Riot’s owner Mike got Riot when she was 8 weeks old and she has been by his side ever since. She entered the show dog circuit, where she loved the attention, travel and competition. Riot had a very successful show career and eventually became one of the first AKC female mastiff grand champions! Riot is now happily retired from showing, but still enjoys getting attention from everyone she meets!
It’s no secret that this handsome guy is a favorite around our clinic. From his sweet smile, silly personality and can-do attitude, Blue is an all around fantastic patient! We first met Blue when his mom was searching for alternative treatments for a partial tear of his cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Blue’s heart condition did not make him the best candidate for surgery so Dr. Ridley started him on a rehabilitation program that included therapeutic exercise, therapeutic laser & therapeutic massage. Blue was doing really well and his weight bearing improved, but his active lifestyle made it difficult to fully heal and it eventually led to a suspected partial tear in his other CCL!
“We heard nothing but great things about IPC and he loves going there for therapies!”
–Cara, Blue’s mom
Blue’s mom inquired about a stifle brace to stabilize his knees since surgery was not an option. IPC had just partnered with OrthoPets, and an assessment proved that a brace would be appropriate for Blue! Blue was so patient for the original casting and cooperated like a champ during all the fittings and adjustments. It took some time for him to get used to wearing his braces, but in time he learned he could walk, sit and even lay down in them!
Since Blue adapted pretty well to his left brace, it was determined that a right brace would be a good option. Blue took to have 2 braces right away and has been doing great with them ever since!
“I adore working with Blue! He is such a hard worker and happy guy despite having knee issues; he NEVER lets that affect his personality. He comes in with a wiggling butt and thousands of kisses to give. I always look forward to working with him!” -Laura, Blue’s therapist.
The best part of his braces? Blue can still do all the things he loved to do before getting injured, like walking on the 606! Blue’s other favorite activities include: chewing on antlers & chuck-it balls, lounging in the sun, snuggling on the couch, and just being around other dogs.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Blue has asked us to tell you about 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.
“Hobbes joined our family when he was approximately 4 months old and just melted the whole family’s hearts. He is originally from Chicago Animal Care and Control. Hobbes had a rough start as a puppy, being very scared of such a big world. He was not the most social butterfly to others, but he is towards his family. Hobbes enjoys going swimming in a nearby Lake Bode and going for long walks.
At 8 years old Hobbes was diagnosed with a cruciate tear in his right rear leg. He had a surgery called Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy, also known as TPLO in October of 2015 by Dr. Bernard Paré at the Hanover Park Animal Care Center. After recovering from the surgery we began therapies at Integrative Pet Care of Hanover Park. Hobbes initially was seen by Dr. LoGiudice and we started therapies coming one to two times a week, but now he is currently on a maintenance program of Underwater Treadmill weekly, Laser Therapy every other week and periodic Chiropractic adjustments.
Starting off, Hobbes was very nervous and seemed unsure of his surroundings, but after going one to two times a week for therapies he became much more comfortable with everyone.
I believe he now looks forward to his Saturday therapies with Anna and any other days with Katie, Dr. LoGiudice, Dr. Starr and Dr. Rodriguez. I truly appreciate everyone’s patience with him before he became so comfortable and with helping get him back on his feet and on the road to recovery. ”
– Shannon Patton
“It has been such a pleasure working with Shannon and Hobbes. His mobility, weight bearing, and muscle mass have been steadily improving with physical rehabilitation since his TPLO surgery. As an additional bonus, it has been such a joy watching his confidence grow and seeing how happy he is coming to visit us for his sessions. “
– Lisa Starr DVM, CCRP, CVA, CVSMT
“Hobbes is a great example of a “lucky dog”. Lucky to have been rescued to and from Chicago Animal Care & Control and adopted by his “mom” Shannon. Her patience and love gave them that wonderful “human-animal bond”. Hobbes obviously trusts Shannon and is a dream patient. He is a great example of how important an integrated rehabilitation program can be to ensure the best outcome of a successful orthopedic surgery. Thank you, Shannon, for entrusting Hobbes’ post-op rehabilitation to us at IPC Hanover Park!”
