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
It’s 2020, and what better way to ring in the New Year than introduce our Patient Of The Month, June! June started slowing down as she aged but became almost immobile according to her mom after she lost her best friend Bruce last year. At the recommendation of a fellow pug friend, June came to us for an evaluation last March as her parents were looking to improve her mobility and endurance.
June was prescribed a program which included pain control modalities such as acupuncture, massage and laser. Within a month she was moving better than she had in the past year! June’s parents were also taught home exercises which are done religiously since she loves to “werk werk werk werk werk”.
“We love the combined therapies approach as well as the way the staff works together!” -June’s parents
While June loves everyone, she has formed a special relationship with her therapist Renee. “June whimpers with glee when we park by IPC and runs in to find her, wag her curly tail and give her kisses. The absolute sweetest is massage when June kisses Renee as she releases tense areas”.
“The daily life of June involves waking up and demanding food right away – all that working out has her hungry all the time! She then cuddles with her dad (her favorite person in the whole world) or by the fireplace and goes into work at EDGE Athlete Lounge – (that’s right, we have pugs as gym dogs). When at work, June can be found cuddling in her pug nest, barking at Members for food or posing for pictures. She likes to do her therapy in the afternoon and usually wraps up the night by taking a nightly steam shower (good for her lungs and throat!) and curling up in bed with her favorite pillow, little brother Tank.”
If you want to see more of June and her ridiculous younger brother Tank, you should follow them on Instagram at @pugcovery! As an added bonus, you get to see June rocking her home exercises.
Northern Illinois Pug Rescue and Adoption, Inc. (NIPRA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that exists to assist the community in placing any needy Pug dog in a permanent, loving home. All adoption fees and donations go solely for the rescue, care, and placement of mistreated, unwanted or homeless Pugs.
“We adopted Jay Jay through an animal rescue on August 16th, 2018 when he was 8 months old, because I was 5 months pregnant and wanted a companion. We saw him on petfinder a few months prior and once a few other things fell through, we went for it when we saw he was still available. He was my best friend and stayed by my side throughout the remainder of my pregnancy, but I knew something was wrong with him. He cried when we would pick him up and he wouldn’t jump, which was weird since he was a puppy.
After seeing 2 different doctors, he was diagnosed with Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease. A Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO) surgery was scheduled 10 days before I gave birth. His surgeon recommended rehabilitation, which would be beneficial for his recovery. I used to work at an animal Hospital who referred to IPC Homer Glen, so I knew it would be a good place for him.” -Jay Jay’s mom
“Jay Jay came to us with a history of not being able to walk on his back legs for a few months…in fact, sometimes he would only walk on his front legs! We created an intensive therapy program which consisted of manual therapy, hydrotherapy, and therapeutic ultrasound. After 2 weeks he was consistently walking on his rear legs, within 4 weeks he was always walking on his rear legs, and 8 weeks later he was running and playing in the yard.” -Dr. Amber Ihrke
I am totally blown away by his recovery and the results we were able to achieve. He is such a little champ!!! -IPC therapist Tiffany
Jay has come very long way since starting with us. His sessions were so stressful since he had been in pain for so long that he would not allow anyone to touch him. As his program progressed, his pain level decreased and his mobility increased. Now when he comes to see us, he jumps in my lap and give kisses. This is not something he would have done at the start and it was amazing to see the transformation in him just by making him feel better! -IPC therapist Katie
I truly believe if it weren’t for the wonderful staff at IPC he wouldn’t be walking, let alone running on all 4 legs today.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Jay Jay has asked us to tell you about Villalobos Rescue Center.
When the Stroup’s became empty nesters, they decided a companion animal would be a great additional their family, specifically a beagle. Buddy came from a reputable breeder in 2009 who had already socialized him with cats and children. He was a healthy dog until he tore both of his cranial cruciate ligaments (CCLs). Integrative Pet Care’s services were recommended by his surgeon at MedVet Chicago to speed up his recovery.
