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.”
When Erin (founder of Bialy’s Wellness Foundation & IPC staff member) heard about a paralyzed 7 week old puppy who ended up in a Wisconsin shelter, she didn’t think twice about coming to his rescue. With the support of Woofgang Rescue, Lt. Dan was transported to Chicago where he is currently being fostered. Dan’s diagnosis is a bit unclear, but a traumatic birth may have contributed to his inability to walk and x-rays also revealed severe hip dysplasia. No one knew if Dan’s function would improve, but his foster mom was willing to stick it out and try everything she could.
Dan was immediately evaluated by Dr. Ridley and a treatment plan was put in place that included twice weekly therapeutic exercise, underwater treadmill and massage sessions. He was also fitted for a cart from Walkin’ Wheels. Dan started showing small improvement with every therapy session! Dr. Ridley recently added in acupuncture to see if that could improve his incontinence.
Dan has since ditched his cart and started walking on his own! While it’s not perfect, we are incredibly impressed with his progress.
A normal day for Lt. Dan includes coming to IPC for therapies, massage at home with his foster mom and cuddles with his foster brother Josh.
Lt. Dan has become an internet sensation he has over 11,000 followers and was even featured on Buzzfeed! Follow him on Facebook for the latest updates on his progress
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Lt. Dan has of course 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.”
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!
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!
Nina is a sweet, 8 yr old German shepherd. Nina’s owners adopted her as a puppy from a
shelter in Indiana. She enjoys long walks, playing stick or catch, snuggling with her siblings, (Travis & Isabelle as pictured) mom and dad, and of course being spoiled by her papa. Nina herniated a lumbar disc that left her unable to walk or move without a lot of pain and crying. Amy & Alex took Nina to see a neurologist who wanted to do surgery right away, but after some research and consulting with Dr. Amber at IPC we decided to try therapy. At first she was only able to do E-Stim with the tens unit (and got an awesome haircut- see picture) because of the pain. With some time she was able to add to her plan; manual therapy, underwater treadmill, ROM stretching, acupuncture, and exercises. Dr. Amber and Valerie soon discovered she does anything for peanut butter! It was a long process to get her feeling better, but well worth it. She is now able to go on her walks again and continues to do her stretching and exercises at home to continue with her recovery.
“We are so thankful for Dr. Amber and Val and all the work they put into helping Nina get better! We have nothing but good things to say about IPC and what they did for our fur baby and are forever grateful.”
-Amy and Alex, Nina’s parents
“When Nina came to Integrative Pet Care she was in a lot of pain and facing surgery, with our treatment plan and the dedication of her owners, Nina is a happy, healthy dog today. I am so proud of her and her success. “
-Dr. Amber Ihrke, Nina’s IPC veterinarian
“Nina is a great example of how much rehab can help a dog in pain. Nina came to IPC in so much pain that she cried any time she moved and we could barely touch her during her evaluation without her crying or yelping. Initially, Nina’s owners were given a TENS unit to use every day on Nina at home to decrease her pain level. Within a few sessions, Nina’s pain had significantly improved to allow me to perform manual techniques to decrease her trigger points, muscle spasms and improve her overall range of motion. With the help of Nina’s diligent owners and her therapy at IPC, we were able to return Nina to her old self. She quickly progressed from a dog that couldn’t move without pain to one that would drag her owners into her therapy sessions. My most memorable moment working with Nina is when she came into therapy one day barking and jumping around, acting like she was a young pup. I couldn’t believe she was the same dog we saw at her initial evaluation. Working with great dogs like Nina while helping to improve their lives and happiness is one of the greatest rewards of
Valerie Williams, PT, DPT, ATRIC, CCRP
Make a Difference
Nina would like us to tell you about German Shepherd Rescue, Inc. If you are able to make a donation in her name to them, it would make her day!
German Shepherd Rescue, Inc. is a growing group of volunteers committed to creating a second chance for German Shepherd dogs that, for many reasons, are in need of new homes.
GSR, Inc. is a state licensed, NO KILL animal shelter based in the Chicagoland area.
We are a 501(c)3, non-profit organization. Our income is derived from adoption fees, private donations and fund raising activities, all of which go to care for the dogs.
In June 2014, Millie’s parents noticed that she was acting funny; she was stumbling on walks and had a hard time getting off the bed. They took her to her primary care vet who recommended seeing a neurologist for further testing. After a spinal tap and MRI, it was determined that Millie had contracted Autoimmune Spinal Meningitis which caused her to have an uncoordinated gait. She responded really well to a Prednisone regiment and was about 80% back to normal. Unfortunately she relapsed a couple of months later and could barely walk across the street on her own. She appeared to completely lose function in her right side. Millie’s neurologist put her on Cytosar (a chemotherapy drug) which she received every month and also upped her Prednisone dosage.
At the urging of her grandma, Millie’s parents brought her to IPC in October 2014 where she met with Dr. Zenoni. Millie started coming once weekly for exercise, massage, underwater treadmill and acupuncture sessions. Since she had so many therapies in a day, her parents opted to board her with us and she quickly became a staff favorite! Millie is an independent lady who prefers to do things her own way. Even though she may walk a little goofy, she knows exactly where she’s going and has a plan on how to get there.
Millie’s gentle disposition and determination has made her a joy to work with. She is up for anything and actually had to be kept back in the beginning from attempting too advanced exercises! She melts for her massage and absolutely loves doing cavalettis (she’d do them all day if we let her)! Even though we’re happy that she’s doing so well that she only has to come in once a month, we’re also a little sad we don’t get to see her as often.
“Had we not found IPC, we aren’t sure where Millie would be and hate to think what the outcome might have been. IPC has taught us so much about therapy and showed us how we could better assist Millie”
–Kelly, Millie’s mom
So far, Millie has been able to maintain her health and can now go down the basement stairs all on her own! She gets Prednisone every other day, receives Cytosar every 5-6 weeks and comes for acupuncture monthly. She absolutely LOVES going on walks and playing with their kitten and other dogs. Her parents report that they continue to see small progress every few months.
“Her demeanor and perseverance through all of this has been unbelievable; she is so happy and so loving. We are truly blessed to have her as ours. She’s definitely taught us a lot about life, resilience and determination. ”
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Millie 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.
“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.”