“Charlie has been a part of our family since he was 10 weeks old, joining Buffy, a 5-year-old blind Cocker Spaniel and Sadie, an 8-year-old Cocker Spaniel. Charlie’s very energetic, social with everyone and very loving. He loves to spend time out in his yard running around the pool at full speed trying to get his other brothers and sisters to play with him. He would rather sit out in the grass or on the deck on a nice warm summers day than to take a nice cool dip in the pool with the others.
In June of this year Charlie became very wobbly as he walked, and suddenly had no control over his legs at all; it was like he became paralyzed and was having severe muscle spasms in his chest area. I immediately called his doctors at Colonial Manor and brought him in. After taking x-rays and doing a full exam Charlie was diagnosed with a form of myelopathy and disc problems and I was told that he may never walk again. From that moment on, Charlie became immobile and had to be carried everywhere. I couldn’t give up on my sweet baby boy. After a few weeks he began to move his legs again and a few more days after that he started to get up, but that quickly stopped, and he was down and immobile again. Hand water and feeding him and diaper changes throughout the day and night had to happen again and it was worse than the first time.” -Brian, Charlie’s dad.
Charlie was referred to Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen where he met with Dr. Amber Ihke and therapist Valerie Williams who created a treatment program which included NMES (electrical stimulaton), underwater treadmill, therapeutic exercise & acupuncture.
“Charlie is a stubborn guy who improved in spite of himself. He came to us non-ambulatory and wasn’t motivated to get up and move. We began with instructing the owner how to use an NMES unit on all four of the patient’s limbs to stimulate muscular contraction. Although Charlie would not move during his therapy sessions, his owner reported slow improvements at home with increased mobility. Eventually, Charlie was able to stand with support and he began exercising in the underwater treadmill. Finally, it seemed like Charlie turned a corner and returned to walking outside at home without assist and even began negotiating stairs to enter and exit his home!” -Valerie
“Charlie is our little miracle; he could literally do nothing on his own! After weeks of intensive therapy and the diligent care giving of his owner, Charlie is now walking and running independently. A true testament to the power of rehabilitation.” -Dr. Amber Ihrke
“With Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen’s therapy plan along with daily home exercises & NMES while using his cart, Charlie started to show signs of movement. As of today, he got his appetite back and enjoys his food on his own and he is out walking around the yard again and even does some running around. He is back to going for short rides in the car and he is even going for short walks again to the local park. I never gave up on my little guy and neither did Dr. Ihrke and Valerie who made it their personal mission to get Charlie walking again and give him his quality of life back. THANK YOU Integrative Pet Care!” -Brian
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Charlie has asked us to tell you about Tender Loving Care Animal Shelter.
T.L.C. has served the community as a private, non-profit, humane society, dedicated to the prevention of abuse, neglect, and cruelty to animals. The shelter provides refuge for an average of three to four thousand animals yearly.
Here’s small snippets of Charlie’s road to recovery:
Jeanne met Barry as a puppy in 2012 on the set of a TV show she used to host when he was featured as an adoptable dog. “I always say he picked me because he sat on the couch next to me and didn’t move for the entire show. I liked having him that close to me, even though he was a little stinky” recalls Jeanne.
While Barry has always had knee issues on and off his whole life, one completely gave out earlier this year and his primary care veterinarian discovered significant damage to the ligaments in both knees. At the recommendation of her veterinarian and 2 friends, Jeanne made an appointment at Integrative Pet Care where she met with Dr. Megan Ridley. Dr. Ridley agreed that surgery was the best option for his bilateral torn cranial cruciate ligaments.
Barry started a prehab program of twice weekly massage/laser treatments until he had surgery with Dr. Paula West a month later at Veterinary Specialty Center. He came back soon after and was prescribed a twice weekly rehabilitation program that included massage, laser, exercise & underwater treadmill. Barry excelled at his treatments and once his left knee healed, he had the same surgery on the right.