“We first met Buddy in early October 2018 following a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) procedure on his left rear leg. As he would also require another TPLO on the right side, it was advised he begin a rehabilitation program with weight loss in order to achieve the most successful outcome possible. Despite some residual post-operative stifle edema (swelling) and areas of discomfort elsewhere on his body due to the changes in his bio-mechanics, Buddy always seemed pretty happy to come in for his rehab visits!” -Dr. Melissa Trupia
After his second surgery, Buddy was prescribed an 8 week treatment plan which included therapeutic laser, massage, dry-needling, manual therapy, underwater treadmill, and therapeutic exercises. “Buddy came in after each of his knee surgeries which were performed roughly a month apart with significant bruising, swelling, and heat present at his knees. Laser therapy was performed at his first visit and significant improvements observed by his owners and therapists. At his second visit, there was a significant decrease in heat, swelling, and bruising leading me to term him the ‘laser poster dog.’ -Tiffany, Buddy’s main therapist
“After completing his formal treatment plan, Buddy continued with a maintenance plan to continue working on his sit posture, strengthening his rear limbs and improving his overall mobility during walks. Buddy is now walking around without showing signs of pain or discomfort in his rear limbs.” -Valerie
The staff at IPC has been informative and caring and Buddy gets excited when we are driving there!
“Hannah was adopted out of the Plainfield Humane Society in the summer of 2008. At the time I had recently put one of my dogs down due to illness and since I have always felt that two dogs together are much happier when I am away at work wanted another pet. One day I walked in to the clinic that houses the humane society and noticed a small dog sitting in the waiting room unsupervised. Hannah sat there confidently and calmly observing the foot traffic come and go. I was very impressed and Ruby and I adopted her the next day.
She had always been very intelligent and confident until her hearing and eye sight started to fail her. She would walk into the big dog park and wade right into the pack of much larger dogs and never have a problem. Hannah knew where the treats were stored at home and the counter, cabinet or pantry were no problem for her to access if the humans weren’t around to say ‘No’. She was the ultimate predator in the yard or on leash at the forest preserve. The Rat Terrier I knew was always ready to chase down and dispatch any animal that dared enter her yard. Even when the mulberries were in season and the raccoons spent their time in the trees gorging, Hannah would not tolerate such an indignity and climbed trees to get at them. I pulled her out of the trees many times but unfortunately, she fell and injured her back which in her senior years caused problems.” Jim, Hannah’s dad
Their primary care veterinarian suggested Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen When Hannah started to develop weakness in her back legs. Hannah was evaluated by Dr. Amber Ihrke and physical therapist Val who devised a therapy plan to address Hannah’s specific issues. “Hannah received manual therapy and participated in a therapeutic exercise program. Even though Hannah is an older patient, she made excellent progress during rehab. She demonstrated an improvement in her balance since her evaluation when she would turn and fall over. Now, 30 days after she finished rehab, Hannah can turn circles and maintains her balance without falling over.” Val
“Dr. Amber along with Val, Katie and Tiffany helped by teaching us how to help Hannah. Val especially helped by instructing Ruby and I in massage and creating small challenges for Hannah to keep her as active as possible for as long as possible. Hannah still enjoys her walks and her visits to the dog parks, and although she doesn’t have the stamina she once had she’s a little trooper. We feel the care she has received has improved her quality of life and we are grateful for everything that they’ve done. A big thank you to everyone at Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen!”- Jim
Our senior patients are special at Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen and Hannah is a perfect example. She came to us because she was having some rear limb weakness and loss of balance and her owner wanted to see if we could help her. We started her on a treatment plan to include hydrotherapy, manual therapy, and acupuncture. Within 8 weeks her dragging of the rear feet and her loss of balance was improved. We sent the client home with an age-appropriate home exercise program and Hannah continues to do well with her mobility. Senior pets can have tremendous benefits with rehabilitation and some TLC. -Dr. Ihrke
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Hannah has asked us to tell you about The Caspian Foundation.
Our Mission Statement: Providing families with a special needs pet that may need equipment, such as a cart, orthotic or prosthetic device in order to live an independent and full life. Our mission is only possible through generous donations from our supporters.
When Neytiry started agility training, her dad noticed that she would sometimes off set her weight and hold her right rear leg out a little bit. Even though it would subside with rest, her symptoms kept coming back. Radiographs revealed that she has hip dysplasia in both hips. An evaluation at Integrative Pet Care was recommended by Physio Pet Massage
At the time of her exam, Neytiry was exhibiting a mild, subtle lameness on her right rear limb and resistance to extending both her hip joints. Dr. Ihrke started her on a multi-modal treatment plan of Adequan injections, hydrotherapy, manual therapy with dry needling and therapeutic exercises.
