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.
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.”
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
Integrative Pet Care was recommended by Gigi’s primary care veterinarian after she went through a series of health setbacks. She was recovering from her 2nd failed Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery on her right leg, and had a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) on her left. She was also in the middle of treatment for Steroid-Responsive Meningitis. Gigi was limping, in pain, bloated, and had gained 10lbs from the high dose of steroids. She was grumpy all the time, had no interest in balls, which were her LIFE pre-illness and surgery.
Amy brought Gigi in for an evaluation where she met with Dr. Megan Ridley. She was prescribed a program which consisted of pain management modalities like laser and massage in the beginning, which Gigi could not get enough of! Once her pain was under control, exercise and underwater treadmill were introduced for weight loss and strengthening. Gigi has done incredibly well with her therapies and has remained stable.
IPC’s policy of allowing pet owners to attend therapy sessions and learn how to continue therapy at home from therapists was essential in Gigi’s transformation. She gets so excited to see Doris for her weekly hydrotherapy. -Amy
Since starting therapy, Gigi went from only being able to slowly walk for 3 minutes on the treadmill to walking at an incline for 20 minutes. She is so much happier and feels much more confident and strong with walking and running around. Ball is life again!
Today Gigi spends most of her day with a ball in her mouth. She loves to play fetch, tug of war, and will finally let it go to have it thrown again. Repeat a thousand times. When not playing with her ball, Gigi enjoys napping in the sun, pressing her face against the window during her neighborhood watch shifts, and manipulating people into giving her what she wants with her big sad eyes and baby like cry. She is silly, goofy, and has a way of making everyone she meets feel like the most important and exciting person in the world in that moment.” -Amy
“Amy and Gigi are such a great duo who I always look forward to working with!” -Doris, Gigi’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Gigi 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.
Sasha is a 15 year old chow mix who first pranced through our doors hoping to find relief for her arthritis which was starting to slow her down about 5 years ago. She was prescribed a treatment plan which consisted of twice weekly strengthening modalities such as resistance pool and exercise, as well as acupuncture, massage and laser therapy which were used for pain management. Sasha began to improve, so she was put on a once weekly program and underwater treadmill was added.
Her mom Beth gave us history on Sasha, as well as a glimpse into her daily life: “I went to the Anti-Cruelty Society on Grand Ave. in May 2003 because they had advertised some cute puppies on the news. I told myself I wouldn’t adopt unless a dog really made an impression on my heart. When I got there, all the puppies were gone so I took a lap around all the cages. None of them seemed right for me. As I was leaving I took a look in the waiting area and spotted a lady and her son playing with a little peach fuzzball. That lady had my dog! As fate would have it, they put her back. I swooped in and took her from her cage and sat with her. She was mine from the first moment and has been my precious best friend for 15 years.
Sasha starts pacing at 6:30am which is my alarm clock. I start my coffee and line up her many pills to shove down the chute (she doesn’t fall for the “pills wrapped in something yummy trick”). She’s loaded into the wagon for a ride to the park to see her neighborhood friends. (She can’t walk to the park and back anymore so we need a little help from the wagon everyday). Once we’re done socializing and I get ready for work, she’s off to daycare (Pooch hotel) where she gladly comes to hang out with her “school friends.” She hangs there while I work. I pick her up, get her daily report and head home in time for dinner. It’s a long day for her so she snoozes most of the evening, gets endless kisses and hugs from mom, a couple chews on her beloved bully sticks, with her ice packs on her back and the Assisi loop targeted at her poor joints. Last pills of the day and off to bed.
Sasha has had joint issues, elbows and rear legs since she was 6 yrs old. She had a TPLO surgery on back right leg, cruciate ligament on left rear leg, an elbow replacement on her front right elbow and two arthroscopic procedures in her left front elbow to remove bone fragments from osteoarthritis. Needless to say my girl has had a rough go on all four legs— mobility and limited pain relief options—brought our Vet to recommend IPC. And I’m so glad she did!
