Meet Sumo & Kiko, our dynamic Shiba Inu duo who keep us on our toes every Tuesday morning! “Sumo has been a patient since his first cruciate surgery nearly 10 years ago and although the surgeon told us rehabilitation therapy was not necessary, our dog trainer recommended exploring options if we really wanted Sumo to get back to his prior athletic level. We were so happy with all the help you gave us, it was only natural to bring our other dog Kiko for sports conditioning and ultimately rehabilitation after she had patella and cruciate surgery.
Despite their surgeries, Sumo and Kiko have had long and healthy agility careers thanks to rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance program which we especially appreciate. It not only allows our dogs to stay in great shape for their athletic endeavors, but also helps them as they age. As an example, Sumo has had chronic kidney disease for the past year and a half. That disease often leads to muscle wasting, particularly in a dog’s hind quarters, as the dog gets less and less active. Our primary vet has expressed pleasant surprise at how little atrophy Sumo has suffered and we attribute much of that to his maintenance program which includes hydrotherapy.
We fell in love with the Shiba Inu breed in 1990 based on a photo in a book of 450 dog breeds which was long before anyone knew what a Shiba was. After our first Shiba died from cancer, we searched for the right breeder with the right puppy. Sumo, who is now 13.5 years old, has been part of our family since he was 4 months old. As everyone on your staff who has worked with Sumo knows, he is classic Shiba: incredibly smart, aloof, stubborn, independent, loathes water, and wants nothing to do with anyone unless he is handsomely rewarded. He is the type of dog who makes you earn his affection, and once you do he will make you feel very special.
Kiko is a rescue Shiba who I met during her intake evaluation at Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue and decided to keep rather than put her into their formal program. She came to us as a wild and out of control jumping bean at the age of 15 months. She’s now 10 and is the Yang to Sumo’s Yin. She loves everyone, gives kisses, wags her tail when she greets you and is anxious to please (although she loves rewards too.) She has the smarts and hatred of water that is classic Shiba, but she gives her affection freely.
Kiko is our agility super star. In 2018, she was ranked the #3 agility Shiba in the country by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and has competed twice in the Agility Invitational in Orlando where only the top 5 dogs of each breed are invited. She has earned four agility championships, which is something that only five Shibas have ever done. She also has top titles in Rally and is close to completing an Obedience title.
Sumo has Obedience titles, two top Rally titles, numerous agility titles. When he had to retire from those athletically demanding sports at the age of 11, he started nosework. He now has the AKCs Advanced titles in exteriors, interiors, containers and buried hides as well as nosework titles from NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work) and UKC (United Kennel Club).
Kiko recently had a TPLO surgery for a torn cruciate, so her days include a morning walk, a little bitey-face time with our 4 year old shiba, breakfast, about 10 minutes of rehab homework and then “free time” until late afternoon when she gets about another 10-15 minutes of rehab time (along with some tricks training), an evening walk, dinner, more bitey-face play, a late night walk and sleep. Tuesdays she goes to IPC for therapy and Thursdays she goes to Rally class where she is learning new skills for a competition in September. Sumo’s schedule is almost identical, but he doesn’t play bitey-face (that’s beneath him). He also goes to IPC for therapy on Tuesday and Nosework class on Thursday where he shows off how smart he is (he no longer competes).
One thing I’d like to mention is how important I think IPC has been in keeping both our very active dogs healthy. When Sumo tore his cruciate at a young age, both his primary care vet and surgeon told us to expect him to tear the other cruciate within two years or less and to expect arthritis in that knee by age 6. Well, thanks to great rehab and continued maintenance, the other leg’s cruciate didn’t tear for more than 5 years. Plus, it kept his arthritis at bay as he was able to compete in agility and rally until he turned 11! We were warned that Kiko’s other knee would require surgery if we didn’t keep her in good shape. Even though it was her other cruciate that tore, her recovery from surgery was easier since she was in great shape going in.” -Amy
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Sumo & Kiko have asked us to tell you about Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue.
Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue (MSIR) was founded in 2002 and is a a registered 501(c)3 non-profit and licensed rescue. We help to save and place Shiba Inus throughout the Midwest, including Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.
According to Watson’s mom Kirsten, September 6, 2008 was the BEST DAY EVER! She met Watson at an animal shelter who was shy and nervous initially, but quickly warmed up to play with his new Golden Retriever brother Dylan. Once he successfully completed puppy training, it was recommended they get involved in dog sports like agility. He started training with Hawk City K9 in early 2009 which helped reinforce their training in a fun way and made them more of a team. They caught the agility bug and started competing in agility in 2015 and will compete in his first scent work competition shortly!
