Hippie first came to IPC last August when he started having trouble walking and experiencing back pain. He was on pain medication, but his primary care veterinarian thought he could benefit from IPC’s integrative approach. Fast forward 9 months and he is no longer on pain medication and is RUNNING (yes, running) in the park!
Hippe & Susan’s father comforting each other
Hippie’s story starts 17 years ago, when he was given to Susan’s 95 year old father as a 3 month old puppy in hopes that he would bring him joy & good days, which of course he did! He was a bit of a wild child who was socially gifted, but didn’t care for the structure of obedience class. Hippie enjoyed living with Susan’s father for 2 years until he went into hospice care. Hippie provided him with love, affection, and entertainment until the very end. Hippie then moved to Chicago and Susan spoiled him rotten- he often went to the beach, forest preserves, and even camping!
Enjoying one of his favorite activities with a friend
Hippie has slowed down over the years, but that hasn’t stopped him from loving life. He still goes for 3 mile walks everyday and knows just where to stop for treats. He may start off a little pokey, but he picks up the pace after a 1/2 mile! While relaxing at home, he enjoys watching T.V. (as long as no animals are featured) and loves taking a snooze on the back of a chair or couch. Liver and kidney issues have stopped him from enjoying various treats, but he’s just as into his prescription kibble!
Hippie & Dr. Starr during acupuncture
Hippie has been diligently coming twice weekly to IPC for the past 9 months, never going any longer than a few days without treatment. He starts off with a combo session of therapeutic exercise & laser and then eagerly waits for his massage. Once a week Hippie receives acupuncture, which he enjoys as long as food is involved!
“When we need to leave for IPC, I tell him Hippie, ‘massage’ and he jumps right up & is eager to go!” -Susan
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Hippie has asked us to tell you about Bialy’s Wellness Foundation.
Providing families and rescue organizations with special needs animals the equipment, medical care, rehabilitative therapy, training, resources and support necessary to optimize the quality of life of their wonderful animals. Our mission is only possible from the generosity of our supporters. Bialy’s Wellness Foundation’s goal is to provide assistance to our sponsored animals for life.
“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.℠
Leo, the gentle giant, was referred by Dr. Maxine Francks to IPC Homer Glen with the diagnosis of Wobbler syndrome, a neurologic disease common in large breed dogs. Dr. Ihrke recommended adding Veterinary Acupuncture to his treatment plan.
“In 2011, when Leo was only a year old, an MRI at University of Wisconsin Madison confirmed our fears; Leo had wobblers – a narrowing of the vertebral canal which leads to paralysis. The prognosis was bleak with a life expectancy of 1 maybe 2 years if he was lucky. Surgery was an option but because of how advanced the disease was the UWM vets urged against it, it would be used more as a teaching tool than a solution. It was at that point my husband Jerry & I committed to a holistic approach to insure Leo’s comfort for however long he had left.
We started with the water treadmill and moved on to swimming therapy and then on to TENS and laser treatments. We were continuing to see a lack of progress and an increasing decline in Leo’s mobility and then a chance encounter between Leo’s vet, Dr. Maxine Francks & Dr. Amber at a triathlon brought us to IPC. Dr. Amber suggested acupuncture as a means to slow the pace of the Wobblers. After doing some research we made an appointment; that was 2 years ago and Leo is still with us. Our 220 lb. love bug celebrated his 5th birthday last September and is still enjoying life as a spoiled couch potato. For all that Dr. Amber and the staff at IPC has done for Leo we pledge our devotion.”
Jerry, Dawn & Leo Gaynor
“At over 200 pounds, Leo is my biggest patient with a big heart to match. He is a gentle, loving soul and I have enjoyed working with him for the last several years.”
Dr. Amber Ihrke DVM, CCRT, CVA, CVSMT
Make a difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose a NFP group for us to highlight. Leo has asked us to tell you about Great Lakes Mastiff Rescue. If you want to make a donation, it would make Leo’s day!
Lucy originally came to IPC a couple years ago to address some back and shoulder issues. She started out with acupuncture and therapeutic laser to help with pain management as well as massage to stretch out her tight muscles. She soon progressed to the underwater treadmill and exercise sessions. Lucy seemed to be making excellent progress and was actually enjoying her therapy!
Dr. Zenoni eventually added
Lucy seemed to be doing really well until a couple months ago when she suddenly went down and was unable to use her back legs. Her mom Kathy remembers how scary that time was- “As far as everyone could tell, she ruptured (or partially ruptured) a disc in her back. After the initial panic wore off, we brought her to our friends at IPC who examined her very thoroughly and put our minds at ease by reminding us that this is what IPC does and that they believed they could help Lucy. A tremendous weight was lifted from my shoulders since others seemed to be assuming the worst.”
