12 week old Benji joined his family in May 2019, and after only 1 week at his new home he suffered a terrible accident. Benji jumped onto a blanket on the couch and slid off onto the floor. His family rushed him to Premier Veterinary Group in Orland Park. Benji had unfortunately broken both of his elbows, which required extensive surgery.
The Surgeon had serious concerns in regards to what his surgery would entail and the unknown outcome if the surgery was a success. He had Bilateral Medial Humeral Condyle fractures which required his elbows to be repaired with pins and screws. Luckily the surgery was a success and Benji was up on his feet in two days! His family was ready to do whatever it took to get him up and acting like a puppy again.
Benji’s was referred to Dr. Amber Ihrke at Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen by his surgeon, Dr. Alexander El-Warrak, and his family couldn’t be happier with the outcome. After meeting with his rehab team, Benji was prescribed a treatment program that consisted of swimming and therapeutic exercises. After 8 weeks of therapy, Benji had a full recovery of his elbow range of motion, increased muscle mass in his front limbs, improved flexibility in his front limbs and most importantly, did not show any signs of lameness. “It was amazing to see him make such significant improvements session after session! Although he wasn’t a fan of the water, all was forgiven with Benji once the beef liver treats were pulled out. He loved doing exercises for snacks and was so brave with all of the equipment! Patients like Benji help remind me exactly why I started in this field, and so he will forever be one of my favorite patients!” -Michelle
“From the start Jill (patient services coordinator) has been wonderful! She coordinated all of our appointments and most importantly sent us reminders and followed up on visits. It was an overwhelming time and I appreciated her being so on top of things. Michelle was so patient with Benji throughout the entire process. She truly has a gift and is in the right profession. Michelle did an amazing job explaining the goals for therapy and devised a specific home exercise program. I always left feeling like I learned something new to improve the healing process”. -Jessica, Benji’s mom
Benji’s family would like to spread the message of Never Give Up. “Benji’s surgery and recovery were not easy and it definitely was not cheap. Money comes and goes, but giving him the chance at life and the endless amount of joy he brings to us everyday is priceless. Looking at Benji today we feel inspired- we can hardly believe how far he has come in such a short amount of time. He truly is a success story and you never know what’s possible, but love and hope can go a long way.”
Make a difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Benji has asked us to tell you about TLC Animal Shelter.
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.
Floki was rushed to the ER last April when he became wobbly and painful. An MRI revealed that he had Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and a hemilaminectomy was recommended and performed immediately. Unfortunately all of this left him unable to use his hind limbs.
Amanda did research and found that we had a great reputation for working with special needs animals! Floki came to us shortly after his surgery and was prescribed an intensive rehabilitation program which consisted of exercise, laser, underwater treadmill, and acupuncture. His prognosis was guarded, but that didn’t stop him from trying his hardest and his dedicated mom Amanda was more than willing to do whatever it took.
We became fast friends since he started coming three times weekly for therapy! Floki’s progress was slow in the beginning, but he made promising improvements every week. He needed full assistance in the underwater treadmill to ambulate and was unable to push himself into a standing position.
A cart was also recommended to aid in his mobility which he took to quickly. He also hitches a ride in his wagon where he loves going on the 606, Humboldt Park and the dog beach. Floki has continued to make amazing progress at every session, and most of all he LOVES his therapies!
Floki continues to make huge strides every week and is now able to walk in the treadmill on his own and has even attempted to take steps on land!! His progress is also due to mom’s dedication to his home care. Floki has an amazing (and bossy) attitude which definitely played a part in his progress.
“First let me say that we are grateful for and really like all of the staff at IPC. Floki’s veterinarians, therapists and the patient service coordinators have been amazing. You all have been so patient and understanding of the struggle it was in the beginning and continue to be so nice and helpful!! Floki and I both would love to give a shout out to his therapist Renee for the extra time and love she has shown him. Renee has really been so helpful in making sure that we go home with handouts explaining our exercises and videos showing progress. She has answered every question I had about feedings, and how to learn to properly express/potty him. She has also coached me to be more relaxed and aware that if I show my frustrations to Floki, he will sense that and be frustrated also. I’m so thankful and so much more confident in caring for Floki because all that Renee has talked me through and shown me. She has gone above and beyond for us!” -Amanda
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Floki has asked us to tell you about Road Dogs & Rescue.
