Have you noticed that your dog’s tail seems swollen? Does he seem to have difficulty wagging his tail? Then it’s possible your dog may have limber tail syndrome.
What is Limber Tail Syndrome Dogs?
This is a problem that goes by many names including:
- Swimmer’s tail
- Cold-water tail
- Broken wag (we’re not kidding!)
- Frozen tail
- Sprung tail
Limber tail can be caused by overuse and certain activities, or by underlying health issues:
- Long periods in the dog’s crate
- Exposure to cold water/weather
- Overuse and too much exercise
- Trauma to the tail
- Tail fracture
- Impacted anal glands
- Tail cancer
- Intervertebral disc disease
Swimming is one the most common causes of limber tail syndrome. This could be due to swimming in cold water. Dogs use their tails as a rudder in the water, which helps them steer in a straight line.
While it’s true that any dog can develop this syndrome, there are certain dog breeds that are prone to this condition:
Symptoms of Limber Tail Syndrome in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has limber tail syndrome:
- Limp tail (maybe held horizontally from the base, or hanging down)
- Unable to wag
- Discomfort pain (especially if the tail is moved)
- Licking/chewing at the tail
- Swollen area near the base of the tail
- Reluctance to sit
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, then be sure to call the vet for an appointment. Limber tail syndrome isn’t usually a serious condition. However, it can be caused by fractures or disease (such as those mentioned earlier).
Treatment of Limp Tail Syndrome in Dogs
This is a condition that may heal on its own; however, because it can also be caused more serious health issues, it’s always a good idea to have your dog seen by the vet.
At the vet’s, they will perform a physical on your dog, which focuses on the tail. The vet may also check your dog’s heart rate, respiration rate, and take his temperature. These are to determine if the cause is an underlying health issue.
If the vet finds no underlying health issues, then treatment may include keeping your dog quiet and keeping activity to a minimum. The vet may also prescribe pain-relieving medications, and suggest you apply warm compresses near the base of the tail to help the healing process.
They may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs and corticosteroids.
The good news is that limp tail syndrome most often heals on its own. As your fur baby heals, he will need some TLC and possibly medications. He will be back to wagging his tail again in no time!