We started with IPC as Watson was getting older and I wanted to help maintain his strength and stamina. IPC came highly recommended for conditioning and we had come to know some from the team through agility and scent work. From our first go-round for conditioning, Watson was stronger and able to play longer and run faster. He also recovered faster from a busy weekend with less soreness.” -Kirsten
Unfortunately Watty tore his cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) which required a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery in November 2018. He met with Dr. Deanne Zenoni and Laura who created a plan which included underwater treadmill, laser, massage, exercise, and chiropractic sessions.
“I trust the team to help keep Watty safe while recovering and rebuilding strength. During recovery, sessions were a stress-free happy break from our otherwise restricted recovery time at home. And he LOOOOVES his IPC team. As we continue to rebuild/maintain, IPC helps push us to new challenges. Watson’s “creative” mind loves new challenges (which sometimes includes finding new ways to cheat) but his therapists have his number.” -Kirsten
Watson was a pro at all his therapies and progressed quickly. He still continues coming for maintenance therapy since graduating from his formal program in February.
Watson enjoys sleeping-in and will abandon his bed only once he hears the sweet sound kibble in his bowl. He keeps an eye on the house and hood most of the day. He enjoys long walks reading the neighborhood paper (sniffing every tree, leaf, blade of grass, crack in the sidewalk, person walking by… ). Weekend morning walks were made for walks at the convergence of smells from at least 2 brunch spots at his favorite park.
While Watson is a master napper, he loves finding ways to get treats through his at-home exercises and learning new tricks that support his rehab.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. In honor of his late brother Dylan, Watson has asked us to tell you about Charge Against Cancer.
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.
We met Grace two weeks after having a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery in June to repair a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). She had been an incredibly active dog her entire life, so her parents were ready and willing to get her back into shape. They had previously been to IPC with another dog, so they knew it was the place to go!
An eight week custom rehab plan was created by Dr. Megan Ridley which started with massage and laser to reduce inflammation and swelling. Grace and her brothers had always competed in agility and swimming was a favorite activity, so it was a happy day for all when she was given the clearance to start the underwater treadmill! Since her parents were so diligent with home exercise, massage, and restriction, Grace looked better and better every week.
“IPC has been extremely beneficial in getting her back to her normal self in a relatively short period of time.” -Grace’s dad Andy
Andy also gave us a glimpse into her daily life: “Her day begins with a long walk around the neighborhood, then back home for breakfast, which she’s usually barking at me because I’m either doing it wrong or not making it fast enough. While I’m at work she spends most of the day sleeping and resting up for our nightly adventures which include trips to Begyle Brewing where her mom works, or to other restaurant or tavern patios in the neighborhood. She is more than happy to roll over on her back for belly rubs and/or squinting her eyes when she sees someone she knows and really likes, especially all her girlfriends at IPC: Caitlin, Liz, Lindsey, Erin, Renee, Sarah, and Hannah (to name a few).”
“I am always greeted with a goofy grin, squinted eyes and a happy tail which keeps wagging throughout her entire appointment. Grace and her parents are a pleasure to work with!” -Lindsey, CCRA, CCMT
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Grace would like to give a shout out to As Good As Gold.
As Good as Gold – Golden Retriever Rescue of Illinois is dedicated to the rescue, care and adoption of Golden Retrievers and golden mixes who are in need. In addition, As Good as Gold educates Golden Retriever guardians and the general public about the importance of spaying/neutering, positive training methods, diet and exercise, appropriate medical treatment and humane care
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.
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.
It’s not every day that we have an elite athlete walk through our doors, but every Thursday Journey bursts into the hydro room and happily jumps into the underwater treadmill to work out. His mom, Stacey (founder of Hawk City K9) started coming to IPC years ago with her previous shepherds, so she knew the importance of proper conditioning. Journey actively competes in agility, dock diving & nosework.
“With all of the physical endeavors and training I do with my dogs, and seeing so many people train and compete with dogs who are not in the best physical shape possible, I knew that as soon as Journey was old enough, I was going to start him on a regular wellness program at IPC! Journey grew up at IPC! He’d hang out while my other dog, Kira, was coming in for her weekly rehab treatments (two torn cruciates).” -Stacey
“He’s been coming now weekly for years, and LOVES his underwater treadmill sessions, and ALL of the staff at IPC! They are, by far, simply the best!!” –Stacey
Journey & his therapist Laura have a special bond- she’s tough on him and he loves every minute of it! Journey runs (yes, runs) against resistance jets on an incline at 5.5 mph for 20 minutes during every session. Journey plays hard, so he has to train hard!
“Journey can do it all & is the epitome of a canine athlete! He rises to any challenge I give him & performs with gusto. He makes me VERY proud… Journey Rocks!” -Laura, CCRA
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Journey has asked us to tell you about an organization near and dear to his mom’s heart,
“Safe Humane’s mission is to create safe and humane communities by inspiring positive relationships between people and animals. We are an alliance of non-traditional partners that recognize the connections between animal abuse and interpersonal violence and the benefits of the human-animal bond. Our programs focus on education, advocacy and second chances.”