There are a number of benefits that swimming in our resistance pool can provide whether for a dog on the mend or a canine athlete looking to maintain endurance.
“There are a lot of reasons I prescribe the resistance pool,” explains Dr. Zenoni. “There’s an overall increase in cardiovascular circulation as well as elbow flexion. Being in the pool allows the muscles more range of motion. Dogs with shoulder, elbow, or carpus issues tend to be good candidates for this type of modality.”
Swimming in the resistance pool is also good for amputees as gaiting can sometimes be difficult in the underwater treadmill. Dogs that are experiencing stiffness may find that sessions in the pool release some of that tension when they are able to float and relax their muscles. The therapist working with a patient like this may choose to guide the dog in gentle range of motion or massage while in the pool to ease muscle tightness.
The pool is also a great conditioning tool for active/athletic dogs.
“It’s a way to build muscle and work on stamina as well as overall body conditioning,” says Dr. Zenoni. Laura Krill, CCRA, likes the versatility the resistance pool can offer for patients. “For stronger patients, we might do a session without the life jacket on so that they are using more of their own body to keep them afloat. Weights or a resistance band can also be used to make it a little more challenging. On the other end, our more geriatric patients can benefit from the massage jets.”
It is important to have a rehabilitation veterinarian evaluate each patient to determine if their condition would be appropriately managed by therapeutic swimming. “There may be circumstances, health or orthopedic, that can hinder the resistance pool’s effectiveness,” states Dr. Zenoni.
“Rookie was an active Dalmatian, who competed in Obedience, Rally, Agility, & Nose Work. He earned a number of titles including CGC, CD, RE, NW1, NA, & NAJ. Rookie has a partial tear in both ACL and was seeing Dr. Starr at a difference location and was doing well. Then last Oct., he was playing with his brother, (another
Dalmatian, Connor), on the bed and Rookie fell off and hurt his back and was unable to walk. So of course we knew who to go to. Dr. Starr was now at the Hanover Park Integrative Pet Care and recommended rehab, which included; Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Therapeutic Laser and Exercises, Massage, Electrical Stimulation, and Hydrotherapy – Underwater Treadmill. The staff look forward to see
what Collar Rookie would have, this visit.
So as we are progressing with Rookie treatment, our other Dalmatian Connor, who is 14 and also very action, hurt his back. Connor has earned 35 difference titles from Obedience, Rally, Agility, & Nose Work. Connor is one of
twenty plus Dalmatians to earn a UDX tittle in AKC Obedience.
This year in Feb. Connor hurt his back and was unable to stand or walk on his own. We took him to our regally vet
and was told that he had a collapsed disc in his back. So we took him to see Dr. Starr. She recommended a similar treatment plan for Connor. After a few weeks, Connor was able to stand and walk with a little help.
Both Rookie and Connor are continuing with the treatment plan and are doing well and are able to train and complete in Nose Work.”
-Kim & Peter Young, Rookie & Connor’s parents
“The Youngs are incredibly dedicated and loving owners of their Dalmatian boys. We are always delighted to see them as well as what collar Rookie will be wearing from his extensive “wardrobe” since it changes each visit!
At 12 years old, Rookie had been doing very well with periodic chiropractic care, acupuncture, laser, and strengthening exercises to manage his partial cranial cruciate ligament tears. He would often run around the farm at home and find mischief, even landing on top of the dining room table on occasion! It was quite upsetting when he injured his back, but the owner had been pleased with Rookie’s response to rehabilitation and wanted to continue treating him conservatively. Just as Rookie started to show improvement, Connor suffered a similar injury. Faced with the daunting prospect to have two dogs requiring assistance to ambulate, the Youngs took it in stride and immediately said Connor would get the same care Rookie had. We decided Connor must have been jealous of all of the car rides Rookie was getting and wanted to see where he was going!
We feel lucky to be part of such an impressive team. Mr. and Mrs. Young have nursed their boys back to health through hard work with outpatient visits twice a week and daily exercises and nursing care at home. We strive to provide our patients with a better quality of life than what they have when they have when they come to us with an injury. As such, it is so rewarding to see both dogs walking more on their own and competing in nose work again.”
