Meet our March Patient Of The Month, Dee, who practically grew up in our clinic because her mom was an employee! Since Dee was friendly and always around, she was often used to train new therapists and demonstrate new techniques. As she got older, she unfortunately developed back and elbow issues, but they were successfully managed because of her regular therapy sessions which consisted of underwater treadmill, exercise, massage, and laser.
Last spring she decided to up the ante and injure her knee. On examination, Dr. Martin suspected a partial CCL tear, so off to the surgeon she went. Her surgery was postponed due to other health issues, so pre-hab therapies such as exercise, massage, laser and acupuncture were started to manage pain and strengthen her other limbs. She eventually had a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) in November 2019, performed by Dr. David Wilson at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital.
“Dee was always so patient with me when I started training at IPC. She allowed me to practice my exercise and massage techniques and was always willing to give me lots of kisses! It was an honor to treat her post TPLO surgery and I am so proud of how far she’s progressed since starting the program! I am still seeing improvements with her and am excited to see how much stronger she gets; no more injuries though!” -Rika, Dee’s primary therapist
Massage, laser, Assisi Loop treatments, and lots and lots of icing were started immediately following surgery to reduce inflammation, swelling at the surgical site and manage her pain. Due to her conformation, the repair angle was steep, so she was put on extra restriction- which she fortunately didn’t mind.
One month post-op, her team felt she ready to start active therapies to help regain muscle mass, so she progressed to underwater treadmill and therapeutic exercise. While Dee isn’t the biggest fan of the underwater treadmill, she can be bribed to stay up front with peanut butter. Three months later, Dee was given the clearance by Dr. Wilson to return to normal activity! The collaboration and open communication between her surgeon and rehab team contributed greatly to her successful recovery.
“Dee is a treasure who was my first patient at IPC! She has always been a bit of an overachiever when it comes to hurting herself, so she keeps us busy! Dee never fails to make us laugh- we love her so much” -Dr. Kelli Martin
Dee was as adopted as a puppy after her foster parents knew they couldn’t let her go. Her daily life involves stalking her cat siblings, wuh-wuhing for food, cuddling and being the laziest pit bull around. She recently started competing in Nosework competitions, which has helped keep her mind active while recovering. Dee can’t wait to go on pack walks in the spring and thanks to her therapy, she’ll be able to keep up with her buds!
“I am incredibly grateful for the amazing care Dee has received over the years as I was fortunate to have the best rehab team at my disposal. I can’t imagine what her mobility would look like without them- they are simply the best!” -Liz
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Dee’s family has asked us to tell you about CRISP.
Chicagoland Rescue Intervention and Support Program (“CRISP”) provides low or no-cost services to help Chicago pet owners keep their pets rather than surrendering them to the city shelter. If pets cannot be kept by their owners, then CRISP will network to help place them immediately with a rescue group or no-kill shelter to bypass the city shelter completely.
Mardi’s story starts off almost 14 years ago when she was transferred to Illinois from New Orleans by West Suburban Humane Society during Hurricane Katrina. Four month old Mardi was adopted by her family on New Year’s Eve. Her family says she has a strong stubborn streak, but is the sweetest dog done without a mean bone in her body.
Last May Mardi became unable to walk and a radiograph revealed an abnormality on her spine, which her family feared to be cancer.
She was referred to Purdue University Small Animal Hospital, where it was discovered that she had cervical IVDD, so a ventral slot decompression of C6-7 was performed. Mardi had a very rough recovery and developed aspirate pneumonia after surgery, which lead to a week long hospitalization in the ICU. And if that wasn’t enough, she also tore her cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Her owners never gave up on her though and nursed her back to health.
Mardi was referred to Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen where she met with her new team, Dr. Annie Ubatuba and Michelle. Dr. Annie noted during her evaluation that she was incredibly weak and did not have the ability to stand on her own. A rehabilitation program was created which included acupuncture, underwater treadmill, massage, laser, and exercise. She was also fitted for a stifle (knee) brace to address her CCL tear.
“Despite being older, Mardi has such a strong fighting spirit. It’s inspiring to see her get stronger and feistier the more she comes to see us. Although she might not always be the biggest fan of sitting still for a laser or massage session, the therapies plus the orthotic have helped her come a long way. I look forward to seeing the progress she continues to make.” -Michelle
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Mardi has asked us to tell you about the organization that saved her life, West Suburban Humane Society.
The West Suburban Humane Society (WSHS) is a volunteer-based, animal welfare organization that was founded in 1972 as a lost-and-found referral service. A dedicated volunteer base and the retained service of several veterinarians has allowed us to save the lives of and give 600 homeless animals each year new homes. We continue to reunite lost animals and their families by maintaining a database with information on over 33,000 pets and their owners, and by providing free pet identification tags.
Bailey came to Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen in April 2019 after a rough recovery from tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA) surgery to repair his torn right cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Bailey recovered well from a previous surgery in 2016 to repair his torn left CCL, so his owner knew he had to do something. After reading reviews about our clinic, Dave decided to make an evaluation where he met with Dr. Amber Ihrke. In that first appointment it was noted that Bailey was non-weight bearing on his right rear leg and was very uncomfortable with examination of the right knee, which had been this way for months.
