Mattie – Hydrotherapy for a Ruptured Disc

We were driving through Minnesota on our way back from Washington, September 2002, and I saw a sign for AKC Springer pups. We decided that since it was two years since we had lost our last Springer, it was time to look again. We got the pick of the litter but they were only 6 weeks old so we had to drive 1000 miles back for her when she was 8 weeks old. We picked her up in our RV and she has been travelling across the country with us ever since. Mattie has 25 stuffed toys and will retreive the one you ask for most of the time!


She is a very energetic dog, even after she ruptured a disc last summer playing ball. She was able to walk home but I knew something had happened to her. When I called her to get her supper shortly after we got home, she could barely get to her bowl, but being the glutton she is, she did it. She was very wobbly and had to spread her legs to hold herself up long enough to eat. She was able to walk with support and to urinate.

We took her to Seattle for observation that evening, at the advice of our vet. She had an MRI two days later which revealed a ruptured disc but no obvious damage to the spinal chord, so fortunately the neurologist did not recommend surgery. He recommended confinement, support of her hind quarters, steroids and pain meds, mostly to keep her quiet for 8 weeks. After a few weeks, we started to take her to Cindy weekly for water exercise. We feel that the therapy, more than anything else, helped her recover. She is still very active but doesn’t get off the leash as much as she would like, and only gets to chase ground balls. We are relieved that she has finally slowed down a bit as she approaches her 8th birthday!