Stockton is a 10 year old happy go lucky Boxer who began therapy at Integrative Pet Care in February after being diagnosed with Degenerative Myleopathy (DM). DM is a progressive disease of the spinal cord that begins with a loss of coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs which will eventually progress to additional areas of the body. While there isn’t a cure for DM, physical rehabilitation can be helpful in maintaining mobility.
His parents Sebastian and Shannon had heard of Integrative Pet Care’s amazing staff and services through numerous people, so it was a no brainer to make an appointment. Stockton met with Dr. Deanne Zenoni who created a treatment plan which consisted of exercise, massage, laser therapy, massage, and acupuncture. It was then that he met his main therapist Lindsey and they created an instant bond.
“Stockton learned pretty early on how to manipulate me into feeding him near-constant treats, but I learned how to use his determination to my advantage. I feel like we make a pretty good pair! He’s a really hard worker when he’s here and the support he gets from his parents at home has really helped keep him as strong as possible”
Stockton’s therapy doesn’t end at IPC. His parents were taught exercises and massage to do at home, as well how to perform electrical stimulation (neuromuscular e-stim), which can be helpful in strengthening muscles and preventing atrophy.
“To say that Stockton loves the staff would be a huge understatement! He literally whines and cries for attention while waiting to start his appointment and we can barely get him to leave once he’s done!” -Sebastian
A typical day includes lots of snoozing, watching his TV programs, and performing his neighborhood watch duties, preferable at the Park. He also uses his striking good looks to constantly trick his Mom and Dad into giving him treats! His parents also feel that IPC has kept Stockton active mentally and physically through a wide array of treatments that he excitedly looks forward to each day.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Stockton would like to give a shout out to One Tail At A Time.
One Tail at a Time (“OTAT”) is a no-kill, 501(c)3 all-breed dog rescue committed to lowering euthanasia rates in the greater Chicagoland area. OTAT achieves this through the rescue and adoption of dogs in need, comprehensive support of adopters, and community outreach including humane education programs and assistance for disadvantaged and low-income families.
When Koda began to have difficulty walking, primary care veterinarian, Dr. Cynthia Cecott of Veterinary of Tinley Park, Koda’s recommended scheduling an appointment at Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen. At his initial evaluation, they met with Dr. Amber Ihrke and PT Valerie who devised a custom rehabilitation plan to address his specific needs. They suspected he had Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) and a genetic test confirmed the diagnosis.
Koda started right away with treatments such as: manual therapy with dry needling to address his many myofascial trigger points, underwater treadmill and exercises for strengthening, and massage therapy to keep him comfortable. He was also measured for a cart, which would greatly improve his mobility and quality of life!
“It is amazing to see the difference in Koda’s attitude and personality since starting with us as he does not like to be handled much. But when it comes to his cart, he is a whole new dog! Koda stands calmly for me to place him in and out of his cart and will even sit next to in until I am ready to put him in it. He really understands that the cart is helping him and he is happier in it.” -Katie Neforos
“Koda showed us the importance of measuring our patients for a cart when they can still stand independently. By placing our patients with DM in carts early on, they can have significant improvement in their overall mobility and quality of life.” -Valerie
His owners gave us a brief history of Koda- He was brought to Cry for Help Rescue in 2016 after he was found tied up and left behind after his owners moved. It was not known how long he was tied up, but the abuse he endured caused him constant pain and made him a little aggressive towards others. Since we adopted him, Koda’s temperament has changed; he now has two other doggie brothers and my grandchildren love him!
“Integrative Pet Care has helped Koda tremendously! Without their help, he would not be able to enjoy the things he loves. They fit him for a harness/brace that he wears daily and they also helped fit him for a cart. Since the addition of the cart, Koda has be able to return to his daily walks around the neighborhood with his doggie brothers.” -Koda’s owner
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Koda has asked us to tell you about Cry For Help Rescue.
A little over a year ago, Tilly’s mom Kirsten noticed she was having trouble with one of her rear legs. After a few inconclusive vet visits, an evaluation at Integrative Pet Care was recommended. “With Tilly being a senior corgi, my mind immediately went to Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), and I panicked” remembers Kirsten. After meeting with Dr. Ridley, a twice weekly program of therapeutic exercise & underwater treadmill was prescribed. After rocking it for 8 weeks with her therapist Laura, Tilly graduated to a maintenance plan of once weekly therapies. Tilly is incredibly enthusiastic about her therapy (especially exercise) and absolutely hates taking breaks!
