Mr. Bennet is one of our long-time patients, so it’s only appropriate that he gets the honor of being the first Patient of the Month in 2020! We met Mr. Bennet two years ago when his family was looking for options to keep him more comfortable and mobile. It was noted on exam that he had hindlimb weakness and loss of coordination. He had also developed bilateral hip and carpal (wrist) arthritis. Strengthening and pain management modalities such as underwater treadmill, therapeutic exercise, laser and massage were recommended. His family noticed an improvement in his strength and coordination right away!
“Mr. Bennet is a wonderful dog who can definitely be stubborn in his older age as he would much rather lay on the bed and Assisi mat for his laser and massage treatments instead of exercising or walking in the underwater treadmill. I feel that we have achieved our goal of keeping him independently mobile every time he walks through our doors. Whether it’s because of grumpy old man personality or him carrying his leash and walking himself back up to the front, there’s never a dull moment when Mr. Bennet is around!” -Michelle
“Bennet came from Heritage Kennel in 2008 after our daughter asked for a German Shepherd for her 10th birthday. The Chicago Police Department wanted the puppy, but our family got there first! From the beginning, he was a “miracle dog” who survived multiple health issues. He had emergency surgery following his neuter procedure, had a hemilaminectomy in 2009 due to a congenital dorsal spine dermal cyst and contracted leptospirosis despite being vaccinated.”
I honestly couldn’t think of a dog more deserving of the patient of the month title than Mr. Bennet. He is practically our mascot since he comes in to see us more than any other patient. Mr. Bennet is a gentle giant and teddy bear of a German Shepherd and it always brightens my day to see him on my schedule. Enjoy your moment in the spotlight!!! -Tiffany
Mardi’s story starts off almost 14 years ago when she was transferred to Illinois from New Orleans by West Suburban Humane Society during Hurricane Katrina. Four month old Mardi was adopted by her family on New Year’s Eve. Her family says she has a strong stubborn streak, but is the sweetest dog done without a mean bone in her body.
Last May Mardi became unable to walk and a radiograph revealed an abnormality on her spine, which her family feared to be cancer.
She was referred to Purdue University Small Animal Hospital, where it was discovered that she had cervical IVDD, so a ventral slot decompression of C6-7 was performed. Mardi had a very rough recovery and developed aspirate pneumonia after surgery, which lead to a week long hospitalization in the ICU. And if that wasn’t enough, she also tore her cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Her owners never gave up on her though and nursed her back to health.
Mardi was referred to Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen where she met with her new team, Dr. Annie Ubatuba and Michelle. Dr. Annie noted during her evaluation that she was incredibly weak and did not have the ability to stand on her own. A rehabilitation program was created which included acupuncture, underwater treadmill, massage, laser, and exercise. She was also fitted for a stifle (knee) brace to address her CCL tear.
“Despite being older, Mardi has such a strong fighting spirit. It’s inspiring to see her get stronger and feistier the more she comes to see us. Although she might not always be the biggest fan of sitting still for a laser or massage session, the therapies plus the orthotic have helped her come a long way. I look forward to seeing the progress she continues to make.” -Michelle
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Mardi has asked us to tell you about the organization that saved her life, West Suburban Humane Society.
The West Suburban Humane Society (WSHS) is a volunteer-based, animal welfare organization that was founded in 1972 as a lost-and-found referral service. A dedicated volunteer base and the retained service of several veterinarians has allowed us to save the lives of and give 600 homeless animals each year new homes. We continue to reunite lost animals and their families by maintaining a database with information on over 33,000 pets and their owners, and by providing free pet identification tags.
Who’s that girl with the giant ears, it’s our Patient of The Month Allie! We met Allie in July 2018 at the recommendation of her primary care veterinarian at Blum Animal Hospital when she started showing hind limb paresis (weakness in her back legs). Her dad Gerry mentioned to some friends that he had been referred for our services and they had nothing but great things to say about our facility and staff.
Allie met with Dr. Megan Ridley and Renee who created a formal rehabilitation program which included exercise/massage/laser, underwater treadmill, and acupuncture.
