Pearl came to Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen in September 2018 following a hemilaminectomy (spinal cord surgery), which left her unable to use her rear limbs. The prognosis was poor for Pearl to walk again, but we knew that our therapies could improve her quality of life.
Pearl was prescribed laser therapy and massage by Dr. Amber Ihrke to help her recover post surgery. Her owners were also shown how to use electrical stimulation with an NMES (neuromuscular e-stim) unit to strengthen her rear limbs at home. NMES stimulates nerves and muscles to prevent muscle atrophy (muscle mass loss) and strengthen specific muscles.
“Unfortunately, over time it became apparent that she may not regain use of her rear limbs. We discussed placing her in a cart with her owners, and after some time they agreed that is was the right choice. And was it ever- Pearl has not slowed down since!” -Katie
Although Pearl did not regain use of her rear limbs after surgery, she now runs around and has complete independent mobility in her cart. Pearl’s cart gives her the freedom she needs to live a happy and healthy life. -Valerie
“The fabulous team of Dr. Amber, Dr. Melissa, Katie, and Valerie were there to help us. Professional, caring and knowledgeable are just a few of the adjectives we would use to describe them. They guided us through all the treatments, teaching us what we needed to know in how to care of our Pearl. Today, Pearl still takes walks and runs, but now in her ‘Hot Wheel Cart’. Sometimes we can’t even keep up with her!! She is able to run through her yard and participate in all the things she could before her injury, including tons of hugs and kisses. THANK YOU to all at Integrative Pet Care. We don’t know what we would have done without you.” -Pearl’s owner
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Pearl has asked us to tell you about the shelter she was adopted from, 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.
“Hannah was adopted out of the Plainfield Humane Society in the summer of 2008. At the time I had recently put one of my dogs down due to illness and since I have always felt that two dogs together are much happier when I am away at work wanted another pet. One day I walked in to the clinic that houses the humane society and noticed a small dog sitting in the waiting room unsupervised. Hannah sat there confidently and calmly observing the foot traffic come and go. I was very impressed and Ruby and I adopted her the next day.
She had always been very intelligent and confident until her hearing and eye sight started to fail her. She would walk into the big dog park and wade right into the pack of much larger dogs and never have a problem. Hannah knew where the treats were stored at home and the counter, cabinet or pantry were no problem for her to access if the humans weren’t around to say ‘No’. She was the ultimate predator in the yard or on leash at the forest preserve. The Rat Terrier I knew was always ready to chase down and dispatch any animal that dared enter her yard. Even when the mulberries were in season and the raccoons spent their time in the trees gorging, Hannah would not tolerate such an indignity and climbed trees to get at them. I pulled her out of the trees many times but unfortunately, she fell and injured her back which in her senior years caused problems.” Jim, Hannah’s dad
Their primary care veterinarian suggested Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen When Hannah started to develop weakness in her back legs. Hannah was evaluated by Dr. Amber Ihrke and physical therapist Val who devised a therapy plan to address Hannah’s specific issues. “Hannah received manual therapy and participated in a therapeutic exercise program. Even though Hannah is an older patient, she made excellent progress during rehab. She demonstrated an improvement in her balance since her evaluation when she would turn and fall over. Now, 30 days after she finished rehab, Hannah can turn circles and maintains her balance without falling over.” Val
“Dr. Amber along with Val, Katie and Tiffany helped by teaching us how to help Hannah. Val especially helped by instructing Ruby and I in massage and creating small challenges for Hannah to keep her as active as possible for as long as possible. Hannah still enjoys her walks and her visits to the dog parks, and although she doesn’t have the stamina she once had she’s a little trooper. We feel the care she has received has improved her quality of life and we are grateful for everything that they’ve done. A big thank you to everyone at Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen!”- Jim
Our senior patients are special at Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen and Hannah is a perfect example. She came to us because she was having some rear limb weakness and loss of balance and her owner wanted to see if we could help her. We started her on a treatment plan to include hydrotherapy, manual therapy, and acupuncture. Within 8 weeks her dragging of the rear feet and her loss of balance was improved. We sent the client home with an age-appropriate home exercise program and Hannah continues to do well with her mobility. Senior pets can have tremendous benefits with rehabilitation and some TLC. -Dr. Ihrke
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Hannah has asked us to tell you about The Caspian Foundation.
