We first met Digger a little over 2 years ago when her parents noticed she started slowing down. After meeting with Dr. Megan Ridley, a formal rehabilitation program was created that included strengthening modalities such as underwater treadmill and exercise, as well as laser, acupuncture and massage therapy which were prescribed for pain management. Digger loved her therapies right away and her mobility improved.
“IPC has helped Digger’s daily functioning – mobility, flexibility, stability. The laser and acupuncture really help ease stiffness and pain. The training you have provided and continue to provide so that we can work with her at home has been unbelievably helpful. Digger would not be as mobile if not for her weekly visits.” -Bonnie, Digger’s mom
Digger has a lot of loves in life like watching trains and snoozing under the covers, but nothing beats swimming in the lake- toss a tennis ball and she’s off! She still enjoys taking walks, but it involves more smelling than walking these days.
“As a 15 year old pit bull mix, Digger has developed more issues over the years, but that hasn’t changed her attitude. She comes in ready to work and is all smiles (and barks) while doing it!” –Dr. Ridley
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Digger has asked us to tell you about C.A.R.E.
Community Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization with a mission to serve the communities of Chicago’s North Shore by fostering and supporting healthy, positive relationships between people and companion animals. C.A.R.E. rehomes companion pets into safe, healthy, lifelong homes; serves as an educational and counseling resource; and works to reduce pet overpopulation.
Symon was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease(IVDD) almost 4 years ago, so when his back pain started getting worse his mom wanted to do something more. “He still had his spirit and spunk, so I wanted to keep him strong and comfortable”, remembers Kristen. At the recommendation of Symon’s primary care veterinarian, Dr. Georgesen of Blum Animal Hospital, Kristen made an appointment with IPC. Symon met with Dr. Deanne Zenoni and Emma Widmark who created a treatment program that consisted twice weekly visits that focused on pain management and strengthening therapies.
Symon was suspicious of therapy at first, but soon learned that it meant lots of treats! His therapists taught his mom massage techniques and exercises she could do at home, which is something they still do to this day. After his initial 8 weeks of therapy, Dr. Zenoni thought he felt so good that he could go down to once weekly visits. Symon is now on a maintenance plan that consists of weekly underwater treadmill sessions and monthly acupuncture and therapeutic exercise & laser therapies.
“Symon is a super senior! I’m continually amazed by his abilities and efforts during his therapy sessions given his diagnosis. If I worked as hard as Sy does for a few lousy cheerios, I’d be in much better shape!” -Laura Krill
“As Sy is turning 14 this month, we are so incredibly grateful to have the support from our friends at IPC! I truly believe that Sy has the strength because of our therapy routine.” -Kristen, Symon’s mom
“Symon has done so well since starting therapy. He loves coming to see all of us, though he isn’t convinced the needles are necessary! He puts on a brave face and settles his head on his om’s lap while his acupuncture makes his back feel better.” -Dr. Zenoni
Kristen has had him since he was two months old and says he is the ultimate best buddy! “He is incredibly in tune with humans and his surroundings. I never have to worry about him wondering away because he always keeps tabs on me. He loves to be loved AND food treats!! He has managed to break into groceries and packaged food many times over the years…”
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Symon has asked us to tell you about CRISP.
CRISP is a new initiative that will pool the resources of eight local rescues to work in concert with Chicago Animal Care and Control to provide assistance and support for pet owners in need, divert owner surrendered animals to accredited rescues, and ultimately reduce the number of dogs surrendered at Chicago Animal Care and Control.
There are many rehab modalities that contribute to a good quality of life for your pet, one of which is massage. This hands-on approach can offer numerous benefits and is used to help with pain management, recovery from surgery and even as a way to strengthen the bond between owner and pet.
Ares was born in the Czech Republic on January 12, 2006 and was selected to come to the United States to be a police dog later that year. Ares and his handler John were partnered up in early 2007 and to went through a six week training program at the Cook County Sheriff’s Training Facility. Ares’ little brother Jake was adopted a year later and the two quickly became best friends!
After many years of hard work and service to the police department, Ares was having some occasional difficulties. After visits to the vet and an MRI, it was determined that Ares has four herniated discs in his back and neck. He was given some medication and was told to “take it easy”. Ares, however, was not ready to take it easy, nor was he ready to retire from the police department.
