Integrative Pet Care staffers fell in love with Dreidel in October 2018, but her story starts back in 2007: “We adopted Dreidel from Chicago Canine Rescue when I was looking for a beagle, and the shelter told us they had some beagle/lab puppies that would be around 25-30 lbs full grown. I wasn’t too sure about a dog that big, but Jon and I went to see the puppies. Dreidel (then named Ravioli) was of course the only one in her litter screaming all the time, but when I pulled her out and sat down with her, she snuggled up in my lap and started chewing on my earring. I knew then that she was mine.
We were told that Dre and her brothers and sisters were rescued from a kill shelter in Kentucky, so I sometimes call her Kentucky Fried Dreidel. She also maxed out at 115 pounds before she was sick, so the 25-30 pound thing was clearly super accurate. I can’t imagine not having full-size puppy hugs now, though.” -Jen, Dreidel’s mom
IPC was recommended by Dreidel’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Robbins at Veterinary Speciality Center who performed both of her knee surgeries when she was younger. He thought that our services could help with Dre’s arthritis and general reconditioning after she was hospitalized in the ICU for 3 days with pancreatitis and newly diagnosed (and wildly uncontrolled) diabetes.
Drediel’s family met with Dr. Ridley after her hospitalization and she was in pretty rough shape; she needed assistance getting up, and could no longer climb up stairs. She could only walk for 30 seconds or so without needing a break. She seemed miserable and her parents were worried whether it was time to let her go. Her vet recommended that they stick with therapy at IPC for at least a month to see if she improved.
Dr. Ridley prescribed an 8 week treatment plan that started with pain control modalities such as acupuncture, massage, and laser. Her strength improved over time and she started sessions in the underwater treadmill and light exercises in the gym. It was also then that she met her main therapist and biggest fan Renee who says that “working with Dreidel and her sweet disposition is the highlight of my week.”
“Dre has responded to therapy like a superstar. She has her spunk back, she is able to go on walks and chase critters, and she can walk up the stairs again. We never thought it was possible for her to be doing this well. All of our family has said that she looks like she is aging in reverse. Even now, as she starts to slow down a bit with her new diagnosis of lymphosarcoma, we can tell that therapy is helping her maintain her energy and mobility. She loves coming to IPC and we could not be happier with how amazing and caring the staff is.
Dre is a habitual early riser now because of her daily 6 am insulin injections. During the week goes to daycare (“school”) or to therapy at IPC (“the spa”). In the evenings, she likes to eat, eat, eat, and snuggle and be petted constantly, and then she retires to her comfy king size bed that she has to share (ugh) with 2 humans.
On the weekends, Dre goes to 31st Street Beach first thing in the morning to look for bunnies and squirrels and chase geese. She is always down for going into the water, no matter how cold it is. Her new fun for the weekend is having “cheeseburger chemo” at McDonald’s as a “treatment” for her lymphoma. Then she spends the afternoon napping, snacking, and going for walks to her favorite park.” -Jen
Random Dreidel facts:
-She will lick you to death if you let her.
-She is a tough pup. Dre has torn both her CCLs, been attacked by a group of dogs in a parking lot, and got “shanked” at school (really she somehow ripped her side on an exposed nail/screw, but shanked sounds more fun).
-Dre has a bony growth on her right rear paw that looks like an extra toe with its own paw pad.
-One of her favorite toys is a plush dreidel that sings the dreidel song when she bites it. If she hears it play, she will come running.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Dreidel has asked us to tell you about the organization who saved her life, Chicago Canine Rescue.
“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.
Rufio is a stunningly handsome older gentleman who has been coming to Integrative Pet Care for the past 6 months. His sister Skippy was a patient years ago, so his mom Susan knew where to go when Rufio started slowing down. He met with Dr. Zenoni and Erin who created a treatment program which included acupuncture, underwater treadmill, exercise, massage, and laser.
Rufio learned to love his therapies and slowly built enough endurance to complete two active therapies in one visit, which can be difficult for any dog, let alone a senior! Now he eagerly greets his therapists Renee and Erin and bounds down the hallway, ready to work.
“I love working with Rufio, he is such a kind and gentle soul who will do anything you ask of him. I look forward to our weekly sessions as Susan is such a wonderful owner who goes above and beyond for his care!” -Renee
“A typical day for Rufio is at least 4 walks with his sister Skippy and my son’s puppy Blue. Rufio likes to be the leader of every walk, and when he’s feeling spry, he likes to trot the whole way. He is always trying to drag us an extra block or two, especially in cold weather. His favorite walk of the day is when we walk to the train station to meet my husband and son. We have a big fenced in yard which he patrols. When I’m away from the house, he keeps the vigil at the front door.
