“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.
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
Shinto is a 12-year-old Shiba Inu who was previously very active. He earned titles in both AKC agility and coursing. Shinto was doing quite well until last February, when he suddenly fell to the ground and yelped out in pain. He was quickly taken to the emergency vet after he was unable to get up and walk on his own.
After having x-rays and blood work, Shinto was referred for an MRI where he was diagnosed with a Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE), which is a blockage in the blood vessels of the spinal cord. He presented with ataxia of the hind limbs and knuckling of the rear paws. Rehabilitation was recommended and Shinto started right away. A program was prescribed that included underwater treadmill, acupuncture & chiropractic, therapeutic exercise/massage, and laser therapy. Shinto’s owner felt that choosing to apply all the different types of therapies available has allowed Shinto to continue with his active lifestyle.
“Shinto has done wonderful with the prescribed program and he now plays, uses the stairs and does not knuckle with his rear paws as he did before.” –Dr. Arlene Rodriguez, DVM, CCRT
Because of all his hard work, Shinto was able to return to competing in nosework! He has earned his NW1 & NW2 titles. He is currently working on his NW3 thanks to his ongoing therapy.
“He is a STAR in the underwater treadmill and has improved so much with his rehabilitation that he has been able to return to his beloved nosework classes.” -Susan Trchka, PT, CCRT
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Shinto has asked us to tell you about Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue.
Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit rescue that seeks out, fosters, and places homeless Shiba Inu dogs into carefully screened, lifelong, and nurturing homes. MSIR serves Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri areas.
Rocko is 12-year-old Weimaraner who participates in upland game hunting across the country. He has achieved the title of Master Hunter, which is the highest rank in hunt test events. Outside of his hunting adventures, Rocko was also a therapy dog who visited nursing homes, hospitals and libraries. Rocko’s mom Mary, who is a veterinary technician, noticed that he had a difficult time keeping his hind end up while standing and was reluctant to run. Being the self-proclaimed overly attentive owner, she consulted with the veterinarian she worked with who suggested rehabilitation therapy.
Rocko met with Dr. Amber Ihrke who prescribed a rehabilitation program which Rocko and his mom diligently followed. “Rocko is an active sporting dog who was showing progressive signs of rear limb weakness. The x-rays of his lumbar spine and pelvis were unremarkable, so his source of weakness was unknown. We started Rocko on a plan of manual therapy, hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercises and chiropractic adjustments and each week Rocko’s mobility, endurance and flexibility improved”, explains Dr. Amber Ihrke.
“Through rehab and the dedication of his owners with his home exercise program, Rocko returned to hunting without any problems or pain in his back. Rocko continues to see us at IPC through a maintenance program. Our goal is to keep an eye on him in order to decrease the likelihood of his back causing him problems in the future.” -Valerie Willaims, one of Rocko’s therapists.
“Rocko has graduated to a maintenance program and is doing well. He is running in the field much better and is playing with the other Weimaraners in the house. Our goal is to continue with therapy and home exercises so he can go on his fall hunt trip to South Dakota; I couldn’t be happier.” – Mary, Rocko’s mom
“Rocko knows that age is only a number; all he wanted to do was get back in the field and run. After completing his initial rehabilitation program, he is doing exactly that! He is a great example of what rehabilitation can give back to older guys. He may not be able to keep up with his baby brother, but he can run and play and do whatever he wants pain free”, gushes his biggest fan & therapist, Katie.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Rocko has asked us to tell you about Cache Creek Animal Shelter.
Our mission is to rescue and adopt out as many dogs and cats as safely possible, regardless of their age, health (we still rescue if there are health issues) or breed. In an effort to help control the increasing pet population it is our policy that each animal we adopt out is spayed or neutered.
“We got MaeBelle from a local breeder when she was 9 weeks old. She is a very sweet and loving girl…all of our nieces, nephews and grandchildren tell her ‘no Mae – Mae stop’ because she can’t stop kissing them! Mae likes to take long walks, play with tennis balls, and swim when we go camping and boating. Because of her activity level, we were caught unaware with her diagnosis of hip dysplasia in January, as she never had a prolonged period of limping or lameness. We are still not sure what triggered her limping, but we are very grateful to her primary care veterinarian who believes she was most likely born with it.
We had worked with Integrative Pet Care in the past, so we did not hesitate to bring MaeBelle in to see Dr. Starr. The care she received has been extraordinary! Every treatment is broken down so we can understand it, but more importantly it’s tailor made so that Mae’s hips can tolerate it.
