Vector Borne Disease Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention & Education - 1292 dogs, puppies (and a few kitties) saved since October 2001.
Illinois Birddog Rescue, Inc (IBR) is a 501(c)(3) Charity and licensed shelter by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Tax-deductible monetary gifts can be mailed to: P.O. Box 364 Wood Dale, IL 60191

Please visit our Donation blog to see the amazing people who have helped keep us going.


Skye Needs Hip Surgery

Skye is a beautiful Orange and White Field Bred Pointer that was surrendered to us because of her hip dysplasia. Her father is a Field Trial Champion but while Skye has inherited his hunting skills, she must have gotten her bad hips from her mom. The older she got- the more pain she was in after working in the field on birds. Illinois Birddog Rescue has a lot of experience with hip surgery and we are hopeful that once she has her procedure she will be pain free and get back into the field. Skye is in temporary foster care in Minnesota. We'll be bringing her to Chicago for surgery in a month as I still need to fundraise quite a bit to raise the $1500 we'll need. We are not sure if both hips are being done- but she'll need to get her CBC/Chem and tick panel done as well. She is precious and we hope you think so too!


Olivia's Recovery is Going GREAT/ Setter Sponsors Needed

Olivia's Recovery Facebook Album

Olivia's recovery has been going very well. Every day I look at her and see a totally different dog that came into my care February 19th, 2018. I am not a vet, but I know what I know- especially about how to help a dog recover from mange and heartworm disease complicated by tick borne disease. Everything I have learned helping dogs recover while a foster mom for Illinois Birddog Rescue, I poured into Olivia's care- this started in the beginning with getting our wonderful vet Dr. John Rimkunas to do her CBC/Chem and Tick Panel done. While Olivia's 3DX snap test in North Carolina showed Ehrlichia, I knew she was at risk for more and the Immuno Fluorescence Assay (IDEXX #371 IFA) serology showed not only Ehrlichia, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. She was a sick camper!!!! Her treatment included doxycycline and cipro in the am and doxycycline and clindamycin in the pm. These antibiotics worked to help with the tick borne disease, the skin infection caused by the mange and also weaken the adult heartworms. Olivia also was given Heartguard twice a month to kill the heartworm larvae and besides every other day medicated shampoos, she wore a Preventic collar. This aggressive treatment helped her skin heal, and it was amazing how quickly her hair started to grow back. As her blood work showed anemia from the tick borne diseases, Olivia's energy level also started to increase. As she also had some bladder control issues, that also got better.

As of this writing in early July, Olivia has 100% of her hair growing back and it is so soft and she has so many spots!! The cost to help a dog like Olivia would have been in the thousands with all the vetting appointments, but I came up with a plan and fundraised for supplies and helped her on my own.

Olivia's health care plan going forward is the continue the Heartworm Slow Kill program and manage her tick borne diseases by rotating antibiotics. She many not be clear of the worms for another year plus and as the tick borne diseases are not curable, she'll always need to be medicated, especially being a senior. We are due for new blood work soon and I am sure Dr. John will be pleasantly surprised at her progress.

With all the new Setters in need of medical help and nearly 100% of them fighting tick borne disease, we really need a lot of help with donations. Want to be a Setter Sponsor? Please visit our SETTER SPONSORS FUNDRAISING PAGE. Any donation no matter what size would be appreciated. Would you consider a monthly donation to help a dog like Olivia or one of our other seniors? Take a look at our monthly sponsorship program.

Sponsor a pet in our program.


NEW!!! Donate with QuickPay with Chase by Zelle


Most every fundraising app takes a big percentage of the donation- up to 7% and added processing fees. Chase QuickPay by Zelle transfers donations without any fees and the transfer is automatic. If your bank has Zelle transfers- you can sign up with their app. Transfers can be done using IBR's email address: info@illinoisbirddogrescue.org


Sweet Senior Sadie

Sadie is our recent Kentucky Beagle rescue from death row. She is so sweet but has a lot of complicated health issues included rotten teeth and some mammary masses. Her ears were also pretty dirty and she seems to have a tearing issue with her right eye. She is being treated proactively for suspicion of tick borne disease and is also on meds to help with her dental disease. We will build her up for a month and get her ready for surgery in mid September, but we'll need a lot of donations to help her get better.