“Neytiry lacked good shoulder and hip extension range of motion, but made great progress during her 8 weeks of therapy. She loved her exercises the most and it seemed like there wasn’t an exercise she couldn’t complete. My favorite thing about Neytiry is how she loves to climb up and sit in chairs when waiting for her sessions. Neytiry now can perform all of her exercises without any problems or pain.” -Valerie, PT, DPT, CCRP
“Neytiry was a blast to work with! I almost had a hard time keeping up with her by the end of her program. Neytiry has bilateral hip dysplasia but she does not know that. By the end of her program she was able to do everything we asked of her and now is back to practicing agility with her dad! -Katie, CVT, CCRVN
Since Neytiry’s dad has continued all her home exercises and prescribed supplements, she is ready to get back into the sport that she loves, agility!
“This is an excellent example that early intervention with hip dysplasia can produce huge benefits in mobility” -Dr. Amber Ihrke
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Neytiry has asked us to tell you about Livingston County Humane Society.
The mission is to place each animal who comes to us into a good, loving home. We also promote responsible pet care. During your visit here on our website, you’ll be able to see the animals that we currently have available for adoption. All animals are spay or neutered, all shots up-to-date, including rabies, and dogs are micro-chipped.
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.
Harrison was hit by a car in early October 2017 and suffered a badly fractured pelvis and hip, which required surgical repair. His owners did not believe the vet bills were within their ability to pay, so they surrendered him to Chicago Animal Care and Control in the hopes that a rescue might step up to help him. Fetching Tails Foundation (501C3) was contacted that afternoon, and by that evening Harrison was in the care of the surgical team at Veterinary Specialty Center of Buffalo Grove. It would be nearly a week before the surgery could be performed due to head and abdominal traumas that had to be resolved before he could go under anesthesia. Once the surgery was completed, Harrison had a femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgery, and the pelvic fractures on both sides of his body were left to heal on their own, which they did.
After two months, it was becoming clear that Harrison was not using his left hind leg. In order to give him the best chance at a normal recovery (and the best chance of being adopted), Harrison’s foster mom asked the surgeon at Vet Specialty Center whether Harrison was a candidate for rehabilitation. The surgeon provided a list of practitioners, but there was really only one place considered, Integrative Pet Care who Fetching Tails Foundation had previously worked with. Harrison started therapy in early December 2017 and the staff in Homer Glen did not disappoint!
Harrison met with Dr. Ihrke for an evaluation where he was prescribed a pain management regimen and rehabilitation program that included therapeutic laser, manual therapy, hydrotherapy and TENS therapy. Right away Harrison responded to his program and started putting weight on his left leg while walking. Over the next 12 weeks, he continued to improve and by the end of his treatment plan, he was walking, running and playing without issues.
I truly believe that without rehab Harrison would have had a hard time finding his forever home. His pain level would have remained elevated and he would not want anyone touching him. Rehabilitation helped manage Harrison’s pain, increase weight bearing on his left rear limb and returned him to an active lifestyle. -therapist Valerie Williams
Today, Harrison runs, climbs stairs, goes for walks to the dog park, and stands on his hind legs as any small dog would.He walks without a limp, and unless one knew what Harrison had been through, one would not know it from looking at him. Harrison was recently adopted and will continue his rehabilitation at the Chicago location!
“I would always look forward to days that he was coming because he was so much fun to work with. We all miss Harrison here but are so glad that he is healthy and has found his forever home!” -therapist Katie Nefros
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Harrison has asked us to tell you about the rescue that saved his life, Fetching Tails Foundation.
Fetching Tails Foundation is an 501c3 Illinois based non-breed specific rescue committed to saving dogs regardless of breed, age, and physical ability. Our foundation is committed to lowering euthanasia rates by rescuing adoptable dogs from high kill-shelters and other animal intake facilities and placing them in approved adopted homes. We are dedicated to helping our community through educational programs and combined efforts for spay & neuter clinics.
