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.
Mosby first came to Integrative Pet Care a year ago at the recommendation of a friend who had come for years with their Great Dane. Mosby was getting weaker in his hind limbs and there was some worry that he was painful. He met with Dr. Ridley who devised a custom rehabilitation program which included pain management modalities: laser, massage and acupuncture. Exercises were then introduced to start strengthening his hind limbs. When Dr. Ridley felt he was strong enough, he started the underwater treadmill!
“Before coming to Integrative, Mosby had trouble standing on hardwood floors (his back legs would slide apart), had trouble going down stairs – sometimes falling, and was just generally unstable on his feet. Now Mosby stands and walks great on wood floors (generally avoiding the yoga mats we have sown for him) and gets down the stairs well on his own. He is more playful and has more energy. He even jump into our bed and into the car on occasion – even when we are trying to keep him from doing so!” -David, Mosby’s dad
Mosby has continually done well with his therapies! He now has weekly sessions of either underwater treadmill and exercise/laser and acupuncture.
“Mosby’s typical day starts off by getting up early and dragging me down the stairs to get breakfast. Then he likes to lounge around the house, mostly on his bench in the front window where he can keep an eye on things and go crazy barking at the occasional cat of rabbit. During this time he gets a couple walks which he finds very exciting, then after a nice nap I come home and it’s time for dinner. After dinner he basically naps until bedtime where he (usually) waits for me to put him in bed with Cathy and I even though he will eventually get down and sleep the rest of the night in his favorite chair.” -David
“Watching Mosby’s improvement over the past year has been incredibly rewarding. He has gone from slipping on the floors and walking wobbly to doing a sit up and beg all on his own, which is not an easy task!” -Laura, Mosby’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Mosby has asked us to tell you about CRISP.
CRISP provides free services to help Chicago pet owners keep their pets rather than surrendering them. And if we can’t help you find a way to keep your pet, our network of Chicago dog and cat lovers will help you place them immediately with a rescue group or no-kill shelter to bypass the city shelter completely.
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.
Sasha is a 15 year old chow mix who first pranced through our doors hoping to find relief for her arthritis which was starting to slow her down about 5 years ago. She was prescribed a treatment plan which consisted of twice weekly strengthening modalities such as resistance pool and exercise, as well as acupuncture, massage and laser therapy which were used for pain management. Sasha began to improve, so she was put on a once weekly program and underwater treadmill was added.
Her mom Beth gave us history on Sasha, as well as a glimpse into her daily life: “I went to the Anti-Cruelty Society on Grand Ave. in May 2003 because they had advertised some cute puppies on the news. I told myself I wouldn’t adopt unless a dog really made an impression on my heart. When I got there, all the puppies were gone so I took a lap around all the cages. None of them seemed right for me. As I was leaving I took a look in the waiting area and spotted a lady and her son playing with a little peach fuzzball. That lady had my dog! As fate would have it, they put her back. I swooped in and took her from her cage and sat with her. She was mine from the first moment and has been my precious best friend for 15 years.
Sasha starts pacing at 6:30am which is my alarm clock. I start my coffee and line up her many pills to shove down the chute (she doesn’t fall for the “pills wrapped in something yummy trick”). She’s loaded into the wagon for a ride to the park to see her neighborhood friends. (She can’t walk to the park and back anymore so we need a little help from the wagon everyday). Once we’re done socializing and I get ready for work, she’s off to daycare (Pooch hotel) where she gladly comes to hang out with her “school friends.” She hangs there while I work. I pick her up, get her daily report and head home in time for dinner. It’s a long day for her so she snoozes most of the evening, gets endless kisses and hugs from mom, a couple chews on her beloved bully sticks, with her ice packs on her back and the Assisi loop targeted at her poor joints. Last pills of the day and off to bed.
Sasha has had joint issues, elbows and rear legs since she was 6 yrs old. She had a TPLO surgery on back right leg, cruciate ligament on left rear leg, an elbow replacement on her front right elbow and two arthroscopic procedures in her left front elbow to remove bone fragments from osteoarthritis. Needless to say my girl has had a rough go on all four legs— mobility and limited pain relief options—brought our Vet to recommend IPC. And I’m so glad she did!
With Sasha’s all four limbs being affected with stiffness and pain and her limited options with pain medications, we had to explore other ways to manage her pain and assist her with mobility so she can live her best life. Sasha immediately fell in love with Emma and will do anything she asks Sasha to do and Dr. Zenoni has given Sasha such care. Sasha has done water treadmill, laser therapy, floor exercises, laser therapy, tens machine and acupuncture. Regardless of the therapy, Sasha is willing to try it all if Emma and her I ask her to. Liver treats don’t hurt either!