Sadie's Recovery Facebook Album


Gloriosa- A Very Special Setterador Needs Your Help

Gloriosa is a Setter/Labrador mix that was in danger of being put to sleep in an over- crowded shelter in North Carolina. She was covered in ticks upon arrival and had some infected skin from fleas. She also has heartworms and I am sure once we get blood work done we will find several tick borne diseases. As she had some walking difficulty- initial x-rays show a shattered hip and it looks like there could also be bullet fragments in her arm pit area. Glori has lived a neglected life and also has broken teeth and missing teeth and is at least 10lbs underweight. Thankfully we found a wonderful foster home with Lauren and Eric who also promote Lyme Warriors as both -- like me and most of the IBR dogs have struggled with Lyme disease infections. They are doing their best to build Miss Glori up to get her ready for hip surgery in a couple of months. She looks very happy and is getting stronger every day. We hope you can see how special she is and help us help her get better. She has so much going on and such a long way to go- but we are hopeful that we can help her live a great quality of life filled with love and compassion and pain free!! Any size donation no matter what size would be appreciated.

Glori's Recovery Facebook Album


Sterling- Looking for His Forever Home

Sterling's Facebook Album

Sterling is a very handsome tri-color and white English Setter that came to us from a shelter out of Kentucky. He had been moved from home to home and foster to foster because he was a difficult dog. My first step was to look for any hiding tick borne diseases and he does have Lyme disease. With treatment he is doing very well, has settled down and is showing that he has a ton of potential. He can be bossy but is respectful of my Setters and while he hasn't hurt my cat- he is a bit too interested. He needs a home with an Invisible fence as he can clear a 4 foot chained link easily and he has taught himself how to climb out of a 6 foot pen from his original home. An active adopter that can let him run in a safe field or on leash would be ideal. Sterling also needs an adult home and with and established pack would be fine as long as he can't be pushy. He is cage trained and house trained.


Kelle & Endeavour- 2 New English Setter Rescues

Endeavour and Kelle's Professional Photo Shoot by Jenni Bidner

Kelle and Endeavour are two sweet English Setters that came into IBR's program in the late spring about 5 weeks apart. Kelle was found as a stray in Southern Illinois and Endeavour came in as a stray from a Chicago suburb. Both have something in common- Lyme disease. Kelle also has Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Both were sick campers until treatment started and became good buddies while in foster care. Both are going to make wonderful companion pets.

IBR prides itself in our better tick borne disease screening. We fundraise hard to make it possible to do a Complete Blood Count and Chemistry besides the all important Immuno Fluorescence Assay Tick Panel on each and every dog we bring into our program. This expense is added on top of the cost of vaccinations, heartworm testing, intestinal parasite screening, spays, neuters and microchipping. The average monthly expense for doxycycline to treat one dog in the United States is close to $200 and these dogs need to be treated for months and follow up care needs to continue the rest of their lives.

We are always in need of funding for this rescue and appreciate any support we can get.

Sponsor a pet in our program.


TRUE LOVE- Shirt Fundraiser/ Ends 8-19

Want to help IBR and promote the bestest rescue ever? Take a look at our newest shirt fundraiser. I am a huge tie dye enthusiast, but there are other great solid color options and some hoodies for the fall too. Buy your TRUE LOVE SHIRT HERE!!


