Mr. Bennet is one of our long-time patients, so it’s only appropriate that he gets the honor of being the first Patient of the Month in 2020! We met Mr. Bennet two years ago when his family was looking for options to keep him more comfortable and mobile. It was noted on exam that he had hindlimb weakness and loss of coordination. He had also developed bilateral hip and carpal (wrist) arthritis. Strengthening and pain management modalities such as underwater treadmill, therapeutic exercise, laser and massage were recommended. His family noticed an improvement in his strength and coordination right away!
“Mr. Bennet is a wonderful dog who can definitely be stubborn in his older age as he would much rather lay on the bed and Assisi mat for his laser and massage treatments instead of exercising or walking in the underwater treadmill. I feel that we have achieved our goal of keeping him independently mobile every time he walks through our doors. Whether it’s because of grumpy old man personality or him carrying his leash and walking himself back up to the front, there’s never a dull moment when Mr. Bennet is around!” -Michelle
“Bennet came from Heritage Kennel in 2008 after our daughter asked for a German Shepherd for her 10th birthday. The Chicago Police Department wanted the puppy, but our family got there first! From the beginning, he was a “miracle dog” who survived multiple health issues. He had emergency surgery following his neuter procedure, had a hemilaminectomy in 2009 due to a congenital dorsal spine dermal cyst and contracted leptospirosis despite being vaccinated.”
I honestly couldn’t think of a dog more deserving of the patient of the month title than Mr. Bennet. He is practically our mascot since he comes in to see us more than any other patient. Mr. Bennet is a gentle giant and teddy bear of a German Shepherd and it always brightens my day to see him on my schedule. Enjoy your moment in the spotlight!!! -Tiffany
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.
Pearl came to Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen in September 2018 following a hemilaminectomy (spinal cord surgery), which left her unable to use her rear limbs. The prognosis was poor for Pearl to walk again, but we knew that our therapies could improve her quality of life.
Pearl was prescribed laser therapy and massage by Dr. Amber Ihrke to help her recover post surgery. Her owners were also shown how to use electrical stimulation with an NMES (neuromuscular e-stim) unit to strengthen her rear limbs at home. NMES stimulates nerves and muscles to prevent muscle atrophy (muscle mass loss) and strengthen specific muscles.
“Unfortunately, over time it became apparent that she may not regain use of her rear limbs. We discussed placing her in a cart with her owners, and after some time they agreed that is was the right choice. And was it ever- Pearl has not slowed down since!” -Katie
Although Pearl did not regain use of her rear limbs after surgery, she now runs around and has complete independent mobility in her cart. Pearl’s cart gives her the freedom she needs to live a happy and healthy life. -Valerie
“The fabulous team of Dr. Amber, Dr. Melissa, Katie, and Valerie were there to help us. Professional, caring and knowledgeable are just a few of the adjectives we would use to describe them. They guided us through all the treatments, teaching us what we needed to know in how to care of our Pearl. Today, Pearl still takes walks and runs, but now in her ‘Hot Wheel Cart’. Sometimes we can’t even keep up with her!! She is able to run through her yard and participate in all the things she could before her injury, including tons of hugs and kisses. THANK YOU to all at Integrative Pet Care. We don’t know what we would have done without you.” -Pearl’s owner
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Pearl has asked us to tell you about the shelter she was adopted from, Tender Loving Care 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.
“Minnie is an 11 years old Beagle/Cooker mix who along with anxiety issues, has always had some back issues for the last 6 years. On February 1, 2018 while sleeping, she apparently heard the mail truck when she jumped on our sofa, like she always did, but must have lost her balance and fell flat on her back. We immediately took her to our local vet, who thought she had sprained her back. She was actually walking when we left the office, but the rest of the evening was a total nightmare! Our poor sweet Minnie was unable to walk, get comfortable, or sleep.
