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First aid for dog with broken tail?

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  • First aid for dog with broken tail?

    A friend phoned, and her little dog seems to have a broken tail. No info on how it happened, but the tail is limp and does not wag. And this little dog's tail is always wagging. So before we take it to the after-hours and weekend vet, is there any first aid we can do? What will the vet do? Friend is on a limited budget. Thanks!
    Last edited by pony4me; Nov. 17, 2012, 04:10 PM.
    It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

    www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

  • #2
    Google "Limber tail". Maybe that's the problem.

    Comment


    • #3
      I had a Lab I watched for a month while the dogs owners were overseas. One day the dogs tail was swollen and held like he had to go potty and would not wag it. I was besides myself because this is a dog park dog and tails are way to important. Turns out he had a condition prone to labs, retreivers and a few other breeds. Too much exercise for his condition, swimming and a tempeture drop. What breed is the dog?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
        Google "Limber tail". Maybe that's the problem.
        That.

        Also called here "cold water tail".

        Can happen to any dog, but those with bigger, fatter tails seem more apt to get it.
        Vet check and pain killers and maybe steroids and tail will be like new in no time.

        If it is not that, if it is truly broken, try splinting it until you can get dog to the vet, maybe with a toilet paper or paper towel cardboard middle, cut and folded to fit and vetrapped in place?

        Comment


        • #5
          Another one for limp tail, limber tail, cold tail, hot tail, swimmer's tail, yada yada.

          But if truly broken, it's really not life threatening unless it's a compound fracture and at risk for infection.

          What leads you to believe that it is broken? Odd angle?

          If just limp? Might be something else. Too much activity today? Swimming? Bath in too cold or too hot water?
          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

          Might be a reason, never an excuse...

          Comment


          • #6
            You at least need painkillers from the vet.

            Could you imagine breaking your arm and then waiting all weekend before going to the hospital????

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Abberlaze View Post
              You at least need painkillers from the vet.

              Could you imagine breaking your arm and then waiting all weekend before going to the hospital????
              Not necessarily. At most, might need some steroids. But unless it's angled off in the wrong direction, it probably isn't broken and probably isn't painful.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Tail is not causing him any discomfort. It just is not moving. Not swollen either. Dog is small chihuahua mix, so not one of the breeds that the Google articles said was prone to this condition. (and thanks for the link suggestions!) Owner called saying that the tail was broken, so that's when I started this thread, so she just assumed that the only reason it wasn't wagging was that it was broken. DH went over to her house to inspect dog and take it to the vet if necessary. He had a serious discussion with her grandkids to be sure that the dog had not fallen, or been hit/kicked, etc. but is confident that no harm had been done to the dog.

                If the dog had been in any discomfort, he would have taken it to the vet right away. As it is, we will give it a few days, and then take it to the regular vet if necessary.

                Thanks for the info. We've had dogs for many years, and this is first time we've dealt with a non-functioning tail.
                It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is he urinating/defecating ok? Does he have any back pain? Is he walking normally in his hind end? Dogs with broken tails can still move the tail. Dogs with nerve damage cannot. Dogs with nerve damage also cannot feel the tail, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored - they often have concurrent lumbosacral plexus, pudendal and/or pelvic nerve injuries. Go get that checked - better safe than sorry!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lauren12 View Post
                    Is he urinating/defecating ok? Does he have any back pain? Is he walking normally in his hind end? Dogs with broken tails can still move the tail. Dogs with nerve damage cannot. Dogs with nerve damage also cannot feel the tail, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored - they often have concurrent lumbosacral plexus, pudendal and/or pelvic nerve injuries. Go get that checked - better safe than sorry!
                    My Ridgeback broke his tail and I can tell you it caused him a great amount of pain. If it doesn't hurt, I doubt it's broken.
                    "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

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                    • #11
                      My lab sprained his tail...it was pretty painful, poor boy. NSAIDs, rest and a couple of weeks and he was as good as new.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We think my late dog had sprained her tail. It just sort of hung there and she wasn't willing to move it out of the way when she sat down. In a few days it was back to being a happy tail again. She didn't seem to miserable with it, it just wasn't wagging much.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          We did take the dog to the vet Monday. He agreed that the dog was not in pain, and said it would be ok in time. He also expressed the anal glands because they needed it, and gave some meds, but I didn't look to see exactly what was prescribed. Friend called today to say that dog was better and tail is now wagging.
                          It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                          www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                            Not necessarily. At most, might need some steroids. But unless it's angled off in the wrong direction, it probably isn't broken and probably isn't painful.
                            Um, DEFINITELY painful if it's broken. Since when do you give steroids and not painkillers for a fracture? You don't.

                            But from the OP's update, it doesn't sound broken. Glad it seems to be resolving!

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