Baxter is a blue tick beagle hound who was born on August 31, 2004. We have had him since he was 9 weeks old. He is my first dog and our baby. We cannot remember what life was like before him as he has been with us for half of the 21 years that we have been married.
When Baxter was 6 he developed IVDD in his neck. It was a very trying time for us as it happened suddenly and he was on multiple powerful medications for over 3 weeks. We were hoping that crate rest would have helped him but the pain became unbearable for him. In addition I (Sharon) was out of work for over 17 months and we worried that the expensive surgery to fix his disc would not be affordable for us and we would have to put him down. God was good to us and provided a specialist, Dr. Zachary Niman who operated on Baxter and saved his life. With a lot of love and kisses he survived and taught us the power of unshakable faith which he has in Jerome and I.
I never saw a dog fight through pain like he did and needless to say it is one of the reasons that I think he brings so much joy to those who know him.
In November of 2015 while playing hide and go seek with me Baxter injured his CCL. He did it in an instant and due to the fact that he is 11 we were worried about going through another tough surgery. A few years after the IVDD he had a minor relapse which he worked through and also had been diagnosed with early stage mitral valve disease of which he shows no symptoms. So after hearing this bad news from the vet who had just operated on him yet again to remove a large lipoma, we decided to look into rehabilitation. That is when we were blessed to find Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen.
Words cannot express how we feel about the staff and how they have wrapped their arms around us and Baxter. From day one they treated us as family.
Baxter has gone through 2 cycles of treatment. When he first went to them he had trouble walking and his body had become severely misaligned since he was not putting pressure on his left back leg where the tear was. Through weekly sessions of acupuncture, manual manipulation, treadmill and hydrotherapy we watched Baxter get better in front of our eyes. Dr. Amber suggested natural supplements to strengthen his legs and body while he was undergoing treatment. Baxter realized he was getting better and soon started to look forward to his weekly visits. It is an investment in time that you have to be willing to make, but the results are well worth it.
During his second cycle we ordered a custom made leg brace from OrthoPets for him. The team at Integrative Pet Care helped us with the measurements and fitting. Then once he got it they helped him learn how to use it. The treatments were so good until Baxter was walking very well by the time we got the brace; his limb was still a bit unstable. After weeks of the brace with the treatment plan, we need to now keep him on a leash because he walks better now than when he was young. He is enjoying his walks with Jerome and seeing his friends in our neighborhood and they asked about him when he was not able to get around. Before you take your baby for surgery for any limb issue I strongly suggest that you reach out to the team at Integrative Pet Care for a consultation. Our babies are worth it and it is by far
the best decision that we ever made.
Baxter will be 12 this year and we feel so blessed that he is still with us and doing so well. His presence is proof that God grants us the gifts of faith, strength, and courage even in our pets. Dogs in particular depend on their owners to love and protect them when they are sick. No matter how Baxter is feeling he looks to Jerome and I to be there for him and he has enough faith to count on us finding help for him. How blessed we have been to have him in our lives and I am sure that when he leaves us for a little while I will hear that beautiful bay someday and know that where we will be going will be heaven since that is where he will be.
Baxter is a Beagle that came to us with cranial cruciate disease of his left knee and was not a surgical candidate. He was fitted for a custom stifle orthotic and worked hard in his rehabilitation to get his mobility back. Baxter has a one-of-a-kind personality and is always keeping us entertained with his antics! He is great fun to work with and is a joy for Jerome and Sharon.
– Dr. Amber Ihrke, DVM, CCRT, CVA, CVSMT
Baxter is such a happy pup that came to us with a torn cruciate. He was having difficulty getting around and could not be his happy-go-lucky self.
We fitted Baxter with a stifle orthosis to help stabilize his knee and allow him to put more weight on his leg. Baxter participated in underwater treadmill and therapeutic exercises to help him get used to wearing his brace. It took him a little while, but now Baxter runs around all over with his stifle brace. I love watching Baxter come to therapy, always with a smile on his face. He now can enjoy life like he wants to and he does so in style with his camouflage brace. Through the use of the orthotic device, Baxter is able to live a long and happy life.
– Valerie Williams, PT, DPT, ATRIC, CCRP
Make a Difference!
This month POTM Baxter has chosen to tell you about The Caspian Foundation.
We work to help pets that need carts, orthotics, and/or prosthetic devices in order to live an independent and full life.
We also accept donations in the form of gently used carts, orthotic devices, TENS/NMES units, or other therapy
Please consider making a donation!