IPC has been a godsend and a necessary part of her life for the last 3 years.
Sasha has beaten the odds all her life. Within a month of adopting her at 10 weeks old, she contracted parvovirus and was given a 50/50 chance of survival. It was a rough beginning but she made it through and has withstood 10 surgeries for her many joint and other ailments throughout her life. Through it all, she has faced every hurdle with bravery, sweetness and some of that Chow stubbornness. I’ve learned so much about life and myself through her eyes and in a blink 15 years has passed by. I thank God everyday that she’s my girl—I just couldn’t have pictured my life without her.”
Sasha is a special lady who I look forward to seeing every week. She has been through so much and I’m proud to be part of her team! -Emma, Sasha’s therapist
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Since she is a sassy senior herself, Sasha has asked us to tell you about Young at Heart.
Young at Heart’s mission is to rescue and rehome senior dogs and cats, to educate the public on the benefits of adopting older pets and their care, and to reduce the euthanasia rate for adoptable senior pets.
Dallas is a sweet, seven year old pit mix who started coming to IPC over a year ago. She had been diagnosed with chronic Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) tears in both knees and her mom Harmony was looking for an alternative to surgery. She met with Dr. Zenoni and Lindsey for an evaluation and since she was stable at the time, a treatment plan was prescribed. Unfortunately Dallas re-injured her left leg and surgery was ultimately recommended.
Dallas had a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) procedure on her left knee and came back to IPC shortly after to restart therapy. Dallas came twice weekly for therapies that included laser, massage, exercise, and underwater treadmill. Dallas did great with her therapies and genuinely loved coming!
“We have been coming to IPC for a year now, and not only has it helped Dallas through therapy, but been such a big help with me as a dog mom- I have learned so much. Dallas has done amazing with her progress, and had fun with it.” -Harmony
Since Dallas recovered so well after her left TPLO surgery, it was decided that she should have her right knee done as well in January. So again, Dallas came back to us immediately after surgery and started the process over again. Dallas looks fantastic, but still comes regularly as part of our maintenance club.
Harmony told about when she first met Dallas: “On Christmas Day 2012 my brothers and I were heading to a movie. As we were circling the parking lot we almost hit a dog passing through. WE stopped and got her to come over to us. She had clearly been on the streets for some time, she was malnourished, had some open wounds and clearly just run down. We were able to give her some water and a passerby gave us a McDonalds cheeseburger to give her. We took her home to my mom’s house and kept her in the garage for a few days while we slowly tried to integrate her pack of ten dogs. The following April after trying to find a home for her to no avail. My step dad called me and said “come get your dog,” as I had very clearly bonded with her from the beginning and the visit I had a couple months after we found her. So April of 2013, I flew to California and we made our way to Chicago, and started and tradition of cross country road trips that we love to take together.”
Today Dallas is back to being her normal self. “She loves to take 3-4 walks a day. We love to walk down the street and sit outside the bakery and soak up the morning sun. She very often accompanies me on running errands. Now that the weather has broken and her knee has healed we LOVE to go on different adventures at the forest preserves. Every summer we take a road trip to Colorado to visit family and stay at our family cabin in the mountains. Once she gets the green light she will be back at K9 University for daycare playing with all of her friends, or heading to the dog park.” -Harmony
“It’s so much fun to work with Dallas. She has an opinion about everything and prefers belly rubs to sitting still for massage, but she always works hard and comes back for more. She’s regrown almost all of her muscle back after two TPLO surgeries, and I couldn’t be more proud of her!” –Lindsey, Dallas’ therapist and biggest fan
Creating safe and humane communities by inspiring positive relationships between people and animals. Safe Humane is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
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.
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
“I first brought Frango to IPC in 2005 for a consult to rule out pain as a reason for his aggression. X-rays revealed that while his hips were not the best, they weren’t the worst either. Due to his young age, it was too soon to determine if he had Hip Dysplasia and after a few visits, anything orthopedic was ruled out as a reason for his aggression. We continued to work with a trainer and strengthened our bond through sports like agility and retrieving.
In 2010, Frango started to refuse stairs and diagnostics revealed that he did indeed have hip dysplasia. He also developed both Osteochondrosis Dissecans and Biceps Tenosynovitis in his right shoulder, which may have been due to overcompensating during his high impact activities. Frango took a break from sports and returned to Integrative Pet Care to start a 10 week treatment ‘pre-hab’ program that included twice weekly resistance pool and laser therapy sessions. Frango then had surgery on his right shoulder and bore weight the day after surgery, amazing everyone, even his surgeon!