He is clearly in a lot less pain than he was in. He is back to doing the things that make me cringe–roughhousing with bigger, younger dogs and chasing skunks in the dark– and the things that he loves–rolling in the snow, delivering the newspaper, and play bowing to his dog friends and family. Every so often, he insists upon the 3 mile walk that we used to do on a daily basis, and Skippy reluctantly comes along. Also, IPC gives him mental stimulation, and he loves to flirt with his therapists Erin and Renee and his vets, Dr. Zenoni and Dr. Ridley I know he enjoys IPC, because thanks to our visits here, he is no longer afraid to go in the car. At 14 1/2 years old, he definitely has his good days and bad days, but his good days are pretty amazing thanks largely to IPC.
Rufio’s family has also opened their home to over 141 foster dogs, the majority of whom are orphaned puppies. “Every one of them has loved gentle sweet Uncle Rufio. He calms even the most timid and least socialized puppies and he somehow lets them know they are safe. They have played with him, climbed on him, snuggled with him, and followed him. He becomes their port in the storm. He has the patience of Job, and he makes our task of fostering so much easier. Rufio himself is a rescue, and it makes us so happy to see the impact he has on his little friends.” -Susan
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Rufio has asked us to tell you about Wright-Way Rescue.
Its mission is to reduce the number of homeless pets euthanized in the Midwest each year through an adoption program, community education, promotion of spaying and neutering, and a veterinary medicine program. It continues to save pets from rural animal control facilities where they are at a high risk of euthanasia, and instead offer them a second chance at a loving home in the Chicagoland area.
In July 2018, Hope was hit by a car and suffered severe trauma to her hind limbs. Her owners were unable to provide for her care so she was relinquished to Wish Upon A Rescue. Her foster mom Stephanie was a previous IPC client, so she knew who to turn when Hope entered their rescue. Hope met with Dr. Amber Ihrke who determined that surgery would be the best course of action. Hope’s surgeries included an amputation of her distal right rear limb as well as a femoral head osteotomy (FHO) of the left rear limb. “Our whole plan with Hope was to set her up for success and that included amputation of her right rear limb with the intent to fit her with a prosthetic”, says her primary care vet Dr. Dave Ihrke.
After surgery, a cast was made by Valerie to create a custom prosthetic from OrthoPets. “It was amazing to see how quickly Hope adapted to her prosthetic device. She demonstrated great weight bearing on her right leg and easily transitioned herself from stand to sit to sternal to stand with her device. After just a few short weeks, Hope walked around like she had all four ‘normal’ legs.” -Valerie
Hope flourished with her therapies and progress could be noted at each session. Her personality also started to change: “Hope received acupuncture for its neuromodulatory effects that addressed both nerve-based and orthopedic pain. Although she may have been a bit timid during her first session, this was very short-lived. After starting additional therapy modalities, her determined personality had come out by her second session!” -Dr. Melissa Trupia
Hope’s life completely changed once she was taken in by Wish Upon A Rescue and bought to IPC, but it didn’t stop there. Hope was adopted shortly after by her therapist Tiffany!
“She’d been through so much, yet was always in good spirits, friendly, and happy to see me at her appointments. I was also really impressed at the overall speed of her recovery considering the trauma she endured, as every time her foster mom brought her in, she reported some level of progress. I also admired that although she was very cooperative and sweet through all of her IPC treatments, she wasn’t shy about letting me know if she didn’t like something I was doing. She spent the night with us once after a fundraiser which led us to ultimately adopt her. I still bring her in weekly to IPC for underwater treadmill and laser treatments and will soon begin some home exercises with her. She is the ‘perfect dog’ in every way and I feel blessed she is a part of my family.”
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Hope has asked us to tell you about the organization who changed her life, Wish Upon A Rescue.
Wish Upon a Rescue is a non-profit Illinois based animal rescue focused on saving the lives of homeless animals while providing the community with extensive education, outreach, and support. We believe in going above and beyond the status quo of rescue and are committed to providing innovative care and support for our animals physical and emotional health. We believe that all animals deserve a second chance at life regardless of breed, age, or physical ability.
Ernie first had a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery to correct his left torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in January 2017. Unfortunately, he needed to have the plate removed the following November. One month later, his mom Dr. Katie Simpson scheduled an evaluation at Integrative Pet Care. Dr. Simpson is the Internal Medicine veterinarian on staff at Premier Veterinary Group, so she knew what an important part rehabilitation would play in his recovery
Ernie met with Dr. Megan Ridley who devised a custom program that included pain management modalities such as laser, massage and acupuncture as well as strengthening therapies like underwater treadmill and exercise. At the time it was suspected that Ernie had a right CCL tear, which would also be monitored.