The Lyme Quant C6/4DX Snap VS the IDEXX IFA Serology

The past 10 years nearly 100% of our incoming dogs, cats, kittens and puppies are showing tick borne disease infections. Why is this? Several years ago this rescue and me personally went on a quest to help find the best testing and diagnosis to help our rescue population. Because I suffer from Lyme disease, I understand how hard it is for people to be diagnosed properly, and the testing available for pets is often not accurate and sadly as Animal Hospitals are businesses-- many clinics use diagnostic labs that offer them better pricing. The worst thing about what I have learned is the best tool for diagnosis is not even in the IDEXX manual. The 371 IFA serology is most like the testing that is often more accurate in humans. The testing IDEXX promotes is their snap tests that use a Lyme Quant C6 approach to Lyme disease diagnosis which we have shown test after test, is not accurate. The turning point in IBR's tick borne disease testing was when a DVM adopted an infected Pointer from me, "Because he wanted to learn more about Lyme disease." Since then Dr. John Rimkunas has adopted a beagle also struggling with tick borne disease. Seeing both his dogs struggle physically and emotionally has helped him see what I have been seeing for years.

I will be posting more about this- but wanted to at least show the comparison between the IDEXX 4DX snap test and the IDEXX 371 IFA Serology that we ran on new rescue Pointer Shaun. Shaun came in with a fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Shaun was also limping from his left front wrist and had a large bloody seroma extending from the joint and another seroma on the right wrist too. Dr. John noted that he suspected tick borne disease and thankfully we did the better testing as Shaun is feeling so much better now that he is being treated. Many vets are taught that Shaun's Lyme titer of @1:800 and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) titer @1:200 would be "exposure" and not treat-- even if the dog is symptomatic. I will never understand this- and so frustrating. Note that the result for Lyme disease on the 4DX snap was negative and sadly the snap does not test for RMSF. Could Shaun had been vaccinated for Lyme disease- not likely and we will do follow up testing to see where his titers go. Because he also has RMSF, we can assume he has been subject to tick bites. I do hope some folks find my page and if their dog is struggling and only a 3DX or 4DX snap test was performed, that a better IFA Serology can be done for better diagnosing. Tick borne disease is epidemic in this country- and so many animals are suffering because of it.


Meg, Cliff, Norm, Jake & Duke- Wisconsin Family and Lyme Disease

When I was bit and infected with Lyme disease over 21 years ago, I never knew how that incident would shape my life. Right after I was bit I lost my 6 year old dog Nasa knowing what know now-- surely from tick borne disease complications. When I started Illinois Birddog Rescue- it was because of the need to help homeless, abused and neglected American Field Bred English Pointers. My journey in helping these dogs led me to meet Dr. Hanover at the Animal Hospital of Gurnee who helped me learn about better tick borne disease screening. Today we test each and every incoming rescue dog, puppy, cat and kitten and our infection rate is nearly at 100%. My instincts to help these infected pets is uncanny and with all the research I have done and noting certain behavior issues, I have helped many friends and volunteers find the help they needed when there is a suspicion of Lyme disease. HERE is the story of one of my special friends and adopters-- Meg Hoffman. Please read and share- it may offer you and your family some hope.


SHOP SMILE.AMAZON.COM and Help the IBR Dogs!

When you shop Smile.Amazon.com- you can pick IBR as the beneficiary of your purchase. If you would like to help-- check out Buckwheat's IBR Amazon.com WISH LIST!!(click here)


Rescue Pointer Brady-- VINDICATED!!


Brady finished his Derby season with first in Open Walking Derby at the Fort Dearborn GSP Club in September and a first in Amateur Walking Derby and another first in Open Walking Derby at the German Wirehair Pointer Clubs trial in October. Brady came into IBR's program in the worst health suffering from at least 3 undiagnosed tick borne diseases- Ehrlichia, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Brady had chronic diarrhea and bloody stool and was a pointing training reject. Brady has made the most remarkable progress in foster care with his loving foster dad Hector Becerra and while he had a few medical setbacks, he has regained all of his natural scent pointing and hunting abilities. As we have Brady's FDSB papers, we know his Great Grand Pappy is Hall of Fame Inductee CH Erin's Southern Justice and his pappy is CH Erin's Brave Heart . While he has fine genetics, being infected with tick borne disease caused terrible damage to his health while affecting his confidence and drive in the field. I knew we could help him and thanks to many sponsors, after a year plus of medication- he is recovering very well and we are thrilled at his success in Derby this fall.

