There are a number of benefits that swimming in our resistance pool can provide whether for a dog on the mend or a canine athlete looking to maintain endurance.
“There are a lot of reasons I prescribe the resistance pool,” explains Dr. Zenoni. “There’s an overall increase in cardiovascular circulation as well as elbow flexion. Being in the pool allows the muscles more range of motion. Dogs with shoulder, elbow, or carpus issues tend to be good candidates for this type of modality.”
Swimming in the resistance pool is also good for amputees as gaiting can sometimes be difficult in the underwater treadmill. Dogs that are experiencing stiffness may find that sessions in the pool release some of that tension when they are able to float and relax their muscles. The therapist working with a patient like this may choose to guide the dog in gentle range of motion or massage while in the pool to ease muscle tightness.
The pool is also a great conditioning tool for active/athletic dogs.
“It’s a way to build muscle and work on stamina as well as overall body conditioning,” says Dr. Zenoni. Laura Krill, CCRA, likes the versatility the resistance pool can offer for patients. “For stronger patients, we might do a session without the life jacket on so that they are using more of their own body to keep them afloat. Weights or a resistance band can also be used to make it a little more challenging. On the other end, our more geriatric patients can benefit from the massage jets.”
It is important to have a rehabilitation veterinarian evaluate each patient to determine if their condition would be appropriately managed by therapeutic swimming. “There may be circumstances, health or orthopedic, that can hinder the resistance pool’s effectiveness,” states Dr. Zenoni.
“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.
“The short story about Mag…Maggie is a Labrador retriever that comes from a long line of Field Trial and Hunt test lines. I got her to have a good dog to learn the sport and to occasionally hunt with. When Maggie was a little over 1 year old she had already earned an HRC Started title and a Canine Good Citizen obedience certificate. One day while training out in the field while Maggie was about 1 1/2 years old, Maggie was sent on a retrieve for a training dummy. When she returned from the retrieve we noticed that her rear right leg was bleeding badly. Something sharp in the field had cut her. We used a first aid kit in the field and rushed her to the emergency vet in St. Charles. The cut was deep had severed some of the tendons in her leg and it required emergency surgery to repair the damage. She was then followed up by our regular vet and Maggie was done in the field for now until she recovered from the surgery. At the time I didn’t know if Maggie would end up with future problems from her injury that could possibly make her hunt test training limited or even over with.
We started light walks when our vet let us and used the time by attending obedience classes to keep her as active as possible while she still couldn’t run in the field. During that time I still belonged to my retriever clubs and helped out at hunt tests. At the tests sometimes there are raffle tables with donated prizes to help raise money for the clubs. It was at one of those tests I saw that one of the raffle prizes donated was a free evaluation at Integrative Pet Care, donated by Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice, a club member and proud owner of her own hunting dog, Otter. This seemed like a perfect opportunity for Maggie to see if we should be doing more to help her recover from her injury. I put all my tickets on the evaluation prize and we won.
We set up an appointment and Dr. LoGiudice took over from there.
After looking Maggie over we set up regular appointments for exercise, laser treatments and sometime in the underwater treadmill to help build her back up and heal better.
After a while Maggie was eased back into field work. She is now 5 years old and has added an HRC Hunting Retriever Champion (HRCH) title with the help of a professional trainer and an AKC’s CD obedience title and UKC’s UCD obedience title.
Maggie is fully healed and continues to train in the field and is still active in hunt tests and hunting. Hopefully she will still add a few more titles to her name.
She is very high drive dog and works very hard and loves every minute of it. I really enjoy working with her every time out. She is just a fun dog to spend time in the field with. I am always thankful for the help from Dr. LoGiudice and Integrative Pet Care of Hanover Park during Maggie’s recovery especially when I get to watch Maggie run in the fields doing what she loves to do.”
Thanks – Bob Cain
“Maggie had experienced a potentially activity-limiting injury when she was just a young dog. Her severed tendon was surgically repaired and physical rehabilitation was started at a great time during early healing.
She and her owner are great examples of teamwork, in ensuring that Maggie received fantastic rehabilitation therapy at home, in addition to the therapies we did with Maggie at Integrative Pet Care Hanover Park.
Her surgery was well done, but without rehabilitation therapy, there is a high probability of scar tissue formation and decreased range of motion of the affected leg if this kind of injury is allowed to heal without specific therapies. This could have prevented Maggie from being able to participate in retrieving activities or even walking normally. To watch Maggie run now, about 5 years after her injury, you’d never know she was ever injured. She is fun to watch and was even more fun as a patient!”
– Dr. Rosemary J. LoGiudice DVM, DACVSMR, CCRT, CVA, CVSMT
Make a Difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an organization that they’d like promoted during their “reign.” Maggie has chosen the Anderson Animal Shelter. Please consider making a donation to them this month!
It’s not every day that we have an elite athlete walk through our doors, but every Thursday Journey bursts into the hydro room and happily jumps into the underwater treadmill to work out. His mom, Stacey (founder of Hawk City K9) started coming to IPC years ago with her previous shepherds, so she knew the importance of proper conditioning. Journey actively competes in agility, dock diving & nosework.
