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!
When it comes to pain in cats, it’s sometimes difficult to know if your feline friend is experiencing discomfort. As they age, cats are susceptible to a variety of ailments, some of which can cause mobility issues while others can result in the need for surgery. Arthritis, for instance, is something that occurs commonly in cats, especially as they advance in years. Whether as a result of an injury or overall wear and tear, arthritis is the deterioration of cartilage within the joint, which causes the bones to rub together. This rubbing is often painful and can negatively affect a cat’s behavior.
“Doogie’s acupuncture/chiropractic treatments helped him gradually go from a low-key, sickly cat that mostly slept all day to a playful, curious little dude who had a swagger in his step and sparkle in his eye.”
– Jen, Doogie’s mom
When cats experience discomfort due to arthritis or other issues such as fractures or deformities, they may start to develop an avoidance to the litter box or lessen the frequency of their grooming as the movement required to do these activities causes them pain. They may find hiding spots or start to vocalize to indicate that something isn’t right.
“Eos, who suffers from a congenital malformation of the pelvic limb, has chiropractic and laser treatments to keep her functioning and pain free. We were given hope that she could adapt to her condition and live a quality life.”
– Denise, Eos’s mom
Maximizing your cat’s quality of life and offsetting the effects of arthritis, other degenerative ailments, or post-surgery aches and pains can be managed through physical rehabilitation. Modalities such as Acupuncture can increase circulation and help release chemicals known as neurotransmitters which decrease pain. Acupuncture can also help with the treatment of allergies, kidney disease and organ dysfunction. Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy (or “Chiropractic”) can help improve mobility and is often times used in conjunction with Therapeutic Massage to maximize these effects. Use of Therapeutic Laser helps reduce inflammation and is also key in managing pain.
“Our cat, Natasha, has osteoarthritis and after treatment (acupuncture, massage, and laser) her left, front paw limp is almost undetectable. She is able to jump up on a chair, something she was unable to do before treatment.”
– Penny, Natasha’s mom
At Integrative Pet Care, we want to equip cat owners with their own tools to help their beloved feline when they can’t be here. Our therapists can give Massage and Therapeutic Exercise demonstrations, where owners learn techniques to manage their pet’s comfort and continue their therapies at home. When it comes to overall wellness, IPC provides many options for therapies that can improve the quality of life for a cat that is suffering from illness, injury or the effects of old age.
“When Tommy developed Stomatitis, he went from 11.5 pounds to 8 in under three months. IPC developed a treatment regiment and schedule which included acupuncture/ chiropractic sessions. It took work and patience, but within a year, Tommy was healthy enough for surgical treatment to treat the Stomatitis.”
– Kitty, Tommy’s mom
Speaking of cats…
Did you see our December 2015 Chicago Patient of the Month, Puck? Check him out!
“We adopted Peanut in February 2002, she was the last of a litter of Shar-Pei puppies that were found in a box placed in the back of a pickup truck. While in her Foster Mom’s home she was given the nick name “Smart Puppy” because she learned things very quickly. She has always been the dominant one in the canine pack. We were not the first family to try to adopt Peanut, but for whatever reason, the other families did not work out. The day Peanut came to visit us, the lady conducting the home visit from, “Rescue A SharPei” came inside first without Peanut, did her home check and a brief interview with us. She then proceeded to tell us Peanut was leery of new people and we would need to give her space and time to take in her new surroundings and get used to us. She had been in a couple of homes the past few weeks and it was stressful on her. With that in mind my husband and I sat on the floor of the hallway and waited until Linda went back outside and brought Peanut in. Peanut’s first reaction to our home was to walk right over to Chad and climb in his lap, she choose him. Needless to say that wasn’t the first time in her life that she shocked us.
– Amy Hanrahan
Peanut had a very active and successful Agility career until she ruptured her right cranial cruciate ligament at the early age of 5. The nail in the coffin was when she ruptured her left cranial cruciate ligament a year later. Luckily, she was able to transition to Rally Obedience and is the first Shar-Pei in America to earn a Rally Title.
Since Peanut’s first knee surgery, she had been swimming every other week to help keep her active. This seemed to do the trick until she hit about 12 1/2 years old. She was no longer her feisty self and was starting to become a grumpy old lady. She was even going after her siblings when they would try to play with her. When she had to start taking pain medication twice a day, her owners knew they had to do more.
During Peanut’s initial consultation, her mom told us that she is the hands-off type, especially with new people. After her consultation, Dr. Amber came up with a program which including weekly laser, underwater treadmill, and therapeutic exercise. Unfortunately, at the time Peanut was not a candidate for Acupuncture, as it would require too many hands on her. Despite not liking new people, Peanut caught on to her job quick. She loved being able to work in the underwater treadmill and get treats for doing all of her exercises. Before long we were all good friends!
”For a dog that has had two Cranial Cruciate repairs on both her knees, Peanut is moving beautifully. It has been great to see her grow to trust us…..as long as we keep the treats coming.”