To date Brady's breeder has no interest in this puppy's health or welfare and was unwilling to test his mom and sold her :O(. This lack of responsibility for the dogs breeding programs is a HUGE problem with the the American Field and with back yard breeders everywhere. Rarely are any of the puppies micro-chipped for their protection and so many of these magnificent dogs wind up in landfills or shot dead when they don't perform. We have proven over and over that these dogs are so at risk for tick borne disease working and training in tick infested areas or being borne to infected Bitches that there is no hope for them to recover unless they find a rescue as dedicated as we are here at IBR to help them succeed and find forever homes. Brady's Vindication is one amazing little Pointer- he looks like a million bucks on point and has the sweetest personality. I can not be more proud of Hector and Brady and am grateful that he trusted me mentoring him in the field- but that was easy- Brady was such a natural once he got over his bad memories and fear. On his last run at Des Plaines Conservation area on October 26th- he ran hard, was incredibly smart and bold following the Derby course and was breathtaking in point. Hector handled him magnificently and as a newbie to field trailing and Pointers, and brought back so many memories of my own when I ran my first Pointer in field trials so many years ago.

THANKS TO ALL- that donated and sponsored Brady's medical bills and Field Trial entries to make all of this possible. We do GREAT work here at Illinois Birddog Rescue and we need as much help as ever. Lisa- IBR Founder and President.



IBR's Talk To Da Paw JH- A Very Special Deaf English Setter

So many TO DO's on my TO DO list while trying so hard to raise funds and help save more- that I pushed Gavin's Story further down on that list. His story is an important one and I created his own Web Page. I never gave up on him- NEVER- even when it was suggested that he be put to sleep. I thank my own Setter stubbornness and my Setter guardian angel for helping him be the little over-achiever he was meant to be.


SLOW KILL Heartworm Treatment- A Safer Option

I have been in Pointer/Setter rescue for over 18 years now. I have seen many vetting successes and many vetting failures and once we started to see the high incidence of tick borne disease in our positive heartworm dogs and how so many of these dogs struggled with the Immiticide/Cyanide treatment we had to find a better way. After doing some research and hearing from vets that only used Heartguard or similar product and adding doxycycline for the Wohlbachia issue, then adding good blood work including the IDEXX 371 tick panel to uncover tick borne disease complications- we are happy to share the IBR's Slow Kill Method success story page. All the dogs that went through this treatment plan were examined by our attending vets and they in turn scripted out the Heartguard or Iverheart and helped us get the appropriate blood work done. Some dogs were treated out of state and to the surprise of their attending vets also did very well. As a rescue we never want to rush treatment in order to move a dog out the door for adoption and thankfully most of the dogs in the slow kill are in foster to adopt.



IBR in Upland Almanac

It is always wonderful to be recognized for all the hard work we do here at Illinois Birddog Rescue. It is especially gratifying when my hard work pays off especially when it comes to my special deaf Setter rescue Gavin. I will put fingers to keyboard soon and document his story as it needs to be told. This little dog is what makes all the hard work and sacrifice worth while.

UPLAND ALMANAC


ACTION PROJECT--Illinois Birddog Rescue

Logan Daniels is one of our great kids helping in Illinois Birddog Rescue's foster care program. In the spring of 2014, his 4th grade class at Center School in Freeport, Il, were involved in an action project to get the kids more involved in their community. Logan decided to focus on IBR's Tick Borne Disease program because his first foster Setter Genevieve came in with 3 diseases and his current foster buddy Hudson is fighting at least 2. Hudson has had his ups and downs and his foster mommy Jessica is keeping a journal of his behavior in their home. Logan got an A! Read more about Logan's Action Project HERE .



