A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself. Dogs are the most lovable and loyal creatures. Due to their extraordinary inclination towards humans, they are most commonly kept as pet animals.
There are a number of medical conditions that influence the overall well-being of dogs. Subsequently, any disturbance in the normal behavior of a dog is quite undesirable for its owner.
Owners start feeling concerned if they observe any unusual thing in their beloved dogs.
Here, we will throw light on some medical conditions related to the dog’s tails and figure out the best possible ways to deal with such situations with some logic and reasons.
What Are Important Functions of Tail in Dogs?
The tail is a very important part of the dog’s body. Dogs use tails for a number of important functions.
1) Tail plays an important role in assisting the dog while moving to define the direction. So, it is essential for a dog’s movement.
2) It also helps the dog in maintaining its overall body balance. Exclusively, when walking along narrow surfaces.
3) Communication is a very crucial function that is performed by the dog’s tail. They communicate with other dogs and humans while expressing their emotions through tail positions. For example, tail wagging is associated with positive and negative emotions in dogs.
Generally speaking, tail wagging to the right denotes the positive emotions and excitement, if it is vigorous. On the other hand, tail wagging to the left expresses negative emotions.
4) Dog tail also acts as rudders for those breeds which swim in the water, for instance, retrievers and water-rescue dogs. They possess thick tails that aid them in swimming.
What Are Common Medical Conditions of Dog’s Tail?
This question is very common and frequently asked by the dog owners: can dogs break their tails? The answer is, yes! The tail is a complex anatomical structure and made up of strings of small bones(vertebrae) which are cushioned by discs, enclosed in the musculature, and enriched with nerve intervention.
There many medical conditions such as tail fractures, tail dislocations, nerve damage, tail lacerations, and abrasions, strains and sprains, tail infections, and many other pathologies.
Here, we will specifically discuss fractures (bone breakage) with more detail.
How Do Dogs Break Their Tails?
Dog’s Tail Fractures and Dislocations
Just like other bones, tail bones are also prone to fractures, which are often seen in dogs.
Dog’s Tail Bone Fracture Causes
There are multiple reasons for bone breakage, common ones are the following:
If a dog is hit by a car or undergoes any accidental condition. This can lead to bone fractures of varying degrees.
Another condition is if a dog falls off the pouch or bed or his tail slammed in the door. This should be remembered that the severity of fracture in the tail depends upon the location of trauma/external pressure applied to it.
The fracture may be at a single site or multiple sites. So, better evaluation plays an important role in further intervention and line of action.
Dog’s Broken Tail Signs and Symptoms
These are some important signs and symptoms which you must know to figure out any abnormality in a dog’s tail.
1) Swelling and redness.
2) A dog will experience difficulty in holding the tail to a right or usual position.
3) Difficulty in wagging (a normal mode of communication).
4) Dogs will bend or kink their tails.
5) Dogs will lick the wounds to soothe them by repeated licking/biting of tail).
6) You will clearly observe an alteration in your dog’s gait.
7) Hair loss (alopecia) and bad odor coming out of the tail.
8) Whimpering and unusual vocalization that usually don’t occur in other ailments
9) Incontinence and guarding of the tail.
It is observable that your dog will show an indication of pain and restlessness. It is important to know the exact cause and take immediate action if it is severe.
Broken Dog’s Tail Treatment
Generally speaking, if the fracture is not that severe, then it will heal on its own after a passage of time. However, in severe cases, your vet can help in the alignment of the fractured or dislocated bones to ensure their proper healing/regrowth in a correct manner.
Remember 3 things about treating broken dog’s tail: healing, rest and protection
Give your dog maximum rest with some anti-inflammatory drugs(if necessary) after consulting your veterinarian. On the other hand, if the situation is critical, then contact your veterinarian on emergency grounds. He will examine the fracture through X-rays or any other diagnostic tool. In addition to that, recovery will highly depend upon the treatment plan and duration by your registered veterinarian.
Ice cubes can be used to reduce inflammation/redness along with other antiseptics to clean the wounds if present externally.
In the worst cases, your vet can suggest surgical intervention as well. For instance, if the tail is badly crushed, then your vet may go for tail amputation. Moreover, if it is damaged at the base then there are high chances of nerve damage that can impair bowel movement and urination.
Stem Cell Treatment for Broken Dog Tail
Wouldn’t that be great to have a noninvasive treatment, that effectively speeds up the healing and recovery process? Luckily there is! Dog Stem Cell Therapy.
Stem cells naturally occur in the body and are organically drawn to injured places to regenerate damaged tissues and thereby help to prevent their caused negative consequences. Even turn back tail’s movement after its loss.
Sometimes to deal with bigger problems like tail fracture they need help from additional cells. They can be either derived from young and healthy donor dogs or taken from your dog and injected into injured places.
It is a simple and safe injection procedure performed by veterinarians. It takes only a few weeks after injection to notice the first improvements that continue to develop and maintain their positive impact in long term.
How Can You Differentiate Between Dislocation and Fracture?
Dislocation is basically the separation of two vertebrae from each other whereas fracture means the breakage of the vertebra (bone). Both conditions are not good for your dogs. They may experience pain depending upon the extent of the damage.
What is Limber Tail Syndrome?
This must be noticed that the definite etiology (causes) of limber tail syndrome is not properly understood. It is commonly linked with swimming, extreme workouts and hunting in dogs. You will usually observe this condition in pointers and retrievers because of the excessive use of tail muscles during their training duration.
The limber tail syndrome is more related to the dislocation of vertebrae.
Talking generally, this condition resolves itself in a few days for nearly one week. Enzyme therapy for pain management can speed up recovery. Arnica and homeopathic aconitum can also be used and show significant outcomes.
What Are Important Precautions to Protect Your Dog’s Tail From Fractures?
1) You should be careful when letting your dog jump down from high places, as his tail may get caught in the process.
2) It is not advisable to restrict your dog to limited space, as dogs can damage/break their tail while rubbing it against the confined walls.
3) You also want to be sure to give your dog plenty of exercise, stimulation, and companionship, to avoid stress-related biting and licking, as the tail is often the focal point for such behaviors.
4) Happy dog syndrome is one of the major problems that lead to broken tails. In this condition, the dog injures its tail because of frequent and exciting wagging. This passionate wagging can cause repeated injuries in the tail. This specific condition can be cured with bandaging the tail (aids in healing), injecting antibiotics, if infection establishes there and your vet can recommend your laser therapy as this will help in effective and quick healing.
Shortly, you need to keep an eye on the activities and tail of your dog. Report any abnormal behavior of your dog to your vet after observation.