Meet our July Patient of the Month Atticus, who is a six year old Frenchton (French Bulldog/Boston Terrier mix). Atticus started having trouble with his spine three years ago, but recovered well with rest and pain medication. Unfortunately he suffered a setback in April of 2018 which left him completely unable to walk. He was rushed to a neurologist who performed a ventral slot surgery which decompresses the cervical spinal cord.
Atticus remained unable to walk after surgery, but regained mobility after a week. Rehabilitation was recommended and he walked through our doors a month later.
Despite everything that he had been through, Atticus looked pretty good! His rehabilitation program focused on pain management, fine tuning his mobility, and strengthening. He started coming twice weekly for underwater treadmill, exercise/laser, and acupuncture.
Atticus looked better and better to the IPC team at every visit and pain management modalities such as acupuncture and laser were able to be weaned out. Underwater treadmill and exercise sessions would now be the focus for strengthening.
Atticus continued to do well, so he was graduated to a maintenance level of rehabilitation. He now comes once weekly for underwater treadmill (which he loves) with acupuncture and a exercise/laser combo session every 6 weeks. Atticus is an IPC superstar!
“Atticus marches through our doors ready to WORK and does everything that is asked of him. He is a dream patient who never lets me down!” -Laura, CCRA
Atticus can usually be found patrolling the neighborhood with his mom Mary- something that she was worried he’d never be able to do again.
“Integrative Pet came in at a very difficult time after a spinal surgery for a ruptured disc. They have graced Atticus with the strength and comfort in order to recover beautifully and now he thinks he can fly! With the love that he’s been given at Integrative Pet I believe he can!” -Mary
“Elmore came to us three years ago when we were looking for a puppy. It was important for us to find one from a breeder who was part of the Newfoundland Club of America, did proper health testing on her dogs, and showed as well as participated in the Newfoundland events. We were hoping that we could take part in these activities with Elmore, but unfortunately this was not in the cards for him.
Elmore always seemed slow to rise, lazy, never jumped on people or on furniture, and was never super active. I always felt something was off, so because of this we became patients at IPC to maintain and build his strength.
By the time he was 2 years old he had gone through rehabilitation following tightrope surgeries to repair both torn cranial cruciate ligaments (CCLs), as well as platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. After he was cleared by his surgeon we felt optimistic about his future.
However, days before Christmas, he was in the backyard running, and went down. He had ruptured his T13-L1 discs and was fully paralyzed in his back legs because of this. We were devastated and rushed him out to Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove to see Dr. Mitch Robbins immediately. An MRI revealed a type 3 intervertebral disc rupture at T13-L1 with no evidence of persistent compression of the spinal cord. The care Elmore received from the VSC team was phenomenal.
He did not undergo surgery as he had no compression of his spine. He was given a 75% chance to walk again within 3 weeks, otherwise he would not regain that function. Our goal was clear, he would need IPC to help save his life.
We had been going to IPC for several years with our other Newfoundland Cass ever since Dr. Robbins recommended it as the place to go for rehabilitation in the city. There was no other place we would go to for this type of work for our dog. I have told people during this time that while you all are great at everything you do, I truly feel that your Neuro cases are your “bread and butter”.
Watching a giant breed who was once paralyzed in the rear now race over cavaletti poles and run around the gym, albeit somewhat “drunkenly”, is all the proof I need. IPC’s thorough program for Elmore, which consists of exercise, underwater treadmill, acupuncture, massage, laser, Adequan, NMES therapy and more, has been amazing. It was the exact combination needed. Throughout all of this, every single person from the front desk, to the therapists to the vets have been a part of a team dedicated to helping us and him.