– Rosemary J. LoGiudice DVM, DACVSMR, CCRT, CVA, CVSMT
“Hobbes began his Rehab journey in November. In the beginning he was very shy around new people. His confidence slowly grew over time with the help of his mom Shannon by his side and a little bit of Peanut butter! Hobbes is a wonderful boy to work with! He has made great progress over the past few months. Keep up the good work Shannon and Hobbes!”
– Anna Alberth CVT, CCRA
“I Love working with him. Hobbes has been looking more and more confident each time he comes. He has been showing a lot of determination in his therapies to get back to his regular self and to get back to playing with his little sister. Keep it up Hobbes!”
– Katie Sulzmann CVMRT, ATC
“Hobbes has done so well with his rehabilitation program and has progressed so well after his CCL surgery”
– Dr. Arlene Rodriguez DVM, CCRT
Make a Difference!
Each month we ask our Patient of the Month to choose an organization that they’d like to promote during their “reign.” This month Hobbes has asked us to tell you about Second City Canine Rescue.
Second City Canine Rescue’s mission is to rescue homeless animals and responsibly place them into permanent, loving homes. We believe in rescuing responsibly.℠
Ski has become such an IPC staple on Thursday nights over the past 8 1/2 years, that it would feel empty without him! Who else could impress us by swimming 20 minutes against the resistance jets while playing volleyball with his dad or show us his fancy new tricks in the gym? Ski is a super star athlete who originally came to us back in 2007 for a CCL injury. He has not only trained in, but has earned titles in a number of activities including agility, treibball, tricks, nosework & herding. Rich and Ski aren’t in it for the titles, but just love training until they achieve proficiency.
Ski was always an active dog who was enrolled in a variety of activities, so it was devastating when he came up lame after a walk one night. When we first met Ski in July of 2007, his dad Rich was weighing the pros and cons of having surgery to repair a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Ultimately Rich decided against surgery and opted to pursue physical rehabilitation instead. That was a decision that Rich said he would do over and over again. Ski started an intensive rehab program that included twice weekly visits for underwater treadmill and therapeutic exercise. Even though he wasn’t the biggest fan of the underwater treadmill, he diligently did it and it’s now his favorite therapy! Ski took to the exercises right away since it was similar to some of his agility training! Soon enough Ski was inventing his own exercises and impressing us all with his strength and drive.
Soon enough Ski graduated from a rehabilitation program and became a member of our maintenance club which keeps him in tip top form for the various activities that he does!
“Ski and Rich make a fabulous team. I enjoy a challenge and Ski always keeps me on my toes!”
–Emma, Ski’s current therapist
Ribbons from his 1st agility competition
Ski has participated in the following sport activities:
Ski also aided Rich in becoming a certified clicker trainer (KPA-CTP) from the Karen Prior Academy.
“Trainers, vets, & sports trainers all agree that his core strength has allowed Ski to embrace so many different activities without injury. I credit all our work at IPC with Ski’s amazing condition as he nears 11 years old.”
-Rich, Ski’s dad
Rich believes that the wide range of therapies Ski has received has helped him get through minor setbacks. A flair up of lameness resolved with a series of Laser treatments, while Acupuncture and Chiropractic services have seemed to help as well. Rich’s goal from day 1 was to make Ski’s legs individually strong enough to do the work of two if that was ever needed, which has been the case over the past several years. Whether it was the right (non-surgically repaired CCL knee) or left leg that had an issue, the other one was always strong enough to do the job of two.
“Ski is like the energizer bunny when any obstacle gets in his way- he just keeps going & going & going!”
–Dr. Ridley, Ski’s IPC vet
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Ski has asked us to tell you about Alive Rescue.
“We believe that our responsibility is first to the animals that are in local open-access shelters with a high probability of being euthanized. We primarily take in animals from shelters with high euthanasia rates in Chicago and the surrounding area. We follow through on our commitment that every animal deserves a full life by choosing to take in animals that other adoption organizations may overlook, including seniors, unpopular breeds, and pets with special needs”
IPC is raising awareness for Alive Rescue by jumping into Lake Michigan January 17th. Click here to donate to our team!
