Tail Injuries

Tail Injuries

Your Dog Tail Injury (Is this a Serious Issue?)

You step on your Chihuahua’s tail and he lets out a yelp.  You shower your little dog with kisses and apologies for doing him harm.  You think you are such a terrible parent but does this really harm him?  Does it hurt?  Is a tail injury considered serious?

Some people may think that a tail injury may not be serious.  Some may think it can be.  The following article provides enough information for you to decide for yourself.

Anatomy of the Dog

First off, we need to know the anatomy of the dog.  People often don’t really think about the tail and its purpose.  It is just something the dog is born with that lets you know when your dog is happy to see you.  In this case, the tail is useful.

The tail is often a way to communicate with you to let you know if he is happy or sad or even afraid.  When a dog tucks his tail between his legs, you quickly realize your dog is either afraid or has done something bad to cause them to be afraid.  Dogs use their tails not only to communicate with you but as well as with other animals and pets.

The tail can also be used as a rudder while swimming.  It stabilizes dogs and steers them where they want to go.

The tail is also an extension of the dog’s spine (yes that means there are bones in the tail).  It is a part of him, just like your foot is a part of you.  This means that dogs can feel pressure and pain like you would with your foot.

Causes of Tail Injuries

Even though a dog’s tail has bones and is a part of the spine, it is quite mobile.  Muscles around the bones allow for that wagging motion you love to see when you come home from work.  Because of this mobility, the tail gets injured more often than you realize.

Just like any injury, there are many causes.  The more simple causes are like when you step on your dog’s tail or the tail gets scratched from hitting something.  These only cause a simple whimper or yelp, nothing serious.

Some causes can be quite severe and cause nerve damage or even serious bleeding.  These will be obvious.  For example, you accidentally shut your pup’s tail in the door.  This can cause severe pain.  You just need to read your dog’s behavior and see if it is serious enough to go to the vet.  You know your dog better than anyone else.

Level of Injuries

Like I said before, you know your dog better than anyone else.  If your dog lets out a yelp and runs away for a little bit but then is fine, you have nothing to worry about.  Just give your dog a kiss or a cool compress and he should be fine.

You will know if it is a serious injury.  You will see your dog expressing pain when he tries to wag his tail.  If he yelps or whimpers constantly when moving his tail, he is in pain.  Dogs will not eat when they are riddled with agony.  This is the same for humans.  If your dog shows little sign of eating or does not seem like himself, I suggest seeing a vet.

Easier signs to look for are abrasions or scratches, bleeding, bent or crooked tail.  If the bleeding is excessive, call a vet.  If it is a simple cut, you can easily clean it out with warm, soapy water and make sure your dog does not mess with it. 

A bent or crooked tail could mean some broken bones.  This can be painful.  You will need to take your dog to the vet to check it out.  They may or may not be able to do something about it, but they are the professionals.  They will know what to do.  It is what they are trained to do.

The Healing Process

As I said before, you can clean a cut with a simple soapy water concoction.  The key is to keep the scrape clean and dry. Moisture allows bacteria to grow so make sure it is dry once clean.  You don’t want your dog having an infection.  That means antibiotics and more visits to the vet.

If your dog is bleeding and you do not know what to do, cover the wound to stop the bleeding, keep the dog from licking it, and go to the vet.  It is always better to be safe than sorry.

If it is just a simple bruise, don’t worry.  Your dog will heal.  He has had worst cases of injuries than this.  Just keep an eye on your dog.  With something so simple, your dog should be up and playing in no time.

The key thing to remember is to make sure your dog does not continue to irritate the tail whether it is an abrasion or broken bone.  This can make your dog’s situation worse. 

There are a few signs of dog tail injuries that you may notice:

  • Your pet may continue to chew or lick at the tail
  • You may notice whimpering and whining
  • Your pooch may stop wagging his tail or may not be able to do so without pain
  • A partially or completely limp tail is a major sign of dog tail injuries 

If you notice these signs and the cold compress doesn’t seem to heal the injury, it’s time to take your pet to the vet. The pain medication and antibiotics (injectable or oral) prescribed by the veterinarian may help treat dog tail injuries. 

However, in extreme cases, only surgery may treat the injury. Depending on the anti-inflammatory medications and your pet’s injury, it may take a few days or weeks for your dog to heal. Rest assured that dog tail injuries usually don’t take a long time to heal.

If the injury is not something major, in most cases it will heal on its own and you may not be required to take any action. A sprain will most likely go away in 2-3 days. 

However, if the tail goes limp and your dog seems to be in pain and discomfort – that’s your cue for immediate medical attention. In the meantime, you can try some home remedies like applying organic turmeric powder to the injured tail area. 

Turmeric is known for its healing properties and seems to work on both humans and dogs. But this is only a temporary solution until your dog is taken to the vet. 

So What?

Hopefully, this article has assisted you in deciding if your dog’s injury needs medical attention or just a little tender, love and care.  Tail injuries can be severe and serious but most of the time, if you just step on your dog’s tail, your pup will be fine.  You may just need to give him a little more loving.

If your dog is not injured, hopefully, this has expanded your knowledge so if something were to occur, you know what to look for.

Author BIO: Hey there, I’m Emma Thompson, founder of http://thepettown.com. I’m a Pet lover like you and I’m here to provide you with useful information about your precious pet.

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