Allie did well with her therapies and formed a strong bond with her main therapist Renee. “Allie is the sweetest dog and it has been a pleasure to work with her and Gerry. “It’s so inspiring to work with an owner who will go above and beyond for his dog”!
Unfortunately Allie became weaker, so a custom cart from Eddie’s wheels was recommended. She took to it immediately which amazed Emma who fitted her for the cart. “Allie was AWESOME in her cart from the start; she took off and even tried to climb our equipment!” remarked Emma. Allie was also fitted with custom made “walkies” which help her properly flex her back feet.
“I cannot imagine my life and hers without IPC. As best we can, we are trying to maintain her strength and flexibility while making her comfortable and feeling good. One of the best attributes of IPC is the creativity and determination in the methods used to add value to her life and make her feel better. The whole staff deserves a shout and is much appreciated, but Renee, Rika, Emma, Brooklyn and Katie are who we work with the most!” -Gerry
Allie’s story began when she was transported to the Anti-Cruelty Society from Indiana and Gerry adopted her on her first day in the shelter. She was an athletic dog who loved other people and dogs right away. Even though Allie can’t run on her own anymore, she is still able to go up and down the “dog hill” in Oz Park, which is her favorite. Today Allie is living the good life, especially on her therapy days which have turned into a field trip. She gets either an egg and cheese sandwich from Peet’s or a turkey bacon egg white and cheddar sandwich from Starbucks!
Bailey came to Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen in April 2019 after a rough recovery from tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA) surgery to repair his torn right cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Bailey recovered well from a previous surgery in 2016 to repair his torn left CCL, so his owner knew he had to do something. After reading reviews about our clinic, Dave decided to make an evaluation where he met with Dr. Amber Ihrke. In that first appointment it was noted that Bailey was non-weight bearing on his right rear leg and was very uncomfortable with examination of the right knee, which had been this way for months.
Our goals were to address his discomfort and start his recovery to a functional gait. After being put on oral anti-inflammatory medication, supplements, going home with an Assisi loop, and coming to us for laser therapy, he started feeling better. Once his pain was under control, Bailey was able to move onto active therapies like underwater treadmill and therapeutic exercises.
“Bailey, who has a reputation for being quite the ladies’ man, quickly became an IPC favorite” says Tiffany. He is always happy, always smiling, and always beyond thrilled to be at IPC hanging out with his therapists and his good attitude is contagious. According to Michelle, “Katie, Tiffany, and I have to fight to have him on our schedule, but are glad to see him in the building regardless of who has him!”
“With an aggressive rehabilitation program over the course of 4 months, Bailey went from only placing about 3% body weight (normal 20%) on his right rear limb to 15%! Bailey was able to return to a functional 4-limb gait and his comfort is much improved!” -Dr. Ihrke
“Bailey has come a long way in his treatment plan, both in overall attitude and range of motion. He continues to make small improvements, as well as maintain the strength and flexibility he gained by continuing to see us as part of his maintenance plan. It’s amazing what you can get a big ole’ lab to do for peanut butter and beef liver!” -Katie
“The amazing team at IPC have many tools in their bag to help with just about any disorder or problem. Don’t give up on your pet without taking them to IPC first, they deserve a second opinion and second chance! Bailey is living a normal life with little to no pain, and I feel he will remain that way for the rest of his life thanks to IPC.” -Dave
After having surgery to repair a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in September 2018, Finn was referred to us by his primary care veterinarian. He had an evaluation where it was noted that he was painful, barely placing weight on his leg and had lost a significant amount of muscle. Finn completed 8 weeks of rehabilitation, but showed only slight improvement and began to show neurological signs. He was referred to a neurologist, who determined that he actually had a torn meniscus.
Finn went back to his veterinarian who repaired the tear, but he unfortunately did not improve. Finally we referred him to Dr. David Wilson, DVM, DACVS-SA at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital to remove his hardware and revise the surgery in May.
Finn came back for a recheck in August and he had improved greatly. After 4 weeks of twice weekly therapies, Finn showed incredible progress and was able to wean off his pain medications. After 8 weeks he looked so good that he was able to graduate to a more maintenance level of once weekly therapies consisting of underwater treadmill and exercise/massage/laser!
