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.
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.
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.