Ryno was adopted in 2005 from Chicago Animal Care and Control when he was 18 months old. He lived a relatively normal life until he was injured in a grooming accident in 2010. After two unsuccessful surgeries to repair his left rear leg, he developed a massive infection and a large ulcer and it was determined that they leg had to be amputated. After two weeks, Ryno slowly adjusted to life as a tripod. He was able to figure out how to squat, run and walk up a flight of stairs without assistance. His resilience enabled him to persevere and never look back.
It can be very stressful to see your pet in pain and be unsure about what to do for them. Equally stressful is not knowing IF your pet is in pain. Identifying the (sometimes mysterious) symptoms in our pets is the first step to getting them back on track and doing the things that they love with their family. Here is a great resource from the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management that can help you identify some of the warning signs of pain/discomfort in your pet. Should you notice any of these symptoms or your pet is behaving in way that is out of the ordinary, please contact your veterinarian for an assessment of your pet.
“Bayou will be 8 years old in September. He is a Puggle = pug + beagle. Bayou has three reasons to wake up every
keep an eye on what happens in front of our house
and to nap.
Everyone is a potential threat to us whether they be a little girl with glittery fairy wings or a kid with a clip board trying to sell windows, Bayou makes sure to let all know that he is on the job.
The eating and napping part of his day make it difficult for him to keep a svelte figure. We are constantly battling his appetite, much like his owner! We came to IPC (and Colonial Manor Animal Hospital) because Bayou hurt his back.
I was excited to see that IPC was in the very town I live in, because I was reading people were driving some pretty decent distances to use this facility.
I took Bayou into the vet to have his pain assessed. At his first visit Bayou yelped in agony as I carried him into the office. He definitely let his presence be known! The vet tweaked the pain medications and started Adequan injections. Unfortunately, Bayou’s pain was so severe I couldn’t get him to eat, so I could not get him to take any pills. This dog turned down bacon wrapped in cheese! No pain pills meant we had another horrible night. By horrible I mean neither of us slept, he panted heavily all night long, and at one point sat up and pooped out blood. The pain meds just ravaged his intestinal tract. I took him back to CM, in the back of my mind thinking I might have to put my boy down.
If it was possible, he was worse at our second visit to CM than our first the day before. This time the vet suggested I leave him with them for a few hours so they could put him on something intravenously. He ended up spending Friday through Monday in the animal hospital. I spoke with the vets several times each day and they were very encouraged by the progress Bayou was making. It just so happened that Bayou’s IPC appointment was Monday morning. Because the two businesses are in the same building, the vet from IPC was able to see Bayou without having to move him.
By Monday Bayou’s pain was gone but so was almost all muscle mass. He was like a little sack of potatoes. I found out during our first visit with Dr. Amber that a technician called her after our first visit to Colonial Manor to tell her about Bayou. Dr. Amber was on vacation, I believe in Virginia, when she received the call! Monday was Dr. Amber’s first day back in the office and she knew all about Bayou.
At that first visit Bayou was assessed by Dr. Amber and Valerie and they came up with a four week plan for his initial rehabilitation. He mostly received muscle massage and acupuncture. Dr. Amber also prescribed a strong pain medication for Bayou to take at home – his pain was managed and he was finally comfortable. He received physical therapy twice weekly and was in Colonial Manor for Adequan injections twice weekly over a four week period.
EVERYONE knew who Bayou was! It was four weeks before Bayou was able to walk into the IPC office on his own. Bayou is a perfect example of how medicine and physical therapy work together to make miracles. People who saw him at his worse and see him now call him the miracle puppy. We all wish we had video of him at his first visit to show the comparison to where he is now. Bayou has lost a few pounds, is pain free, and I have to say is filled with more spit and vinegar than before all of this happened. After another four weeks of muscle strengthening Bayou has completed his physical therapy. I’m just so happy to have my boy back.”
-Bayou’s mom, Debbie
“Bayou came to us with such severe pain suspected from intervertebral disc disease that he could hardly move. We immediately started him on a course of treatment that included acupuncture, manual therapy and therapeutic exercises along with medication to address his pain. With each visit, Bayou was moving and feeling better. By the end of his 8-week treatment plan, Bayou was no longer taking any medication for pain, had lost 2 ½ pounds and was running, jumping and back to his old self. He is a great example of a successful integrative approach to pain relief and intervertebral disc disease.”
