“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/
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.”
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.
Duke is a dutch shepherd/black lab mix who tore his cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) over a year ago. His surgery had to be postponed since his dad David was was stationed in Germany at the time. Once he arrived home, Duke was off to see Dr. Abell at VCA Aurora where a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery was performed.
David knew how import rehabilitation was post surgery so he did his homework and chose Integrative Pet Care because of their certified staff. “After 4 weeks of sleeping on a mattress on the floor in the basement with Duke, we had our first Integrative Pet Care appointment. The massage therapist was amazing and I could definitely tell Duke felt really relaxed and comfortable with her. It was a perfect way to introduce Duke to the IPC program and later we started the underwater treadmill and laser therapies. I have to say I noticed an IMMEDIATE improvement in his gait after laser sessions. Duke loves the water so every time we came, he would head straight for the tank hoping he was going to get to play in the water.” -David
David and Duke were eager to get him back to his favorite activity, swimming, so once he was cleared by the surgeon, he was off to the pool! The duo recently moved to Switzerland where Duke is able to to swim at least once weekly outside and he loves every minute of it. Even though David notices the occasional limp when Duke’s been overly active, he says that he is doing 100% better than he ever thought.
“Duke and his dad have been great to work with and Duke is doing fantastic after rehabilitation. Duke has been able to return to all of his normal activities and his dad will be using techniques he learned here to continue therapies in their new home. We wish them safe travels and lots of adventures in the future!” – Dr. Jennifer Blake
Rocky’s journey started almost 3 years ago when his mom was asked to take a puppy to get x-rays while volunteering at PAWS Chicago. Mia’s heart melted when she saw the 9 month old puppy who was so sweet even though he was injured and immediately volunteered to foster him. It turned out that Rocky’s leg was so badly injured that he required an amputation. After fostering him through his weeks of recovery, Mia decided he had to join her family!
Mia was understandably nervous about Rocky’s future quality of life so she decided to make an evaluation at Integrative Pet Care for preventative care.
“As soon as I met Dr. Ridley & Laura, I knew I was in good hands. They explained what would be ideal to aid in his recovery and addressed the typical concerns they had with tripods. Afterwards I understood a lot more about actions I could take to be proactive in his recovery and prevent any further injury which was really important to me.” -Mia
“Rocky is a different dog since starting at Integrative Pet Care. People don’t even recognize he’s a tripod because he stands so straight and tall, runs like a maniac, and walks with so much confidence. He’s gained an incredible job amount of core strength and muscle throughout! He hardly ever falls over and often stands on his one back leg to look out the window or check for treats on the counter. He’s naturally a very active and curious dog so we walk a lot and get a lot of exercise to keep him entertained. Luckily the muscles he’s developed because of our work at IPC have allowed him to keep up with all this activity! He loves training and learning tricks, and hunting rats in the park.” -Mia
“Rocky’s core strength is incredible for a tripod. I love working with him in the gym because he can and will do anything I ask of him. I’m constantly coming up with new exercises to challenge him and he does it all without messing up his hairdo!” -Laura, Rocky’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Rocky has asked us to tell you about Sit Stay Read.
SitStayRead’s mission is to improve literacy skills and foster a love of learning in children in low-income neighborhoods. Founded in 2003, SitStayRead brings teams of trained volunteers and Certified Reading Assistance Dogs into 16 Chicago Public Schools in some of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods
Integrative Pet Care was recommended when Ralph’s mom Peggy was searching for ways to improve his mobility. Ralph met with Dr. Amber Ihrke and a rehabilitation program was created that included underwater treadmill, therapeutic exercise & acupuncture.
“Ralph came to us with T3-L3 myelopathy without much functional use of his rear limbs. Having only two strong limbs to get around with didn’t stop Ralph too much from speeding from one place to the next, but he would just drag the rear limbs behind him. Good thing for Ralph, he really likes treats and was agreeable to some challenging work if he got some treats along the way.” – Katie Fitzgerald, one of Ralph’s therapists
Through his therapy program, Ralph improved quite a bit. He could stand on all four limbs and maintain the position to eat and drink, but his mom wanted to do more. Ralph was fitted for a cart to give him independent mobility. “Once Ralph was placed in his cart he began running around the rehab room. He easily negotiated the thresholds and quickly learned how to back up when his wheel hit a doorway or wall. I could not believe how fast Ralph adapted to his cart and how much happier he appeared with his new-found freedom in his cart. Ralph’s smiled seemed a bit brighter (tongue hanging out and all) after receiving his cart. We could not be happier for Ralph” -Valerie Williams
“From the first moment in his cart, Ralph was walking up/down the halls, walking in the grass and enjoying his new-found freedom.” -Dr. Ihrke
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Ralph has asked us to tell you about All Breed Rescue and Adoption, Inc.
Our mission is twofold: to save as many dogs and cats from living their final days in shelters and pounds as we can, and to educate the public so that one day our rescue won’t be necessary.