– Dr. Lisa Starr, DVM, CCRP, CVA, CVSMT
“I have the pleasure of seeing both Connor and Rookie each week. They work hard in the underwater treadmill gaining strength and endurance. Connor knows where to put his feet so he does not have to move them. I think he confers with his little brother when mom and dad are not around, passing on tips he has developed over months of therapy. They have both benefited greatly from all of their therapies and have been able to return to competing in nose work”
– Susan Trchka PT, CCRT
Make a Difference
Rookie and Connor have asked us to tell you about Save our Spots Dalmation Rescue! To make a donation or find out more about Save Our Spots please contact them at:
“Reese was born June 1, 2013 and was part of a six-puppy litter. All his litter mates compete in, and totally love, the game of agility. Reese is no exception.
Earlier this year we noticed that Reese was not performing as well as he once had. A friend suggested taking Reese to Integrative Pet Care. We chose to bring him to the Homer Glen location.
After the initial analysis, it was determined that Reese had a complex shoulder issue/injury. Doctor Amber Ihrke and Valerie the therapist at the Homer Glen location devised a four-week plan that would strengthen and develop the shoulder. By the end of the four-week session, Reese had a lot more flexibility and mobility in that shoulder and was very comfortable putting more weight on the affected area.
He is now back to competing in agility and looks great. We are very happy with everything that was done for Reese by the Integrative Pet Care team.”
– Bill & Linda, Reese’s parents
“Reese came to us for continued soreness with his shoulder that was hindering his ability to participate in agility. His examination revealed decreased weight bearing on his right front leg and discomfort with his supraspinatus and biceps tendon. He was diagnosed with a right supraspinatus tendinopathy. Reese was treated with therapeutic ultrasound and therapeutic exercises. After four weeks, he had improved weight bearing on his right front leg and the client had not noticed any lameness. Today, Reese is back doing the activity he loves…. agility!”
“Reese worked very hard at IPC and did everything we asked as long as a treat was involved. His dad was very dedicated to him and his exercise program. Together they were an amazing team and fun to work with.”
– Tiffany Helphingstine, CCRA
“Reese is a very sweet and quite guy who was up for anything as long as his dad was around to cheer him on. He was active in agility but had to take break due to a front limb injury. Reese and his dad were both hard workers which made working with them a breeze! With ultrasound, therapeutic exercises, and manual therapy Reese was able to continue to compete in agility with improving function of the front limb.”
– Katie Fitzgerald PT, DPT, CCRP
“Reese was a great patient! He was a working dog that performed agility and he came to us because pain and lameness in his right shoulder. After performing therapeutic ultrasound to provide deep heat to his shoulder, I used manual therapy to decrease the trigger points and pain and improve his range of motion. Reese made great progress with his manual therapy and therapeutic exercise sessions. Through the commitment of his owner to his home exercise program and rehab at IPC, Reese could return to his agility trials without any problems or re occurrence of his symptoms. Reese now sees me monthly for manual therapy sessions to maintain his mobility and range of motion so he can continue to complete in agility without limitations.”
-Valerie Williams, PT, DPT, ATRIC, CCRP
Make a Difference
This month, Reese has asked you to check out Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue! You can learn more about them on their website at http://www.illinoissheltierescue.com/
To ensure the highest quality of care at IPC, our vets and therapists complete rehabilitation certification programs and take part in continuing education courses to keep up with the newest developments in animal rehabilitation.
Our doctors attend continuing education opportunities hosted by organizations such as the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians, the International Association for Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy, International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, American Veterinary Medical Association and others.
“With many of these conferences, you have the choice of focusing on one specific topic or attending a variety of lectures,” explains Dr. Zenoni. “These are excellent opportunities to see what’s new in the world of animal rehabilitation and to see if there are improved techniques we can learn and implement in our own practice.”