Our goals were to address his discomfort and start his recovery to a functional gait. After being put on oral anti-inflammatory medication, supplements, going home with an Assisi loop, and coming to us for laser therapy, he started feeling better. Once his pain was under control, Bailey was able to move onto active therapies like underwater treadmill and therapeutic exercises.
“Bailey, who has a reputation for being quite the ladies’ man, quickly became an IPC favorite” says Tiffany. He is always happy, always smiling, and always beyond thrilled to be at IPC hanging out with his therapists and his good attitude is contagious. According to Michelle, “Katie, Tiffany, and I have to fight to have him on our schedule, but are glad to see him in the building regardless of who has him!”
“With an aggressive rehabilitation program over the course of 4 months, Bailey went from only placing about 3% body weight (normal 20%) on his right rear limb to 15%! Bailey was able to return to a functional 4-limb gait and his comfort is much improved!” -Dr. Ihrke
“Bailey has come a long way in his treatment plan, both in overall attitude and range of motion. He continues to make small improvements, as well as maintain the strength and flexibility he gained by continuing to see us as part of his maintenance plan. It’s amazing what you can get a big ole’ lab to do for peanut butter and beef liver!” -Katie
“The amazing team at IPC have many tools in their bag to help with just about any disorder or problem. Don’t give up on your pet without taking them to IPC first, they deserve a second opinion and second chance! Bailey is living a normal life with little to no pain, and I feel he will remain that way for the rest of his life thanks to IPC.” -Dave
After having surgery to repair a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in September 2018, Finn was referred to us by his primary care veterinarian. He had an evaluation where it was noted that he was painful, barely placing weight on his leg and had lost a significant amount of muscle. Finn completed 8 weeks of rehabilitation, but showed only slight improvement and began to show neurological signs. He was referred to a neurologist, who determined that he actually had a torn meniscus.
Finn went back to his veterinarian who repaired the tear, but he unfortunately did not improve. Finally we referred him to Dr. David Wilson, DVM, DACVS-SA at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital to remove his hardware and revise the surgery in May.
Finn came back for a recheck in August and he had improved greatly. After 4 weeks of twice weekly therapies, Finn showed incredible progress and was able to wean off his pain medications. After 8 weeks he looked so good that he was able to graduate to a more maintenance level of once weekly therapies consisting of underwater treadmill and exercise/massage/laser!
“Finn is one of my favorite patients and it feels so great to see the improvement he’s made over the past year. It’s awesome to see him back to being his old goofy self!” -Renee, one of Finn’s therapists
Finn was adopted from Chicago Canine Rescue in 2012 when Maria and her family were looking to add a family member after losing their previous dog. Maria quickly fell in love with “Brownie” who was listed as a small dog. 7 years later, the small, timid dog named Brownie is now a 115 lb, outgoing dog named Finn.
“After a year, 3 surgeries and many therapy sessions, Finn is pain free, medication free and running and jumping just like his old self! Finn boards on his therapy days and when I come to pick him up he does not want to leave! Special shout out to the Patient Service Coordinators for the tremendous welcome that he always gets. That’s why IPC, you are ALL AMAZING!” -Maria, Finn’s dedicated mom
“A day in the life of Finn….Wake up on the couch…go lay on the deck….chase the squirrels (been a while since he has been able to do that. He actually caught one the other day, I am sorry to say)….go potty…back to laying on the deck…eat breakfast…go in the house to lay on his chair by the window…bark at every dog that walks down the street…either sleep on that chair or get in the car and go to therapy and have the best day…eat dinner…have a couple treats…lay on the deck…go for a walk….lay on his bed waiting for me to go up to bed so he can have the couch…to go to sleep for the night”
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Finn has asked us to tell you about the organization that saved his life, Chicago Canine Rescue.
Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation exists to give many of these animals a second chance at a forever family. We love the underdog!
Lily came to us after a two month history of right rear lameness that was diagnosed as a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury and a patellar luxation. By using a stance analyzer, we were able to determine that Lily was only putting 5% of her body weight on her right rear limb (normal is 20%). Her owners wanted to try a conservative treatment option to see if we could get Lily to walk better. Her therapeutic plan over 8 weeks consisted of pain management modalities and osteoarthritis disease-modifying medication. At the end of her plan, Lily showed no lameness and improved her weight-bearing on the left rear limb to 23%! Lily is a great example of how conservative management with some knee injuries can lead to excellent outcomes.
“Lily is a sweet, rambunctious dog with a lot of personality in a little package. Despite not liking the water at all, she walked in the underwater treadmill very well, and it was amazing to see how much she progressed over 8 weeks despite her stubborn attitude!” -Michelle, Lily’s therapist
Lily’s story starts in 2015 when she was adopted from Indiana Petite Paws Rescue Angels. “Lily was a tiny, six-year-old little girl who only weighed four pounds. She was spoiled and did not want to share her new home with another dog as she was used to being the only child. While she likes to play with toys and fetch, she also likes to snuggle under the covers and watch TV. Lily is she is a ‘diva dog’ who does not like cold or rainy weather since it spoils her hair.” -Carol
When Lily started experiencing lameness, her parents booked an appointment right away at Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen since they had a great experience at the Chicago location with a previous dog. They hoped to treat her condition conservatively to avoid surgery.
