“Ella was originally found on the side of the road by a good Samaritan as a 3 pound, 5-week-old puppy and brought to DuPage County Animal Control. They quickly realized that she was deaf, as she would sleep through all the commotion of animal control in her kennel, not noticing when people walked up and talked to her. I happened to be in the building on the day she arrived and just fell in love with her little face. Patrick and I agreed to foster her for the rescue I was with at the time, thinking it would not take her long to be adopted, and we picked her up on a Friday. By Saturday’s adoption event, she had already decided we were meant to be her parents and she would cry and search for us if anyone else tried to hold her. We adopted her on Monday, joining her big sister Sophia. Ella was an incredibly smart puppy, quickly picking up sign language.
Two days after she graduated from puppy 1 positive reinforcement basic obedience training, at 3.5 months old, she was attacked by a neighbor dog. Ella had her paws up on a chain link fence while the neighbors were petting her. The dog charged at Ella pulling her front left leg up and through the fence, where he viciously shook her around resulting in a broken radius and ulna, 28 puncture wounds, a ripped off paw pad, 6 broken teeth, and the equivalent of shaken baby syndrome. Ella was immediately rushed to first her primary vet and then transferred to the emergency vet where the orthopedic surgeon could repair her leg with a plate and screws. With 3 months of casts being changed every 3-4 days, 24/7 care provided by family and friends and 2 additional surgeries Ella recovered. Unfortunately, the growth plate in her ulna closed prematurely while the radius continued to grow causing a deformity in her leg where the foot points outward.
As she grew, the out-turned foot became more and more pronounced. She was doing very well until she was about 18 months old, when we started noticing less use of her bad leg and signs of pain. Around the same time, she began coughing up/vomiting almost every day after or during busy play, and collapsing onto the floor – appearing similar to heat stroke. We made an appointment with Dr. Harres at All Pets Hospital to address her leg and the vomiting concerns. When no apparent cause was found for the vomiting, he took an x-ray of her leg, which showed a lot of arthritis in her elbow and wrist, the start of fusion in her joints and between the bones, and a hole where one of her bones never healed. He then made the connection that perhaps she was vomiting and collapsing due to pain in the leg and sent us Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen to evaluate options for Ella.” -Stephanie, Ella’s mom
“Ella came to us at 18 months old after a severe injury to her left front leg. She exhibited lameness and pain that leg when she was playing and disliked anyone touching her leg. With a treatment plan of hydrotherapy, manual therapy and therapeutic exercises, Ella has improved weight bearing on her right front leg, has no issues with playing and will now allow petting of her leg. Ella is a great example of pain modulation through rehabilitation.” -Amber Ihrke, DVM, CCRT, CVA, CVSMT
“Integrative Pet Care has been wonderful for our family, by providing resources, information, and high-quality care. It is comforting to see how much the therapists enjoy working with Ella.” -Stephanie
“Ella is an amazing case of how rehab can help to break the pain cycle in a dog. During the initial evaluation, we had a difficult time trying to exam her because she was protective of her limb. We slowly gained her trust through manual therapy and instructed her owner how to perform massage techniques at home. Ella also began walking in the underwater treadmill which allowed her to weight bear more on her limb with decreased pain compared to land. Over the past several weeks, Ella has allowed us to now touch her elbow and front limb without any reaction. Her owners report how she now reaches with the injured limb and they have shown us video of her jumping on and off the couches landing on her left front limb. Ella does not demonstrate any lameness during her gait and besides her mobility improving, she no longer guards or protects her left front leg like we saw during her initial evaluation. Ella can also do “high five” with her injured limb. We just love seeing Ella during her therapy sessions and I’m so happy about how much she has regained through rehab.” -Valerie Williams, PT, DPT, ATRIC, CCRP
“When Ella first came to us, she was very uncomfortable with her left front leg and did not want it to be touched. As she continued through her program and began to feel better you could see her come out of her shell. It was great to see how much happier she was. At the start, Ella would run and hide from us and by her last session she was jumping into my arms and giving me kisses.” -Katie Dunbar CVT, CCRA
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Ella has asked us to tell you about a brand new rescue that her mom started, Wish Upon A Rescue which is currently working to raise$5000 to begin saving cats and dogs in need. (website coming soon!)