– Amber Ihrke DVM, CCRT, CVA, CVSMT
“I remember first meeting Bayou and he was not moving because he was in so much pain. His owner had to carry him to and from therapy. Initially, I used manual techniques to release the trigger points and muscle spasms along his back and shoulder muscles. Slowly, I watched Bayou become less painful and start to move around more each session. I will never forget the day I walked in to greet Bayou for his session and he walked up greeting me with his tail wagging. I was shocked and did not recognize Bayou. I could not believe how quickly his pain levels were managed with pain meds, manual techniques and acupuncture. He then continued with his underwater treadmill and
exercise sessions and by the end of his therapy, Bayou was running around without showing any signs of pain.”
-Valerie Williams, PT, DPT, ATRIC, CCRP
“When I first saw Bayou in his initial, he was so miserable. He was in severe pain that his owner could not control. I did not see him again until 4 weeks later when he started exercises and did not even realize it was the same dog! He came running into the gym happy and excited to work. It was an amazing turn around. By the end of his sessions I had a hard time keeping up with him.”
Lola first came into Ashley’s life in 2000, when she spotted her ‘on sale’ at a local pet shop since she was not up to breeding or show dog standards. All that mattered to Ashley is that she was so stinking cute! Lola led the only child life until 2010 when Wednesday entered the picture. Ashley had just started looking for another dog when she came across Wednesday’s picture online and knew she had to have her. What made this adoption so special? Wednesday was diagnosed with cancer and her prognosis was unsure. None of that phased Ashley; she just wanted her to live the rest of her days comfortably in a home. Well 3 surgeries and 2 rounds of chemo later and we are happy to report that Wednesday has been cancer free for 4 years!
Wednesday first came to IPC 5 years ago when her mom Ashley sought alternative treatment for back pain she had been experiencing. Wednesday was started on a weekly program that included underwater treadmill, therapeutic exercise, laser therapy, acupuncture & chiropractic sessions. Wednesday soon became stable enough to graduate to a maintenance plan! She still comes every other week for exercise & underwater treadmill and sees Dr. Zenoni every 2 months for an acupuncture & chiropractic session.
“IPC has helped Wednesday stay pain free and able to be her crazy happy go lucky self. She has had 1 flare up of her back. I got her right into you all and she was on her way back to normal after just 1 visit.” –Ashley, Wednesday & Lola’s mom
Lola always came for emotional support to Wednesday sessions, but as she got older and after seeing how Wednesday improved with rehabilitative therapy, Ashley brought Lola in for an evaluation with Dr. Zenoni. Lola melts during her massage/laser sessions and gobbles up peanut butter during her acupuncture & chiropractic treatments.
“I love seeing Wednesday & Lola in the clinic. Their can-do spirit is inspiring.” -Doris
Lola can often be found wandering around the exercise room, scrounging for treats while Wednesday works out! She can also be heard in the hydro room barking for treats while Wednesday walks in the treadmill. We love Lola’s antics and diva personality!
Lola slowly started losing her eyesight, and is now blind at 16 years old. Her blindness has brought many new challenges to the table, but that doesn’t stop this trio. They still go to the beach and take walks, but Ashley just has to keep a close eye on Lola so she doesn’t run into or fall off anything. Lola has also developed anxiety, but medication and being by Wednesday’s side has helped. Wednesday still takes care of Lola by licking her face, but has recently started challenging Lola for the queen position in the house- something that Lola is not ready to give up yet!
“Lola & Wednesday may have been through a lot, but Ashley’s diligence has really helped their quality of life” -Dr. Deanne Zenoni
Make a Difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign.” Wednesday & Lola have asked us to tell you about Guardian Angel Basset Rescue.
“The basics of Guardian Angel Basset Rescue are simple – GABR rescues Basset Hounds from Illinois, Eastern Missouri and Indiana that find themselves in bad situations. We are a 501c3 charitable organization.”
Hippie first came to IPC last August when he started having trouble walking and experiencing back pain. He was on pain medication, but his primary care veterinarian thought he could benefit from IPC’s integrative approach. Fast forward 9 months and he is no longer on pain medication and is RUNNING (yes, running) in the park!
