syringing fluids into her.
At first she couldn’t control her bowels or bladder when she was like it, but the last couple of episodes she’s been ok with this, so it may be that the severity is less than at first, this gives me hope and is why we feel that this is definitely worth investigating further, despite the heavy financial cost. This is where Schnauzerfest funds are so very important, and highly valued by us all here at DBARC. For a dog like River, who has known extreme neglect and cruelty in her life, to know we can do the best for her to make her days comfortable, whatever the future holds gives us comfort. It also eases one of the big pressures of rescue work – the financial costs of specialist care.
Our veterinary team have suggested it’s possible River has some kind brain/spine neoplasia/significant inflammatory disease. We’re using a multi-pronged approach which includes several complementary methods with our vet’s approval, including a weekly chiropractor. We use massage and Tellington Touch with her daily and if we feel she needs is, her thunder shirt is popped on. She’s on prescribed medications for pain and inflammation as well as something to help with her fear and anxiety which undoubtedly exacerbates some of her symptoms.
River the schnauzer is a really complicated case and on Friday she will see a specialist neurologist for detailed investigations to see if we can get to the bottom of it and know what she’s facing so we can best help her, whatever that help entails. It may be that it is not the news we all hope for, but at least we should know. And know that with the help of Schnauzerfest, we will be doing the very best to give River a good shot at life. One she’s been deprived of for far too long.
She’s such a sweet girl, and it’s the way she looks into my eyes when I’m up at 11pm feeding her that makes me determined to keep fighting for her. She wants to fight this and luckily, thanks to everyone’s amazing support and generosity we’re able to. I will be devastated if we lose her.”
If love alone could heal this sweet dog, River the schnauzer would be running around the DBARC paddocks without a care in the world. She is surrounded by people who love her and are doing everything to make her stay with them as postive as it can possibly be. Take a look at this video to see how beautifully her kennel has been decked out for Christmas.
This is why I love the whole ethos and attitude of shown by Janet and her DBARC team!