“I initially came to IPC seeking a second opinion on his surgeries because I wanted to make sure I made the best choice for his treatment. And 7 months later, Dr. Ridley, Erin, Lindsey and the whole IPC staff have helped us through both surgeries with rehab, advice and all the support we could ever ask for. And Barry LOVES it at IPC!” -Jeanne
“Despite the fact that Barry thinks his rehab sessions are actually social calls, he works really hard when he’s at IPC and always has a positive attitude (unless someone runs out of treats!). His mom’s dedication to his recovery has been incredible- she keeps him in line and makes sure he does his exercises at home, even when he’d rather be sleeping. They’re both so much fun and such a pleasure to work with!” -Lindsey, Barry’s therapist & #1 fan
Barry has done so well, that he was graduated to a maintenance plan. We see Barry once weekly for either a underwater treadmill or a combo exercise/massage/laser session! While we miss seeing him twice a week, we’re so happy that he’s doing well.
“Barry is a beagle mix, so his approach to life is very hound-ish… he’s lazy in the house but is ready to go out anytime, and has his nose to the ground the entire time he’s outside. His schedule is as follows: stretch, eat, walk, nap, beg for treats, play, sleep… rinse & repeat. And as you can tell by the pictures, he almost always has the same expression on his face” explains Jeanne.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Barry has asked us to tell you about Heartland Animal Shelter.
Heartland’s mission is: a) to provide a no-kill shelter for the care, humane treatment, and adoption of lost, stray, and abandoned animals; b) to find permanent, loving homes for homeless animals and promote responsible pet ownership through education, community outreach, and collaboration while maintaining respect and compassion for all creatures.
During an agility course run, Falkor splayed out after going over a jump, slipped and injured his shoulder. After seeing many vets and getting multiple diagnosis’, Falkor and Angie traveled to VOSM in Maryland to meet with Dr. Sherman Canapp. He was finally diagnosed with MSI (Medial Shoulder Instability) and surgery was performed. Rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery, so Falkor went to Integrative Pet Care for an evaluation.
“Recovering from medial shoulder instability surgery in hobbles is often stressful for both the owner and the dog. It’s a long process of exercise restriction with an over-abundance of velcro for 16 weeks, followed by controlled return to activity after that” says Dr. Lisa Starr.
An intensive program was prescribed that included: joint mobilization, therapeutic exercise, therapeutic massage, laser therapy, underwater treadmill, and veterinary chiropractic services. His road to recovery didn’t stop at IPC though; Angie works with Falkor up to 3.5 hours a day! “Right now we are going into week 16 and my daily routine is walks up to 60 minutes and I do shorter walks throughout the day also with added hills and some trotting. I also have a dog treadmill that gets it’s share of use too. Stretching, core and strengthening the rest of his body is on the menu each day and night.” -Angie
“Angie has been so committed to Falkor’s recovery. She has worked tirelessly to keep up with his intensive exercise program while also addressing compensatory issues that tend to arise from being in a device that restricts patient mobility. Meanwhile, Falkor is so driven to work and play and is such a people pleaser. His ever-joyful spirit coming in for his visits and aptitude to learn new exercises makes our appointments so enjoyable. Angie and Falkor are such an incredible team! As he continues to get stronger and build his endurance again, we are looking forward to helping him stay healthy while he gets prepared to return to the agility course in the future.” -Dr. Lisa Starr.
“Falkor & his mom have been very dedicated to his rehabilitation after a very complex shoulder surgery. He has responded well to all of his care & continues to improve weekly. We are all striving to help Falkor return to agility work. He is a joy and Loves to give kisses.” -Susan, Falkor’s therapist
While sitting at their daughter’s college track meet in Alabama, Bill & Laurie received a text message with a picture of a 5 week old pit mix who had been abandoned at their vet’s office. The situation was reminiscent of how that got their dog Bruce, so of course they stopped and picked her up!
“Through the years Roxy shared our life, swimming, walking, and playing with us! She communicates well when she needs something and is easy to please. She’s a loving lap dog, although some people look worried when they see her.” -Bill & Laurie
“Roxy presented to us for a torn cranial cruciate ligament that had been determined to be the cause of her lameness over the previous months. We were able to work closely with her surgeon and get her rehabilitation program started shortly after her TPLO surgery. Her program consisted of manual therapy, laser ,and underwater treadmill therapies. She initially presented as non-weight bearing to just toe-touching on her left hind limb with loss of muscle mass and muscle tone present.