“I always look forward to finding and creating new challenges each time I work with Elmore. He’s always ready to work hard and make us proud. Big shout out to Ashley and Andrew- their commitment to his recovery has been truly inspiring!” -Elmore’s main therapist and biggest fan, Laura
Today Elmore likes to get up and go on his walks around the block, come home for breakfast, and then take a several hour nap. After that he’s back out on walkies where he may bark at a few things and take some pictures for his instagram account, where he is quite popular. He completes his day with dinner, more naps and of course visits to IPC where he goes roughly three times a week. Sometimes he gets to go out to different stores, parks and he LOVES car rides etc… But it is a bit more difficult now that he isn’t as mobile as he used to be.” -Ashley, Elmore’s incredible mom
One thing I can tell other people going through this is to try to stay calm! It is so hard, don’t give up and don’t give up on your dog- some days you will want to, and that is ok. Listen to the therapists at IPC and do the work at home, it is the only way they will keep getting better.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Elmore has asked us to tell you about 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.
Integrative Pet Care staffers fell in love with Dreidel in October 2018, but her story starts back in 2007: “We adopted Dreidel from Chicago Canine Rescue when I was looking for a beagle, and the shelter told us they had some beagle/lab puppies that would be around 25-30 lbs full grown. I wasn’t too sure about a dog that big, but Jon and I went to see the puppies. Dreidel (then named Ravioli) was of course the only one in her litter screaming all the time, but when I pulled her out and sat down with her, she snuggled up in my lap and started chewing on my earring. I knew then that she was mine.
We were told that Dre and her brothers and sisters were rescued from a kill shelter in Kentucky, so I sometimes call her Kentucky Fried Dreidel. She also maxed out at 115 pounds before she was sick, so the 25-30 pound thing was clearly super accurate. I can’t imagine not having full-size puppy hugs now, though.” -Jen, Dreidel’s mom
IPC was recommended by Dreidel’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Robbins at Veterinary Speciality Center who performed both of her knee surgeries when she was younger. He thought that our services could help with Dre’s arthritis and general reconditioning after she was hospitalized in the ICU for 3 days with pancreatitis and newly diagnosed (and wildly uncontrolled) diabetes.
Drediel’s family met with Dr. Ridley after her hospitalization and she was in pretty rough shape; she needed assistance getting up, and could no longer climb up stairs. She could only walk for 30 seconds or so without needing a break. She seemed miserable and her parents were worried whether it was time to let her go. Her vet recommended that they stick with therapy at IPC for at least a month to see if she improved.
Dr. Ridley prescribed an 8 week treatment plan that started with pain control modalities such as acupuncture, massage, and laser. Her strength improved over time and she started sessions in the underwater treadmill and light exercises in the gym. It was also then that she met her main therapist and biggest fan Renee who says that “working with Dreidel and her sweet disposition is the highlight of my week.”
“Dre has responded to therapy like a superstar. She has her spunk back, she is able to go on walks and chase critters, and she can walk up the stairs again. We never thought it was possible for her to be doing this well. All of our family has said that she looks like she is aging in reverse. Even now, as she starts to slow down a bit with her new diagnosis of lymphosarcoma, we can tell that therapy is helping her maintain her energy and mobility. She loves coming to IPC and we could not be happier with how amazing and caring the staff is.
Dre is a habitual early riser now because of her daily 6 am insulin injections. During the week goes to daycare (“school”) or to therapy at IPC (“the spa”). In the evenings, she likes to eat, eat, eat, and snuggle and be petted constantly, and then she retires to her comfy king size bed that she has to share (ugh) with 2 humans.
On the weekends, Dre goes to 31st Street Beach first thing in the morning to look for bunnies and squirrels and chase geese. She is always down for going into the water, no matter how cold it is. Her new fun for the weekend is having “cheeseburger chemo” at McDonald’s as a “treatment” for her lymphoma. Then she spends the afternoon napping, snacking, and going for walks to her favorite park.” -Jen
Random Dreidel facts:
-She will lick you to death if you let her.
-She is a tough pup. Dre has torn both her CCLs, been attacked by a group of dogs in a parking lot, and got “shanked” at school (really she somehow ripped her side on an exposed nail/screw, but shanked sounds more fun).
-Dre has a bony growth on her right rear paw that looks like an extra toe with its own paw pad.
-One of her favorite toys is a plush dreidel that sings the dreidel song when she bites it. If she hears it play, she will come running.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Dreidel has asked us to tell you about the organization who saved her life, Chicago Canine Rescue.
