A little over a year ago, Tilly’s mom Kirsten noticed she was having trouble with one of her rear legs. After a few inconclusive vet visits, an evaluation at Integrative Pet Care was recommended. “With Tilly being a senior corgi, my mind immediately went to Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), and I panicked” remembers Kirsten. After meeting with Dr. Ridley, a twice weekly program of therapeutic exercise & underwater treadmill was prescribed. After rocking it for 8 weeks with her therapist Laura, Tilly graduated to a maintenance plan of once weekly therapies. Tilly is incredibly enthusiastic about her therapy (especially exercise) and absolutely hates taking breaks!
We asked her mom to tell us a little about the daily life of Tilly: “She is a lazy loaf of bread at home. She loves sleeping in strange positions, including but not limited to underneath/in between her beds (corgi sandwich), belly up in the middle of the floor, next to the wall with her feet seemingly holding the wall up, and many more! She loves begging for snacks and working for treats, and I call her a canine Roomba because she is so motivated for any little food scrap. She loves being outside and going on road trip adventures. She’s traveled to both coasts several times, and even enjoys a quick trip around the block. She’s a fantastic copilot!”
“If you’ve seen the hashtags on social media #corgitude and #corgioncorgistrong, and you have the opportunity to meet Tilly, you’ll completely understand both of them! Tilly starts with her ‘corgitude’ by telling me just how excited she is to start her therapy sessions each week. They don’t bother to tell me Tilly has arrived, because I hear her bark. I then come up and see a smiling face as she leads me back to the gym. She is a strong, stumpy, little gal, and gives each session her all, and has no idea that DM is supposed to slow her down. I’m proud to be Tilly’s therapist, and I know #corgination is proud of Tilly too!” -Laura, Tilly’s therapist
“IPC has been nothing short of amazing. Tilly is now a little over a year out from her diagnosis, and is still walking on her own! The progression of DM has been so slow, thanks to their help. She’s started to slow down and have some more weakness, but without IPC I can only imagine we’d be much farther into the progression of the disease. It makes me happy to see her so excited and engaged while she is at IPC. They always go above and beyond to help us and make sure Tilly is getting the care she needs.” -Kirsten
CorgiAid is a nonprofit organization founded to provide financial assistance to corgis and corgi mixes. We help out those who rescue dogs from shelters or other non-permanent homes, then foster them until a new home is found. Medical and other expenses for these dogs can become high.
QBSDR is a rescue that saves special needs corgis and corgi mixes from California. We put great emphasis on rehabilitating our dogs medically and managing their behaviors through training, while getting to know their needs and quirks in order to find them the right home.
Nikita is a 13 year old pug who was referred to Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen when her primary care veterinarian at Colonial Manor Animal Hospital diagnosed her with osteoarthritis (OA) at the lumbosacral area, & possibly in the elbows. She couldn’t go for long walks, had problems with stairs and losing balance with her back legs. “As Nikita got older, she began to have back pain and abnormal movement in her hind legs. We started Nikita on Adequan and referred her to IPC for additional treatment. Their services have helped increase her comfort and quality of life as she ages. They not only focus on her back issues but all health concerns.” says Dr. Debbie Anello.
“Nikita has been my patient for the last 18 months and always makes me smile! We initially had her in a plan that included hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercises and acupuncture. She responded very well and now has a home exercise program and comes to see me for acupuncture every 3-4 weeks. Nikita is a great example of how a little TLC for a senior patient can allow for improved mobility and improved quality of life.” – Dr. Amber Ihrke
“Nikita was such a sweet old lady when she came to us but she was having trouble keeping up with the new puppy in her home. By the end of therapy, Nikita was walking circles on the trampoline and maneuvering obstacle courses set up by Katie. She can now play (and get away) from the new puppy. Nikita is a type of patient who shows that age doesn’t matter. If you start getting an older dog moving, they regain their lively and spunky personality they had once before”, explains her therapist Valerie Williams.
Katie Dunbar, Nikita’s therapist, knew she had made progress after hearing that she could not only play with her new puppy, but get away from her as well!