Post surgery, he was prescribed an 8 week program which consisted of resistance pool, laser therapy, and therapeutic exercise. After completion, he continued coming every 2 weeks for resistance pool and monthly chiropractic adjustments.
Unfortunately Frango injured his left knee by slipping going up the stairs in January 2017. He no longer seemed to benefit from the resistance pool, so Dr. Megan Ridley created a new a new treatment program which consisted of weekly underwater treadmill, laser therapy sessions. He was also fitted for a Help ‘Em Up Harness which helped prevent further injury to his knee on the stairs or getting in and out of the car. I was concerned that Frango would miss the pool, but he excelled on the Underwater Treadmill, loving the massage jets on his hind end! Then in the Summer, Frango headed to the pool which was the first time he had done this in awhile, so we started alternating underwater treadmill and resistance pool sessions.
IPC has helped to maximize Frango’s strength and endurance for many years. It prepared him for a major surgery and promoted the positive outcomes & helped ease his transition into retirement by keeping him conditioned and allowed his ability to still participate in low impact sports. Frango’s visits to IPC are the highlight of his week! The treatment he receives gives him the chance to feel like Mr. Big Stuff.
Frango’s life has become pretty mellow. He goes for walks twice daily and sleeps the day away waiting for my husband and I to return home from work. He’s ready for a treat every time we come or go and anytime in between! Anytime I’m working in the kitchen he is at my side playing ‘sous chef’. And when my husband and I relax on the couch at night, he solicits his booty massages.
Now Frango is battling against Cancer. A tumor was discovered on his left anal sac and had spread to his lymph nodes. He will undergo removal of a lymph node as well as the tumor on his anal sac and then go through chemotherapy. I know we can count on our friends at IPC to help ease any pain and discomfort he may encounter during the treatment. I also know that all of the conditioning Frango has done at IPC through the years has helped make him a resilient, strong dog and has prepared him well for this, his final battle.”
Retrieving Freedom, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to training service dogs to help people. Our three primary focuses are training dogs to serve the needs of veterans, children with autism and individuals living with diabetes.
Live Like Roo, a 501C3 organization, provides support and financial assistance to families whose pet faces a cancer diagnosis. Our mission is that together, you and your pet will #LiveLikeRoo.
Hayde is an 11 year old Labrador whose high energy was initially directed toward hunting drills and trick training (she learned over 50 commands). “At 2 years old, she had already become a phenomenal hunting dog; able to put her game face on and get right to business. Even at 10 years old, she was still able to go full tilt for a week, jumping game in marshes, teaching her 2-year-old sister a thing or two about drive. Many a times we had to drag the stubborn mule out of the canoe at the end of the day as she just didn’t want to stop.
While hunting is her passion (and, strangely, licking freshly caught fish), she soon became a running partner in the off season, helping train for over a dozen marathons. During this, Hayde would reach a maximum distance of 19 miles only to come home and head straight to the back yard to play.” -Jeremy, Hayde’s owner
On April 27th, Hayde was out for a run with her sister when she was clipped by a car bumper. Her pelvis was completed shattered, so she had surgery at VCA Aurora Animal Hospital. Soon after surgery, Hayde met with Dr. Amber Irke and Valerie at Integrative Pet Care in Homer Glen where a multi-modal 12 week program was created.
“When I first met Hayde her owners had to carry her in on a board because she could not walk or stand. Our first focus was to control her pain, so her owners were instructed on how to correctly use a TENS unit every day at home. She also received manual therapy sessions to decrease her muscle spasms and increase her hip range of motion.
Within two and half weeks Hayde went from being carried on a board to walking with a little help. She continued to make remarkable gains through the use of laser therapy and the underwater treadmill. She now walks around by herself and has returned to regular, long walks with her owners. I truly believe that without rehab Hayde would not have progressed so quickly and regained her ability to walk and play like she was able to before her accident.” – Valerie Williams
IPC Homer Glen initially helped to get Hayde’s pain under control so we could begin rehab exercises. Over the next few months IPC Homer Glen worked with Hayde and taught us the exercises needed to get her strength and flexibility back so she could eventually get back to standing, walking, and, finally, running. Most importantly Hayde could be herself again. -Jeremy
“Hayde’s story is truly inspirational. Watching the improvements, she made every week is a testament to the canine spirit. She never let anything slow her down and I’m so happy she is able to go back to doing what she loves, running with her parents” says therapist Katie Neforos.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Hayde has asked us to tell you about the adoptable dogs through The Dog District.
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.