We took her to an emergency veterinarian who noticed that her rear paws were not reacting well to stimulation. We were then referred to a neurologist who explained that she would need an MRI followed by immediate surgery to clean out the ruptured disc material. We made the decision to go ahead and give our loving family member the opportunity to get through this as she was still a healthy dog with good hearing and eyesight. The staff was wonderful and kept us updated throughout her 3 hour procedure. She was hospitalized for 5 days to be monitored and given daily laser treatments for pain management. We were given detailed homecare instructions as Minnie was unable to stand, and had bladder and bowel incontinence. It was a very stressful situation for us as she could not be left home alone since she was totally dependent on us for all her needs.
Two weeks later, her staples were removed and we asked, ‘where do we go from here?’ We were given a list of rehabilitation facilities and Integrative Pet Care in Homer Glen was on the list, which we found convenient to our home location. We checked the reviews online, which appeared very good and decided this place may work well for us.”
“Minnie came to us after having surgery for an intervertebral disc extrusion. At her first appointment, she was unable to stand independently and unable to walk. We started an intensive rehabilitation plan that included acupuncture, therapeutic laser, and hydrotherapy. After 4 weeks, she could get to a standing position without assistance and even though her rear legs were weak and wobbly, she was able to walk independently. We started her therapeutic exercise program and placed her in a cart that allowed her to use her rear legs to help retrain her to walk normally. After 12 weeks of therapy, Minnie is able to walk independently and her rear limb weakness is much improved and she is back to living her normal life.” -Dr. Amber Ihrke
The cart worked wonders and she regained her independence! “Minnie is a great example of a neurological patient that benefits from using a cart to conserve her energy and it also helps to correct her abnormal gait pattern. Minnie reminds us that carts are not just for dogs that are paralyzed and they can be a useful therapy tool to help patients with neurological conditions progress in their rehab programs.” PT Valerie
Kathy and I are forever grateful to the staff at Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen and for the wonderful care Minnie has received from the front desk staff of Jill who books our appointments to Dr. Amber, Katie, and Val. Minnie was treated like she was their dog too. They really, really care!! It is so refreshing to see a staff who treats “all pets and pet owners” with the warmth and kindness we were given. We met several dogs and owners during this process who would surely agree with us!! Thank you so very much… and Minnie thanks you too!! -Greg, Minnie’s owner
“Watching her for from being unable to walk to not being able to slow her down in her cart was beautiful. I am so happy I had the chance to work with her and look forward to seeing her at her next recheck!” -Katie, Minnie’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Minnie has asked us to tell you about the ASPCA
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA) is a national leader in the areas of rescue, adoption and welfare and has worked tirelessly for over 150 years to put an end to animal abuse and neglect.
Walter is an 8 year old Dachshund who we first met 3 years ago following his first Hemilaminectomy (back) surgery. His mom, Dr. Julia Georgesen from Blum Animal Hospital, knew rehabilitation was a crucial part of recovery, so she came to IPC for an evaluation.
Walter met with Dr. Deanne Zenoni and Emma who prescribed an 8 week treatment program that included twice weekly underwater treadmill & therapeutic exercise/laser sessions. Walter looked great after completing his first rehabilitation program, so his mom decided to take a break. Unfortunately, Walter needed a second surgery last year and he came back to IPC soon after.
Walter was again prescribed a twice weekly program of underwater treadmill & therapeutic exercise/laser sessions. This time his mom was taught how to do certain exercises and massage techniques to extend his treatment at home.
Walter looked fantastic after his 8 week program, but Dr. Georgesen decided to continue coming once weekly as part of our maintenance program which she says “is great for Walter’s health and he loves going”!
“I’ve known Dr. Georgesen on a professional level for years as we share many cases. Working with her and Walter on a personal level has been such an enjoyable experience!” -Dr. Deanne Zenoni
Walter diligently comes to IPC every Monday and spends the day with us while him mom is at work. While not in his therapy sessions, he can be found eating lunch with his therapist Emma or cuddling with our patient service coordinators. It’s no secret that Walter is a staff favorite!
“What can I say about Walter… I love him!” -Emma
During the work week, Walter goes to work with his mom and little brother Kevin at Blum Animal Hospital. At home he indulges in his favorite activities, sleeping close to the fire & eating.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Walter has asked us to tell you about where his little brother Kevin was adopted from, Midwest Dachshund Rescue!