“What a difference this made! The IPC ladies were all so nice and patient with Nikita and did a great job. Now Nikita can go for short walks. She can use the stairs a bit better and chase the bunnies slowly. Most importantly she can now defend herself against her little sister! I appreciate everything IPC has done for my old girl.” -Elizabeth, Nikita’s mom
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Nikita has asked us to tell you about Tender Loving Care 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.
We first met Digger a little over 2 years ago when her parents noticed she started slowing down. After meeting with Dr. Megan Ridley, a formal rehabilitation program was created that included strengthening modalities such as underwater treadmill and exercise, as well as laser, acupuncture and massage therapy which were prescribed for pain management. Digger loved her therapies right away and her mobility improved.
“IPC has helped Digger’s daily functioning – mobility, flexibility, stability. The laser and acupuncture really help ease stiffness and pain. The training you have provided and continue to provide so that we can work with her at home has been unbelievably helpful. Digger would not be as mobile if not for her weekly visits.” -Bonnie, Digger’s mom
Digger has a lot of loves in life like watching trains and snoozing under the covers, but nothing beats swimming in the lake- toss a tennis ball and she’s off! She still enjoys taking walks, but it involves more smelling than walking these days.
“As a 15 year old pit bull mix, Digger has developed more issues over the years, but that hasn’t changed her attitude. She comes in ready to work and is all smiles (and barks) while doing it!” –Dr. Ridley
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Digger has asked us to tell you about C.A.R.E.
Community Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization with a mission to serve the communities of Chicago’s North Shore by fostering and supporting healthy, positive relationships between people and companion animals. C.A.R.E. rehomes companion pets into safe, healthy, lifelong homes; serves as an educational and counseling resource; and works to reduce pet overpopulation.
Logan’s parents used to bring their elderly dog Cali for rehabilitation years ago, so they made an appointment right away when he was diagnosed with a partial tear of his cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). They were hoping to avoid surgery, so a program was started that included therapeutic exercise, underwater treadmill & laser. All was going well until he went a little too crazy in the snow and fully tore the ligament! Logan soon had surgery and came back to IPC for post-surgery rehabilitation.
“We adopted Logan from the Anti-Cruelty Society in July 2014 shortly after adopting our other dog Sinna. We don’t know much about his past, other than that he came from Mississippi and that he was afraid of EVERYTHING. He literally pooped his metaphorical pants the first time he heard our garage door and wouldn’t willingly leave our bathroom for the first week or so. But oh so slowly, he gained confidence and has turned into the biggest, most loving goofball. Don’t get me wrong—he is still afraid of random things like plastic bags and street signs, but we’ve come a long way.” Kris, Logan’s mom.
“If you were to look up ‘proud therapist’ in the dictionary, there would be a picture of me staring in amazement at Logan! He has overcome injuries, but most of all his confidence at IPC has soared. I look forward to giving Logan a new challenge in the gym or during his underwater treadmill sessions because he’s always ready to show me what he’s got!” -Laura Krill, CCRA
“Yes, we’ve seen great progress and no additional injuries, but also Logan LOVES his sessions at IPC. We have technically completed his post-operative rehab program, but I plan to take him to IPC as long as they’ll have us because it is truly his happy place. Nowhere else is he so elated, so confident, and so at ease, as working out in the gym with Coach Laura.” -Kris
You can follow Logan’s, and his sisters Riley and Sinna, latest shenanigans on Instagram under Land of Misfit Dogs!
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”.
Logan has asked us to tell you about a new project his parents started with ALIVE Rescue. Kris and Nate have gone above and beyond supporting local rescues and are building a shelter in Southern Wisconsin so ALIVE Rescue can further their mission!
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.
“Ella was originally found on the side of the road by a good Samaritan as a 3 pound, 5-week-old puppy and brought to DuPage County Animal Control. They quickly realized that she was deaf, as she would sleep through all the commotion of animal control in her kennel, not noticing when people walked up and talked to her. I happened to be in the building on the day she arrived and just fell in love with her little face. Patrick and I agreed to foster her for the rescue I was with at the time, thinking it would not take her long to be adopted, and we picked her up on a Friday. By Saturday’s adoption event, she had already decided we were meant to be her parents and she would cry and search for us if anyone else tried to hold her. We adopted her on Monday, joining her big sister Sophia. Ella was an incredibly smart puppy, quickly picking up sign language.
