Patient Highlights

CALL US

Meet Clover!

Looking at Clover now, you see a wild and happy 2-year-old boxer. She does zoomies, spins when she’s happy, absolutely LOVES treats and greets everyday by gleefully rolling around on her back and making her family laugh. Unfortunately, for most of the first 2 years of Clover’s life she was very ill. If it were not for the dedication and love of her wonderful family, she may not have lived to see her 2nd birthday.

Clover came to her family a few days before Easter in 2017. She was the last of her litter and already showing signs of illness when she got to her new home. She had a cough and spots on her skin which turned out to be kennel cough and demodectic mange. As the months progressed, Clover’s cough worsened. She had persistent bloody diarrhea and needed 10-20 potty breaks a day. By August of 2017, she was leaking urine and having frequent accidents to the point where she had to wear a diaper. Throughout all of this, Clover’s appetite remained healthy, but she was losing weight rapidly – for months she averaged almost 20 pounds underweight. She had no endurance and just wanted to be held and cuddled while she slept. As she grew more and more emaciated, not only were her family members’ hearts breaking, but the FPHC staff’s were as well.

Luckily, Clover’s mom, Donelle, and family were dedicated and relentless when it came to her care and they tried everything that had a chance of helping her. Within a few days of bringing her home, her mom had Clover in to see Dr. Rensberger and a positive healthcare team was born. As time and her symptoms progressed, Donelle and Dr. Rensberger chose a mostly holistic route for Clover’s care. Donelle says that “holistic care is what saved Clover’s life. She had so many issues… Looking at the whole picture of her health would look at all of those problems.” Clover was given dietary supplements to support her whole health, immune system and digestion. She took probiotics, HEEL drops which used natural ingredients and were formulated for Clover’s specific needs, and Amberstone Transforming Formula to help with her urinary issues. All of these products, integrated with some traditional medications, helped Clover’s body support its own healing. Donelle says the most helpful strategy used in Clover’s treatment plan was the Wellness Life Stress Scan that uses saliva and fur to identify allergy triggers in food and the environment. It turns out that Clover is allergic to many of the ingredients in traditional dog food. With Dr. Rensberger’s guidance, Donelle removed the triggers in Clover’s diet and started feeding a home-cooked diet of very few ingredients. “By taking away everything we were feeding her and slowly trying non-trigger ingredients along with prescribed HEEL drops, Clover now has several ingredients for her natural diet.” Over time, the diet change brought with it weight gain, firmer stools and a healthier, happier pup.

Acupuncture was another holistic strategy that helped improve Clover’s quality of life. Dr. Rensberger used this component of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine to help treat Clover’s urinary and bowel issues. We are happy to report that she is now living a diaper-free life!

Clover’s treatment journey has been long and arduous, requiring persistence and patience from everyone on her healthcare team – her family, Dr. Rensberger, and Clover herself. Two years in and she is living the happy puppy life she wasn’t able to when she was younger. Her skin is clear, her bowel movements are normal, her bladder issues are gone and she weighs almost 60 pounds! She’s sweet and quirky with the energy of a young boxer. When she is not zooming around spreading joy, she is cuddling with her family, laying in cardboard boxes or sleeping with her tongue out. This writer was lucky enough to be in Clover’s basic obedience class and watched her learn quickly and with enthusiasm. She is living her best life because her family dedicated themselves to her healing and ventured outside the box with her care. Now, she travels, she plays, she learns, and she is a source of joy to her family at home and her FPHC family.

Meet Kenny!

As the school year wraps up we want to give a shout-out to Kenny, a very special golden retriever!

Kenny has a very important job at Holy Family School. He provides emotional support to the students in his mom’s class 3 days a week. Kenny started working at his mom’s school in 2016, when he was only five months old. He was trained in the classroom setting to get him used to being around kids. The school’s principal was very supportive and allowed teachers to bring golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers to school because of their friendly dispositions.

The students’ reactions to Kenny are positive. At first, they are very excited to have a dog in the classroom. Before Kenny can visit, though, the students go through their own training to prepare them for how to act around a dog. Kenny’s mom says they need to prove they can handle it. When he’s in the classroom, Kenny sits with students and listens as they read to him. Rumor has it that he is the best secret keeper in the school, so students are comfortable confiding in him. He certainly lives up to his reputation!

Kenny also helps students learn about responsibility. One of the classroom jobs is “Pet Patrol,” which consists of filling up Kenny’s water bowl, cleaning up his toys at the end of the day, and taking him outside for potty breaks. Students submit an application for the job and it lasts for a whole semester.

In his spare time, you will most likely find Kenny playing fetch with his beloved tennis balls, chewing on toys and sticks, and cuddling with his family. We are proud to serve Kenny and his family!

Meet Teagan!

January 29, 2019, is Seeing Eye Dog Day. We at Family Pet Health Center are especially excited for this day because we are lucky enough to serve Anne and her seeing eye dog, Teagan. Teagan is an incredibly sweet two-year-old German Shepherd who has been training her whole life to help Anne.

Anne and Teagan are still very new to each other. They began their relationship on October 22, 2018, and Anne says they still have a lot of work to do to get to know each other. Specifically bred to be a seeing eye dog, Teagan’s training began when she was just 8 weeks old. She spent the first year of her life working with a puppy raiser who taught her to be a good canine citizen and exposed her to many different environments. Next, Teagan spent 5 months at the guide dog training facility learning how to keep Anne safe. When Teagan was ready, Anne flew to The Seeing Eye facility and worked with her there for two and half weeks from 5:30 am – 8:00 pm every day. Anne says it was hard work, but worth it!

Day to day, Teagan helps Anne navigate the world at work, at the grocery store, when they are out with friends, and all of the other places that Anne frequents. Anne says people always ask if Teagan can do tricks. “Well, she keeps me out of moving traffic,” Anne laughs, “and that’s a pretty good trick!”

Anne says Teagan and all of her seeing eye dogs have helped her maintain her independence. When she lost her sight, Anne lost herself. The dogs brought her sense of self back. “They keep me being me.”

The Seeing Eye estimates that it costs $60,000 to unite a dog with a client, and it is done at no charge to people in need of a seeing eye dog, like Anne. Not only is there no fee for the dog, but the organization flies clients out to the facility and houses and feeds them while they work with their new seeing eye dog. “It’s wonderful,” Anne says. “Such a gift.”

If you are interested in helping out organizations that train and place seeing eye dogs, they are always in need of puppy raisers. You can also donate online to your favorite guide dog school.

How may we help you?

Our contact information is below! Please let us know how we can help your family.

Our Address

2910 Mishawaka Ave.
South Bend, Indiana, 46615
Click here for directions.

Our Hours

Mon: 8:00am – 7:00pm
Tues: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Wed: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thurs: 8:00am – 7:00pm
Fri: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Contact Info

Phone: 574-282-2303
Fax: 574-282-1325
Email: familypethealth@hotmail.com

Have a question?

Complete the form below and a member of our team will get back to you as quickly as possible. If you need immediate assistance, please call us directly at 574-282-2303.