Within just 4 weeks, she progressed to just a subtle lameness and had gained muscle mass and strength of the left hind limb. She breezed through the next four weeks of therapeutic exercises and by eight weeks, was bearing weight normally in all limbs. It was wonderful to see Roxy’s rapid progression back to her old self and her case shows how beneficial a post-operative rehabilitation program can be for return to function. Her amazing family is so committed to her and continue to work on exercises at home to keep Roxy in tip-top shape!” – Dr. Melissa Trupia
“We love Roxy! Roxy is full of energy and she loves to speak to us throughout her exercise sessions. Her owners followed our recommendations and we worked to help Roxy return to her spunky self. Roxy loved performing her exercises, but she always had to voice her opinion during her sessions. The one thing I’ll never forgot about Roxy is how much she “spoke” to us throughout her sessions. Roxy was such a fun patient and made great progress with rehab.” – PT, Valerie Williams
“Roxy is a sweet and extraordinarily chatty girl who warmed up to us very quickly at IPC. She worked hard with us and at home with her parents to make great strides in her rehab program!:- Tiffany, Roxy’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Roxy has asked us to tell you about the adoptable dogs through Boxer Rebound, Inc.
Boxer Rebound is a volunteer run, 501c3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation & placement of the Boxer Breed of dog. Our mission is threefold: (1) to rescue & rehabilitate Boxers in need; (2) to place them in appropriate homes when feasible; and (3) to educate the general public with respect to quality pet care for all dogs.
Molly is a Bichon Frise who had surgery on her left knee for a CCL tear in May 2016. She recovered well, but unfortunately tore her left CCL in January 2017. She had surgery, but needed a revision in July 2017. Molly didn’t recovery as quickly as her previous surgery, so her surgeon Dr. Robbins at Veterinary Specialty Center referred her to Integrative Pet Care Hanover Park.
Molly met with Dr. Jennifer Blake who did a thorough examination and developed an appropriate treatment plan that included underwater treadmill, laser therapy, therapeutic exercise, & massage therapy. “Molly always comes to therapy ready to work! She does a great job walking in the underwater treadmill. A few small pieces of bacon treats generally does the trick to keep her walking; it has been a pleasure working with Molly!” says Molly’s therapist, Anna
“ Molly was a superstar patient and did wonderfully. Her parents and pet sitter worked with her here and at home and Molly has recovered completely. When watching Molly run and play you would never be able to tell that she had surgery on both of her knees! We will miss sweet Molly at rehab, but are ecstatic that she has done so well.” –Dr. Jennifer Blake
“Molly has rebounded so quickly and we know that much of that is from the expert care we received at IPC-Hanover Park! In fact, today she got clearance from her surgeon for a full return to her active life! We can’t thank everyone enough for the fabulous care our Molly received! Thanks to IPC-HP she is back to her happy, peppy self again! Today she even chased an opossum out of our yard!” -Molly’s mom, Paula
“I first brought Frango to IPC in 2005 for a consult to rule out pain as a reason for his aggression. X-rays revealed that while his hips were not the best, they weren’t the worst either. Due to his young age, it was too soon to determine if he had Hip Dysplasia and after a few visits, anything orthopedic was ruled out as a reason for his aggression. We continued to work with a trainer and strengthened our bond through sports like agility and retrieving.
In 2010, Frango started to refuse stairs and diagnostics revealed that he did indeed have hip dysplasia. He also developed both Osteochondrosis Dissecans and Biceps Tenosynovitis in his right shoulder, which may have been due to overcompensating during his high impact activities. Frango took a break from sports and returned to Integrative Pet Care to start a 10 week treatment ‘pre-hab’ program that included twice weekly resistance pool and laser therapy sessions. Frango then had surgery on his right shoulder and bore weight the day after surgery, amazing everyone, even his surgeon!