In the time she has been receiving treatment, we have noticed an improvement in her mobility that we didn’t even notice she was missing. She is now playing more with our other dog and is really enjoying our walks. A HUGE thank you to her team for being so patient with her and us, and for teaching us what we need to help keep MaeBelle healthy and happy…and slimmer!” -Laura, MaeBelle’s mom
“MaeBelle and her family have been such a pleasure to work with. She has shown tremendous improvement in her comfort in her hips, strength in her hind legs, overall fitness level, and her gait after just eight weeks of physical rehabilitation. These improvements have translated into a much happier and more active dog, and are a testament to the hard work of her owners as well as how much physical rehabilitation can improve the quality of life and function for dogs with hip dysplasia. We are thrilled that MaeBelle is able to start doing more normal activities like swimming, and are looking forward to being part of her continued success.” –Dr. Lisa Starr
“I have had the pleasure of working with MaeBelle since January of this year to help improve strength in her hind limbs due to hip dysplasia. MaeBelle has been a STAR patient throughout her therapy- she always comes to therapy ready to work!” –Anna, MaeBelle’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. MaeBelle has asked us to tell you about 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.
Paulina was picked up, along with a sibling, as a stray from California. Even though she and her sister were marked as a bonded pair, which means the shelter likes to have them rescued together, another rescue took her sister and left her behind. The reason? She could barely walk as her back legs could not bend. Chicagoland Eskie Rescue brought her to Chicago where Dr. Aaron Jackson of MedVet Chicago, diagnosed and performed the surgery for bilateral grade 4/4 luxating patellas. After 8 weeks of pen rest, MedVet Chicago recommended Integrative Pet Care for her rehabilitation.
“When we first began with IPC, Paulina would not use her back left leg and did not have the leg strength to walk on hardwood floors. IPC worked with Paulina for 10 weeks. Her therapies included exercise, laser, underwater treadmill, and chiropractic sessions, as well as daily at-home sessions with her foster family. Paulina now walks (and runs) with all four legs and her muscle mass has increased significantly, allowing her to handle hardwood flooring like a champ!” -Chicagoland Eskie Rescue
“The doctors and staff at Integrative are some of the best in the business. They genuinely care for each animal, set realistic goals for the patients and support the owners throughout the entire process.”
“Paulina’s positive attitude and high energy has made working with her very easy! She enjoys doing her therapeutic exercises, especially when she gets freeze dried liver!” -Anna Alberth, CVT, CCRA
“Paulina came to us after having bilateral lateral luxation stabilization surgery. At the time of her Initial Evaluation she was front loading and not bearing much weight on her rear legs. Her response to therapies has been tremendous and she is finally bearing 99% weight on her hind legs! Thanks to the dedication of the rescue Paulina is ready to find her furever home!” -Dr. Arlene Rodriguez, DVM, CCRT
“After a rigorous rehab program we are proud to say Paulina is now taking applications for her furever home! Paulina’s temperament is pure love. Her favorite things to do include belly rubs and walks, which she never was able to enjoy before her surgery. She gets along with other dogs, but would also be a great dog for someone with limited dog experience. For more information or to request an application, please email us at CERApplications@gmail.com.”
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Paulina has asked us to tell you about Chicagoland Eskie Rescue.
Chicagoland Eskie Rescue, specializing in American Eskimo Dog Rescue & Re-Homing was established in January of 2008. The rescue is a recognized 501(c)(3)Non-Profit Organization that is made up entirely of volunteers who are dedicated to provide shelter, care, vetting and an adoption program for abandoned and relinquished American Eskimo Dogs.
In early November of 2016 Ch Khalin suffered from hind limb paresis or a ‘mini stroke’, which caused him to lose function in his rear legs. He was referred to Integrative Pet Care Hanover Park by his primary care veterinarian at Gateway Veterinary Clinic. Ch Khalin met with Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice who prescribed a rehabilitation program that consisted of: veterinary acupuncture & chiropractic treatments, therapeutic exercise, massage and laser therapy. His owner Vallie attributes his improvement to the collaborative efforts of his veterinarians and staff.
“Bruse was originally adopted from a family member who found he was too busy for a puppy. Unbeknownst to my husband and me, Olde English Bulldogs are a very high maintenance breed that are prone to many medical problems. Bruse showed some sensitivity periodically in his back and knees. After visiting 3 separate veterinarians, I was referred to Integrative Pet care of Homer Glen for rehabilitation.
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.