Lucy’s mom diligently brings her twice weekly for multiple therapies and has opted to board her with us during the day due to her hectic work schedule. Since Lucy has some crate anxiety we started keeping her in the office where she quickly decided she was the boss.!
“It has been exciting to watch her progress, seeing her move from needing a doggy stroller to get around outside, to taking a few steps at a time, to insisting on walking instead of riding in her stroller. She is a determined little dog, but I know she would not have made the same progress without IPC.” Kathy, Lucy’s mom
“Kathy is the type of pet parent who goes above and beyond for her dog- she is ready and willing to do anything I recommend. Lucy is one lucky girl to have her!” -Dr. Deanne Zenoni
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Lucy has asked us to tell you about The Puppy Mill Project.
“The Puppy Mill Project is an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to fighting puppy mill cruelty. We believe that education is the key to change. We are one of the only organizations focused entirely on ending puppy mill cruelty, and our mission centers around our unique educational program and extensive community outreach. We also facilitate the rescue of puppy mill dogs and engage in legislative advocacy.”
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.”
Edgar was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy (DM) almost a year ago, which is unfortunately common among the corgi breed. DM is a progressive disease of the spinal cord which begins with the loss of coordination in the hind limbs. While there is no known cure, a lot can be done to strengthen the front end and keep the dog more comfortable as the disease progresses.
Edgar joined the IPC family earlier this Summer when his mom was exploring ways to help keep him strong. He met with Dr. Zenoni and Emma to create a specific treatment plan which included twice weekly underwater treadmill and laser sessions. His parents were also taught some exercises to do at home and some adjustments were made to his cart to keep him cruising comfortably (and in style)!
“Although DM often feels like a terrible curse, it has bonded he and I together in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise”
There’s just something about Pippi that instantly draws the eye. Could it be the goofy grin and floppy ears? Or maybe it’s her commanding personality and endless bouncing energy? Whatever it is, we’ve fallen head over heels for this girl!
I got Pippi about five years ago from Illinois Doberman Rescue. They really do an outstanding job of preparing and presenting the dogs they rescue. I originally had my heart set on another Doberman based on the profiles I saw. I’d seen Pippi’s profile (her name at the rescue was ‘Harmonie’) but she looked like a scrawny little 55-pound runt in her photos. Really smart – she would self-entertain herself by putting a ball in a bucket hanging on a door, then nudge the bucket to make it roll out so that she could chase it, then return it to the bucket. When I went to an adoption event though, ‘Harmonie’ was the first dog I saw – she and her foster were coming up the stairs when I was coming down them, and she was such a pretty girl, enthusiastic about going somewhere new, and had such a bright-eyed personality. I must have seen 20 Dobermans at the adoption event that day, but kept coming back to ‘Harmonie’ and the other Doberman. I took both out for walks, and sat with both of them – the other Doberman was very laid back – in fact too laid back for my personality. ‘Harmonie’ was enthusiastic in our introduction but not overwhelming, she walked nicely on leash, and we just seemed to take to each other right away.
My gut feel said she was ‘the one’ and I was right. As soon as we left the event with my dad, she jumped right in the back seat of the truck, laid down and took a nap, and the rest pretty much is history. The name ‘Pippi’ or ‘Pippilotta Langstrumpf’ is for one of my favorite childhood characters Pippi Longstocking, and Pippi’s floppy ears remind me of Pippi Longstocking’s pig-tails.
If you’ve ever been to IPC Chicago on a Thursday, chances are you’ve met our August Patient of the Month Sahara. She’s that little dog sitting behind the front desk wagging her tail and looking adorable! Or perhaps you’ve heard her ridiculous bark that sounds like a duck quacking. Sahara is a force of nature who always makes sure her presence is known; or as her mom puts it, “a diva!”
Belinda admits that in May 2011 she had no business adopting another dog when she first saw Sahara’s picture in an email from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, doing a courtesy posting for local rescue. Her other dog was 14 years old and having major physical issues, but the cheesy subject line “Can you be an oasis for Sahara?” really sucked her in.
After contacting the rescue, Belinda learned that Sahara’s foster was actually her third known home. She was originally rescued from a high kill shelter and adopted out, but returned several times (most likely due to her barking). Once Sahara met her other dog and they got along, she came home with Belinda. The constant barking doesn’t bother Belinda one bit, although her cats may feel differently.
“Belinda is a super dog mom who goes above and beyond for Sahara She adopted a dog who was returned multiple times for behavioral issues and turned her life around. To say that Sahara is one lucky dog is an understatement.”