Post surgery, he was prescribed an 8 week program which consisted of resistance pool, laser therapy, and therapeutic exercise. After completion, he continued coming every 2 weeks for resistance pool and monthly chiropractic adjustments.
Unfortunately Frango injured his left knee by slipping going up the stairs in January 2017. He no longer seemed to benefit from the resistance pool, so Dr. Megan Ridley created a new a new treatment program which consisted of weekly underwater treadmill, laser therapy sessions. He was also fitted for a Help ‘Em Up Harness which helped prevent further injury to his knee on the stairs or getting in and out of the car. I was concerned that Frango would miss the pool, but he excelled on the Underwater Treadmill, loving the massage jets on his hind end! Then in the Summer, Frango headed to the pool which was the first time he had done this in awhile, so we started alternating underwater treadmill and resistance pool sessions.
IPC has helped to maximize Frango’s strength and endurance for many years. It prepared him for a major surgery and promoted the positive outcomes & helped ease his transition into retirement by keeping him conditioned and allowed his ability to still participate in low impact sports. Frango’s visits to IPC are the highlight of his week! The treatment he receives gives him the chance to feel like Mr. Big Stuff.
Frango’s life has become pretty mellow. He goes for walks twice daily and sleeps the day away waiting for my husband and I to return home from work. He’s ready for a treat every time we come or go and anytime in between! Anytime I’m working in the kitchen he is at my side playing ‘sous chef’. And when my husband and I relax on the couch at night, he solicits his booty massages.
Now Frango is battling against Cancer. A tumor was discovered on his left anal sac and had spread to his lymph nodes. He will undergo removal of a lymph node as well as the tumor on his anal sac and then go through chemotherapy. I know we can count on our friends at IPC to help ease any pain and discomfort he may encounter during the treatment. I also know that all of the conditioning Frango has done at IPC through the years has helped make him a resilient, strong dog and has prepared him well for this, his final battle.”
Retrieving Freedom, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to training service dogs to help people. Our three primary focuses are training dogs to serve the needs of veterans, children with autism and individuals living with diabetes.
Live Like Roo, a 501C3 organization, provides support and financial assistance to families whose pet faces a cancer diagnosis. Our mission is that together, you and your pet will #LiveLikeRoo.
In May of 2017, the founder of Bialy’s Wellness Foundation, Erin, was contacted by Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue about a 2 month old French Bulldog puppy who was unable to walk. They needed an experienced foster home and funding for rehabilitation to get her mobile as soon as possible. Erin agreed and Gertie came to Integrative Pet Care immediately.
After meeting with Dr. Megan Ridley and Emma, it was suspected that Swimmer Puppy Syndrome was the cause of her mobility issues. An intense rehabilitation program was prescribed which included daily exercise and swimming therapy sessions. Everyone on staff pitched in to work with Gertie whenever they could. Erin, who is also a canine rehabilitation and massage therapist at IPC, diligently worked with her at home as well.
Within in the first week, Gertie improved greatly; she was able to support herself and could even take a few steps independently! While swimming wasn’t her favorite activity, she did it without complaint all while looking adorable in her life jacket. After a few weeks she was walking on her own and doing advanced exercises in the gym.
Being part of her transformation was an amazing experience for everyone involved and lots of tears were shed in the process! -Dr. Megan Ridley
Gertie was officially adopted in June to a neighbor so Erin can still bring her for therapy everyday. Today she is 6 months old and is a happy & healthy puppy. Being part of Gertie’s transformation has been a wonderful experience for everyone on staff.
Gertie has since become a ‘spokesdog’ for Bialy’s Wellness Foundation as she is an incredible success story! You can follow her adventures on Instagram- @the_little_avocado.
Check out this progress video of our beloved Gertie (aka 🥑). Thank you to: Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue for taking her into your adoption program; Integrative Pet Care for the amazing rehabilitation therapists and veterinarians that worked your magic to help Gertie become mobile; Boulevard Veterinary for your always generous, kind and attentive staff & veterinarians; Josh the Pitbull – Special Needs and Happy for fostering our Little Avocado. #GertieStrong
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Gertie has asked us to tell you about the organization that changed her life, Bialy’s Wellness Foundation.