Paulina was picked up, along with a sibling, as a stray from California. Even though she and her sister were marked as a bonded pair, which means the shelter likes to have them rescued together, another rescue took her sister and left her behind. The reason? She could barely walk as her back legs could not bend. Chicagoland Eskie Rescue brought her to Chicago where Dr. Aaron Jackson of MedVet Chicago, diagnosed and performed the surgery for bilateral grade 4/4 luxating patellas. After 8 weeks of pen rest, MedVet Chicago recommended Integrative Pet Care for her rehabilitation.
“When we first began with IPC, Paulina would not use her back left leg and did not have the leg strength to walk on hardwood floors. IPC worked with Paulina for 10 weeks. Her therapies included exercise, laser, underwater treadmill, and chiropractic sessions, as well as daily at-home sessions with her foster family. Paulina now walks (and runs) with all four legs and her muscle mass has increased significantly, allowing her to handle hardwood flooring like a champ!” -Chicagoland Eskie Rescue
“The doctors and staff at Integrative are some of the best in the business. They genuinely care for each animal, set realistic goals for the patients and support the owners throughout the entire process.”
“Paulina’s positive attitude and high energy has made working with her very easy! She enjoys doing her therapeutic exercises, especially when she gets freeze dried liver!” -Anna Alberth, CVT, CCRA
“Paulina came to us after having bilateral lateral luxation stabilization surgery. At the time of her Initial Evaluation she was front loading and not bearing much weight on her rear legs. Her response to therapies has been tremendous and she is finally bearing 99% weight on her hind legs! Thanks to the dedication of the rescue Paulina is ready to find her furever home!” -Dr. Arlene Rodriguez, DVM, CCRT
“After a rigorous rehab program we are proud to say Paulina is now taking applications for her furever home! Paulina’s temperament is pure love. Her favorite things to do include belly rubs and walks, which she never was able to enjoy before her surgery. She gets along with other dogs, but would also be a great dog for someone with limited dog experience. For more information or to request an application, please email us at CERApplications@gmail.com.”
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Paulina has asked us to tell you about Chicagoland Eskie Rescue.
Chicagoland Eskie Rescue, specializing in American Eskimo Dog Rescue & Re-Homing was established in January of 2008. The rescue is a recognized 501(c)(3)Non-Profit Organization that is made up entirely of volunteers who are dedicated to provide shelter, care, vetting and an adoption program for abandoned and relinquished American Eskimo Dogs.
Pugsley is a super handsome senior fellow who has a zest for life. Based on his smiling face you would never guess he had a rough start to life. He was unfortunately hit by a car prior to being surrendered to the Northern Illinois Pug Rescue & Adoption (NIPRA) in August of 2013. When he was placed in his forever home, his new family noticed his many problems and tended to them right away. Pugsley wobbled a lot, could not walk for more than a few feet without collapsing in the rear, could not potty without falling, and did not enjoy taking morning walks. Fortunately his neurologist, Dr. Belinda Comito at Veterinary Specialty Center recommended starting rehabilitation, and the rest is history!
If you’re thinking about adopting a pet, you may want to consider adopting a senior dog or cat. Sadly, seniors spend the most amount of time at the shelter and have a higher rate of euthanasia. Although some people may be deterred because they feel they won’t have as much time with their companion, older animals have a lot to offer!
“Hennessey came to Four Paws Animal Foundation at 10 weeks of age from Chicago Animal Care & Control where he was listed as a stray; unable to urinate on his own, impacted bowel and possible paralysis of his back legs. After a complete and thorough exam by our own veterinary clinic, where x-rays were also taken, it was determined that 2 vertebrae (one of which was fractured) were pinching his spine and blocking signals to his brain. We decided the best course of action would be for him to have an evaluation and course of treatment by Integrative Pet Care of Hanover Park once we felt he was strong enough. We are so happy that he has responded to Acupuncture, Laser and Exercise treatments and has improved greatly as evidenced by him being able to stand on his own even for a short time. With another course of treatment and continuing exercises at home we hope he will eventually be able to walk on his own but for now we are so encouraged by his progress. Thank you to the wonderful staff and IPC Hanover Park!”