With Sasha’s all four limbs being affected with stiffness and pain and her limited options with pain medications, we had to explore other ways to manage her pain and assist her with mobility so she can live her best life. Sasha immediately fell in love with Emma and will do anything she asks Sasha to do and Dr. Zenoni has given Sasha such care. Sasha has done water treadmill, laser therapy, floor exercises, laser therapy, tens machine and acupuncture. Regardless of the therapy, Sasha is willing to try it all if Emma and her I ask her to. Liver treats don’t hurt either!
IPC has been a godsend and a necessary part of her life for the last 3 years.
Sasha has beaten the odds all her life. Within a month of adopting her at 10 weeks old, she contracted parvovirus and was given a 50/50 chance of survival. It was a rough beginning but she made it through and has withstood 10 surgeries for her many joint and other ailments throughout her life. Through it all, she has faced every hurdle with bravery, sweetness and some of that Chow stubbornness. I’ve learned so much about life and myself through her eyes and in a blink 15 years has passed by. I thank God everyday that she’s my girl—I just couldn’t have pictured my life without her.”
Sasha is a special lady who I look forward to seeing every week. She has been through so much and I’m proud to be part of her team! -Emma, Sasha’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Since she is a sassy senior herself, Sasha has asked us to tell you about Young at Heart.
Young at Heart’s mission is to rescue and rehome senior dogs and cats, to educate the public on the benefits of adopting older pets and their care, and to reduce the euthanasia rate for adoptable senior pets.
Dallas is a sweet, seven year old pit mix who started coming to IPC over a year ago. She had been diagnosed with chronic Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) tears in both knees and her mom Harmony was looking for an alternative to surgery. She met with Dr. Zenoni and Lindsey for an evaluation and since she was stable at the time, a treatment plan was prescribed. Unfortunately Dallas re-injured her left leg and surgery was ultimately recommended.
Dallas had a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) procedure on her left knee and came back to IPC shortly after to restart therapy. Dallas came twice weekly for therapies that included laser, massage, exercise, and underwater treadmill. Dallas did great with her therapies and genuinely loved coming!
“We have been coming to IPC for a year now, and not only has it helped Dallas through therapy, but been such a big help with me as a dog mom- I have learned so much. Dallas has done amazing with her progress, and had fun with it.” -Harmony
Since Dallas recovered so well after her left TPLO surgery, it was decided that she should have her right knee done as well in January. So again, Dallas came back to us immediately after surgery and started the process over again. Dallas looks fantastic, but still comes regularly as part of our maintenance club.
Harmony told about when she first met Dallas: “On Christmas Day 2012 my brothers and I were heading to a movie. As we were circling the parking lot we almost hit a dog passing through. WE stopped and got her to come over to us. She had clearly been on the streets for some time, she was malnourished, had some open wounds and clearly just run down. We were able to give her some water and a passerby gave us a McDonalds cheeseburger to give her. We took her home to my mom’s house and kept her in the garage for a few days while we slowly tried to integrate her pack of ten dogs. The following April after trying to find a home for her to no avail. My step dad called me and said “come get your dog,” as I had very clearly bonded with her from the beginning and the visit I had a couple months after we found her. So April of 2013, I flew to California and we made our way to Chicago, and started and tradition of cross country road trips that we love to take together.”
Today Dallas is back to being her normal self. “She loves to take 3-4 walks a day. We love to walk down the street and sit outside the bakery and soak up the morning sun. She very often accompanies me on running errands. Now that the weather has broken and her knee has healed we LOVE to go on different adventures at the forest preserves. Every summer we take a road trip to Colorado to visit family and stay at our family cabin in the mountains. Once she gets the green light she will be back at K9 University for daycare playing with all of her friends, or heading to the dog park.” -Harmony
“It’s so much fun to work with Dallas. She has an opinion about everything and prefers belly rubs to sitting still for massage, but she always works hard and comes back for more. She’s regrown almost all of her muscle back after two TPLO surgeries, and I couldn’t be more proud of her!” –Lindsey, Dallas’ therapist and biggest fan
Creating safe and humane communities by inspiring positive relationships between people and animals. Safe Humane is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
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.