At Integrative Pet Care we see pets with a diversity of conditions and all of our patients inspire us with their resilience, but our three-legged “tripods” consistently amaze us with their tenacity and joy for life! With some basic lifestyle modifications and a customized rehabilitation plan, tripods can live happy, comfortable lives.
Some three-legged pets are born with congenital abnormalities such as complete or partial lack of a limb. There are also several disorders that can necessitate amputation of a limb, such as traumatic injury or cancer. At IPC we see pets who are missing either front or back limbs and we even see a patient who is missing one of each!
Aala balances herself on the theraball with ease (and the help of a treat)
Tripods face unique challenges in mobility due to alterations in balance and increased load to their remaining limbs. At IPC we focus on therapies that improve balance, strengthen core muscles, maintain healthy joints and soft tissues and stay fit to avoid injury. Home care and proper assistive devices can also help tripods with their mobility. Non-slip floor coverings and harnesses can make a big difference in these pets’ lives (see links below for resources).
After her front limb amputation, Aala adjusted almost immediately, taking on stairs only 12 to 24 hours after surgery. Her parents on the other hand had a more difficult time adapting both to Aala’s new challenges as well as their own uncertainty.
“She had an odd stride in her back legs after the amputation and after ruling out anything medical, it was suggested we try rehabilitation. However, while she has become so much stronger and her stride is now seamless and strong, a lot of the rehab process seemed to help us the most. The whole amputation process was a complete unknown for us. We had no idea what was normal adaption, what changes we should expect or what was okay to do or not do, both for her physically and for us as her caregivers. We learned how to better care for her (at IPC) and also it helped us see all that she could do, despite the surgery. When you go through such a big surgery, seeing all these abilities keeps spirits high.”
-Stewart, Aala’s dad
Henry rests during his session in the resistance pool
Henry, a 13 year old pit mix, is a survivor. This guy has been through a lot, including a cruciate ligament tear and several cancer diagnoses. In 2012, Henry’s left hind limb was amputated due to bone cancer and 11 weeks later he came to IPC. His mom had already made a few modifications for Henry, adding recycled tire tread to the stairs in their home and a harness to assist him. We started working on strengthening Henry’s core and remaining 3 legs with targeted Therapeutic Exercises and walks in the Underwater Treadmill. Henry eventually transitioned to swims in the Resistance Pool and continues to receive Massage and Acupuncture treatments to keep him moving comfortably.
“He’s an incredibly strong dog to start with, so I knew once we began targeting his core muscles and working on his balance he’d respond well. I feel like he’s more confident on the stairs, which is huge since we live on the third floor of a walk-up! IPC gave me the great idea of covering my hardwood floors with yoga mats, and now he can zoom around the house without worrying about slipping.”
–Christine, Henry’s mom
IPC regular and dog-trainer, Emily Stoddard, recently added a new member to her pack- Belgian malinois, Falcor. At 6 months old Falcor had a partial front limb amputation due to trauma of an existing congenital abnormality. Falcor has adapted well to being 3-legged and his swims in the pool keep him strong. To manage the tension he gets from compensating for his amputation, Falcor has Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy (VSMT or “Chiropractic”) as well.
Fal sleeps off his hydro session
“Don’t know what to say other than my tri is awesome! Everyone that meets him feels bad for him, but what they don’t know is that he is the smartest problem solver of my crew with a personality to match.
He doesn’t miss his leg one bit! Falcor is busting stereotypes training to do agility, nose work, and protection sports, so you can see it also doesn’t prohibit him from doing the things he loves. Three legs and he still out runs most every dog he comes across! Out smarts them too! People gave up on Fal, thinking he wouldn’t amount to much due to his birth defect. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to prove them wrong!”
-Emily, Falcor’s mom
Bopper, a young English lab, sustained a traumatic injury while in his original household that required a left front limb amputation. A month after surgery, he found his forever home and his owners brought him to IPC for an evaluation and to learn what maintenance therapies he would need to stay strong. Some modifications to Bopper’s lifestyle helped him to increase his mobility, including a weight loss plan. Maintaining a slim physique is extremely important for all pets, but particularly for three-legged ones. A good harness, booties for traction, a ramp for getting on and off the bed and a therapy plan including Therapeutic Exercise, VSMT and Hydrotherapy were recommended. Bopper has since lost weight, goes for longer walks and has a smoother gait!