“With all of the physical endeavors and training I do with my dogs, and seeing so many people train and compete with dogs who are not in the best physical shape possible, I knew that as soon as Journey was old enough, I was going to start him on a regular wellness program at IPC! Journey grew up at IPC! He’d hang out while my other dog, Kira, was coming in for her weekly rehab treatments (two torn cruciates).” -Stacey
“He’s been coming now weekly for years, and LOVES his underwater treadmill sessions, and ALL of the staff at IPC! They are, by far, simply the best!!” –Stacey
Journey & his therapist Laura have a special bond- she’s tough on him and he loves every minute of it! Journey runs (yes, runs) against resistance jets on an incline at 5.5 mph for 20 minutes during every session. Journey plays hard, so he has to train hard!
“Journey can do it all & is the epitome of a canine athlete! He rises to any challenge I give him & performs with gusto. He makes me VERY proud… Journey Rocks!” -Laura, CCRA
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Journey has asked us to tell you about an organization near and dear to his mom’s heart,
“Safe Humane’s mission is to create safe and humane communities by inspiring positive relationships between people and animals. We are an alliance of non-traditional partners that recognize the connections between animal abuse and interpersonal violence and the benefits of the human-animal bond. Our programs focus on education, advocacy and second chances.”
Ski has become such an IPC staple on Thursday nights over the past 8 1/2 years, that it would feel empty without him! Who else could impress us by swimming 20 minutes against the resistance jets while playing volleyball with his dad or show us his fancy new tricks in the gym? Ski is a super star athlete who originally came to us back in 2007 for a CCL injury. He has not only trained in, but has earned titles in a number of activities including agility, treibball, tricks, nosework & herding. Rich and Ski aren’t in it for the titles, but just love training until they achieve proficiency.
Ski was always an active dog who was enrolled in a variety of activities, so it was devastating when he came up lame after a walk one night. When we first met Ski in July of 2007, his dad Rich was weighing the pros and cons of having surgery to repair a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Ultimately Rich decided against surgery and opted to pursue physical rehabilitation instead. That was a decision that Rich said he would do over and over again. Ski started an intensive rehab program that included twice weekly visits for underwater treadmill and therapeutic exercise. Even though he wasn’t the biggest fan of the underwater treadmill, he diligently did it and it’s now his favorite therapy! Ski took to the exercises right away since it was similar to some of his agility training! Soon enough Ski was inventing his own exercises and impressing us all with his strength and drive.
Soon enough Ski graduated from a rehabilitation program and became a member of our maintenance club which keeps him in tip top form for the various activities that he does!
“Ski and Rich make a fabulous team. I enjoy a challenge and Ski always keeps me on my toes!”
–Emma, Ski’s current therapist
Ribbons from his 1st agility competition
Ski has participated in the following sport activities:
Ski also aided Rich in becoming a certified clicker trainer (KPA-CTP) from the Karen Prior Academy.
“Trainers, vets, & sports trainers all agree that his core strength has allowed Ski to embrace so many different activities without injury. I credit all our work at IPC with Ski’s amazing condition as he nears 11 years old.”
-Rich, Ski’s dad
Rich believes that the wide range of therapies Ski has received has helped him get through minor setbacks. A flair up of lameness resolved with a series of Laser treatments, while Acupuncture and Chiropractic services have seemed to help as well. Rich’s goal from day 1 was to make Ski’s legs individually strong enough to do the work of two if that was ever needed, which has been the case over the past several years. Whether it was the right (non-surgically repaired CCL knee) or left leg that had an issue, the other one was always strong enough to do the job of two.
“Ski is like the energizer bunny when any obstacle gets in his way- he just keeps going & going & going!”
–Dr. Ridley, Ski’s IPC vet
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Ski has asked us to tell you about Alive Rescue.
“We believe that our responsibility is first to the animals that are in local open-access shelters with a high probability of being euthanized. We primarily take in animals from shelters with high euthanasia rates in Chicago and the surrounding area. We follow through on our commitment that every animal deserves a full life by choosing to take in animals that other adoption organizations may overlook, including seniors, unpopular breeds, and pets with special needs”
IPC is raising awareness for Alive Rescue by jumping into Lake Michigan January 17th. Click here to donate to our team!
What more can we say about Prada besides, “SHE’S AWESOME”?! Prada is an almost 16 year old Lhasa Apso mix, but you’d never guess her age by looking at her. She still rocks it in the underwater treadmill by going for 20 minutes at a speed between .5-.7 miles an hour! Prada has been a patient of IPC since the fall of 2009. Whether it was keeping her conditioned for competitions, rehabbing her knee surgery or helping her bounce back from an 11 day stay in the ER, we’ve been cheering Prada on every step of the way!
Since the age of 2, Prada has been a therapy dog with Canine Therapy Corp and is currently the oldest active member! She regularly works at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and does outreach like Camp I Am Me, which benefits young burn victims. Besides her busy volunteer life, Prada competed in AKC & UKC obedience until she was 11! Prada has more on her plate than many adults!
“Every time she’s running around the house like a puppy or sprinting down the sidewalk after a 2-3 mile walk, we say ‘thank you IPC’ and smile.”