Road Dogs & Rescue is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization in California focused on rescuing and rehabbing medical bulldogs, puppies with birth defects and spreading the message of love and compassion towards all animals, both locally and internationally.
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.
Meet our July Patient of the Month Atticus, who is a six year old Frenchton (French Bulldog/Boston Terrier mix). Atticus started having trouble with his spine three years ago, but recovered well with rest and pain medication. Unfortunately he suffered a setback in April of 2018 which left him completely unable to walk. He was rushed to a neurologist who performed a ventral slot surgery which decompresses the cervical spinal cord.
Atticus remained unable to walk after surgery, but regained mobility after a week. Rehabilitation was recommended and he walked through our doors a month later.
Despite everything that he had been through, Atticus looked pretty good! His rehabilitation program focused on pain management, fine tuning his mobility, and strengthening. He started coming twice weekly for underwater treadmill, exercise/laser, and acupuncture.
Atticus looked better and better to the IPC team at every visit and pain management modalities such as acupuncture and laser were able to be weaned out. Underwater treadmill and exercise sessions would now be the focus for strengthening.
Atticus continued to do well, so he was graduated to a maintenance level of rehabilitation. He now comes once weekly for underwater treadmill (which he loves) with acupuncture and a exercise/laser combo session every 6 weeks. Atticus is an IPC superstar!
“Atticus marches through our doors ready to WORK and does everything that is asked of him. He is a dream patient who never lets me down!” -Laura, CCRA
Atticus can usually be found patrolling the neighborhood with his mom Mary- something that she was worried he’d never be able to do again.
“Integrative Pet came in at a very difficult time after a spinal surgery for a ruptured disc. They have graced Atticus with the strength and comfort in order to recover beautifully and now he thinks he can fly! With the love that he’s been given at Integrative Pet I believe he can!” -Mary
In May of 2017, the founder of Bialy’s Wellness Foundation, Erin, was contacted by Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue about a 2 month old French Bulldog puppy who was unable to walk. They needed an experienced foster home and funding for rehabilitation to get her mobile as soon as possible. Erin agreed and Gertie came to Integrative Pet Care immediately.
After meeting with Dr. Megan Ridley and Emma, it was suspected that Swimmer Puppy Syndrome was the cause of her mobility issues. An intense rehabilitation program was prescribed which included daily exercise and swimming therapy sessions. Everyone on staff pitched in to work with Gertie whenever they could. Erin, who is also a canine rehabilitation and massage therapist at IPC, diligently worked with her at home as well.
Within in the first week, Gertie improved greatly; she was able to support herself and could even take a few steps independently! While swimming wasn’t her favorite activity, she did it without complaint all while looking adorable in her life jacket. After a few weeks she was walking on her own and doing advanced exercises in the gym.
Being part of her transformation was an amazing experience for everyone involved and lots of tears were shed in the process! -Dr. Megan Ridley
Gertie was officially adopted in June to a neighbor so Erin can still bring her for therapy everyday. Today she is 6 months old and is a happy & healthy puppy. Being part of Gertie’s transformation has been a wonderful experience for everyone on staff.
Gertie has since become a ‘spokesdog’ for Bialy’s Wellness Foundation as she is an incredible success story! You can follow her adventures on Instagram- @the_little_avocado.
Check out this progress video of our beloved Gertie (aka 🥑). Thank you to: Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue for taking her into your adoption program; Integrative Pet Care for the amazing rehabilitation therapists and veterinarians that worked your magic to help Gertie become mobile; Boulevard Veterinary for your always generous, kind and attentive staff & veterinarians; Josh the Pitbull – Special Needs and Happy for fostering our Little Avocado. #GertieStrong
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Gertie has asked us to tell you about the organization that changed her life, 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.”