Our Mission Statement: Providing families with a special needs pet that may need equipment, such as a cart, orthotic or prosthetic device in order to live an independent and full life. Our mission is only possible through generous donations from our supporters.
When Neytiry started agility training, her dad noticed that she would sometimes off set her weight and hold her right rear leg out a little bit. Even though it would subside with rest, her symptoms kept coming back. Radiographs revealed that she has hip dysplasia in both hips. An evaluation at Integrative Pet Care was recommended by Physio Pet Massage
At the time of her exam, Neytiry was exhibiting a mild, subtle lameness on her right rear limb and resistance to extending both her hip joints. Dr. Ihrke started her on a multi-modal treatment plan of Adequan injections, hydrotherapy, manual therapy with dry needling and therapeutic exercises.
“Neytiry lacked good shoulder and hip extension range of motion, but made great progress during her 8 weeks of therapy. She loved her exercises the most and it seemed like there wasn’t an exercise she couldn’t complete. My favorite thing about Neytiry is how she loves to climb up and sit in chairs when waiting for her sessions. Neytiry now can perform all of her exercises without any problems or pain.” -Valerie, PT, DPT, CCRP
“Neytiry was a blast to work with! I almost had a hard time keeping up with her by the end of her program. Neytiry has bilateral hip dysplasia but she does not know that. By the end of her program she was able to do everything we asked of her and now is back to practicing agility with her dad! -Katie, CVT, CCRVN
Since Neytiry’s dad has continued all her home exercises and prescribed supplements, she is ready to get back into the sport that she loves, agility!
“This is an excellent example that early intervention with hip dysplasia can produce huge benefits in mobility” -Dr. Amber Ihrke
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Neytiry has asked us to tell you about Livingston County Humane Society.
The mission is to place each animal who comes to us into a good, loving home. We also promote responsible pet care. During your visit here on our website, you’ll be able to see the animals that we currently have available for adoption. All animals are spay or neutered, all shots up-to-date, including rabies, and dogs are micro-chipped.
In July 2018, Hope was hit by a car and suffered severe trauma to her hind limbs. Her owners were unable to provide for her care so she was relinquished to Wish Upon A Rescue. Her foster mom Stephanie was a previous IPC client, so she knew who to turn when Hope entered their rescue. Hope met with Dr. Amber Ihrke who determined that surgery would be the best course of action. Hope’s surgeries included an amputation of her distal right rear limb as well as a femoral head osteotomy (FHO) of the left rear limb. “Our whole plan with Hope was to set her up for success and that included amputation of her right rear limb with the intent to fit her with a prosthetic”, says her primary care vet Dr. Dave Ihrke.
After surgery, a cast was made by Valerie to create a custom prosthetic from OrthoPets. “It was amazing to see how quickly Hope adapted to her prosthetic device. She demonstrated great weight bearing on her right leg and easily transitioned herself from stand to sit to sternal to stand with her device. After just a few short weeks, Hope walked around like she had all four ‘normal’ legs.” -Valerie
Hope flourished with her therapies and progress could be noted at each session. Her personality also started to change: “Hope received acupuncture for its neuromodulatory effects that addressed both nerve-based and orthopedic pain. Although she may have been a bit timid during her first session, this was very short-lived. After starting additional therapy modalities, her determined personality had come out by her second session!” -Dr. Melissa Trupia
Hope’s life completely changed once she was taken in by Wish Upon A Rescue and bought to IPC, but it didn’t stop there. Hope was adopted shortly after by her therapist Tiffany!
“She’d been through so much, yet was always in good spirits, friendly, and happy to see me at her appointments. I was also really impressed at the overall speed of her recovery considering the trauma she endured, as every time her foster mom brought her in, she reported some level of progress. I also admired that although she was very cooperative and sweet through all of her IPC treatments, she wasn’t shy about letting me know if she didn’t like something I was doing. She spent the night with us once after a fundraiser which led us to ultimately adopt her. I still bring her in weekly to IPC for underwater treadmill and laser treatments and will soon begin some home exercises with her. She is the ‘perfect dog’ in every way and I feel blessed she is a part of my family.”
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Hope has asked us to tell you about the organization who changed her life, Wish Upon A Rescue.
Wish Upon a Rescue is a non-profit Illinois based animal rescue focused on saving the lives of homeless animals while providing the community with extensive education, outreach, and support. We believe in going above and beyond the status quo of rescue and are committed to providing innovative care and support for our animals physical and emotional health. We believe that all animals deserve a second chance at life regardless of breed, age, or physical ability.