It’s no secret that this handsome guy is a favorite around our clinic. From his sweet smile, silly personality and can-do attitude, Blue is an all around fantastic patient! We first met Blue when his mom was searching for alternative treatments for a partial tear of his cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Blue’s heart condition did not make him the best candidate for surgery so Dr. Ridley started him on a rehabilitation program that included therapeutic exercise, therapeutic laser & therapeutic massage. Blue was doing really well and his weight bearing improved, but his active lifestyle made it difficult to fully heal and it eventually led to a suspected partial tear in his other CCL!
“We heard nothing but great things about IPC and he loves going there for therapies!”
–Cara, Blue’s mom
Blue’s mom inquired about a stifle brace to stabilize his knees since surgery was not an option. IPC had just partnered with OrthoPets, and an assessment proved that a brace would be appropriate for Blue! Blue was so patient for the original casting and cooperated like a champ during all the fittings and adjustments. It took some time for him to get used to wearing his braces, but in time he learned he could walk, sit and even lay down in them!
Since Blue adapted pretty well to his left brace, it was determined that a right brace would be a good option. Blue took to have 2 braces right away and has been doing great with them ever since!
“I adore working with Blue! He is such a hard worker and happy guy despite having knee issues; he NEVER lets that affect his personality. He comes in with a wiggling butt and thousands of kisses to give. I always look forward to working with him!” -Laura, Blue’s therapist.
The best part of his braces? Blue can still do all the things he loved to do before getting injured, like walking on the 606! Blue’s other favorite activities include: chewing on antlers & chuck-it balls, lounging in the sun, snuggling on the couch, and just being around other dogs.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Blue has asked us to tell you about 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.
“Hobbes joined our family when he was approximately 4 months old and just melted the whole family’s hearts. He is originally from Chicago Animal Care and Control. Hobbes had a rough start as a puppy, being very scared of such a big world. He was not the most social butterfly to others, but he is towards his family. Hobbes enjoys going swimming in a nearby Lake Bode and going for long walks.
At 8 years old Hobbes was diagnosed with a cruciate tear in his right rear leg. He had a surgery called Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy, also known as TPLO in October of 2015 by Dr. Bernard Paré at the Hanover Park Animal Care Center. After recovering from the surgery we began therapies at Integrative Pet Care of Hanover Park. Hobbes initially was seen by Dr. LoGiudice and we started therapies coming one to two times a week, but now he is currently on a maintenance program of Underwater Treadmill weekly, Laser Therapy every other week and periodic Chiropractic adjustments.
Starting off, Hobbes was very nervous and seemed unsure of his surroundings, but after going one to two times a week for therapies he became much more comfortable with everyone.
I believe he now looks forward to his Saturday therapies with Anna and any other days with Katie, Dr. LoGiudice, Dr. Starr and Dr. Rodriguez. I truly appreciate everyone’s patience with him before he became so comfortable and with helping get him back on his feet and on the road to recovery. ”
– Shannon Patton
“It has been such a pleasure working with Shannon and Hobbes. His mobility, weight bearing, and muscle mass have been steadily improving with physical rehabilitation since his TPLO surgery. As an additional bonus, it has been such a joy watching his confidence grow and seeing how happy he is coming to visit us for his sessions. “
– Lisa Starr DVM, CCRP, CVA, CVSMT
“Hobbes is a great example of a “lucky dog”. Lucky to have been rescued to and from Chicago Animal Care & Control and adopted by his “mom” Shannon. Her patience and love gave them that wonderful “human-animal bond”. Hobbes obviously trusts Shannon and is a dream patient. He is a great example of how important an integrated rehabilitation program can be to ensure the best outcome of a successful orthopedic surgery. Thank you, Shannon, for entrusting Hobbes’ post-op rehabilitation to us at IPC Hanover Park!”
