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.
“Elmore came to us three years ago when we were looking for a puppy. It was important for us to find one from a breeder who was part of the Newfoundland Club of America, did proper health testing on her dogs, and showed as well as participated in the Newfoundland events. We were hoping that we could take part in these activities with Elmore, but unfortunately this was not in the cards for him.
Elmore always seemed slow to rise, lazy, never jumped on people or on furniture, and was never super active. I always felt something was off, so because of this we became patients at IPC to maintain and build his strength.
By the time he was 2 years old he had gone through rehabilitation following tightrope surgeries to repair both torn cranial cruciate ligaments (CCLs), as well as platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. After he was cleared by his surgeon we felt optimistic about his future.
However, days before Christmas, he was in the backyard running, and went down. He had ruptured his T13-L1 discs and was fully paralyzed in his back legs because of this. We were devastated and rushed him out to Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove to see Dr. Mitch Robbins immediately. An MRI revealed a type 3 intervertebral disc rupture at T13-L1 with no evidence of persistent compression of the spinal cord. The care Elmore received from the VSC team was phenomenal.
He did not undergo surgery as he had no compression of his spine. He was given a 75% chance to walk again within 3 weeks, otherwise he would not regain that function. Our goal was clear, he would need IPC to help save his life.
We had been going to IPC for several years with our other Newfoundland Cass ever since Dr. Robbins recommended it as the place to go for rehabilitation in the city. There was no other place we would go to for this type of work for our dog. I have told people during this time that while you all are great at everything you do, I truly feel that your Neuro cases are your “bread and butter”.
Watching a giant breed who was once paralyzed in the rear now race over cavaletti poles and run around the gym, albeit somewhat “drunkenly”, is all the proof I need. IPC’s thorough program for Elmore, which consists of exercise, underwater treadmill, acupuncture, massage, laser, Adequan, NMES therapy and more, has been amazing. It was the exact combination needed. Throughout all of this, every single person from the front desk, to the therapists to the vets have been a part of a team dedicated to helping us and him.
“I always look forward to finding and creating new challenges each time I work with Elmore. He’s always ready to work hard and make us proud. Big shout out to Ashley and Andrew- their commitment to his recovery has been truly inspiring!” -Elmore’s main therapist and biggest fan, Laura
Today Elmore likes to get up and go on his walks around the block, come home for breakfast, and then take a several hour nap. After that he’s back out on walkies where he may bark at a few things and take some pictures for his instagram account, where he is quite popular. He completes his day with dinner, more naps and of course visits to IPC where he goes roughly three times a week. Sometimes he gets to go out to different stores, parks and he LOVES car rides etc… But it is a bit more difficult now that he isn’t as mobile as he used to be.” -Ashley, Elmore’s incredible mom
One thing I can tell other people going through this is to try to stay calm! It is so hard, don’t give up and don’t give up on your dog- some days you will want to, and that is ok. Listen to the therapists at IPC and do the work at home, it is the only way they will keep getting better.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Elmore 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.
“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.