Ernie did great with all of his therapies and formed a special bond with his therapist Lindsey. “I’m pretty sure Ernie thinks he just comes to IPC to snuggle with his girlfriends. He has the best attitude and is always willing to do what you ask of him, but if you give him half a chance he’ll be curled up in your lap without a second thought!”
Last August he developed joint fluid around his knee, which has since decreased. Most recently Ernie went back to surgery for a TPLO on his right knee. He came back to IPC immediately after and his recovery has gone smoothly. He started off with massage, laser, and acupuncture. Underwater treadmill was just added back in and he’s doing great in it! Despite Ernie’s multiple surgeries and long road to recovery, he has remained the sweet, goofy guy that he has always been.
Ernie’s typical day involves sleeping in, belly rubs, naps and more naps, and his favorite activity is playing in the snow!
“I chose IPC because of their great reputation and the friendly atmosphere.” -Dr. Simpson
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Ernie 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.”
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.
“Since we had lost our 2 Dogs within a year of each other, it took us a while to be ready for another. We never bought a puppy from a pet store before, but while shopping for something else, my husband wandered over to the pet area. There was Libby, scrawny as could be with a sad face. We went home, but I knew she was meant for us so I went back and got her the next day. She was very sickly, malnourished and had numerous health problems but that didn’t matter since she was now family. After some time, she flourished and her sad eyes disappeared. I don’t think she really knows she’s a dog because we treat her like our only child. She’s loyal, energetic and like any Labrador, she lives to fetch and swim!” -Linda, Libby’s mom
When Libby started crying and limping after playing and fetching toys in the lake, Linda spoke to family members who had experience with integrated veterinary medicine. Therapy was advised for Libby and after searching online, Linda found Integrative Pet Care which had great reviews from other pet owners.
“Libby’s exam showed she was painful mostly in her left hip, she has muscle atrophy and weakness in both her rear legs and she had decreased range of motion and flexibility in the left hip. We started her on a treatment plan with the goals of pain control, improving strength and flexibility in her hips and normalizing her walk so she would not limp. Over the course of her eight week program, Libby received therapeutic laser, underwater treadmill, massage, and therapeutic exercises.” -Dr. Amber Ihrke
Libby LOVED her therapies and would come in with endless energy and enthusiasm. “She is a great deal of fun to work with and her happiness is contagious. It’s impossible to work with her and not smile” says her therapist Tiffany! By the end of her eight week treatment plan, Libby had increased her hip extension range of motion, improved her gait and increased the amount of weight she placed on her left rear limb from 13% to 18%. Her owner reported Libby’s mobility had improved at home. It seemed Libby had a new sparkle in her eyes and skip her in step after she finished rehab at IPC.
“We love the staff at IPC! I am so grateful for their true concern and passion for making Libby better. Dr Amber says it’s as if Libby read the book on what it looks like to achieve therapy results and did it!!” -Linda
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Libby has asked us to tell you about The Caspian Fund.
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. Please consider making a donation so that we can continue to provide assistance to animals in need.
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.
We met Grace two weeks after having a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery in June to repair a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). She had been an incredibly active dog her entire life, so her parents were ready and willing to get her back into shape. They had previously been to IPC with another dog, so they knew it was the place to go!
An eight week custom rehab plan was created by Dr. Megan Ridley which started with massage and laser to reduce inflammation and swelling. Grace and her brothers had always competed in agility and swimming was a favorite activity, so it was a happy day for all when she was given the clearance to start the underwater treadmill! Since her parents were so diligent with home exercise, massage, and restriction, Grace looked better and better every week.
“IPC has been extremely beneficial in getting her back to her normal self in a relatively short period of time.” -Grace’s dad Andy
Andy also gave us a glimpse into her daily life: “Her day begins with a long walk around the neighborhood, then back home for breakfast, which she’s usually barking at me because I’m either doing it wrong or not making it fast enough. While I’m at work she spends most of the day sleeping and resting up for our nightly adventures which include trips to Begyle Brewing where her mom works, or to other restaurant or tavern patios in the neighborhood. She is more than happy to roll over on her back for belly rubs and/or squinting her eyes when she sees someone she knows and really likes, especially all her girlfriends at IPC: Caitlin, Liz, Lindsey, Erin, Renee, Sarah, and Hannah (to name a few).”
“I am always greeted with a goofy grin, squinted eyes and a happy tail which keeps wagging throughout her entire appointment. Grace and her parents are a pleasure to work with!” -Lindsey, CCRA, CCMT
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Grace would like to give a shout out to As Good As Gold.
As Good as Gold – Golden Retriever Rescue of Illinois is dedicated to the rescue, care and adoption of Golden Retrievers and golden mixes who are in need. In addition, As Good as Gold educates Golden Retriever guardians and the general public about the importance of spaying/neutering, positive training methods, diet and exercise, appropriate medical treatment and humane care