– Rosemary J. LoGiudice DVM, DACVSMR, CCRT, CVA, CVSMT
“Hobbes began his Rehab journey in November. In the beginning he was very shy around new people. His confidence slowly grew over time with the help of his mom Shannon by his side and a little bit of Peanut butter! Hobbes is a wonderful boy to work with! He has made great progress over the past few months. Keep up the good work Shannon and Hobbes!”
– Anna Alberth CVT, CCRA
“I Love working with him. Hobbes has been looking more and more confident each time he comes. He has been showing a lot of determination in his therapies to get back to his regular self and to get back to playing with his little sister. Keep it up Hobbes!”
– Katie Sulzmann CVMRT, ATC
“Hobbes has done so well with his rehabilitation program and has progressed so well after his CCL surgery”
– Dr. Arlene Rodriguez DVM, CCRT
Make a Difference!
Each month we ask our Patient of the Month to choose an organization that they’d like to promote during their “reign.” This month Hobbes has asked us to tell you about Second City Canine Rescue.
Second City Canine Rescue’s mission is to rescue homeless animals and responsibly place them into permanent, loving homes. We believe in rescuing responsibly.℠
Heinz was raised on a farm, he had High hopes of moving to the big city. His parent saw his constant desire to leave the farm and sent him to live with Midwest dachshund Rescue. Heinz met his future family at the Cross-Town-Bark-Around Doxie party in 2014. Two weeks later, he met his roommate Marley and they both moved to their furever home in Burbank, IL. Last Christmas, Heinz and Marley let a third member join their family, his name is Brutus.
After New Year’s Eve and too much partying…..Heinz was enjoying a run in the yard and all of a sudden his back gave out and he lost the use of his back legs. He had back surgery that night at Premier Veterinary Group. A week later, Heinz’ German stubborn prevailed and he
was determined to get up and play with the others. Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen came highly recommended to further his recovery with physical therapy.
Heinz’ happy go lucky sweet nature immediately charmed Dr. Amber, Valerie, Katie and Tiffany. His favorite part of therapy was the “Porcupine Treatment.”
Thanks to IPCHG therapy, Heinz is well on his way to full recovery and back to securing his home from the dreaded squirrels and destroying the squeakies.
-Pat Macke/Bill Koziolczyk
“Heinz came to us after surgery to repair a herniated disc due to Intervertebral Disc Disease. Throughout his therapy, Heinz has been a great worker and a lovely patient. He has now recovered his ability to walk and is looking forward to his summer playing with his family.”
– Dr. Amber Ihrke DVM, CCRT, CVA, CVMST
“Heinz is a gentle and loving little dog who is an absolute joy to work with. He has made some incredible strides during his rehabilitation at IPCHG. He has lost some weight and has shown a lot of improvement in the areas of mobility and core strength. He progressed quickly in the underwater treadmill and is doing much more advanced exercises during his therapeutic exercise sessions then he was able to do when he first started out with us. He’s a fantastic choice for patient of the month.”
– Tiffany Helphingstine, CCRA
Make a Difference
Each month we ask our patient of the month to choose a not for profit group to promote during their “reign.” This month Heinz has chosen Midwest Dachshund Rescue. If you can help them out, it would make Heinz’s day!
Midwest Dachshund Rescue is a 501(c)3 all-volunteer organization that was founded in 2003. We primarily serve Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, and other Midwest states as needed.
Last year we won the friendly competition with Animal Medical Center of Chicago and together, with your contributions, collected over 5,000 pounds of pet food to donate! This year AMC has upped the ante, we are now also competing with North Center Animal Hospital!
Friendship Pet Food Pantry does an amazing service, helping pet owners keep their pets in their own home, rather than having to relinquish them and add to the population of homeless animals in Chicago.
Last year the response from the families who benefited from your donations was heartfelt and inspiring, many of them thanked you, the donors, for helping them keep their beloved family member fed and in their home during a difficult time.
We are now accepting donations of unopened canned and bagged dog and cat food through March 31st. If you prefer to make a monetary donation, all donated funds will go to purchasing food for the drive. You can bring donations into any of our drop off locations (see below) or donate online at:
In 2015, Keewee fell off a golf cart and was not weight bearing on the right rear leg. It was found that Keewee had suffered a fracture of right tibia and had 2 surgical repairs in May and then an additional surgery in August.