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.
Rufio is a stunningly handsome older gentleman who has been coming to Integrative Pet Care for the past 6 months. His sister Skippy was a patient years ago, so his mom Susan knew where to go when Rufio started slowing down. He met with Dr. Zenoni and Erin who created a treatment program which included acupuncture, underwater treadmill, exercise, massage, and laser.
Rufio learned to love his therapies and slowly built enough endurance to complete two active therapies in one visit, which can be difficult for any dog, let alone a senior! Now he eagerly greets his therapists Renee and Erin and bounds down the hallway, ready to work.
“I love working with Rufio, he is such a kind and gentle soul who will do anything you ask of him. I look forward to our weekly sessions as Susan is such a wonderful owner who goes above and beyond for his care!” -Renee
“A typical day for Rufio is at least 4 walks with his sister Skippy and my son’s puppy Blue. Rufio likes to be the leader of every walk, and when he’s feeling spry, he likes to trot the whole way. He is always trying to drag us an extra block or two, especially in cold weather. His favorite walk of the day is when we walk to the train station to meet my husband and son. We have a big fenced in yard which he patrols. When I’m away from the house, he keeps the vigil at the front door.
He is clearly in a lot less pain than he was in. He is back to doing the things that make me cringe–roughhousing with bigger, younger dogs and chasing skunks in the dark– and the things that he loves–rolling in the snow, delivering the newspaper, and play bowing to his dog friends and family. Every so often, he insists upon the 3 mile walk that we used to do on a daily basis, and Skippy reluctantly comes along. Also, IPC gives him mental stimulation, and he loves to flirt with his therapists Erin and Renee and his vets, Dr. Zenoni and Dr. Ridley I know he enjoys IPC, because thanks to our visits here, he is no longer afraid to go in the car. At 14 1/2 years old, he definitely has his good days and bad days, but his good days are pretty amazing thanks largely to IPC.
Rufio’s family has also opened their home to over 141 foster dogs, the majority of whom are orphaned puppies. “Every one of them has loved gentle sweet Uncle Rufio. He calms even the most timid and least socialized puppies and he somehow lets them know they are safe. They have played with him, climbed on him, snuggled with him, and followed him. He becomes their port in the storm. He has the patience of Job, and he makes our task of fostering so much easier. Rufio himself is a rescue, and it makes us so happy to see the impact he has on his little friends.” -Susan
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Rufio has asked us to tell you about Wright-Way Rescue.
Its mission is to reduce the number of homeless pets euthanized in the Midwest each year through an adoption program, community education, promotion of spaying and neutering, and a veterinary medicine program. It continues to save pets from rural animal control facilities where they are at a high risk of euthanasia, and instead offer them a second chance at a loving home in the Chicagoland area.
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.
Ernie first had a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery to correct his left torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in January 2017. Unfortunately, he needed to have the plate removed the following November. One month later, his mom Dr. Katie Simpson scheduled an evaluation at Integrative Pet Care. Dr. Simpson is the Internal Medicine veterinarian on staff at Premier Veterinary Group, so she knew what an important part rehabilitation would play in his recovery
Ernie met with Dr. Megan Ridley who devised a custom program that included pain management modalities such as laser, massage and acupuncture as well as strengthening therapies like underwater treadmill and exercise. At the time it was suspected that Ernie had a right CCL tear, which would also be monitored.
Ernie did great with all of his therapies and formed a special bond with his therapist Lindsey. “I’m pretty sure Ernie thinks he just comes to IPC to snuggle with his girlfriends. He has the best attitude and is always willing to do what you ask of him, but if you give him half a chance he’ll be curled up in your lap without a second thought!”
Last August he developed joint fluid around his knee, which has since decreased. Most recently Ernie went back to surgery for a TPLO on his right knee. He came back to IPC immediately after and his recovery has gone smoothly. He started off with massage, laser, and acupuncture. Underwater treadmill was just added back in and he’s doing great in it! Despite Ernie’s multiple surgeries and long road to recovery, he has remained the sweet, goofy guy that he has always been.