“Bialy’s Wellness Foundation helps families and rescue organizations care for pets with special needs, particularly those with mobility issues from paralysis, amputation, neurological or birth defects, and other diagnosed ailments.”
“Life changed for both Elmo and I on March 18, 2003 when I found him on a construction site that I was working on in Arizona. He was 9 months old and it appeared that someone had left him at this remote location in the middle of the desert. He had made a bed on fiberglass insulation in a framed house and was eating food out of foil wrapped trash that I later picked from his gums as he laid his head in my lap. I tried for weeks to find his owner, taking him to work with me every day since I already had 3 rescues at home.
After a few weeks, I wasn’t getting anywhere in my search and I realized there was just no way I could give him up! He was meant to be one of the pack. In choosing his name, my ex-husband and I wanted something that wouldn’t make people afraid of this lovable, gentle, happy, red pit bull and Elmo came to mind and fit him perfectly! So, Elmo came to live with Max, Thumper and Santino and enjoyed playing in a huge yard. While he wasn’t fond of swimming, he would often lay in the few inches of water on the pool sun shelf to cool off, after sunning himself – all four legs up in the air – for hours in the hot AZ sun!
Elmo lived in AZ until 2009 when he and his brothers moved to Fishers, IN with me. He took well to the snow and cold and enjoyed a huge fenced wooded yard to play in and get in all sorts of trouble with raccoons and possums! This is where he started getting acupuncture treatments with his aging brothers and I really believe it has made a difference in the quality of life he has had for the last 7 years. I saw it in my other dogs as well.
When we moved to the Chicago area, I wanted to be sure to continue Elmo’s acupuncture treatments. Luckily, we found the great doctors at Integrative Pet Care of Hanover Park! Elmo had routine acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, laser and massage therapy with Integrative over the years, and would usually lay there sleeping through the treatments! He loved it!
In 2015, Elmo was diagnosed with inoperable cancer that was treated at Purdue in West Lafayette, IN. Elmo and I made the trek down there often for checkups and he earned two Radiation Therapy Treatment Diplomas that thankfully, kept the cancer from ever spreading.
The two radiation treatments and chemo pills he took daily for a couple years, both took a toll on him, but through it all he continued with his acupuncture treatments at Integrative Pet and it really made a difference in his being able to get around and walk the subdivision for hours each day, right up until the very end. I really believe that his mobility would not have been that good had he not been getting acupuncture treatments for the last almost 8 years!” -Jennifer, Elmo’s mom
“On 7/30/15 I had the privilege of meeting Elmo for the first time for an acupuncture session. He was such a character. He never complained and even fell asleep and started snoring at the time of his acupuncture. Besides having cancer, Elmo also battled with degenerative joint disease of the hips, stifles, carpus and elbows. Dr. Starr prescribed acupuncture, chiropractic, massage and underwater treadmill to aid in increasing mobility, muscle strengthening and to help with pain control. Myself and the staff at IPCHP fell in love with Elmo!” –Dr. Arlene Rodriguez
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Elmo has asked us to tell you about PAWS Chicago.
PAWS Chicago’s mission is to build no kill communities, end the overpopulation of homeless animals and to transform animal welfare.
Hayde is an 11 year old Labrador whose high energy was initially directed toward hunting drills and trick training (she learned over 50 commands). “At 2 years old, she had already become a phenomenal hunting dog; able to put her game face on and get right to business. Even at 10 years old, she was still able to go full tilt for a week, jumping game in marshes, teaching her 2-year-old sister a thing or two about drive. Many a times we had to drag the stubborn mule out of the canoe at the end of the day as she just didn’t want to stop.
While hunting is her passion (and, strangely, licking freshly caught fish), she soon became a running partner in the off season, helping train for over a dozen marathons. During this, Hayde would reach a maximum distance of 19 miles only to come home and head straight to the back yard to play.” -Jeremy, Hayde’s owner
On April 27th, Hayde was out for a run with her sister when she was clipped by a car bumper. Her pelvis was completed shattered, so she had surgery at VCA Aurora Animal Hospital. Soon after surgery, Hayde met with Dr. Amber Irke and Valerie at Integrative Pet Care in Homer Glen where a multi-modal 12 week program was created.