IPC doctors and therapists complete certification courses through the Canine Rehab Institute, Healing Oasis or University of Tennessee/Northeast Seminars. Each program combines lecture and hands-on learning to prepare the students for a certification exam. Courses focus on anatomy, therapeutic modalities, physical conditions/injuries, neurological issues and biomechanics. Certification students for CRI and UTenn also complete an externship and case studies. “Students should have a firm grasp on identifying muscles and their purpose as well as common neurological and orthopedic terms and how they would explain them to clients,” explains Lindsey, who recently completed coursework through CRI.
Therapists certified in canine massage complete intensive hands-on training through Chicago School of Canine Massage, along with case studies and an exam for certification.
“Continuing education is also required to maintain certification,” says Erin Kowalski, NCCMT, CCRA. “Course topics can be anything related to animal health, so it could be things like energy work or hospice education. There’s such a variety to choose from.”
As animal rehabilitation continues to grow and advancement continues in veterinary medicine, the staff at IPC strives to stay abreast of the latest information. Dr. Zenoni believes “staying up to date on the most recent developments in the field helps us provide the best quality of care to our patients.”
In addition to attending certification and CE courses, some IPC staff members teach for CRI & Healing Oasis along with providing one-on-one mentorship to veterinary students from across the country and rehab certification students through CRI and UTenn (Chicago and Hanover Park). Learn more about these opportunities.
The use of orthotic and prosthetic devices for animals is increasingly common in veterinary medicine as we see that mobility and quality of life for our pets go hand in hand. We are proud to partner with OrthoPets to provide our patients with quality, custom-made assistive devices.
There are a variety of conditions that may benefit from an assistive device including limb abnormalities, injury and post-operative support. No matter the condition of the patient, eligibility and prescription for an orthopedic device is determined by an IPC veterinarian.
Our initial comprehensive evaluation allows the veterinarian and therapist to have a thorough understanding of each patient’s condition, as well as the goals and limitations of the client.
Once a device is prescribed, a fiberglass impression of the affected limb is created. Photos, video and measurements are also taken to demonstrate how the animal moves and show all weight-bearing angles. The fiberglass impression and all information is then sent to OrthoPets for consultation. The device is fabricated by OrthoPets and shipped back to Integrative Pet Care.
The next step in the process is to fit the new device to the patient and help the family learn how to incorporate the device into day-to-day life.
“It’s important for owners to understand that these devices are often meant for the duration of the pet’s life and they will likely have to wear it all of the time,” says Dr. Zenoni.
Proper fitting of the device is assessed in the initial fitting appointment as well as subsequent appointments. If there are issues with the device in day-to-day wear, such as sores developing and skin irritation, or if the pet shows discomfort in wearing their device it is important to communicate this to the veterinarian right away.
“We need to be able to correct the problem as soon as possible so the brace isn’t causing any undue harm.”
Finally, a custom rehabilitation program is prescribed in conjunction with the orthotic or prosthetic device. “Rehab allows for the best chances of success with the brace, in that it helps the animal become acclimated to the device, helps with strengthening and facilitates healing,” Dr. Zenoni explains.
Contact us at Integrative Pet Care if you are interested in learning more about our options for custom assistive devices. We work in partnership with OrthoPets.
Taking on an animal with special needs is definitely a challenge, but it’s worth it to help improve the life of an animal! These pets usually need more attention at home, may require ongoing veterinary care and sometimes even need the help of assistive devices, such as carts, orthoses/prostheses or special harnesses. Pet owners often adjust their own lives to accommodate the needs of their companion. Erin Kowalski, one of IPC’s Animal Rehabilitation Therapists and founder of Bialy’s Wellness Foundation, has fostered many special-needs animals and has a special-needs dog of her own named Josh.
Josh was paralyzed as a puppy and has spent most of his life in a cart. By now, it’s just as much a part of him as any other part of his body and he moves in it with speed and ease! To accommodate Josh and his cart, Erin has made some changes to her home. Erin keeps carpeted tiles laid out over her hardwood floors in the main areas to provide traction and has Josh’s cart outfitted with bumpers so if he takes a tight turn, both the wall and the dog are protected. When not in his cart, Josh has his own room which is organized specifically for him.