Two days after she graduated from puppy 1 positive reinforcement basic obedience training, at 3.5 months old, she was attacked by a neighbor dog. Ella had her paws up on a chain link fence while the neighbors were petting her. The dog charged at Ella pulling her front left leg up and through the fence, where he viciously shook her around resulting in a broken radius and ulna, 28 puncture wounds, a ripped off paw pad, 6 broken teeth, and the equivalent of shaken baby syndrome. Ella was immediately rushed to first her primary vet and then transferred to the emergency vet where the orthopedic surgeon could repair her leg with a plate and screws. With 3 months of casts being changed every 3-4 days, 24/7 care provided by family and friends and 2 additional surgeries Ella recovered. Unfortunately, the growth plate in her ulna closed prematurely while the radius continued to grow causing a deformity in her leg where the foot points outward.
As she grew, the out-turned foot became more and more pronounced. She was doing very well until she was about 18 months old, when we started noticing less use of her bad leg and signs of pain. Around the same time, she began coughing up/vomiting almost every day after or during busy play, and collapsing onto the floor – appearing similar to heat stroke. We made an appointment with Dr. Harres at All Pets Hospital to address her leg and the vomiting concerns. When no apparent cause was found for the vomiting, he took an x-ray of her leg, which showed a lot of arthritis in her elbow and wrist, the start of fusion in her joints and between the bones, and a hole where one of her bones never healed. He then made the connection that perhaps she was vomiting and collapsing due to pain in the leg and sent us Integrative Pet Care Homer Glen to evaluate options for Ella.” -Stephanie, Ella’s mom
“Ella came to us at 18 months old after a severe injury to her left front leg. She exhibited lameness and pain that leg when she was playing and disliked anyone touching her leg. With a treatment plan of hydrotherapy, manual therapy and therapeutic exercises, Ella has improved weight bearing on her right front leg, has no issues with playing and will now allow petting of her leg. Ella is a great example of pain modulation through rehabilitation.” -Amber Ihrke, DVM, CCRT, CVA, CVSMT
“Integrative Pet Care has been wonderful for our family, by providing resources, information, and high-quality care. It is comforting to see how much the therapists enjoy working with Ella.” -Stephanie
“Ella is an amazing case of how rehab can help to break the pain cycle in a dog. During the initial evaluation, we had a difficult time trying to exam her because she was protective of her limb. We slowly gained her trust through manual therapy and instructed her owner how to perform massage techniques at home. Ella also began walking in the underwater treadmill which allowed her to weight bear more on her limb with decreased pain compared to land. Over the past several weeks, Ella has allowed us to now touch her elbow and front limb without any reaction. Her owners report how she now reaches with the injured limb and they have shown us video of her jumping on and off the couches landing on her left front limb. Ella does not demonstrate any lameness during her gait and besides her mobility improving, she no longer guards or protects her left front leg like we saw during her initial evaluation. Ella can also do “high five” with her injured limb. We just love seeing Ella during her therapy sessions and I’m so happy about how much she has regained through rehab.” -Valerie Williams, PT, DPT, ATRIC, CCRP
“When Ella first came to us, she was very uncomfortable with her left front leg and did not want it to be touched. As she continued through her program and began to feel better you could see her come out of her shell. It was great to see how much happier she was. At the start, Ella would run and hide from us and by her last session she was jumping into my arms and giving me kisses.” -Katie Dunbar CVT, CCRA
Make a difference!
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Ella has asked us to tell you about a brand new rescue that her mom started, Wish Upon A Rescue which is currently working to raise$5000 to begin saving cats and dogs in need. (website coming soon!)
We first met Abbey in July 2016 when she originally came in for hind limb lameness. Her limp quickly worsened, so her parents found themselves not only seeing her primary care veterinarian, but a neurologist and IPC as well. After evaluating Abbey, Dr. Ridley sent her back to the neurologist where a hemilaminectomy (spinal surgery) was performed. Unfortunately she developed pneumonia which made her road to recovery much harder.
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.
Riot’s owner Mike got Riot when she was 8 weeks old and she has been by his side ever since. She entered the show dog circuit, where she loved the attention, travel and competition. Riot had a very successful show career and eventually became one of the first AKC female mastiff grand champions! Riot is now happily retired from showing, but still enjoys getting attention from everyone she meets!