Meet our Patient of the Month, Scout! Scout was purchased from a pet store when she was 6 weeks old. According to her owners, she was always an active girl and that could run for miles and could walk for several hours a day without getting tired.
Scout first came to IPC on August 14th, 2019 with declined mobility, tight muscles in her lower back, and slight muscle atrophy. Her goals were to work on pain management and muscular strength. She was always a favorite to our staff and was known as a sassy girl that was dedicated to everything she did.
Although Scout has passed, we will always remember her as one of our most special patients, she and her family will remain in our hearts.
Although Scout has passed, we will always remember her as one of our most special patients, she and her family will remain in our hearts.
“When we first met Scout, she immediately sat in Emma’s lap and gave her little kisses. Her owner was surprised, as this was very out of character. I could already see how special her bond was going to be with everyone here at IPC, but especially Emma. Scout was one of those feisty old ladies who wanted so badly to boss everyone around and she often barked at the bigger, more rambunctious patients from across the gym. We admired her dedication and spirit to do so, even at 18 years old! We miss her sassy self so much.”
Dr. Kelli Martin
It’s hard to describe how special Scout is. Her strong and independent personality made working with her a joy. Scout loved massage (most of the time- as long as she didn’t have other plans for herself!), which was so fun for me and helped us form a strong bond. When we met Scout she had lost her hearing, so we found creative ways to communicate through hand signals and food (her favorite- beef liver!). She is incredibly special, there is just no other dog like her. I miss her and I’m grateful that we were able to have a very special last massage session together.
Emma, Scout’s Therapist
Each month we ask that our POTM share an organization that is close to their heart for us to promote. This month, Scout’s family has asked us to tell you how important Greenbay Animal Hospital was in giving Scout longevity and wonderful quality of life.
I would often go to Happiness is Pets in Orland Park just to enjoy viewing all of the animals. I was wishing that I could someday bring home another dog for our older Boston Terrier, Rex. It was one day back in 2007 that another Boston terrier caught my eye. That was when I first met Blitz. I went several times and he just made me melt. He was so captivating. I would walk into the store every time and no matter where I was in the store, he was looking at me. Those huge ears on his little three-pound body eventually won me over. After several visits, I brought my husband Matt in and Blitz also won him over. On February 11th, 2007, we brought him home. He met his new brother Rex and we began our journey. Blitz and Rex were buddies and inseparable until Rex passed in September 2014. Blitz was lost, but he was our world.
Blitz has always been the most loving, attention needing dog I have had. He has always been loyal and the most comforting dog. He has always got along with other dogs. In fact, we would take him to PetSmart hotel or other boarding places when we would go out of town and when we picked him up he would be behind the service desk. The workers loved him so much that we let him hang out with them. This happened often. He has always been the life of any gathering and everyone is drawn to him. His great personality and loving demeanor drew everyone to him. If not, he would make sure that you knew he was there and demanded your attention. Blitz loves other animals, people, camping, hiking, and cuddling with anyone. He is motivated by treats and our love. Unfortunately in late November 2018, Blitz was diagnosed with Inter-vertebral Disk Disease (IVDD). This disease happens when the cushioning discs between the vertebrae of the spinal cord and begin to break down or harden. This takes away the cushioning which causes nerve damage and pain, hind leg dysfunction, weakness, and sensitivity to certain mobile activities.
Why Integrative Pet Care?
We chose to bring Blitz to Integrative Pet Care after his diagnosis because of our research and wanted to try a different type of treatment. They had great recommendations and reviews so we decided to give them a try. Blitz has been there since November 2018. We have done several different treatments such as acupuncture, massages, and aqua therapy. Aqua therapy has been most suitable for his condition, but to motivate him there has to be an unlimited supply of liver and peanut butter. Everyone at Integrative knows that he is treat-motivated and needy.
How has Integrative Pet Care helped?
Currently, we are just maintaining Blitz’s mobility. We have purchased a dog kart and several other kinds of support to help him. The training of using these supports has been difficult but we’re sure he will come around, especially if we keep that liver treats around. Integrative Pet Care has been very helpful, knowledgeable, kind, professional, and caring. The staff has an obvious love for Blitz and all other animals that visit. We are so thankful for everyone there and could not thank them enough for everything that they do. They give us hope that Blitz will be able to continue his camping, hikes, music fests, and everything else he enjoys doing.
Blitz is a great example of perseverance. He came to us almost 16 months ago with some weakness in his hind limbs secondary to spinal cord disease. Through treatment consisting of hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and exercises he was able to maintain independent mobility for nearly a year. He is now in a cart, but continues to have a great joy for life and still loves his peanut butter more than anything!
