Spud, A Dog Story – by Dr. Ava Frick

Spud, A Dog Story – by Dr. Ava Frick

Many of the animals I see are presented to me by their owners as a “last hope.” Because of the longevity in which I have practiced, not only as a traditional veterinarian but also in the arena of physiotherapy and rehabilitation, I can say my track record of being able to help and restore their hope is well above average. But then there are the times when even I am skeptical.

So, it was on October 24, 2017 when I see Spud for the first time. His folks had driven two hours with a desire to at least give him a shot at getting better. Their vet had suggested euthanasia because of his situation. Spud was only two years old and had recently suffered a T12-13 fibrocartilagineous embolism. FCE for short, at his 12-13th vertebral area. This is basically a stroke to the spine. The stroke happens fast leaving a dog unable to walk. Initially there is pain, but within a few days that dissipates and the dog does not worsen. They either start getting better, or they don’t. Often the injury is one-sided. In Spud’s case however, a 117 pound (not obese) energetic red Labrador mix, he was totally unable to use either rear leg.

He came into the clinic in burrito mode on a big blanket. His eyes were bright and he displayed a smile that went from ear to ear, but only half of his body would permit him to make a greeting common to this fella. Spud’s mere size presented a challenge not only to himself, but also to the ones needing to lift and shuttle him around. Fortunately, his Dad was in his forties and strong with a good back and we were hoping it would continue that way.

My focus was 2-fold:

  1. Get circulation directly to the traumatized area, reduce inflammation occurring to the nervous system, and help the body resorb or break up the fibrous tissue obstructing normal nerve function. My “secret weapon” for this, based on published research and my twenty years of using it, is Alpha-Stim® microcurrent therapy.
  2. There are not enough specific nutrients in any food these days to support organ and system function in the presence of stress, disease, injury, or toxins. Supporting the body and nervous system nutritionally becomes a key component to my success over the years with similar cases. Also, as Alpha-Stim microcurrent therapy is applied to the body, physiological changes will occur at the cellular level, and I want to be certain his cells can respond appropriately and with gusto, enabling optimal healing.

His folks agree to my recommended treatment plan. My technician shows them a video on how to do the Alpha-Stim treatment to his back and legs, then demonstrates while doing therapy and instructs them exactly how they will be applying this at home. Yes, Spud’s best chance to every walk again is with twice a day home treatments. An hour later they are leaving with a new plan and hope.

Nine days later I see them again. His improvements are minimal. Now I am a bit disappointed, but I remind them that we have not hit the 14-day ramp up time with the microcurrent. Everyone agrees to stay the course another fourteen days. Added to what they were already doing is an exercise program to stimulate peripheral awareness, tone, and paw extension in order to prevent the dreaded flexor tendon contraction that can happen when the feet are not being utilized.

I see them November 17th and now there is strength appearing and some effort to move the legs, especially the left one. They elect to do more home exercises but not continue the microcurrent treatments. When he returns December 22nd it is an early Christmas present. He was walking (of sorts) and could actually position his legs under his body to sit! The persistence of his folks to do what was prescribed along with their disagreement to believe that he could not get better and should be euthanized had paid off. They were ready to advance to a new exercise program and continue his road to recovery.

I did not see them again. But last week, 3 years later, I had a phone call from them regarding something else with Spud. I asked how he did navigating. Her reply was that he walks normally and the only time they are reminded of his early injury is if he gets really tired from a long weekend of play. There is always hope. And when you don’t give up you often find the answer you were looking for, “Yes, I can make him better.”

Referral List of Missouri and Illinois Local Chiropractic, Rehab, & Acupuncture

Referral List of Missouri and Illinois Local Chiropractic, Rehab, & Acupuncture

There is no one who incorporates all the therapeutic modalities and exercise programs that you are accustomed to at Pet Rehab & Pain Clinic. This list is compiled from people I know and running internet search for surrounding Missouri and Illinois. For Virtual appointments with Dr. Ava Frick, read here.


AVCA Certified Doctors:

IVCA certified Doctors:

  • Leanne Parker, DC – Sunny Rock Animal Chiropractic, 636-465-9560
  • Melissa Georgevitch, DC – Fox Creek Vet Hosp, 636-458-6569
  • Ken Inchiostro, DC – Weldon Springs, 636-300-8089
  • Critter Chiropractic – Centralia, IL, 618-533-2225
  • Kristin Heiden, DVM – Bloomington, IL, 309-662-3633


Offering therapeutic modalities, may or may not have chiropractic. These are veterinary clinics where a doctor or PT is certified (CCRP or CCRT) in one of two of the canine rehab training institutions in the U.S.

