There are many rehab modalities that contribute to a good quality of life for your pet, one of which is massage. This hands-on approach can offer numerous benefits and is used to help with pain management, recovery from surgery and even as a way to strengthen the bond between owner and pet.
Madison was adopted outside of Madison WI, hence her name, in September of 2011 when she was about 12 -15 weeks old. To the best of their knowledge, Madison is a border collie/husky mix. She immediately starting training, but her mom noticed that she was acting like an ‘old lady’ at about 9 months of age. She was suddenly having issues with stairs and ‘puppy push ups’ (meaning going from a sit to a down and back to a sit). Her trainer at the time also noticed it and recommended a trip to the vet where their ‘adventure into hip dysplasia’ began.
Ares was born in the Czech Republic on January 12, 2006 and was selected to come to the United States to be a police dog later that year. Ares and his handler John were partnered up in early 2007 and to went through a six week training program at the Cook County Sheriff’s Training Facility. Ares’ little brother Jake was adopted a year later and the two quickly became best friends!
After many years of hard work and service to the police department, Ares was having some occasional difficulties. After visits to the vet and an MRI, it was determined that Ares has four herniated discs in his back and neck. He was given some medication and was told to “take it easy”. Ares, however, was not ready to take it easy, nor was he ready to retire from the police department.
On therapy days, Crockett can usually be found leading his owner Michael down the halls in search of anyone who will give him a treat.
We met Crockett in 2008 when he came at the recommendation of agility instructor Stacey Hawk, who knew the importance of conditioning for the canine athlete. Crockett started off coming once weekly for either underwater treadmill or resistance pool sessions. He also had consistent chiropractic treatments to keep him aligned during his various activities.
Pain management therapies like laser and acupuncture were added as Crockett started to age. He was maintaining very well until he suffered a series of vestibular episodes in 2015. Vestibular disease often causes dogs to have a head tilt and easily lose their balance. While it was hard to see this former athlete have trouble walking, Michael never gave up and more intensive rehab program was designed. Crockett started coming more regularly for therapeutic exercise, laser and acupuncture/chiropractic sessions.
Dogs become such an integral part of the family that it’s impossible to imagine not providing them with the best quality of life. But, like humans, dogs are susceptible to disease and injury, sometimes resulting in mobility issues or even amputation.
Luckily, there are many options to manage your dog’s quality of life in regards to their mobility and comfort. One such option might be the use of a cart or a “dog wheelchair.” This device can help dogs who are suffering from paralysis, amputatio n, limb deformities, neurologic conditions and limb weakness.
There are many benefits to carts, beyond freedom; dogs suffering from neurologic conditions are essentially retraining their nervous system to stand in a normal position when they use a cart. It also reduces and relieves muscle tension and helps regain strength and a cart allows for better mobility and a decrease in the stress on parts of their body due to over-compensation.
Riot’s owner Mike got Riot when she was 8 weeks old and she has been by his side ever since. She entered the show dog circuit, where she loved the attention, travel and competition. Riot had a very successful show career and eventually became one of the first AKC female mastiff grand champions! Riot is now happily retired from showing, but still enjoys getting attention from everyone she meets!
Pugsley is a super handsome senior fellow who has a zest for life. Based on his smiling face you would never guess he had a rough start to life. He was unfortunately hit by a car prior to being surrendered to the Northern Illinois Pug Rescue & Adoption (NIPRA) in August of 2013. When he was placed in his forever home, his new family noticed his many problems and tended to them right away. Pugsley wobbled a lot, could not walk for more than a few feet without collapsing in the rear, could not potty without falling, and did not enjoy taking morning walks. Fortunately his neurologist, Dr. Belinda Comito at Veterinary Specialty Center recommended starting rehabilitation, and the rest is history!
Mimi came to IPC by way of Bialy’s Wellness Foundation a little over a year ago. Her owners brought her to the vet because she was having an extremely difficult time walking and seemed to be in constant pain. They did not have the finances to cover all that Mimi needed, so the vet contacted BWF to see if they could sponsor Mimi’s medical care. BWF stepped up immediately to cover diagnostics and intensive rehab. Sadly Mimi’s owner passed away and her family was having a hard time caring for her. One of their neighbors, Danielle had fallen in love with Mimi and decided to help the family out by bringing her to appointments. After seeing how much medical attention Mimi needed, Danielle offered to adopt her and they made it official in July!
If you’re thinking about adopting a pet, you may want to consider adopting a senior dog or cat. Sadly, seniors spend the most amount of time at the shelter and have a higher rate of euthanasia. Although some people may be deterred because they feel they won’t have as much time with their companion, older animals have a lot to offer!
“Chiko is 11 years old. He did agility training before his injuries. He loves to do odd jobs, like bring me my shoes and slippers when I ask for them. He likes to get his bowl when it is time for dinner. Most people say he is a very happy dog, I agree. He is super sweet and loves having his ears and butt scratched. He eats just about everything. One of his favorite treats is carrots. He likes cucumbers and broccoli stems. He loves bread and can smell it from a distance.