Dr. Amber Ihrke
Blitz is one of my favorite boys. He is so much fun to work with even though he is such a stubborn little guy. He has had his ups and downs throughout his time with us but it has never brought his spirit down. As long as he has his peanut butter nothing bothers him. I look forward to seeing him and his big ole’ ears every time he comes in!
Katie, Animal Rehab Therapist
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal-related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. The animal-related organization that Blitz would love to promote is Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue at https://midwestbtrescue.org/.
Lacey was a rescue, found at less than a year old by a Chicago Police Officer and brought to Bow Wow Rescue. She spent a few months with a foster family before her new family found her through rescueme.org.
Dottie is also a rescue. She was found in Oak Park as a stray and brought to Animal Care League. She was in the shelter for approximately 3 months and so stressed she had almost lost her bark by the time her family adopted her. But her bark came back strong after a week in her new home!
Both pups came to IPC to rehab a CCL injury and went through a treatment program that including hydrotherapy, therapeutic laser treatments, and Therapeutic Exercise.
(IPC) came highly recommended. I also appreciate the approach to heal them naturally. We all found everyone so helpful and friendly! Lacey rebounded after her surgery quickly and continues to improve using her back leg all of the time. Dottie has come along nicely without resorting to surgery and is using her back leg most of the time. Dottie and Lacey love coming to therapy. When I get to 159th and Parker in the left turn lane to U turn they lose it. Barking and whining they cannot wait to see their friends!
Patricia, Dottie & Lacey’s mom
Lacey is a sweetheart of a dog who, unfortunately, tore her cranial cruciate ligament. She had a successful TPLO surgery and came to see us for post-operative rehabilitation. Lacey had a treatment plan that consisted of therapeutic laser, hydrotherapy, and therapeutic exercises. She did fantastic with her recovery and we are really proud of her progress. Way to go Lacey!
Dr. Amber Ihrke
Lacey and Dottie live in a 3 Jack Russell household with the third one called Belle. Mom brought all 3 of them in to IPC every time a visit was scheduled. It was always enjoyable to start the day with these 3 ladies as although they were all the same breed, they all had completely different personalities. Lacey was shy, nervous, and very much a “momma’s girl.” Dottie was the most energetic and enthusiastic of the 3. Belle was the only one of the 3 who didn’t come to us for rehabilitation, so we didn’t get to know her as well, but she was always friendly and up for getting pet or being given a treat. I had the pleasure of working almost exclusively with Lacey who I became quite attached to and was always excited to work with. Although she never really seemed completely thrilled to be at IPC, our beef liver treats helped her come out of her shell and motivated her to work hard and achieve great heights while here. She started rehabilitation after a left rear TPLO and received laser therapy, underwater treadmill, and therapeutic exercises. What was great about Lacey was that she was able to do more challenging things every time she came in for a visit. I was continuously noticing improvements and I was receiving positive reports about her progress at home. After her second TPPE, she graduated to a home exercise program after significant improvements in comfort, weight bearing, and muscle mass were noted. I miss working with her regularly, but I am very proud of her and hope she continues to improve and make strides at home. Way to go, Lacey!!
Tiffany, Animal Rehab Therapist
Dottie is a super sweet dog that happens to also be a ball full of energy. It was so funny to see how excited she was to see us compared to her sister, Lacey, when they would come in for their appointments. Dottie did not undergo surgery to repair a torn cruciate, but improved tremendously with rehab. It was always take a little while for her to calm down enough to sit still for her laser and massage session, but even when she was calmer, she was still rolling over on her back for belly rubs every time you called her a “good girl”. I’m proud of the improvements that she made and I know with the exercises the owner is doing at home, she will continue to do well. It was so much fun working with the terrier sisters!
Michelle, Animal Rehab Therapist
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal-related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Lacey and Dottie’s family has asked us to tell you about rescueme.org
Meet our March Patient Of The Month, Dee, who practically grew up in our clinic because her mom was an employee! Since Dee was friendly and always around, she was often used to train new therapists and demonstrate new techniques. As she got older, she unfortunately developed back and elbow issues, but they were successfully managed because of her regular therapy sessions which consisted of underwater treadmill, exercise, massage, and laser.
Last spring she decided to up the ante and injure her knee. On examination, Dr. Martin suspected a partial CCL tear, so off to the surgeon she went. Her surgery was postponed due to other health issues, so pre-hab therapies such as exercise, massage, laser and acupuncture were started to manage pain and strengthen her other limbs. She eventually had a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) in November 2019, performed by Dr. David Wilson at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital.