Tucker’s journey starts when he was found roaming the streets of Southern Illinois with his mom and siblings. Luckily he was taken in by Midwest Beagle Rescue, Education & Welfare (BREW). His future mom had been looking for a male companion for her other beagle, and she was smitten when she saw his picture online. When they met in person, it was love at first sight!
“Tucker first came to Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen for Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). He had previously had surgery to correct the problem, but when he had a subsequent episode he came to us for help. Tucker was in tremendous pain and barely able to walk. We started an aggressive treatment plan of pain medication and rehabilitation modalities including TENS, acupuncture and manual therapy.” -Dr. Amber Ihrke explains Tucker’s condition
Dr. Melissa Trupia performed his first acupuncture treatment and he did amazingly well for his first session! When he returned for his second acupuncture session 4 days later, Tucker was willing and able to stand and ambulate on his own. “We were all so pleased with his progress and agreed that he was ready for additional treatment modalities including manual therapy and hydrotherapy.” -Dr. Trupia
Therapist Valerie tells us about Tucker’s therapy experience- “His pain was so intense that he would not weight bear on his rear limbs to stand or walk and Tucker allowed minimal hands-on work. He allowed cupping and manual therapy over his spinal muscles during his second session. By the 3rd and 4th treatment session, Tucker was now walking back to the therapy gym and was a completely different dog!”
“I cannot put into words how much everyone at IPC has helped my pets and supported us.. When I brought Tucker in this year, he was barely walking, and I had little hope he would walk again. He has many other health issues I have been trying to get ahead of this year, and this re-injury was a gigantic step backward for us. I was unclear of what the future may hold, but one thing I did know is the only team I trusted to help him were Dr. Amber, Valerie, Katie, Tiffany, Dr. Melissa and Jill! IPC of Homer Glen gave my best friend a longer pain-free life filled with happiness, mobility and lots of love. Thanks to the entire team, Tucker will continue to be spoiled and loved immensely.” -Becky, Tucker’s mom
“Tucker has made amazing strides at IPC and never fails to surprise us. It has been a joy to watch him return to the things he loves most!” -Therapist Tiffany
Midwest Beagle Rescue, Education and Welfare, Inc is a 501(c)3 non profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to rescuing beagles from high-kill shelters. We adopt beagles to families within Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, western Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and have also placed beagles into loving homes in Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri
Teddy is a 7 year old Old English Sheepdog who has been incredibly active his entire life. “I was in contact with his breeder from the day he was born. I got to meet him at 5 weeks old and brought him home at 9 weeks. I have shown him in conformation and he earned his AKC Championship. We also do lots of performance sports. He has titles in obedience, rally, agility, lure coursing, barn hunt, trick dog and canine good citizen. He is now a therapy dog and started visits in March.” -Cindy, Teddy’s mom
Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen was highly recommended by Teddy’s primary care veterinarian at Mokena Animal Clinic after he began showing signs of cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease.
Teddy met with Dr. Amber Ihrke who created an 8 week rehabilitation program that included hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercise, and laser therapy. Cindy’s goal was to get him back into what made him happy, agility. “Within 8-weeks, Teddy was back to agility and not exhibiting any signs of lameness. He is a great reminder that even with arthritis, patients can continue with their sporting activities and remain comfortable!”- Dr. Ihrke
Teddy graduated from a formal therapy program, but his mom saw the progress he made and decided to keep going. He regularly comes to IPC for maintenance which keeps him competing at the highest level in agility.
PT Valerie Williams commented on how important home care is to a dog’s recovery. “Cindy was also compliant with Teddy’s home exercise program, especially with waiting to continue with Teddy’s agility until he fully recovered. Teddy is a great example of when patients start rehab right after an injury they can return to their active lifestyles and even agility without any limitations.”
“All he and his mom wanted to do was to get him back in the agility ring and we did just that!” -IPC therapist, Katie Neforos
Besides excelling in competitions, Teddy is an all around great dog who every therapist enjoys working with. “Teddy is a pleasure to work with as he was very cooperative for all of his therapies. I am so glad that all of his hard work with us led him to return to agility and other activities that he loves.” – therapist Tiffany Helphingstine
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Teddy has asked us to tell you about 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 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.