“Since we had lost our 2 Dogs within a year of each other, it took us a while to be ready for another. We never bought a puppy from a pet store before, but while shopping for something else, my husband wandered over to the pet area. There was Libby, scrawny as could be with a sad face. We went home, but I knew she was meant for us so I went back and got her the next day. She was very sickly, malnourished and had numerous health problems but that didn’t matter since she was now family. After some time, she flourished and her sad eyes disappeared. I don’t think she really knows she’s a dog because we treat her like our only child. She’s loyal, energetic and like any Labrador, she lives to fetch and swim!” -Linda, Libby’s mom
When Libby started crying and limping after playing and fetching toys in the lake, Linda spoke to family members who had experience with integrated veterinary medicine. Therapy was advised for Libby and after searching online, Linda found Integrative Pet Care which had great reviews from other pet owners.
“Libby’s exam showed she was painful mostly in her left hip, she has muscle atrophy and weakness in both her rear legs and she had decreased range of motion and flexibility in the left hip. We started her on a treatment plan with the goals of pain control, improving strength and flexibility in her hips and normalizing her walk so she would not limp. Over the course of her eight week program, Libby received therapeutic laser, underwater treadmill, massage, and therapeutic exercises.” -Dr. Amber Ihrke
Libby LOVED her therapies and would come in with endless energy and enthusiasm. “She is a great deal of fun to work with and her happiness is contagious. It’s impossible to work with her and not smile” says her therapist Tiffany! By the end of her eight week treatment plan, Libby had increased her hip extension range of motion, improved her gait and increased the amount of weight she placed on her left rear limb from 13% to 18%. Her owner reported Libby’s mobility had improved at home. It seemed Libby had a new sparkle in her eyes and skip her in step after she finished rehab at IPC.
“We love the staff at IPC! I am so grateful for their true concern and passion for making Libby better. Dr Amber says it’s as if Libby read the book on what it looks like to achieve therapy results and did it!!” -Linda
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Libby has asked us to tell you about The Caspian Fund.
Our Mission Statement: Providing families with a special needs pet that may need equipment, such as a cart, orthotic or prosthetic device in order to live an independent and full life. Our mission is only possible through generous donations from our supporters. Please consider making a donation so that we can continue to provide assistance to animals in need.
When Koda began to have difficulty walking, primary care veterinarian, Dr. Cynthia Cecott of Veterinary of Tinley Park, Koda’s recommended scheduling an appointment at Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen. At his initial evaluation, they met with Dr. Amber Ihrke and PT Valerie who devised a custom rehabilitation plan to address his specific needs. They suspected he had Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) and a genetic test confirmed the diagnosis.
Koda started right away with treatments such as: manual therapy with dry needling to address his many myofascial trigger points, underwater treadmill and exercises for strengthening, and massage therapy to keep him comfortable. He was also measured for a cart, which would greatly improve his mobility and quality of life!
“It is amazing to see the difference in Koda’s attitude and personality since starting with us as he does not like to be handled much. But when it comes to his cart, he is a whole new dog! Koda stands calmly for me to place him in and out of his cart and will even sit next to in until I am ready to put him in it. He really understands that the cart is helping him and he is happier in it.” -Katie Neforos
“Koda showed us the importance of measuring our patients for a cart when they can still stand independently. By placing our patients with DM in carts early on, they can have significant improvement in their overall mobility and quality of life.” -Valerie
His owners gave us a brief history of Koda- He was brought to Cry for Help Rescue in 2016 after he was found tied up and left behind after his owners moved. It was not known how long he was tied up, but the abuse he endured caused him constant pain and made him a little aggressive towards others. Since we adopted him, Koda’s temperament has changed; he now has two other doggie brothers and my grandchildren love him!
“Integrative Pet Care has helped Koda tremendously! Without their help, he would not be able to enjoy the things he loves. They fit him for a harness/brace that he wears daily and they also helped fit him for a cart. Since the addition of the cart, Koda has be able to return to his daily walks around the neighborhood with his doggie brothers.” -Koda’s owner
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Koda has asked us to tell you about Cry For Help Rescue.
