Rocko is 12-year-old Weimaraner who participates in upland game hunting across the country. He has achieved the title of Master Hunter, which is the highest rank in hunt test events. Outside of his hunting adventures, Rocko was also a therapy dog who visited nursing homes, hospitals and libraries. Rocko’s mom Mary, who is a veterinary technician, noticed that he had a difficult time keeping his hind end up while standing and was reluctant to run. Being the self-proclaimed overly attentive owner, she consulted with the veterinarian she worked with who suggested rehabilitation therapy.
Rocko met with Dr. Amber Ihrke who prescribed a rehabilitation program which Rocko and his mom diligently followed. “Rocko is an active sporting dog who was showing progressive signs of rear limb weakness. The x-rays of his lumbar spine and pelvis were unremarkable, so his source of weakness was unknown. We started Rocko on a plan of manual therapy, hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercises and chiropractic adjustments and each week Rocko’s mobility, endurance and flexibility improved”, explains Dr. Amber Ihrke.
“Through rehab and the dedication of his owners with his home exercise program, Rocko returned to hunting without any problems or pain in his back. Rocko continues to see us at IPC through a maintenance program. Our goal is to keep an eye on him in order to decrease the likelihood of his back causing him problems in the future.” -Valerie Willaims, one of Rocko’s therapists.
“Rocko has graduated to a maintenance program and is doing well. He is running in the field much better and is playing with the other Weimaraners in the house. Our goal is to continue with therapy and home exercises so he can go on his fall hunt trip to South Dakota; I couldn’t be happier.” – Mary, Rocko’s mom
“Rocko knows that age is only a number; all he wanted to do was get back in the field and run. After completing his initial rehabilitation program, he is doing exactly that! He is a great example of what rehabilitation can give back to older guys. He may not be able to keep up with his baby brother, but he can run and play and do whatever he wants pain free”, gushes his biggest fan & therapist, Katie.
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Rocko has asked us to tell you about Cache Creek Animal Shelter.
Our mission is to rescue and adopt out as many dogs and cats as safely possible, regardless of their age, health (we still rescue if there are health issues) or breed. In an effort to help control the increasing pet population it is our policy that each animal we adopt out is spayed or neutered.
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.
In early November of 2016 Ch Khalin suffered from hind limb paresis or a ‘mini stroke’, which caused him to lose function in his rear legs. He was referred to Integrative Pet Care Hanover Park by his primary care veterinarian at Gateway Veterinary Clinic. Ch Khalin met with Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice who prescribed a rehabilitation program that consisted of: veterinary acupuncture & chiropractic treatments, therapeutic exercise, massage and laser therapy. His owner Vallie attributes his improvement to the collaborative efforts of his veterinarians and staff.
Maverick is the quintessential story of a country dog living in a big city as he moved from rural Virginia to Chicago 6 years ago. He spent his days wandering around and all was well until he was found lying in a ditch with with exposed bone beneath his left knee. No one knew exactly what happened, but he was taken to the vet where an amputation was performed. As if that weren’t enough he was later attacked by other dogs which damaged his rear end. Back he went to the vet to get patched up, but after pulling out his stitches a few times his owner had enough and wanted to euthanize him. Maverick’s future aunt worked at the animal hospital and persuaded his owner to relinquish him. She called her sister in law Laura, who was visiting soon, to se
e if she was interested in getting a dog. All it took was Maverick resting his head on Laura’s foot for her to know he was their dog.
Ares was born in the Czech Republic on January 12, 2006 and was selected to come to the United States to be a police dog later that year. Ares and his handler John were partnered up in early 2007 and to went through a six week training program at the Cook County Sheriff’s Training Facility. Ares’ little brother Jake was adopted a year later and the two quickly became best friends!
After many years of hard work and service to the police department, Ares was having some occasional difficulties. After visits to the vet and an MRI, it was determined that Ares has four herniated discs in his back and neck. He was given some medication and was told to “take it easy”. Ares, however, was not ready to take it easy, nor was he ready to retire from the police department.
On therapy days, Crockett can usually be found leading his owner Michael down the halls in search of anyone who will give him a treat.
We met Crockett in 2008 when he came at the recommendation of agility instructor Stacey Hawk, who knew the importance of conditioning for the canine athlete. Crockett started off coming once weekly for either underwater treadmill or resistance pool sessions. He also had consistent chiropractic treatments to keep him aligned during his various activities.
Pain management therapies like laser and acupuncture were added as Crockett started to age. He was maintaining very well until he suffered a series of vestibular episodes in 2015. Vestibular disease often causes dogs to have a head tilt and easily lose their balance. While it was hard to see this former athlete have trouble walking, Michael never gave up and more intensive rehab program was designed. Crockett started coming more regularly for therapeutic exercise, laser and acupuncture/chiropractic sessions.
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!
Mimi came to IPC by way of Bialy’s Wellness Foundation a little over a year ago. Her owners brought her to the vet because she was having an extremely difficult time walking and seemed to be in constant pain. They did not have the finances to cover all that Mimi needed, so the vet contacted BWF to see if they could sponsor Mimi’s medical care. BWF stepped up immediately to cover diagnostics and intensive rehab. Sadly Mimi’s owner passed away and her family was having a hard time caring for her. One of their neighbors, Danielle had fallen in love with Mimi and decided to help the family out by bringing her to appointments. After seeing how much medical attention Mimi needed, Danielle offered to adopt her and they made it official in July!
“Chiko is 11 years old. He did agility training before his injuries. He loves to do odd jobs, like bring me my shoes and slippers when I ask for them. He likes to get his bowl when it is time for dinner. Most people say he is a very happy dog, I agree. He is super sweet and loves having his ears and butt scratched. He eats just about everything. One of his favorite treats is carrots. He likes cucumbers and broccoli stems. He loves bread and can smell it from a distance.
“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!”