In addition to our advanced surgical, dental, dermatology, internal medicine, and emergency services, LePar Animal Hospital offers alternative medical and therapeutic options for your pet. Dr. Joe Whalen, Dr. Elizabeth Cutright , Dr. Tricia Stimac and our support staff offer several alternative healing modalities including acupuncture, veterinary chiropractic treatments, chinese herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, Reiki, massage and veterinary rehabilitation (through Chicago Animal Rehab). With all new clients, it’s very important that you fill out our online new client form and have your records faxed, sent or e-mailed to us prior to your visit. This allows us to review your pet’s medical history before your visit and spend more time during the exam discussing therapeutic options and prognosis. If x-rays are important to your pet’s condition, please bring them with you at the time of your visit. If you’re coming from a referring veterinarian, we will fax them our records within 1 week of your visit.
Integrative medicine consultations with Dr. Stimac include a thorough exam and assessment of current conditions of your pet as is done with all of our patients. In addition to the exam, Dr Stimac will be utilizing her alternative knowledge base of current herbal and Chinese medicine to assist your pet. She will provide you with alternative dietary and supplemental guidelines. In some cases, further diagnostics will be recommended. As you will hear us repeat in this informational handout, many integrative therapeutics take time to assist the body. Therefore, we ask your patience with these regiments and recheck exams. Every patient is different, but we initially recommend 2 and 4 week follow up exams for most pets.
Nutrition Response Testing(NRT) Dr. Cutright is one of only eight veterinarians in the United States to be certified in advanced techniques for NRT, Nutrition Response Testing. NRT is a non-invasive testing procedure that locates and addresses nutritional and environmental factors that suppress the body’s ability to create wellness. NRT helps combat fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, chronic pain and other common health problems. Stressors such as toxins, food allergens or infections are clinically shown to interfere with the body’s ability to heal itself. Whole food-based supplements and dietary manipulation are used in conjunction with other modalities to relieve these stressors. To test for NRT, we will combine a conventional exam with a nutrition response analysis exam. It takes 3-4 months, at minimum, for an organ to repair and rebuild once we identify and eliminate a stressor and provide specific organ nutrition. In some cases, we see results in early as 6-8 weeks. Initially, weekly or bi-weekly re-checks are necessary until all imbalances are discovered and a maintenance program is established. Ideally, this program is continued throughout a pet’s life and 1-4 visits per year are recommended for optimal health.
Please note that younger pets also benefit with early NRT intervention – best results are achieved when symptom are in early stages!
Acupuncture patients are seen approximately once a week for three or four weeks of treatments. Young pets, or those with acute injuries, may not need additional treatments. For geriatric or chronic disease patients, the treatment interval is extended to the greatest time period that the patient’s clinical signs remain controlled (4-8) weeks. Acupuncture is an invaluable tool in healing. Stimulation of nerves and the reduction of pain and inflammation are the most obvious immediate benefits. Most pets are relaxed during their treatments and many fall asleep. When deciding on acupuncture points to use, Dr. Whalen takes into consideration your pet’s previous medical history, age, environment and constitution. By doing this, in addition to treating the primary problem, we often see beneficial “side effects” such as improved sleep and elimination patterns, improved appetite and an overall happier pet.
Veterinary Chiropractic Treatments are a foundation for maintaining and achieving optimum health in your pet and are used in almost all of our pets with previous back & neck problems and those involved in rehabilitation. Adjustments facilitate normal movement in the spinal column, limbs and pelvis. These treatments are crucial to preventing injuries in athletic dogs and for reducing pain and inflammation in injured pets. Most chronic patients are seen initially, then 2 weeks after, then 2 months later and then as needed.
Massage Therapy improves circulation, flexibility and joint mobility. Like all of us, pets love to be messaged. Our certified staff can be scheduled for pet massages either on a drop off basis or on certain days of the week.
Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of healing that can relieve pain, boost the immune system, relieve acute problems and help with chronic illness. With most pets, Reiki is combined with massage to incorporate the benefits of both.
We have a separate facility dedicated to Rehabilitation in conjunction with some of the same therapies offered above, called Chicago Animal Rehab (CARE). Dr. Whalen heads up CARE, located just ten minutes away in Chicago Ridge. Physical Therapy and therapeutic exercises have been a very important part of human rehabilitative medicine for a long time. They are valuable tools in the treatment of conservatively or surgically managed orthopedic injuries, neurological problems, illness, trauma, arthritis, obesity, and other problems. We use similar techniques to help animals recover from many of the same conditions.
There are a number of therapies that can be utilized. Among them are acupuncture, chiropractic, medications, supplements, underwater treadmill, laser therapy, electric stimulation therapy, ultrasound therapy, massage, Reiki, and therapeutic exercise. Using agility techniques, theraband limb work, exercise balls and balance and proprioception equipment, we can work with the animal and owner to design a Home Therapeutic Exercise Prescription that will work best for them.
An initial Rehab exam can either be scheduled at LePar Animal Hospital or Chicago Animal Rehab. Dr. Whalen will review your pet’s medical history and perform a thorough exam. If indicated, a veterinary Chiropractic treatment and Acupuncture will then be performed. Also, if recommended, an underwater treadmill will be included. If scheduled well in advance at Chicago Animal Rehab, an underwater treadmill treatment can be performed immediately, following the initial exam. This treatment can also be scheduled for another time. For services not described in our above handout, (ie. Underwater Treadmill, Ultrasound, or Laser therapy) please ask our staff for a CARE handout or visit the CARE website listed above.