“After 4 weeks her progress was impressive, and after an additional 4 she was almost back to normal. We cannot thank the Integrative Pet Care staff enough!” -Carol
Make a difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Lily has asked us to tell you about The Caspian Foundation.
Our goal is to provide 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. Please consider making a donation so that we can continue to provide assistance to animals in need.
Meet the fantastic French Bulldog pair, Beau Jangles & Coco Chanel. These two seem to capture everyone’s hearts wherever they go and IPC is no exception. They are so popular that therapists Katie, Tiffany and Michelle “fight” over who gets to see them!
Beau Jangles came to us with left rear lameness. It was determined that the cause was cranial cruciate disease and medial patellar luxation which would require surgery to correct. Beau had a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery and started therapy within days. He did excellent with his treatment program and was back to almost full weight bearing within eight weeks!
Coco was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia. While rehabilitation cannot reverse hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis, targeted therapy can address pain, compensatory issues and improve gait biomechanics. Coco was prescribed weekly sessions of underwater treadmill, therapeutic laser, massage, therapeutic exercises and Adequan injections. After an eight week program, she was not only more comfortable, but was able to go on 20 minute walks with only occasional lameness.
“It was amazing to see how fast Beau recovered from his TPLO surgery with rehab, and even though Coco’s hips are terrible on x-ray, you would never tell by looking at her since she runs around like a maniac!” – Michelle, BS, CVT
“The day they successfully completed their rehabilitation programs was the happiest and most devastating day for us. We were all excited that they were back to normal function, but also sad that they wouldn’t be able to see them weekly anymore! We are all counting the days until their 30 day rechecks” -Tiffany, CCRA
Kris brought Coco home after losing her beloved Boston Terrier, Gizmo. Despite her initial sweet demeanor, Coco went from cute and cuddly to a fun loving and crazy girl within the first couple months. Later, Kris decided that Coco needed a friend and brought Beau home who has been calm and loving since he was a puppy. “Although Beau can give Coco a run for her money, she is the alpha dog who demands all the toys to be her own”. -Kris
After Coco was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, I was looking for alternative care and got very excited with all that IPC has to offer, especially in terms of pain management. These are all the things I would absolutely and do for myself, so having it available for my beloved dogs is fantastic! -Kris
Beau and Coco have since graduated from their formal programs, but their home exercise programs are crucial to their continual success. “Their mom does great with their home programs, which is hard with one dog let alone two!” -Katie, CVT, CCRVN, CVPP
Everyone treated us like we were their most important clients. When Dr. Amber got right on the floor with Beau instead of putting him on a cold metal table, I knew I made the right choice. Her clothes were even covered in fur from her other patients which showed me that she cared- that meant the world to me.
Brady’s love for launching himself off a deck after birds landed him at the vet’s office to repair one of his bilateral torn cranial cruciate ligaments (CCL) last fall. At the suggestion of their daughter, who is a physical therapist, Brady’s parents made an appointment at Integrative Pet Care- Homer Glen.
Brady had surgery on his right stifle (knee) first and when that was strong enough, he went under to repair the left. “From the first day we saw him post operation, he was doing amazing! Thanks to the rehabilitation of his right leg, his recovery was much quicker and now both legs are stronger than ever” says therapist Michelle.
Another aspect of Brady’s program was weight loss which he accomplished under the care of therapist Katie who is a Purina Weight Coach- “he really is a great example of how weight loss can greatly improve the recovery process”.
What a difference you made to Brady’s life. He loved his visits and has gained back almost all mobility that he had before surgery. -Brady’s mom
You would never know it today, but Brady was a ‘monster’ when he was little! With lots of training, he calmed down and transformed into a friendly and sweet dog.
“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.
Moose an 11 year old Labrador Retriever who had surgery for a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in 2015. His recovery was not going well, so his mom did research and found Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen.
Moose met with the IPC HG team and a formal rehabilitation plan was created which included underwater treadmill, therapeutic exercise, massage, and laser therapy. Once completed, a maintenance program, which consisted of underwater treadmill and laser, was recommended to address his arthritis.
“Integrative Pet Care has helped in so many ways; his movement strength and all around attitude has improved” says his mom Kim. Best of all, Moose is back to his favorite activity, swimming!
“It’s always a pleasure to start my Saturday mornings with Moose as he’s always in a good mood and is beyond excited to see me! We have been helping him remain comfort, improve range of motion, and increase weight bearing on his left hind leg. He is one of our sweetest, happiest, most loving, and high energy patients. He’s an old man who is young at heart” -Tiffany
One thing is very clear when it comes to Moose, he’s just one happy guy who has a love for life. “I started working here when Moose began his third maintenance plan. It was amazing to see how much he still liked coming to see us. It’s a good feeling to know that rehab can continue to benefit a dog’s life.” -Michelle
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Moose has asked us to tell you about Tender Loving Care.
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.
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.