“Finn is one of my favorite patients and it feels so great to see the improvement he’s made over the past year. It’s awesome to see him back to being his old goofy self!” -Renee, one of Finn’s therapists
Finn was adopted from Chicago Canine Rescue in 2012 when Maria and her family were looking to add a family member after losing their previous dog. Maria quickly fell in love with “Brownie” who was listed as a small dog. 7 years later, the small, timid dog named Brownie is now a 115 lb, outgoing dog named Finn.
“After a year, 3 surgeries and many therapy sessions, Finn is pain free, medication free and running and jumping just like his old self! Finn boards on his therapy days and when I come to pick him up he does not want to leave! Special shout out to the Patient Service Coordinators for the tremendous welcome that he always gets. That’s why IPC, you are ALL AMAZING!” -Maria, Finn’s dedicated mom
“A day in the life of Finn….Wake up on the couch…go lay on the deck….chase the squirrels (been a while since he has been able to do that. He actually caught one the other day, I am sorry to say)….go potty…back to laying on the deck…eat breakfast…go in the house to lay on his chair by the window…bark at every dog that walks down the street…either sleep on that chair or get in the car and go to therapy and have the best day…eat dinner…have a couple treats…lay on the deck…go for a walk….lay on his bed waiting for me to go up to bed so he can have the couch…to go to sleep for the night”
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Finn has asked us to tell you about the organization that saved his life, Chicago Canine Rescue.
Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation exists to give many of these animals a second chance at a forever family. We love the underdog!
Ready to meet the mushiest pit bull ever? Juanita came to Integrative Pet Care earlier this summer due to limping on walks and having a hard time getting on and off the couch. Her mom was no stranger to rehabilitation as her previous dog Fifty was a long term patient (and our unofficial mascot).
Juanita met with Dr. Kelli Martin and Tami who recommended getting xrays of her hips. Once xrays confirmed that she had bilateral hip arthritis, a formal program was created which included exercise, massage, laser, underwater treadmill and acupuncture.
Juanita loved her exercises and massage, but wasn’t sure about the underwater treadmill. She surprised us all by sticking her head underwater in true hippo fashion!
Juanita continues to make progress at every one of her rechecks. She is able to take longer walks, get up on furniture and in and out of the car easier! Her mom Kelly has also noticed changes at home: “she no longer struggles to sit or lay down- she is getting so strong!”
She came into her mom’s life as a foster in 2016 after being found as a stray in Indiana. She had been over bred, had terribly cropped ears, and several scars. Despite everything she had endured, she was extremely sweet and trusting. After a couple months of fostering, it was clear that she would become a permanent member of the family.
“I cannot say enough about the Integrative Pet Care staff! The patient service coordinators are absolutely fantastic. Her therapists Tami and Rika are the sweetest and Dr. Martin went above and beyond to make sure I got the right diagnosis. I recommend IPC to everyone I know.”
Juanita has been a foster sister to countless dogs and is in the process of becoming a certified reading assistance dog with SitStayRead! She lives with an elderly blind dog who she respects and a guinea pig who she adores!
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Juanita has asked us to tell you about the organization that she will shortly be a part of, SitStayRead.
SitStayRead’s mission is to advance children’s literacy skills using an engaging curriculum, certified dogs, and dedicated volunteers.
12 week old Benji joined his family in May 2019, and after only 1 week at his new home he suffered a terrible accident. Benji jumped onto a blanket on the couch and slid off onto the floor. His family rushed him to Premier Veterinary Group in Orland Park. Benji had unfortunately broken both of his elbows, which required extensive surgery.
The Surgeon had serious concerns in regards to what his surgery would entail and the unknown outcome if the surgery was a success. He had Bilateral Medial Humeral Condyle fractures which required his elbows to be repaired with pins and screws. Luckily the surgery was a success and Benji was up on his feet in two days! His family was ready to do whatever it took to get him up and acting like a puppy again.