The Feline Tick Borne Disease Project


IBR Rescue kitties Nathaniel and Jameson

In April of this year, I lost my beloved 15 year old Brown Tabbie, Indiana Cat, to complications of Lyme disease when he died. As my focus has been on testing dogs and puppies, I tested my own cat too late and I was devastated. So begins IBR's research and testing into our feline friends and we have already been amazed at all the positive lab results so far.

In October of last year, Jameson was found as a stray in Nappanee, Indiana and he did not have any fleas or ticks on him. For grins we did an IDEXX 371 serology to look for evidence of Ehrlichia, Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) infections. He was about 7-8 months old and acting somewhat normal. We were surprised to see he had a titer for Ehrlichia at 1:25 and Lyme disease at 1:100. Our vet supplied us with doxycycline and amoxicillin and we treated him for three months and retested in January where we found that his titer for Ehrlichia rose to 1:100, his Lyme titer rose to 1:800 and an additional co infection of RMSF showed up at 1:25. During treatment Jameson did seem to sleep a lot. In March we retested again after another couple months of doxy and amoxi and BOTH Ehrlichia and RMSF titers went <1:25 and his Lyme titer went down to 1:100 and we were advised to stop treating. Sadly, we retested Jameson the end of September and his Ehrlichia titer is now up back up to 1:100 and his Lyme titer is again on the rise at 1:400. Jameson is an indoor kitty so there is no possibility of reinfection. He was not treated long enough and he is still fighting the original diseases. He did have a kitty rage episode so that really confirmed that he was still struggling and now that he is back on his antibiotics, he seems much happier and his stools which would clear a room are not as stinky. THANK GOODNESS. Here are his labs Jameson 2011/2012 labs,and Jameson Sept 2012.

The cost per test on average runs about $100 each. I prefer the IDEXX 371 because of the lower starting titers for disease, especially for Ehrlichia and RMSF. I have no doubt we have stumbled upon something major here and having chatted with several Veterinarians on the subject, there is A LOT of misinformation and ignorance on this issue- one vet told me cats can't be infected as they groom themselves too well (has he never seen a flea and tick infested stray?) and another stated the lab can't possibly be accurate for cats. I also had a vet absolutely refuse to treat even though the kitten's CBC/Chem had many red flags for infection. Thankfully I found a more open minded caring vet.

I have no doubt most cats and kittens are at risk and the infection rate has to be close to 90% or more in our cat population based on the percentage we are finding in random testing and I am sure most of these infections are being transmitting from infected mother to kitten as we are finding in our dog and puppy rescue testing.

In order to keep going with this very important project, we will need donations. I will work on Grant money too, but if you are a cat lover and want to help us with our new kitties, please donate to the Feline TBD Project.


The Marshmallow Fluff Litter

YES BABIES- sadly you ALL got infected by your momma Marshmallow. After testing all our cats and a few volunteer's cats we are at 100% for infection rate. Thanks to Dr. Hanover and Dr. Miller for your help testing and treating all our cats and kittens.

Sponsor a pet in our program.


Whoa Doggie! Slideshow

View the new Powerpoint slideshow showcasing our rescue legacy from the first nine years.
**You must have Powerpoint to view the slideshow. Each slide will advance on its own. This is a large file and may take time to download.**


Illinois Birddog Rescue wants to make sure all of our adoptable dogs stay healthy throughout flea and tick season. We welcome donations of Frontline, Heartguard, or any similar product. Email Lisa if you would like to help.

Monetary donations can be snail mailed to:
Illinois Birddog Rescue, Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Wood Dale, IL 60191


Dog Breeds

Please visit us at Illinois Birddog Rescue and IBR Facebook

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. --Ralph Waldo Emerson