“Dee was always so patient with me when I started training at IPC. She allowed me to practice my exercise and massage techniques and was always willing to give me lots of kisses! It was an honor to treat her post TPLO surgery and I am so proud of how far she’s progressed since starting the program! I am still seeing improvements with her and am excited to see how much stronger she gets; no more injuries though!” -Rika, Dee’s primary therapist
Massage, laser, Assisi Loop treatments, and lots and lots of icing were started immediately following surgery to reduce inflammation, swelling at the surgical site and manage her pain. Due to her conformation, the repair angle was steep, so she was put on extra restriction- which she fortunately didn’t mind.
One month post-op, her team felt she ready to start active therapies to help regain muscle mass, so she progressed to underwater treadmill and therapeutic exercise. While Dee isn’t the biggest fan of the underwater treadmill, she can be bribed to stay up front with peanut butter. Three months later, Dee was given the clearance by Dr. Wilson to return to normal activity! The collaboration and open communication between her surgeon and rehab team contributed greatly to her successful recovery.
“Dee is a treasure who was my first patient at IPC! She has always been a bit of an overachiever when it comes to hurting herself, so she keeps us busy! Dee never fails to make us laugh- we love her so much” -Dr. Kelli Martin
Dee was as adopted as a puppy after her foster parents knew they couldn’t let her go. Her daily life involves stalking her cat siblings, wuh-wuhing for food, cuddling and being the laziest pit bull around. She recently started competing in Nosework competitions, which has helped keep her mind active while recovering. Dee can’t wait to go on pack walks in the spring and thanks to her therapy, she’ll be able to keep up with her buds!
“I am incredibly grateful for the amazing care Dee has received over the years as I was fortunate to have the best rehab team at my disposal. I can’t imagine what her mobility would look like without them- they are simply the best!” -Liz
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Dee’s family has asked us to tell you about CRISP.
Chicagoland Rescue Intervention and Support Program (“CRISP”) provides low or no-cost services to help Chicago pet owners keep their pets rather than surrendering them to the city shelter. If pets cannot be kept by their owners, then CRISP will network to help place them immediately with a rescue group or no-kill shelter to bypass the city shelter completely.
It’s with a heavy heart we let you know that our Patient Of The Month Haylie has recently passed, but it is our pleasure and honor to dedicate the month of February to her.
Haylie had a rough start in life, but all that changed when she was adopted into a home who showered her with love and attention. Despite her history, she adored people, loved to play tug and was a loving companion and perfect pal to her two doggie siblings. In May of 2017 she began randomly limping and was diagnosed with a soft tissue injury, but her lameness seemed to disappear with pain medications. Unfortunately, in November 2018, she became non-weight bearing and painful even with the addition of 3 more pain medications.
Her vet suspected the worst, highly aggressive bone cancer which gave her a poor prognosis. Ultimately an amputation was recommended as well as chemotherapy. The cancer spread to her lungs in November 2019, but that didn’t slow down her zest for life.
Haylie’s parents brought their previous dog to Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen, so it was a no-brainer to return. In January 2019 they met with Dr. Amber Ihrke shortly after her amputation. A rehabilitation program was prescribed which included acupuncture, massage, exercise and manual therapy. These therapies were specifically recommended for pain management and strengthening. IPC worked closely with her parents, oncologist and primary care veterinarian to give her the best quality of life.
Haylie enjoyed her time at IPC and her therapists loved working with her. “Every time she came to us, she had a big goofy grin on her face that was contagious and heartwarming”- Tiffany
Once she started therapy, her swelling disappeared and she became more mobile and comfortable. She regained her strength and was back to enjoying past activities like running at the lake, climbing bluffs, and taking treks into town.
“Despite being diagnosed with cancer which required an amputation, she always greeted us with a smile and wagging tail. Haylie was an incredibly sweet dog who just loved to get attention. It’s patients like Haylie who remind us to never let the little things get to us, never take life for granted, and live each day to the fullest. Having survived for over a year since her initial diagnosis, she is an inspiration to us. Haylie will always have a special place in our hearts.” -Michelle
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Haylie’s family has asked us to tell you about Illiana Rescue.
We are a small, 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization of volunteers.
We save dogs and cats from euthanasia, abuse and neglect.
We work closely with local shelter management, veterinarians and community members, serving Northwest Indiana-Lake County.
We mainly focus on animals in dire need, such as death row dogs and cats at high-kill shelter facilities, animal impounds or veterinary hospitals.
We provide proper care, medical treatment, therapy and social rehabilitation for the animals in foster homes.
We give animals a second chance at long, happy, healthy lives in loving adoptive homes.