Ernie’s typical day involves sleeping in, belly rubs, naps and more naps, and his favorite activity is playing in the snow!
“I chose IPC because of their great reputation and the friendly atmosphere.” -Dr. Simpson
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Ernie has asked us to tell you about 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.”
Stockton is a 10 year old happy go lucky Boxer who began therapy at Integrative Pet Care in February after being diagnosed with Degenerative Myleopathy (DM). DM is a progressive disease of the spinal cord that begins with a loss of coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs which will eventually progress to additional areas of the body. While there isn’t a cure for DM, physical rehabilitation can be helpful in maintaining mobility.
His parents Sebastian and Shannon had heard of Integrative Pet Care’s amazing staff and services through numerous people, so it was a no brainer to make an appointment. Stockton met with Dr. Deanne Zenoni who created a treatment plan which consisted of exercise, massage, laser therapy, massage, and acupuncture. It was then that he met his main therapist Lindsey and they created an instant bond.
“Stockton learned pretty early on how to manipulate me into feeding him near-constant treats, but I learned how to use his determination to my advantage. I feel like we make a pretty good pair! He’s a really hard worker when he’s here and the support he gets from his parents at home has really helped keep him as strong as possible”
Stockton’s therapy doesn’t end at IPC. His parents were taught exercises and massage to do at home, as well how to perform electrical stimulation (neuromuscular e-stim), which can be helpful in strengthening muscles and preventing atrophy.
“To say that Stockton loves the staff would be a huge understatement! He literally whines and cries for attention while waiting to start his appointment and we can barely get him to leave once he’s done!” -Sebastian
A typical day includes lots of snoozing, watching his TV programs, and performing his neighborhood watch duties, preferable at the Park. He also uses his striking good looks to constantly trick his Mom and Dad into giving him treats! His parents also feel that IPC has kept Stockton active mentally and physically through a wide array of treatments that he excitedly looks forward to each day.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Stockton would like to give a shout out to 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. OTAT achieves this through the rescue and adoption of dogs in need, comprehensive support of adopters, and community outreach including humane education programs and assistance for disadvantaged and low-income families.
Mosby first came to Integrative Pet Care a year ago at the recommendation of a friend who had come for years with their Great Dane. Mosby was getting weaker in his hind limbs and there was some worry that he was painful. He met with Dr. Ridley who devised a custom rehabilitation program which included pain management modalities: laser, massage and acupuncture. Exercises were then introduced to start strengthening his hind limbs. When Dr. Ridley felt he was strong enough, he started the underwater treadmill!
“Before coming to Integrative, Mosby had trouble standing on hardwood floors (his back legs would slide apart), had trouble going down stairs – sometimes falling, and was just generally unstable on his feet. Now Mosby stands and walks great on wood floors (generally avoiding the yoga mats we have sown for him) and gets down the stairs well on his own. He is more playful and has more energy. He even jump into our bed and into the car on occasion – even when we are trying to keep him from doing so!” -David, Mosby’s dad
Mosby has continually done well with his therapies! He now has weekly sessions of either underwater treadmill and exercise/laser and acupuncture.
“Mosby’s typical day starts off by getting up early and dragging me down the stairs to get breakfast. Then he likes to lounge around the house, mostly on his bench in the front window where he can keep an eye on things and go crazy barking at the occasional cat of rabbit. During this time he gets a couple walks which he finds very exciting, then after a nice nap I come home and it’s time for dinner. After dinner he basically naps until bedtime where he (usually) waits for me to put him in bed with Cathy and I even though he will eventually get down and sleep the rest of the night in his favorite chair.” -David
“Watching Mosby’s improvement over the past year has been incredibly rewarding. He has gone from slipping on the floors and walking wobbly to doing a sit up and beg all on his own, which is not an easy task!” -Laura, Mosby’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Mosby has asked us to tell you about CRISP.
CRISP provides free services to help Chicago pet owners keep their pets rather than surrendering them. And if we can’t help you find a way to keep your pet, our network of Chicago dog and cat lovers will help you place them immediately with a rescue group or no-kill shelter to bypass the city shelter completely.