Benji’s was referred to Dr. Amber Ihrke at Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen by his surgeon, Dr. Alexander El-Warrak, and his family couldn’t be happier with the outcome. After meeting with his rehab team, Benji was prescribed a treatment program that consisted of swimming and therapeutic exercises. After 8 weeks of therapy, Benji had a full recovery of his elbow range of motion, increased muscle mass in his front limbs, improved flexibility in his front limbs and most importantly, did not show any signs of lameness. “It was amazing to see him make such significant improvements session after session! Although he wasn’t a fan of the water, all was forgiven with Benji once the beef liver treats were pulled out. He loved doing exercises for snacks and was so brave with all of the equipment! Patients like Benji help remind me exactly why I started in this field, and so he will forever be one of my favorite patients!” -Michelle
“From the start Jill (patient services coordinator) has been wonderful! She coordinated all of our appointments and most importantly sent us reminders and followed up on visits. It was an overwhelming time and I appreciated her being so on top of things. Michelle was so patient with Benji throughout the entire process. She truly has a gift and is in the right profession. Michelle did an amazing job explaining the goals for therapy and devised a specific home exercise program. I always left feeling like I learned something new to improve the healing process”. -Jessica, Benji’s mom
Benji’s family would like to spread the message of Never Give Up. “Benji’s surgery and recovery were not easy and it definitely was not cheap. Money comes and goes, but giving him the chance at life and the endless amount of joy he brings to us everyday is priceless. Looking at Benji today we feel inspired- we can hardly believe how far he has come in such a short amount of time. He truly is a success story and you never know what’s possible, but love and hope can go a long way.”
Make a difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Benji has asked us to tell you about TLC Animal Shelter.
T.L.C. has served the community as a private, non-profit, humane society, dedicated to the prevention of abuse, neglect, and cruelty to animals. The shelter provides refuge for an average of three to four thousand animals yearly.
Lily came to us after a two month history of right rear lameness that was diagnosed as a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury and a patellar luxation. By using a stance analyzer, we were able to determine that Lily was only putting 5% of her body weight on her right rear limb (normal is 20%). Her owners wanted to try a conservative treatment option to see if we could get Lily to walk better. Her therapeutic plan over 8 weeks consisted of pain management modalities and osteoarthritis disease-modifying medication. At the end of her plan, Lily showed no lameness and improved her weight-bearing on the left rear limb to 23%! Lily is a great example of how conservative management with some knee injuries can lead to excellent outcomes.
“Lily is a sweet, rambunctious dog with a lot of personality in a little package. Despite not liking the water at all, she walked in the underwater treadmill very well, and it was amazing to see how much she progressed over 8 weeks despite her stubborn attitude!” -Michelle, Lily’s therapist
Lily’s story starts in 2015 when she was adopted from Indiana Petite Paws Rescue Angels. “Lily was a tiny, six-year-old little girl who only weighed four pounds. She was spoiled and did not want to share her new home with another dog as she was used to being the only child. While she likes to play with toys and fetch, she also likes to snuggle under the covers and watch TV. Lily is she is a ‘diva dog’ who does not like cold or rainy weather since it spoils her hair.” -Carol
When Lily started experiencing lameness, her parents booked an appointment right away at Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen since they had a great experience at the Chicago location with a previous dog. They hoped to treat her condition conservatively to avoid surgery.
“After 4 weeks her progress was impressive, and after an additional 4 she was almost back to normal. We cannot thank the Integrative Pet Care staff enough!” -Carol
Make a difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Lily has asked us to tell you about The Caspian Foundation.
Our goal is to provide families with a special needs pet that may need equipment, such as a cart, orthotic or prosthetic device in order to live an independent and full life. Our mission is only possible through generous donations from our supporters. Please consider making a donation so that we can continue to provide assistance to animals in need.
Floki was rushed to the ER last April when he became wobbly and painful. An MRI revealed that he had Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and a hemilaminectomy was recommended and performed immediately. Unfortunately all of this left him unable to use his hind limbs.
Amanda did research and found that we had a great reputation for working with special needs animals! Floki came to us shortly after his surgery and was prescribed an intensive rehabilitation program which consisted of exercise, laser, underwater treadmill, and acupuncture. His prognosis was guarded, but that didn’t stop him from trying his hardest and his dedicated mom Amanda was more than willing to do whatever it took.