We asked her mom to tell us a little about the daily life of Tilly: “She is a lazy loaf of bread at home. She loves sleeping in strange positions, including but not limited to underneath/in between her beds (corgi sandwich), belly up in the middle of the floor, next to the wall with her feet seemingly holding the wall up, and many more! She loves begging for snacks and working for treats, and I call her a canine Roomba because she is so motivated for any little food scrap. She loves being outside and going on road trip adventures. She’s traveled to both coasts several times, and even enjoys a quick trip around the block. She’s a fantastic copilot!”
“If you’ve seen the hashtags on social media #corgitude and #corgioncorgistrong, and you have the opportunity to meet Tilly, you’ll completely understand both of them! Tilly starts with her ‘corgitude’ by telling me just how excited she is to start her therapy sessions each week. They don’t bother to tell me Tilly has arrived, because I hear her bark. I then come up and see a smiling face as she leads me back to the gym. She is a strong, stumpy, little gal, and gives each session her all, and has no idea that DM is supposed to slow her down. I’m proud to be Tilly’s therapist, and I know #corgination is proud of Tilly too!” -Laura, Tilly’s therapist
“IPC has been nothing short of amazing. Tilly is now a little over a year out from her diagnosis, and is still walking on her own! The progression of DM has been so slow, thanks to their help. She’s started to slow down and have some more weakness, but without IPC I can only imagine we’d be much farther into the progression of the disease. It makes me happy to see her so excited and engaged while she is at IPC. They always go above and beyond to help us and make sure Tilly is getting the care she needs.” -Kirsten
CorgiAid is a nonprofit organization founded to provide financial assistance to corgis and corgi mixes. We help out those who rescue dogs from shelters or other non-permanent homes, then foster them until a new home is found. Medical and other expenses for these dogs can become high.
QBSDR is a rescue that saves special needs corgis and corgi mixes from California. We put great emphasis on rehabilitating our dogs medically and managing their behaviors through training, while getting to know their needs and quirks in order to find them the right home.
Dogs become such an integral part of the family that it’s impossible to imagine not providing them with the best quality of life. But, like humans, dogs are susceptible to disease and injury, sometimes resulting in mobility issues or even amputation.
Luckily, there are many options to manage your dog’s quality of life in regards to their mobility and comfort. One such option might be the use of a cart or a “dog wheelchair.” This device can help dogs who are suffering from paralysis, amputatio n, limb deformities, neurologic conditions and limb weakness.
There are many benefits to carts, beyond freedom; dogs suffering from neurologic conditions are essentially retraining their nervous system to stand in a normal position when they use a cart. It also reduces and relieves muscle tension and helps regain strength and a cart allows for better mobility and a decrease in the stress on parts of their body due to over-compensation.
Edgar was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy (DM) almost a year ago, which is unfortunately common among the corgi breed. DM is a progressive disease of the spinal cord which begins with the loss of coordination in the hind limbs. While there is no known cure, a lot can be done to strengthen the front end and keep the dog more comfortable as the disease progresses.
Edgar joined the IPC family earlier this Summer when his mom was exploring ways to help keep him strong. He met with Dr. Zenoni and Emma to create a specific treatment plan which included twice weekly underwater treadmill and laser sessions. His parents were also taught some exercises to do at home and some adjustments were made to his cart to keep him cruising comfortably (and in style)!
“Although DM often feels like a terrible curse, it has bonded he and I together in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise”
Ever think a dog could pull a wheelie? Well, Hershey can & does! Hershey started rehab with us in April 2014. Although looking at him you would never know it, Hershey has the highest grade of hip dysplasia that a pet can have. He doesn’t let that slow him down though.
“When I first saw Hershey, he had one of the worst cases of hip dysplasia I have seen in 20 years. I cannot believe how stoic of a dog he is to not show any clinical signs before now. He is truly a great companion to his family and a great patient to work on.”