Midwest Dachshund Rescue is a 501(c)3 all-volunteer organization that was founded in 2003. We help our communities (individuals, families and humane societies/shelters) safely rehome and rehabilitate dachshunds and dachshund mixes.
We first met Abbey in July 2016 when she originally came in for hind limb lameness. Her limp quickly worsened, so her parents found themselves not only seeing her primary care veterinarian, but a neurologist and IPC as well. After evaluating Abbey, Dr. Ridley sent her back to the neurologist where a hemilaminectomy (spinal surgery) was performed. Unfortunately she developed pneumonia which made her road to recovery much harder.
When Truffle runs through our door, it’s always accompanied by her silly howl/bark and a waiting room full of smiling faces. For the past 2 years, Truffle has not only made us laugh at her antics, but has also impressed us with her intense work out routines.
Almost 4 years ago Truffle had emergency back surgery after severely rupturing a disc. While she recovered remarkably well and was even she was able to stand and walk around on her own, she was still unsteady on stairs. Truffle was previously a very active dog who participated in agility, so it was important that they get her back into shape. Her mom Amy wanted to do everything possible for Truffle, so she explored rehabilitation therapy. After going to another facility for several months and seeing little progress, Amy decided to try IPC at a friend’s suggestion. It was a match made in heaven once she met Tiffany and Dr. Zenoni!
Truffle was originally prescribed an 8 week program that included weekly underwater treadmill & therapeutic exercise sessions and monthly chiropractic treatments. Truffle excelled at her therapies and was soon stable enough to go on a maintenance program. Truffle now comes every couple weeks to hit the gym with Tiffany to work on her core strength and endurance. She sees Dr. Zenoni every 2 months for a chiropractic adjustment to keep her moving well! Whenever Amy asks her if she wants to go “workout”, Truffle runs right over and heads to the car; she even knows the route to IPC so well that she barks and cries for the last 2 miles until they walk in the door!
“Truffle is very advanced in the gym, so I have to come up with new exercises to challenge her mentally and physically. I love seeing Truffle on my schedule- she and her mom are such a pleasure to work with!” -Tiffany, Truffle’s main therapist.
Amy describes a typical day in the life of Truffle:
“She wakes up when her Dad is done getting ready at about 5:30 AM. She does her business in the park across the street and then eats a her raw beef breakfast. She then comes back to bed to sleep more with me until about 7:30 AM. She wakes me up to take her downstairs for a snack and then watches the activity in the park until I’m ready to go to work. She then goes outside again and I head off to work. Her Dad gets home around 3:30 PM and she goes outside. I usually get home around 5:30 and she greats me with lots of barking and tries to get me upstairs to give her one of her preferred treats. She gets raw beef dinner at 6:00 PM every day with her extra supplements to help her joints and to fight off cancer. After she gets a salmon skin or cod skin dessert. She helps us cook dinner by hoping there’ll be some tomatoes or kale stems added to her bowl, or she harvests cherry tomatoes right off the plant on the balcony if any are ripe. After dinner she gets a mile or two walk if it’s not too hot or cold, or she plays tug of war and races around for about half an hour. Then she watches us do laundry or other chores for a while. If I haven’t gone to the couch as early as she’d like, she grunts at me and looks downstairs. Then we plop on the couch with her in between my legs for the rest of the night and watch some TV. This is the case for most weekdays, except for Wednesdays when I get to work from home with Truffle as my assistant. She especially likes to participate in conference calls.”
“IPC has helped Truffle get back to her healthy and crazy self; we don’t have to worry about her hurting herself around the house or playing at the park!” -Amy, Truffle’s mom
Make a Difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign.” Truffle asked us to tell you about The Live Like Roo Foundation.
Live Like Roo, a 501C3 organization, provides support and financial assistance to families whose pet faces a cancer diagnosis. Our mission is that together, you and your pet will #LiveLikeRoo.