“Organization is essential,” Erin explains. “His room is heavily padded so when he moves, the impact on his hind legs isn’t that intense. The drawers contain basic first aid, potty pads, diapers, extra blankets, and, most importantly, toys.”
While Erin doesn’t have to get up on cold winter mornings to take Josh out to potty, she is mindful of when she needs to express his bladder.
“Routine is very important when you have a specially-abled animal. Since Josh has trouble going on his own, I need to express him on a regular basis. If I don’t, he is at a higher risk for Urinary Tract Infection’s.” She keeps Josh on a diet made up primarily of raw food and supplements to help maintain a firm stool. “It’s just an easier clean-up!”
The extra work and accommodations are well worth it.
“Everything I do for Josh, is repaid tenfold in the love and companionship he provides me.”
The sports and conditioning program at Integrative Pet Care is for active dogs who are expected to perform at a competitive level. This includes dogs that participate in agility trials, flyball, dock diving, herding, rally obedience and athletic activities. The aim of this program is to achieve peak performance and reduce the risk of injury.
During a sports and conditioning evaluation, Dr. Deanne Zenoni looks for a number of different factors:
“It’s important to look for muscle imbalance, asymmetry, restrictions in movement and compensatory changes.”
Hydrotherapy can be a beneficial modality for treating a variety of conditions in dogs including mobility issues, recovery from surgery or injury, degenerative joint disease or arthritis and neurological conditions.
The buoyancy of the water reduces stress on the joints, so the patient can move more comfortably. Hydrotherapy sessions also help to build and maintain muscle mass, which is often compromised after surgery. Moving against the resistance of the water works the muscles efficiently and builds strength.
“The warm temperature helps warm up tissues thereby increasing range of motion,” explains Dr. Zenoni.
We are VERY excited to announce our 3rd Annual Pet Food Drive Competition benefiting the Friendship Pet Pantry!
We are in friendly competition with Animal Medical Center of Chicago and North Center Animal Hospital to see who can gather the most pet food by weight!
This drive is for an incredible cause, spearheaded by the wonderful people at Friendship Pet Pantry- whose mission it is to keep pets in their loving homes even when financial struggles hit. By providing much needed food to families in need, beloved cats and dogs can stay with their families where they belong.
This is such important work and we are very proud to be part of supporting the Friendship Pet Pantry. Will you help us?
You can make a monetary donation online and your donation will be used to purchase food for Friendship Pet Pantry:
You can also drop off unopened and unexpired cat and dog food- cans and bags of any size at any of the following locations:
Integrative Pet Care (Chicago) 2520 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
Integrative Pet Care (Hanover Park) 1920 Ontarioville Rd, Hanover Park
Premier Veterinary Group (Chicago) 3927 W Belmont Ave, Chicago
Premier Veterinary Group (Grayslake) 1810 E Belvidere Rd, Grayslake
Premier Veterinary Group (Crestwood) 13715 S Cicero Ave, Crestwood
(Please note: Friendship Pet Pantry has indicated that they have a particular need for canned cat food)
Thank you for your continued support!
Join Erin Kowalski, CCRA, NCCMT at our Chicago clinic to learn safe and simple massage techniques for your pet. Pet massage has many benefits including stress reduction, improved circulation, strengthened bond, observation of changes in your pet’s body which may lead to early detection of new problems and pain relief.
Cost for 1 pet and 1 parent is $80, all proceeds go to Bialy’s Wellness Foundation. A reservation is required for this class and space is limited so please contact us to guarantee a spot.
Providing families and rescue organizations with special needs animals the equipment, medical care, rehabilitative therapy, training, resources and support necessary to optimize the quality of life of their wonderful animals. Our mission is only possible from the generosity of our supporters. Bialy’s Wellness Foundation’s goal is to provide assistance to our sponsored animals for life. Please consider making a donation so that we can continue to provide sponsorship to special needs animals. www.bialyswellnessfoundation.org