“Lottie and Joey are both rescues from Chicago French Bulldog Rescue (CFBR). Lottie was rescued from a puppy mill when she was 11-months old and has been living the good life for the last five years! She has come a long way from the scared and shut down pup she was when she was saved. Joey’s previous owner surrendered him to the rescue, and he joined his new family about four years ago. He is a sweet, sensitive boy who wants nothing more than to be loved. Because Lottie and Joey are irresistible (as are all Frenchies), their parents were foster failures and ended up adopting them.
IPC was recommended to their parents when Lottie and Joey started to show signs of the health issues Frenchies are prone to get. They couldn’t be happier with the care Lottie and Joey have received over the last couple of years. Joey (who can be a little grump) gets so excited when his mom tells him it’s time to go to therapy and see Emma. He will dance in circles on his way out the door, and he will snort, grunt, and screech with excitement when he arrives at IPC (especially when he hears Emma’s voice). Not only do Lottie and Joey love Emma, they appreciate all the staff’s kindness, patience, and knowledge about the breed and their issues. IPC has even taught their mom some exercises to do with them at home, although that’s not as fun as being in the gym or on the treadmill at IPC!
IPC has helped Lottie and Joey become physically stronger and more active. It has also helped with their socialization skills; Lottie, especially, has learned to trust others and has learned lots of fancy tricks. It’s given them both a boost in confidence, and it gives them a chance to have fun and get exercise. Above all, they feel (and look) better and have a much better quality of life. Joey absolutely loves hydrotherapy and getting all the peanut butter while he struts his stuff on the treadmill-Lottie, not so much. Joey can also be a real showoff in the gym, but Lottie is more focused and is determined to do exactly what Emma wants and more! She will do anything for those yummy treats and a little massage/laser after!
Lottie and Joey are very content with sunbathing/fighting over the best sun spot in the room and snuggling with their humans. However, Lottie often loves to hang with all the neighbors’ dogs, to go do volunteer work for CFBR, and to boss her brother around. Joey loves to snuggle on his mom’s lap and binge watch TV. He is a homebody, but every once in a while, he enjoys going to a bar and eating all the things off the floor (forget being social; he’s just there for the snacks!)”
“Joey and Lottie are so great to work with, but couldn’t be more different. Joey can’t control his excitement and loves showing off which Lottie is more serious and focused when it comes to her sessions!” -Emma
Make A Difference
Each month we ask our POTM to choose an animal related organization to spotlight during his or her “reign”. Lottie and Joey have asked us to tell you about the organization that saved their lives, Chicago French Bulldog Rescue.
Chicago French Bulldog Rescue (CFBR) was launched to protect French Bulldogs from neglect, abuse, loss of family and theft. We rescue them from animal shelters and puppy mills. We help families and individuals that can no longer care for their Frenchies. We are shepherds of the breed working to educate about French Bulldogs and most importantly, placing rescued Frenchies into loving homes.
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
It’s 2020, and what better way to ring in the New Year than introduce our Patient Of The Month, June! June started slowing down as she aged but became almost immobile according to her mom after she lost her best friend Bruce last year. At the recommendation of a fellow pug friend, June came to us for an evaluation last March as her parents were looking to improve her mobility and endurance.
June was prescribed a program which included pain control modalities such as acupuncture, massage and laser. Within a month she was moving better than she had in the past year! June’s parents were also taught home exercises which are done religiously since she loves to “werk werk werk werk werk”.
“We love the combined therapies approach as well as the way the staff works together!” -June’s parents
While June loves everyone, she has formed a special relationship with her therapist Renee. “June whimpers with glee when we park by IPC and runs in to find her, wag her curly tail and give her kisses. The absolute sweetest is massage when June kisses Renee as she releases tense areas”.
“The daily life of June involves waking up and demanding food right away – all that working out has her hungry all the time! She then cuddles with her dad (her favorite person in the whole world) or by the fireplace and goes into work at EDGE Athlete Lounge – (that’s right, we have pugs as gym dogs). When at work, June can be found cuddling in her pug nest, barking at Members for food or posing for pictures. She likes to do her therapy in the afternoon and usually wraps up the night by taking a nightly steam shower (good for her lungs and throat!) and curling up in bed with her favorite pillow, little brother Tank.”
If you want to see more of June and her ridiculous younger brother Tank, you should follow them on Instagram at @pugcovery! As an added bonus, you get to see June rocking her home exercises.
Northern Illinois Pug Rescue and Adoption, Inc. (NIPRA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that exists to assist the community in placing any needy Pug dog in a permanent, loving home. All adoption fees and donations go solely for the rescue, care, and placement of mistreated, unwanted or homeless Pugs.
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!