Giddy Up Mattie!

I thought I would speak to everyone about Mattie. Mattie is an older dachshund with a typical dachshund problem – she has disk disease.

Mattie’s owner is very conscientious and wants the best for her pet. Mattie has had an episode of back issues in the past and was able to work her way through it but this time the issue has been more severe.

Since Mattie is an older pet she is not the best candidate for surgery and mom wanted to try and get her through this episode without any drastic measures. Mattie was placed on prednisone and mom was given specific instructions about balance exercises, proprioceptive (knowing where her feet are) exercises, warm compresses, active and passive exercises.

We have monitored Mattie closely and each improvement has been cheered on with great enthusiasm, especially on my part. When Mattie stood for a few seconds without falling over – I was ecstatic. Mom was happy but I was giddy!

We were also using laser therapy on Mattie so I got to check on her progress at least twice a week for 3 weeks and even into the fourth week. I was disappointed that she didn’t start walking by the end of the laser treatments since they had worked so well for us in the past but we continued because we kept seeing small increments of healing.

Mom ordered Mattie a Walkin’ Wheels chair — in pink, of course. These wheelchairs are adjustable and we got it to fit Mattie with a little finagling. Mom noted that they had placed her in the chair the night before but she just stood there.

We used a lot of little treats and in the end placed a leash around her neck to give a little tug to jump start her. Mattie did the typical dog thing and pushed back but food brought her forward. You could see the light come on in Mattie’s eyes when she figured out that the chair allowed her to move.

Mattie didn’t run around the clinic but she did walk slowly. We could watch Mattie’s hind limbs moving while she walked and it is obvious which side we need to work on more.

A lot of people don’t want to think about their pet being in a chair but Mattie is now moving around instead of scooting or just sitting. She is part of the family and as such needs to be with them.

Mattie will hopefully continue to improve and get out of her chair but for now all I can think of is “Giddy Up Mattie!” Have a great week and I will keep you up-to-date on Mattie’s progress.

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4 Responses to Giddy Up Mattie!

  • RHONDA says:


  • Dr. Dicki Kennedy says:

    Thanks Rhonda — we will do our best to keep her moving.

  • Sue Conklin says:

    Clicker training could have helped Mattie get started. But glad that she is learning how to navigate.

    • Dr. Dicki Kennedy says:

      Sue – you are right it could have started her. I don’t use clicker training myself and I don’t think Miss Mattie has had much in the way of training since “princesses” and “divas” are a separate category. Food was a good motivator for Mattie. We just had to watch our fingers — lol!

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