“When I first met Hayde her owners had to carry her in on a board because she could not walk or stand. Our first focus was to control her pain, so her owners were instructed on how to correctly use a TENS unit every day at home. She also received manual therapy sessions to decrease her muscle spasms and increase her hip range of motion.
Within two and half weeks Hayde went from being carried on a board to walking with a little help. She continued to make remarkable gains through the use of laser therapy and the underwater treadmill. She now walks around by herself and has returned to regular, long walks with her owners. I truly believe that without rehab Hayde would not have progressed so quickly and regained her ability to walk and play like she was able to before her accident.” – Valerie Williams
IPC Homer Glen initially helped to get Hayde’s pain under control so we could begin rehab exercises. Over the next few months IPC Homer Glen worked with Hayde and taught us the exercises needed to get her strength and flexibility back so she could eventually get back to standing, walking, and, finally, running. Most importantly Hayde could be herself again. -Jeremy
“Hayde’s story is truly inspirational. Watching the improvements, she made every week is a testament to the canine spirit. She never let anything slow her down and I’m so happy she is able to go back to doing what she loves, running with her parents” says therapist Katie Neforos.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Hayde has asked us to tell you about the adoptable dogs through The Dog District.
Kody is an almost 17 year old Sheltie who was referred to Integrative Pet Care by his primary care veterinarian at Family Pet Animal Hospital for mobility issues a year and a half ago. Kody developed arthritis in his front limbs which prevented him from climbing stairs, so his mom had to carry him. Char wanted to do everything she could to keep him strong and comfortable!
Dr. Deanne Zenoni created a treatment plan that included underwater treadmill, therapeutic exercise, massage, laser and acupuncture. Kody wasn’t too sure about his therapies at first, but he quickly learned to enjoy them. His mom also thinks coming to IPC for love has also eased his car anxiety.
“Even though Kody hasn’t been able to go up the stairs again, I know the exercising and treatments he does are making a difference with his strength and flexibility. He, of course, walks slower like the senior dog that he is, but at times, he’ll all of a sudden get a spring in his step – at 16! IPC has helped slow down the inevitable decline that happens in senior dogs. Plus he’s still able to jump up on the couch (his favorite place to sleep).
Kody also gets to be in an incredibly loving community when he comes to IPC, which I think is quite healing. It’s amazing to me how he has settled in with the people and treatments. He was anxious at first but now sprawls on Dr. Zenoni’s lap during acupuncture (he’s not a lap dog at all with me), and he leans into Lindsey when she gives him a massage. Kody had little to no love in the first 5 ½ years of his life (he was used to breed and lived outside in a trailer park). I feel like I bring him to a place where he is surrounded by love. It warms my heart to see how well he’s treated and loved here, and I’m so happy for him to have this experience in his later years. Coming to IPC has also solidified Kody’s love of McDonald’s cheeseburgers (with no onions) as he gets one after every time he comes!
Unfortunately Kody has lost his eyesight over the years, but he manages and has adapted amazingly, particularly in places he knows. The night time and new places are the hardest for him. When we walk in the evening and in new places, I try to be his ‘eyes’ for him. He also searches for me when I’m right there in my place so I know he’s lost quite a bit of his sight.” -Char, Kody’s mom
“Kody has the attitude and resilience of a dog 1/3 his age – he never ceases to amaze me! The significant increase in his mobility over the years is a testament to how important it is to keep an older dog active both at therapy and at home. He’s a joy to work with and is always willing to try something new – I love knowing that his mom puts him through his paces and helps keep him active and engaged on a daily basis!” -Lindsey, Kody’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Kody has asked us to tell you about Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue.
“Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit, State Licensed, ALL Volunteer organization that helps homeless or abandoned Shetland Sheepdogs…also known as “Shelties”. We take in any Sheltie that needs us, address all their needs, and then place them in wonderful new homes.”