After completing a rehabilitation program following a tibial tuberosity advancement surgery (TTA) to repair her left torn Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) at another clinic, Bella’s mom Christy switched to IPC at the recommendation of a friend. Bella met with Dr. Megan Ridley and Laura who prescribed an 8 week treatment plan which consisted of underwater treadmill and therapeutic exercise.
Bella did a fantastic job with her therapies, which built muscle mass and strengthened her left rear leg! After her program was finished, she continued coming once weekly for underwater treadmill as part of our maintenance club. Unfortunately Bella had a setback and became lame on her right rear leg. Bella went to see Dr. Paula West at Veterinary Specialty Center where she was diagnosed with a right CCL tear.
Until Bella was able to have surgery, she came weekly for a pre-hab program which consisted of massage and laser sessions. Following her TPLO surgery, Bella returned to IPC for more underwater treadmill sessions. Christy was also taught more advanced exercises to do at home.
“IPC has helped Bella heal- strengthening her legs, knees and back, but they’ve also helped give me the confidence & knowledge to maintain her wellness outside of her visits.” -Christy, Bella’s mom
Christy also gave us a glimpse into Bella’s day which starts when she’s woken up too early by her annoying little sister, Laken. The rest of her day is filled with walks, naps, toys, treats and fun! Her ears are matted from her sister chewing on them but she loves the attention and will seek it out if being ignored.
“Bella has had the BEST attitude from the moment I met her – always willing to try something new, and always excited to be here! She’s worked really hard both at IPC and at home to regain her strength and rebuild muscle, especially when treats are involved. It’s been such a pleasure to watch her progress – I love our sessions together!” -Lindsey, Bella’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Bella 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.
Levi was referred to Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen following a tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy, (TPLO) to repair his torn left cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). His dad Chuck wanted him to have the best recovery possible, so he could quickly return to all his favorite activities.
When Levi had his evaluation with Dr. Amber Ihrke, it was noted that he was partially weight bearing on his left leg with muscle atrophy and decreased stifle range of motion. “We started him on a rehabilitation program that included therapeutic laser, underwater treadmill, and therapeutic exercises. Levi did fantastic with his plan! By the time of his 8-week checkup, he was fully weight-bearing on the left rear limb and was back to his normal active self!”- Dr. Ihrke.
“Levi started his program as someone who did NOT want to be here. He was not a fan of having to sit still and be touched. After just a few sessions he realized he was being pampered and his whole outlook on rehab changed! He would come running into the building, excited to see everyone and find out what he has doing that day. This really went a long way to aid in his recovery.” -Katie Neforos
Valerie also gave some details on Levi’s rehab journey: “He did well in the underwater treadmill and with his laser therapy, but would not allow us to get very close to touch him. However, throughout his therapy, Levi slowly warmed up to us and by the end of his treatment plan he would run up to us, give us kisses and want us to pet him. My favorite memory of Levi was when he would attack any ball that was in the room during his exercise sessions. He even tried attacking the large exercise peanut!”
“With the help of your wonderful and knowledge staff, Levi is back to his old self, more playful and ready for an adventure!”
Chuck gave us a little history on Levi: “He came to me when he was just under two years old after I offered to foster him for a friend. After a few months without a new owner, I gladly took him in permanently. It’s been a fun five years! We added to our family when my girlfriend moved in with her little Maltese, GiGi. She’s Levi’s best friend! Levi loves his walks, playtime, visits to the pet stores and traveling (he’s been to a dozen states).”
I enjoyed not only watching Levi progress through his therapy but also watching him come out of his shell and trust us through his rehab plan. -Valerie
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Levi has asked us to tell you about NAWS where his mom is a regular volunteer.
Our mission is to end pet homelessness, suffering, and unnecessary pet euthanasia. We do this by changing the face of animal welfare and elevating the status of pets in our lives and society.