We became fast friends since he started coming three times weekly for therapy! Floki’s progress was slow in the beginning, but he made promising improvements every week. He needed full assistance in the underwater treadmill to ambulate and was unable to push himself into a standing position.
A cart was also recommended to aid in his mobility which he took to quickly. He also hitches a ride in his wagon where he loves going on the 606, Humboldt Park and the dog beach. Floki has continued to make amazing progress at every session, and most of all he LOVES his therapies!
Floki continues to make huge strides every week and is now able to walk in the treadmill on his own and has even attempted to take steps on land!! His progress is also due to mom’s dedication to his home care. Floki has an amazing (and bossy) attitude which definitely played a part in his progress.
“First let me say that we are grateful for and really like all of the staff at IPC. Floki’s veterinarians, therapists and the patient service coordinators have been amazing. You all have been so patient and understanding of the struggle it was in the beginning and continue to be so nice and helpful!! Floki and I both would love to give a shout out to his therapist Renee for the extra time and love she has shown him. Renee has really been so helpful in making sure that we go home with handouts explaining our exercises and videos showing progress. She has answered every question I had about feedings, and how to learn to properly express/potty him. She has also coached me to be more relaxed and aware that if I show my frustrations to Floki, he will sense that and be frustrated also. I’m so thankful and so much more confident in caring for Floki because all that Renee has talked me through and shown me. She has gone above and beyond for us!” -Amanda
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Floki has asked us to tell you about Road Dogs & Rescue.
Road Dogs & Rescue is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization in California focused on rescuing and rehabbing medical bulldogs, puppies with birth defects and spreading the message of love and compassion towards all animals, both locally and internationally.
Meet the fantastic French Bulldog pair, Beau Jangles & Coco Chanel. These two seem to capture everyone’s hearts wherever they go and IPC is no exception. They are so popular that therapists Katie, Tiffany and Michelle “fight” over who gets to see them!
Beau Jangles came to us with left rear lameness. It was determined that the cause was cranial cruciate disease and medial patellar luxation which would require surgery to correct. Beau had a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery and started therapy within days. He did excellent with his treatment program and was back to almost full weight bearing within eight weeks!
Coco was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia. While rehabilitation cannot reverse hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis, targeted therapy can address pain, compensatory issues and improve gait biomechanics. Coco was prescribed weekly sessions of underwater treadmill, therapeutic laser, massage, therapeutic exercises and Adequan injections. After an eight week program, she was not only more comfortable, but was able to go on 20 minute walks with only occasional lameness.
“It was amazing to see how fast Beau recovered from his TPLO surgery with rehab, and even though Coco’s hips are terrible on x-ray, you would never tell by looking at her since she runs around like a maniac!” – Michelle, BS, CVT
“The day they successfully completed their rehabilitation programs was the happiest and most devastating day for us. We were all excited that they were back to normal function, but also sad that they wouldn’t be able to see them weekly anymore! We are all counting the days until their 30 day rechecks” -Tiffany, CCRA
Kris brought Coco home after losing her beloved Boston Terrier, Gizmo. Despite her initial sweet demeanor, Coco went from cute and cuddly to a fun loving and crazy girl within the first couple months. Later, Kris decided that Coco needed a friend and brought Beau home who has been calm and loving since he was a puppy. “Although Beau can give Coco a run for her money, she is the alpha dog who demands all the toys to be her own”. -Kris
After Coco was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, I was looking for alternative care and got very excited with all that IPC has to offer, especially in terms of pain management. These are all the things I would absolutely and do for myself, so having it available for my beloved dogs is fantastic! -Kris
Beau and Coco have since graduated from their formal programs, but their home exercise programs are crucial to their continual success. “Their mom does great with their home programs, which is hard with one dog let alone two!” -Katie, CVT, CCRVN, CVPP
Everyone treated us like we were their most important clients. When Dr. Amber got right on the floor with Beau instead of putting him on a cold metal table, I knew I made the right choice. Her clothes were even covered in fur from her other patients which showed me that she cared- that meant the world to me.