Hippe & Susan’s father comforting each other
Hippie’s story starts 17 years ago, when he was given to Susan’s 95 year old father as a 3 month old puppy in hopes that he would bring him joy & good days, which of course he did! He was a bit of a wild child who was socially gifted, but didn’t care for the structure of obedience class. Hippie enjoyed living with Susan’s father for 2 years until he went into hospice care. Hippie provided him with love, affection, and entertainment until the very end. Hippie then moved to Chicago and Susan spoiled him rotten- he often went to the beach, forest preserves, and even camping!
Enjoying one of his favorite activities with a friend
Hippie has slowed down over the years, but that hasn’t stopped him from loving life. He still goes for 3 mile walks everyday and knows just where to stop for treats. He may start off a little pokey, but he picks up the pace after a 1/2 mile! While relaxing at home, he enjoys watching T.V. (as long as no animals are featured) and loves taking a snooze on the back of a chair or couch. Liver and kidney issues have stopped him from enjoying various treats, but he’s just as into his prescription kibble!
Hippie & Dr. Starr during acupuncture
Hippie has been diligently coming twice weekly to IPC for the past 9 months, never going any longer than a few days without treatment. He starts off with a combo session of therapeutic exercise & laser and then eagerly waits for his massage. Once a week Hippie receives acupuncture, which he enjoys as long as food is involved!
“When we need to leave for IPC, I tell him Hippie, ‘massage’ and he jumps right up & is eager to go!” -Susan
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Hippie has asked us to tell you about Bialy’s Wellness Foundation.
Providing families and rescue organizations with special needs animals the equipment, medical care, rehabilitative therapy, training, resources and support necessary to optimize the quality of life of their wonderful animals. Our mission is only possible from the generosity of our supporters. Bialy’s Wellness Foundation’s goal is to provide assistance to our sponsored animals for life.
Sizzle is a 4 1/2 year old Keeshond. She had FHO (Femoral Head Osteotomy) surgery when she was 4 months old and went through rehab
with Dr. Lisa Starr afterwards. She somehow reinjured that area while in the yard on 7-31-15.
“We’ve been working with Dr. Starr ever since because Sizzle is a very competitive in Obedience and Agility. Sizzle was in so much pain that Dr. Starr told us she could get her out of pain, but didn’t know if she would ever be able to do performance events again. We wanted to be able to get Sizzle back to doing what she loves.
Sizzle shows in the top level of Agility and is half way to her Master Agility Championship (MACH). Prior to her injury, she was also ready to show in the top level of Obedience after earning many placements in Obedience trials. It has been a long recovery since we want to get her back to such a competitive level.
Everyone at IPC has been wonderful! Sizzle loves to come to her appointments! She is very happy to be able to play with our other dogs again. Hopefully, she will be able to enter a dock diving competition next summer. Great news for us is that Sizzle gets to show in an Agility Trial in mid-January at a lower jump height!
I want to give a special thanks to Dr. Lisa Starr and Katie Sulzmann for all their hard work. They are the best!!! We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.”
“Sizzle and her Mom, Joy, are such a wonderful team to work with! Joy is so dedicated to making sure Sizzle is comfortable, fit, and able to enjoy life with all of the zest she brings to it. After Sizzle re-injured her left hip in early August of this year, we were concerned about whether she would be able to resume agility again since she had an FHO surgery on that hip as a puppy. Through Joy’s dedication to Sizzle’s massage, stretching, and strengthening exercises at home as well as bringing her in regularly for her physical rehabilitation sessions, we are thrilled to see Sizzle looking stronger than ever on her left hind leg. We’ll all be cheering them on as they plan a return to the agility ring later this month!”
-Dr. Starr, Sizzle’s IPC vet
“I have had the pleasure of doing Sizzle’s underwater treadmill and laser therapies since August. When I started working with her she was partially weight bearing on her left rear leg and was in quite a bit of pain. But she has made tremendous progress! She is performing advanced exercises in the underwater treadmill and is now able to resume her and her mom’s favorite activity, Agility! There is not a treatment session that goes by where Sizzle doesn’t impress me. Nor is there a session that goes by where she doesn’t make me laugh from her spunky personality.”
Midwest Canine Connection is a 501(c)(3) (pending) non-profit, no-kill, volunteer-run animal rescue. We are dedicated to rescuing animals from shelters that have a high-risk of euthanasia due to overpopulation.