  • The Pet Doctor – O’Fallon, MO, 636-561-9122, www.thepetdoctorinc.com
  • Back on Track – O’Fallon, MO, www.backontrackvet.com
  • Vet Rehab of St. Louis – A mobile practitioner, 314-282-7571, drchandraheider@gmail.com
  • www.RiverCanineRehab.com – Springfield, MO, 417-883-7297
  • Four Paws Animal Hospital – O’Fallon, IL, 618-632-4615
  • Animal Rehab Clinic, The ARC – Aurora, IL, 630-926-4530
  • Lamczyk Vet Clinic – Mt. Vernon, IL, 618-204-5837
  • Whitney Vet Hospital – Peoria, IL, 309-685-4707, www.whitneyvet.com
  • Bortell Animal Hopsital – Bloomington, IL 309-662-3633, www.Bortellanimalhospital.com
  • Canine Physical Rehab & See Spot Swim – Montgomery, IL, 630-264-9840, caninephysicalrehab@yahoo.com

FitPAWS Exercise– Robin, Text – 314-517-7726, Email – robin@midwestherding.com

REHAB THERAPIES – Abbi, Text or call – 314-732-8254, Email – Redoakridge2814@gmail.com

ACUPUNCTURE:Sheila Snodgrass, DVM, CVA, 314-315-1701, www.Holisticarevet.com

Essential Oils for Lyme Disease

Essential Oils for Lyme Disease or other players in Trifecta of dysfunction that I have found helpful

Oregano Powerful Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant, liver protectant
Basil Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory
Cypress Circulation, anti-infectious, antioxidant, promotes liver health
Ledum Kidney support, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antibacterial, liver protectant, diuretic
Patchouli Anti-inflammatory, -infectious, antimicrobial, antifungal, insect repellent
Peppermint Anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, rheumatism/arthritis, viral infections (especially herpes), Candida
Eucalyptus radiata Antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory
Mountain Savory Strong antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral (herpes, HIV), immune stimulant, anti-inflammatory (a Yound Living oil)
Thyme Highly antimicrobial, antiviral, antiparasitic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory
Marjoram Arthritis/rheumatism, muscle/nerve pain, antiviral (shingles)
Orange Rich in limonene as anti-cancer, circulatory stimulant, fluid retention
Hawaiian Sandlewood Antibacterial, antiviral (herpes, HPV), antitumoral, immune stimulant, stimulates pineal gland (helps sleep) and limbic region
Northern Black Spruce Antiparasitic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, hormone-like, cortisone-like, immune stimulant, arthritis/rheumatism (a Young Living oil)
Helichrysum Antiviral (herpes), liver protectant, chelates chemicals & toxins, regenerates nerves
Juniper Detoxifying, increase circulation through kidneys and promote excretion of toxins, promotes nerve regeneration
Lime Decongests the lymphatic system, insect bites, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-rheumatic
Citrus Bliss Wild Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Bergamot, Tangerine, and Clementine – digestive, immune, skin
PAIN AND INFLAMMATION associated with the dysfunction, joints
Cinnamon Bark COX-2 inhibitor, circulatory stimulant, antiparasitic, immune stimulant, rheumatism
Copaibi Anti-inflammatory, edema, muscle aches/pains, stiffness
Frankincense Arthritis, inflammation, mental fatigue
Manuka Muscle, bone, calm sensitive nerves
Turmeric Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, nervous system protectant
KIDNEY SUPPORT Lemongrass, thyme, bergamot, juniper berry, grapefruit, geranium, clary sage
NEURALGIA / NEURITIS Marjoram, eucalyptus, Roman chamomile, lavender, juniper berry, helichrysum, cedarwood

Lyme disease in Pets

Lyme Disease in Pets

People know the statement: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, when a dog or a person has been handed the diagnosis of “Lyme Disease”, that is when we need to be optimistic and make Lyme+Ade™ out of it!

This happened to me early August 2018, which sent me into a rapid learning curve. While I was familiar with the spirokete bacteria awarded the name “Lyme” for a collection of symptoms, what I did not know was the intertwined connection to heavy metals and viruses. “Leave no stone unturned Ava”, I became a warrior for myself and all the critters and people out there struggling with the same diagnosis.