Rocky is awesome in the gym for his therapeutic exercises
In September of 2014, Rocky had his left hind leg amputated after a soft tissue injury. About 2 months later, he was evaluated at IPC. Rocky was a happy 1 year old poodle mix who loved to run and chase squirrels. However, he occasionally had trouble getting up, especially on slick surfaces.
“I knew that because he had his surgery at a young age he still had a lot of muscle mass to be developed and I wanted to make sure I could help him support his weight comfortably. Even though he gets around just fine, I wanted to take it to the professionals who could help him strengthen the right areas to prevent any other injury. Working on his core strength helps stabilize him and build muscles that he otherwise wouldn’t be training. I know he is a lot less wobbly because of the therapy he’s had. Not only have I learned so much about his physical needs, but he loves it! He won’t get off the obstacle courses!”
-Mia, Rocky’s mom
Therapists at IPC started Rocky on a program of focused Therapeutic Exercises to improve his strength, endurance and coordination. Currently Rocky continues maintenance therapy at IPC, working out in the gym as well as receiving much-deserved Therapeutic Massage.
“He was around 7 months old, and was extremely active and he wasn’t going to let anything slow him down. Not even major surgery. I have a distinct memory of the moment I took off his surgery cone, and he looked down at his incision and was kind of surprised, like “wait a minute…,” and then that was it. I realized animals don’t have an emotional attachment to their limbs like humans do. He knows he is a little unbalanced but he doesn’t mind. “
Dr. Ridley’s little guy, Lorenzo, had his left hind leg amputated due to a congenital abnormality. Needless to say, he has no problem getting around and into trouble.
Tips and Resources
Because balance is off, having slick floors presents a challenge to tripods. Getting around and getting up and down from a sit or lay can be very difficult without good footing. Yoga mats, carpet squares and area rugs with a good grip on the underside can be used strategically to help your pet navigate your floors and stairs. Also make sure their bed rests on a surface with good traction so that they can get on and off safely.
Yoga mats- if you have long hallways or large areas to cover consider purchasing a yoga mat roll. It is easily cut to size (or shape) and comes in a variety of colors- yogadirect.com carries a good variety.
Carpet tiles- these are also easily customizable and easy to replace. Flor and Home Depot reliably stock these in a variety of colors and textures.
A little help getting up and down stairs, in and out of the car or even at the end of a long walk goes a long way! A strong harness with a well placed handle helps your pet and your back.
(please check with your veterinarian before selecting a harness to make sure it is the proper fit)
Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips
It’s pretty easy to cover slippery floors at home, but daily life may mean encountering surfaces that impede your pet’s confidence. Your pet may be a good candidate for toe grips, learn more at www.toegrips.com.
Support and Success Stories
For more support, resources and stories of happy tripods, visit tripawds.org!
“We adopted Peanut in February 2002, she was the last of a litter of Shar-Pei puppies that were found in a box placed in the back of a pickup truck. While in her Foster Mom’s home she was given the nick name “Smart Puppy” because she learned things very quickly. She has always been the dominant one in the canine pack. We were not the first family to try to adopt Peanut, but for whatever reason, the other families did not work out. The day Peanut came to visit us, the lady conducting the home visit from, “Rescue A SharPei” came inside first without Peanut, did her home check and a brief interview with us. She then proceeded to tell us Peanut was leery of new people and we would need to give her space and time to take in her new surroundings and get used to us. She had been in a couple of homes the past few weeks and it was stressful on her. With that in mind my husband and I sat on the floor of the hallway and waited until Linda went back outside and brought Peanut in. Peanut’s first reaction to our home was to walk right over to Chad and climb in his lap, she choose him. Needless to say that wasn’t the first time in her life that she shocked us.
– Amy Hanrahan
Peanut had a very active and successful Agility career until she ruptured her right cranial cruciate ligament at the early age of 5. The nail in the coffin was when she ruptured her left cranial cruciate ligament a year later. Luckily, she was able to transition to Rally Obedience and is the first Shar-Pei in America to earn a Rally Title.