Shelby had surgery last May to repair her torn right cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Unfortunately, she had a hard recovery and was reluctant to use her leg. Her mom Karen followed her veterinarian’s advice and made an appointment with Integrative Pet Care.
“At her initial exam, she was minimally weight bearing on her leg and exhibited a profound lameness. On our stance analyzer, her weight bearing on the right rear leg was only 1% (normal is 20%)” says Dr. Amber Ihrke. An intensive rehabilitation program that consisted of underwater treadmill, therapeutic exercise, laser therapy, and manual therapy was prescribed.
“We worked hard to make her more comfortable by decreasing her pain and increasing her range of motion, so she would start walking on her surgical leg. She’s such a success story as to how much rehab can help post-surgical patients, especially when they do not want to walk on their legs after surgery.” -Val
“Shelby is such a wonderful patient! She is always so happy to see everyone and does anything we ask of her. I love working with her.” -Katie, Shelby’s therapist
Today, Shelby is back to being her happy self and can now walk with her mom and other Golden Retriever friends in the neighborhood!
“Shelby has made a remarkable recovery. Thank you to all the staff and doctors at IPC.”-Karen, Shelby’s mom
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Shelby has asked us to tell you about The Caspian Foundation.
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. Please consider making a donation so that we can continue to provide assistance to animals in need.
Jeanne met Barry as a puppy in 2012 on the set of a TV show she used to host when he was featured as an adoptable dog. “I always say he picked me because he sat on the couch next to me and didn’t move for the entire show. I liked having him that close to me, even though he was a little stinky” recalls Jeanne.
While Barry has always had knee issues on and off his whole life, one completely gave out earlier this year and his primary care veterinarian discovered significant damage to the ligaments in both knees. At the recommendation of her veterinarian and 2 friends, Jeanne made an appointment at Integrative Pet Care where she met with Dr. Megan Ridley. Dr. Ridley agreed that surgery was the best option for his bilateral torn cranial cruciate ligaments.
Barry started a prehab program of twice weekly massage/laser treatments until he had surgery with Dr. Paula West a month later at Veterinary Specialty Center. He came back soon after and was prescribed a twice weekly rehabilitation program that included massage, laser, exercise & underwater treadmill. Barry excelled at his treatments and once his left knee healed, he had the same surgery on the right.
“I initially came to IPC seeking a second opinion on his surgeries because I wanted to make sure I made the best choice for his treatment. And 7 months later, Dr. Ridley, Erin, Lindsey and the whole IPC staff have helped us through both surgeries with rehab, advice and all the support we could ever ask for. And Barry LOVES it at IPC!” -Jeanne
“Despite the fact that Barry thinks his rehab sessions are actually social calls, he works really hard when he’s at IPC and always has a positive attitude (unless someone runs out of treats!). His mom’s dedication to his recovery has been incredible- she keeps him in line and makes sure he does his exercises at home, even when he’d rather be sleeping. They’re both so much fun and such a pleasure to work with!” -Lindsey, Barry’s therapist & #1 fan
Barry has done so well, that he was graduated to a maintenance plan. We see Barry once weekly for either a underwater treadmill or a combo exercise/massage/laser session! While we miss seeing him twice a week, we’re so happy that he’s doing well.
“Barry is a beagle mix, so his approach to life is very hound-ish… he’s lazy in the house but is ready to go out anytime, and has his nose to the ground the entire time he’s outside. His schedule is as follows: stretch, eat, walk, nap, beg for treats, play, sleep… rinse & repeat. And as you can tell by the pictures, he almost always has the same expression on his face” explains Jeanne.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Barry has asked us to tell you about Heartland Animal Shelter.
Heartland’s mission is: a) to provide a no-kill shelter for the care, humane treatment, and adoption of lost, stray, and abandoned animals; b) to find permanent, loving homes for homeless animals and promote responsible pet ownership through education, community outreach, and collaboration while maintaining respect and compassion for all creatures.