So I created Lyme+Aid™ as an advocate to help animals and people struggling with the enemies; viruses, heavy metals, bacteria and/or parasites. This will become a source point for answers about the terribly sly and convoluted disease condition known as Lyme disease. Those microscopic organisms (also known as “no-see-ums”) weaken your body daily (especially when you sleep) with a barrage of clever and illogical symptoms that may come and go, be misdiagnosed, or ignored. That is why they are called Stealth Pathogens. Do not blow them off.

Heed these signs:

  • Night sweats.
  • Sore or achy feet or joints when you get up in the morning.
  • Heart irregularities.
  • Tiredness.
  • Reduced flexibility.
  • Repeated infections, allergies.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes.
  • Fever.
  • Body aches and struggling to navigate.
  • Clinical signs or symptoms that wax and wane.
  • Unknown etiology of bowel distresses.
  • And many more depending on which is leading the rampage on your body at the time.

We can win this battle utilizing a strong battalion of knowledge; focusing on optimism and positivity; employing unique testing systems; enlisting a variety of nutrients, herbs, and essential oils; changing routines to prevent accommodation and adaptation by the enemy; reducing all stressors including inflammatory foods; incorporating massage and low impact stretching exercises; chelating heavy metals; and supporting overall body function and comfort.

The end point takes time. But then neither the animal nor the human got there in a few days. When you find answers with my Lyme+Aid, improvements can be felt and seen within a few weeks. Then you too can be making Lyme-ade out of Lyme disease.

I am here directly as the animal advocate. For their human counterparts, the information is the same and I can direct you to a team of complementary doctors who can start you on the journey to a new level of wellness and a pain-free life.

Do the above symptoms sound familiar?

5  Simple steps to see if your dog has the Trifecta of Lyme Disease:

    • Call to schedule a Stressors Test for Bacteria, Viruses, Heavy Metals.
    • Dr Frick will review the results for Borrelia, certain viruses, and heavy metals.
    • A report of findings is sent to you.
    • If your dog has the Trifecta then proceed to therapy.
    • Schedule an appointment to determine the best approach.

Happy trails, Ava Frick, DVM

Steps to working through diagnosis and treatments:

  • 1) Lyme Disease is a Trifecta
    • i. A virus
    • ii. Heavy metal
    • iii. Bacteria (commonly Borrelia but there are others)
  • 2) There are other stressors that can interfere with health
    • i. Parasites, chemicals, molds, fungus, mycotoxins, pesticides, herbicides, glyphosate, food sensitivities, plants, trees, other allergens, electromagnetic interference, and more.
  • 3) Solutions – Steps to take to find out.
    • a. Zyto Biocommunciation Testing.
      • i. Stressors.
      • ii. Food Sensitivities.
      • iii. Assess Organ Function.
    • b. Determine specific vitamin and mineral imbalances with Fur Analysis (TMA).
    • c. Collect all data, make determination, create a plan depending on severity of case.
      • i. Support major organs (liver, kidney, etc),
        • 1. Supplements, herbs, doTERRA essential oils
      • ii. Support endocrine glands (adrenal, thyroid, etc),
        • 1. Supplements, herbs, doTERRA essential oils
      • iii. Improve the immune system
        • 1. Supplements, herbs, doTERRA essential oils
      • iv. Change diet to better fit oxidation type, sensitivities, Dosha (Aryuvedic typing)
        • 1. Recommended food list
        • 2. Home cook
        • 3. Raw, dehydrated, canned
        • 4. Looking into having some designed for Dosha typing
      • v. Go after the Stressors
        • 1. Supplements, herbs, doTERRA essential oils
        • 2. Paw Spa
  • 4) Addressing body pain, structure, posture, balance, the nerve effects of the virus, heavy metals, bacteria
    • a. Chiropractic
    • b. Therapies: Alpha-Stim®, Laser, Q-Gong
    • c. Low Impact Exercise: Tai Chi-huahua, Easy no incline walks, underwater treadmill
    • d. Paw Spa and Massage

Y98 says Goodbye to Animal Rehab St. Louis

Y98 says Goodbye to Animal Rehab St. Louis

It is with heavy hearts that we closed our in-person practice, Animal Rehab St. Louis. Thank you Julie Tristan from Y98 for this sweet message!

Dr. Frick,

I’m so bummed you’re leaving!  I said goodbye to you on the radio.


Thanks again for all of your help I really do appreciate you so much!!!

– Julie Tristan

Gus, the dog, in 50 states

Featured Pet of the Month:

Meet Gus, who is on a mission to play fetch in all 50 states! Before and after his excursions Gus checks in with Dr. Ava Frick at Animal Rehab St. Louis for function, mobility and nutrition.