Penny’s mom Sharon brought her into Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen soon after being diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia by her primary care veterinarian. Since she was already displaying signs of lameness and discomfort at only 11 months old, her veterinarian recommended either surgery or rehabilitation. She met with Dr. Amber Ihrke who created an 8 week custom rehabilitation program which consisted of underwater treadmill, exercise, and Adequan injections.
“Penny was very nervous of everyone as the clinic and would lash out if anyone attempted to touch near her hips or tail. Now at the end of her program, she tries to break into the exercise room every time she comes to the clinic and allows butt rubs”, explains therapist Katie N!
“Within 4 weeks, Penny had improved her extension in both hips and was much more comfortable with palpation of her hip joints. By 8 weeks, her owner reported she was doing very well at home and rarely showed any discomfort or lameness.” – Dr. Amber Ihrke
“By the end of her therapy, Penny was an active puppy and was not limited by her hip dysplasia or pain. When Penny walked, she no longer had any lameness. Penny is a great example of how even puppies may require therapy and the sooner they begin the better prognosis and overall functional mobility they will have in the future.” -PT Valerie
“You guys have helped her so much that she can now play and go up the stairs with out pain! She loves Katie and all the love she get there!” -Sharon, Penny’s mom
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Penny has asked us to tell you about Half-Way Home Rescue.
Half-Way Home Animal Rescue is a not-for-profit 501(3)c recognized, foster-based (non-government funded) organization that is made up of all volunteers and along with the support and donations from individuals, veterinarians, and others – we strive for the rescue, humane care, and treatment of the animals in our community, state and throughout our country. Together we are saving hundreds of animal lives annually.
Harrison was hit by a car in early October 2017 and suffered a badly fractured pelvis and hip, which required surgical repair. His owners did not believe the vet bills were within their ability to pay, so they surrendered him to Chicago Animal Care and Control in the hopes that a rescue might step up to help him. Fetching Tails Foundation (501C3) was contacted that afternoon, and by that evening Harrison was in the care of the surgical team at Veterinary Specialty Center of Buffalo Grove. It would be nearly a week before the surgery could be performed due to head and abdominal traumas that had to be resolved before he could go under anesthesia. Once the surgery was completed, Harrison had a femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgery, and the pelvic fractures on both sides of his body were left to heal on their own, which they did.
After two months, it was becoming clear that Harrison was not using his left hind leg. In order to give him the best chance at a normal recovery (and the best chance of being adopted), Harrison’s foster mom asked the surgeon at Vet Specialty Center whether Harrison was a candidate for rehabilitation. The surgeon provided a list of practitioners, but there was really only one place considered, Integrative Pet Care who Fetching Tails Foundation had previously worked with. Harrison started therapy in early December 2017 and the staff in Homer Glen did not disappoint!
Harrison met with Dr. Ihrke for an evaluation where he was prescribed a pain management regimen and rehabilitation program that included therapeutic laser, manual therapy, hydrotherapy and TENS therapy. Right away Harrison responded to his program and started putting weight on his left leg while walking. Over the next 12 weeks, he continued to improve and by the end of his treatment plan, he was walking, running and playing without issues.
I truly believe that without rehab Harrison would have had a hard time finding his forever home. His pain level would have remained elevated and he would not want anyone touching him. Rehabilitation helped manage Harrison’s pain, increase weight bearing on his left rear limb and returned him to an active lifestyle. -therapist Valerie Williams
Today, Harrison runs, climbs stairs, goes for walks to the dog park, and stands on his hind legs as any small dog would.He walks without a limp, and unless one knew what Harrison had been through, one would not know it from looking at him. Harrison was recently adopted and will continue his rehabilitation at the Chicago location!
“I would always look forward to days that he was coming because he was so much fun to work with. We all miss Harrison here but are so glad that he is healthy and has found his forever home!” -therapist Katie Nefros
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Harrison has asked us to tell you about the rescue that saved his life, Fetching Tails Foundation.
Fetching Tails Foundation is an 501c3 Illinois based non-breed specific rescue committed to saving dogs regardless of breed, age, and physical ability. Our foundation is committed to lowering euthanasia rates by rescuing adoptable dogs from high kill-shelters and other animal intake facilities and placing them in approved adopted homes. We are dedicated to helping our community through educational programs and combined efforts for spay & neuter clinics.
Tucker’s journey starts when he was found roaming the streets of Southern Illinois with his mom and siblings. Luckily he was taken in by Midwest Beagle Rescue, Education & Welfare (BREW). His future mom had been looking for a male companion for her other beagle, and she was smitten when she saw his picture online. When they met in person, it was love at first sight!