Since Peanut’s first knee surgery, she had been swimming every other week to help keep her active. This seemed to do the trick until she hit about 12 1/2 years old. She was no longer her feisty self and was starting to become a grumpy old lady. She was even going after her siblings when they would try to play with her. When she had to start taking pain medication twice a day, her owners knew they had to do more.
During Peanut’s initial consultation, her mom told us that she is the hands-off type, especially with new people. After her consultation, Dr. Amber came up with a program which including weekly laser, underwater treadmill, and therapeutic exercise. Unfortunately, at the time Peanut was not a candidate for Acupuncture, as it would require too many hands on her. Despite not liking new people, Peanut caught on to her job quick. She loved being able to work in the underwater treadmill and get treats for doing all of her exercises. Before long we were all good friends!
”For a dog that has had two Cranial Cruciate repairs on both her knees, Peanut is moving beautifully. It has been great to see her grow to trust us…..as long as we keep the treats coming.”
There’s just something about Pippi that instantly draws the eye. Could it be the goofy grin and floppy ears? Or maybe it’s her commanding personality and endless bouncing energy? Whatever it is, we’ve fallen head over heels for this girl!
I got Pippi about five years ago from Illinois Doberman Rescue. They really do an outstanding job of preparing and presenting the dogs they rescue. I originally had my heart set on another Doberman based on the profiles I saw. I’d seen Pippi’s profile (her name at the rescue was ‘Harmonie’) but she looked like a scrawny little 55-pound runt in her photos. Really smart – she would self-entertain herself by putting a ball in a bucket hanging on a door, then nudge the bucket to make it roll out so that she could chase it, then return it to the bucket. When I went to an adoption event though, ‘Harmonie’ was the first dog I saw – she and her foster were coming up the stairs when I was coming down them, and she was such a pretty girl, enthusiastic about going somewhere new, and had such a bright-eyed personality. I must have seen 20 Dobermans at the adoption event that day, but kept coming back to ‘Harmonie’ and the other Doberman. I took both out for walks, and sat with both of them – the other Doberman was very laid back – in fact too laid back for my personality. ‘Harmonie’ was enthusiastic in our introduction but not overwhelming, she walked nicely on leash, and we just seemed to take to each other right away.
My gut feel said she was ‘the one’ and I was right. As soon as we left the event with my dad, she jumped right in the back seat of the truck, laid down and took a nap, and the rest pretty much is history. The name ‘Pippi’ or ‘Pippilotta Langstrumpf’ is for one of my favorite childhood characters Pippi Longstocking, and Pippi’s floppy ears remind me of Pippi Longstocking’s pig-tails.
What more can we say about Prada besides, “SHE’S AWESOME”?! Prada is an almost 16 year old Lhasa Apso mix, but you’d never guess her age by looking at her. She still rocks it in the underwater treadmill by going for 20 minutes at a speed between .5-.7 miles an hour! Prada has been a patient of IPC since the fall of 2009. Whether it was keeping her conditioned for competitions, rehabbing her knee surgery or helping her bounce back from an 11 day stay in the ER, we’ve been cheering Prada on every step of the way!
Since the age of 2, Prada has been a therapy dog with Canine Therapy Corp and is currently the oldest active member! She regularly works at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and does outreach like Camp I Am Me, which benefits young burn victims. Besides her busy volunteer life, Prada competed in AKC & UKC obedience until she was 11! Prada has more on her plate than many adults!
“Every time she’s running around the house like a puppy or sprinting down the sidewalk after a 2-3 mile walk, we say ‘thank you IPC’ and smile.”
The first thing you notice about Birkin (besides her adorable face) is her extremely happy demeanor. Even when she’s not feeling too hot, she’ll greet you with a grin and a happy tail. We first met Birkin in June 2014 when she came to us for limping on her right rear leg. We were hopeful that therapy would prevent surgery, but unfortunately she was just too active! Dr. Zenoni referred her to Dr. Wolf at Premier Veterinary Group for a surgical consultation. It turns out that Birkin had a fully torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) and a luxating patella- which could only be corrected with surgery.
Birkin came back to us shortly after surgery and made an amazing recovery (although she did look pretty pathetic with a shaved leg and cone of shame)!