A dog’s tail consists of muscles, nerves, and as many as 20 bones attached to the anus. It is considered to play a vital role as it is an extension of the spinal column. Because of its position and constant movement, this structure can be highly exposed to trauma and damage.
A dog’s tail is not only an indication of its mood but also an excellent tool for balance when walking, running, jumping, and swimming. Damage to this structure depends (among many other factors) on the breed and the characteristic anatomical shape of each dog. Let’s look at a few examples.
An injury to a dog’s tail can start as a minor cut and eventually develop into a significant problem such as tail hemorrhage, which causes the tail to split open and bleed. These types of secondary infections and discomfort can seriously affect their attitude, appetite, and quality of life.
Large breeds of dogs (those with long, thick tails) often have difficulty with normal movement. As a result, it would not be uncommon for them to bump or scratch their tails when walking. This can lead to wounds and bleeding ulcers.
All wounds go through a healing process and, in most cases, itching. It is best to use an Elizabethan collar to prevent your pet from aggravating the injury by trying to lick it on its own.
To ensure a good prognosis for such wounds, early treatment is necessary. Everything from cleaning and disinfecting the affected area to applying the appropriate bandages can be done by a veterinarian.
Cold Water Tail Syndrome
As the name suggests, this syndrome affects dogs exposed to extreme climatic conditions. In such cases, the low temperatures and humidity alter the structural composition of the tissues. However, these conditions are not the only ones that can trigger tail injury in dogs.
Dogs that have been subjected to strenuous exercise without prior training or proper rest are more likely to develop cold water tail syndrome.
Bathing or swimming in cold water can also cause this condition. Hunting and sporting breeds such as pointers, setters, beagles, golden retrievers, and labrador retrievers are the most susceptible.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Cold Water Tail
This type of tail injury in dogs is often confused and diagnosed as a fracture, but it is more like a sprain (because it damages the muscles). The most noticeable symptom is that the base of the tail becomes stiff and otherwise immobile.
It appears that the pet’s tail is broken, but it is not. Also, the pain is usually constant and extreme. It is recommended that you avoid sudden movements and see a veterinarian.
The ideal treatment is to implement the following three points:
- Strict rest.
- Administration of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Application of warm compresses at the base of the tail.
Tailbone fractures are said to be the most common injury suffered by dogs. Its causes are varied.
- Crushing between a door and a heavy object
- Swinging the tail against a hard object.
All of these injuries to a dog’s tail can be uncomfortable. However, a tail fracture is considered one of the most severe physical conditions. This is because the dog experiences a lot of pain. As a result, basic physiological activities such as urination and defecation become difficult.
If you feel like your dog is suffering from any of the above points and isn’t recovering, the best thing to do is bring your pet to your local veterinary. They are professionals who are better placed to help in such situations and will help your pet get back into his happy spirit!