“Tucker first came to Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen for Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). He had previously had surgery to correct the problem, but when he had a subsequent episode he came to us for help. Tucker was in tremendous pain and barely able to walk. We started an aggressive treatment plan of pain medication and rehabilitation modalities including TENS, acupuncture and manual therapy.” -Dr. Amber Ihrke explains Tucker’s condition
Dr. Melissa Trupia performed his first acupuncture treatment and he did amazingly well for his first session! When he returned for his second acupuncture session 4 days later, Tucker was willing and able to stand and ambulate on his own. “We were all so pleased with his progress and agreed that he was ready for additional treatment modalities including manual therapy and hydrotherapy.” -Dr. Trupia
Therapist Valerie tells us about Tucker’s therapy experience- “His pain was so intense that he would not weight bear on his rear limbs to stand or walk and Tucker allowed minimal hands-on work. He allowed cupping and manual therapy over his spinal muscles during his second session. By the 3rd and 4th treatment session, Tucker was now walking back to the therapy gym and was a completely different dog!”
“I cannot put into words how much everyone at IPC has helped my pets and supported us.. When I brought Tucker in this year, he was barely walking, and I had little hope he would walk again. He has many other health issues I have been trying to get ahead of this year, and this re-injury was a gigantic step backward for us. I was unclear of what the future may hold, but one thing I did know is the only team I trusted to help him were Dr. Amber, Valerie, Katie, Tiffany, Dr. Melissa and Jill! IPC of Homer Glen gave my best friend a longer pain-free life filled with happiness, mobility and lots of love. Thanks to the entire team, Tucker will continue to be spoiled and loved immensely.” -Becky, Tucker’s mom
“Tucker has made amazing strides at IPC and never fails to surprise us. It has been a joy to watch him return to the things he loves most!” -Therapist Tiffany
Midwest Beagle Rescue, Education and Welfare, Inc is a 501(c)3 non profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to rescuing beagles from high-kill shelters. We adopt beagles to families within Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, western Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and have also placed beagles into loving homes in Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri
Teddy is a 7 year old Old English Sheepdog who has been incredibly active his entire life. “I was in contact with his breeder from the day he was born. I got to meet him at 5 weeks old and brought him home at 9 weeks. I have shown him in conformation and he earned his AKC Championship. We also do lots of performance sports. He has titles in obedience, rally, agility, lure coursing, barn hunt, trick dog and canine good citizen. He is now a therapy dog and started visits in March.” -Cindy, Teddy’s mom
Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen was highly recommended by Teddy’s primary care veterinarian at Mokena Animal Clinic after he began showing signs of cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease.
Teddy met with Dr. Amber Ihrke who created an 8 week rehabilitation program that included hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercise, and laser therapy. Cindy’s goal was to get him back into what made him happy, agility. “Within 8-weeks, Teddy was back to agility and not exhibiting any signs of lameness. He is a great reminder that even with arthritis, patients can continue with their sporting activities and remain comfortable!”- Dr. Ihrke
Teddy graduated from a formal therapy program, but his mom saw the progress he made and decided to keep going. He regularly comes to IPC for maintenance which keeps him competing at the highest level in agility.
PT Valerie Williams commented on how important home care is to a dog’s recovery. “Cindy was also compliant with Teddy’s home exercise program, especially with waiting to continue with Teddy’s agility until he fully recovered. Teddy is a great example of when patients start rehab right after an injury they can return to their active lifestyles and even agility without any limitations.”
“All he and his mom wanted to do was to get him back in the agility ring and we did just that!” -IPC therapist, Katie Neforos
Besides excelling in competitions, Teddy is an all around great dog who every therapist enjoys working with. “Teddy is a pleasure to work with as he was very cooperative for all of his therapies. I am so glad that all of his hard work with us led him to return to agility and other activities that he loves.” – therapist Tiffany Helphingstine
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Teddy has asked us to tell you about One Tail At A Time.
One Tail at a Time (“OTAT”) is a no-kill, 501(c)3 all-breed dog rescue committed to lowering euthanasia rates in the greater Chicagoland area through the rescue and adoption of dogs in need; comprehensive support of adopters; and community outreach through humane education programs and assistance for disadvantaged and low-income families.