“Keewee had one of the worst fractures I had ever seen. Her recovery was truly a collaborative effort of our rehab team, her surgeon and most importantly her owners. To see Keewee running and playing with her family and enjoying life after four intense months of therapy is one of the greatest comebacks I’ve witnessed in 20+ years in veterinary medicine.”
– Dr. Amber Ihrke, Keewee’s IPC veterinarian
“I wanted to let you all know how very lucky and blessed we feel to have found you all. We have been on a very long stressful journey with Keewee since May to say the least. She has officially graduated and I think we are a little in shock! The time and thought that you all put into Keewee’s care means so much to our family. We were thinking we were going to lose her since amputation was not an option for us. Her injuries were so severe and devastating. To watch Keewee go through so much trauma made our heads spin and only to keep receiving bad news. I was lying in bed one night and thought to myself….If Keewee was a human what would I do-get a second opinion. After putting the word out to multiple dog loving friends and asking physicians I work with “what should I do with my dog” my girlfriend who is a vet tech that works at one of the offices That Dr. Ihrke and Val have given information to suggested we start there-we decided to give it a shot. Mike and I probably seemed pretty reluctant when we first met everyone, but it was another big decision that had to be made for Keewee ASAP to hopefully preserve her leg and another financial decision for our family. WOW!! We sure made the right decision!”
– Gina Schmidt, Keewee’s mom
Dr. Amber Ihrke referred Keewee to Dr. Jankovitz at Premier Veterinary Group in Crestwood for a surgical consultation. Keewee’s owners were afraid of amputation but Dr. Jankovitz was able to calm their fears.
“Dr. Ihrke thank you for sending us to Dr. Jankovits. I can say that I’m very in tune with Keewee-she is very high maintenance without a fractured leg so along this ride I’ve learned a lot more from her. First off- if she likes a stranger and how she responds to them. While we were sitting in the waiting room waiting to meet Dr. Jankovits in august one week after we were told her leg may have to be amputated, Keewee was on my lap with her black sling on, with other dogs and people in the waiting room and you’ve all seen her-she’s like a baby and those type of distractions don’t phase her. Dr. Jankovits walked out to the waiting room and Keewee’s head popped up and she watched his every move. She liked him. He looked at her and I whispered to Keewee-“is that the man that’s going to fix your leg.” Mind you at the other facilities she wouldn’t even look at the people there and you could tell she was very agitated. When we were in the room with Dr. Jankovits deciding what our options were Keewee laid by his feet which also means Keewee likes you otherwise her nose is shoved in the corner! Dr. Jankovits- you squatted down and started petting Keewee. I had tears in my eyes. We had options and hope again.”
“What can I say about Keewee? Keewee is just Keewee. She came to us with an unstable rear limb that her owners were trying to avoid having amputated. Through Keewee’s stubbornness, her owners’ hard work at home and rehab through IPC, Keewee not only kept her leg but returned to her crazy antics at home. Keewee is an example of a patient who greatly benefited from rehab, even though she never really enjoyed coming to see us. I loved seeing how Keewee progressed with rehab, especially watching her spunky personality return as she felt better in her leg. I knew we had done our job at IPC, when her owner sent us a video of Keewee army crawling under a bed and then running around the room barking at the camera. Keewee was her old self once again!”
“You are all amazing at what you do and we the Schmidt family can’t thank you enough for all the time and love you put into Keewee. She is our silly little bully that we love so very much. Please pass along to both of your staffs how much all of their care and compassion has meant to us through Keewee’s journey. I know Keewee will continue to have checkups with you both, but I just wanted you all to know from the bottom of our hearts how much everything you have all done for her means to us. It’s been such a long road and it’s surreal that she has officially graduated and we can breathe and relax a little. Keewee is and always has been a very silly bully. She goes wherever she can with us and loves being part of the action. Keewee loves to snuggle! She is amazing with our kids and a big part of our family and she knows it!”
Make a difference!
This month, Keewee would like you to know about Paws Chicago, a shelter in the heart of the city that is also a resource to the animal community. If you make a donation it would make Keewee’s day!