tail bugging my boy
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Thread: tail bugging my boy

  1. #1
    Senior Member JMitchell's Avatar
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    Default tail bugging my boy

    I have a 4yo black lab male who I have been duck hunting the last three weeks. On opening day he was busy, but nothing harder than what we do in training all year around. That night he held his tail weird and it was painful to the touch. I gave him the next day off and he was fine till this weekend. He is now more biting the middle bottom of it. The funny thing is it comes and goes nothing steady. Each time it has happened was at a pond that doesn’t flow and I wondered if it was a parasite type thing. So I gave him a good bath with a medicated shampoo. He was fine last night and this morning I could tell it was bugging him as he walks weird and his tail points to the left. My other lab has had swimmers tail which was much different than this. It was limp and between her legs for 4-5 days. Any ideas? I have a vet appointment but not till the end of the week. He is tearing it up in the blind this year, marking great, super steady, and we haven’t lost a bird in some very tough cover. I will rest him till then, but he seems fine when we go on walks. It seems to bug him more at night when he is laying around. Thanks Jerry

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    Senior Member Tobias's Avatar
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    Maybe a long shot... but any possibility he injured his back?
    The way I look at it, every dog is an opportunity to be a better trainer, and every day is a new day to be a better trainer to the same dog we trained yesterday.

  4. #3
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Limber tail syndrome
    Last edited by EdA; 10-14-2019 at 10:55 AM.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Coccygeal Muscle Injury in English Pointers (Limber Tail)
    Janet Steiss Kyle Braund James Wright Stephen Lenz Judith Hudson William Brawner John Hathcock Ram Purohit Leighton Bell Robert Home
    First published: 28 June 2008
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-1676.1999.tb02207.x
    Cited by: 15
    About

    Abstract
    A condition colloquially referred to as “limber tail” and “cold tail” is familiar to people working with hunting dogs, primarily Pointers and Labrador Retrievers. The typical case consists of an adult dog that suddenly develops a flaccid tail. The tail either hangs down from the tail base or is held out horizontally for several inches from the tail base and then hangs straight down or at some degree below horizontal. Initially, the hair on the dorsal aspect of the proximal tail may be raised and dogs may resent palpation of the area 3–4 inches (8–10 cm) from the tail base. Most dogs recover spontaneously within a few days to weeks. Anecdotal reports suggest that anti‐inflammatory drugs administered within 24 hours after onset hasten recovery. Less than one half of affected dogs experience a recurrence. Affected Pointers almost always have a history of prolonged cage transport, a hard workout the previous day, or exposure to cold or wet weather. Most owners and trainers familiar with the condition do not seek veterinary assistance. In cases where people are not familiar with this disease, other conditions such as a fracture, spinal cord disease, impacted anal glands, or prostatic disease have been incorrectly diagnosed. We examined 4 affected Pointers and found evidence of coccygeal muscle damage, which included mild elevation of creatine kinase early after onset of clinical signs, needle electromyographic examination showing abnormal spontaneous discharges restricted to the coccygeal muscles several days after onset, and histopathologic evidence of muscle fiber damage. Specific muscle groups, namely the laterally positioned intertransver‐sarius ventralis caudalis muscles, were affected most severely. Abnormal findings on thermography and scintigraphy further supported the diagnosis.

  7. #5
    Senior Member JMitchell's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. Two years ago he did hurt his back and the vet said there was wedging at his sacral vertebrae, I never heard if this was genetic or an injury. He has been fine except around the Fourth of July this year he had mild back pain, he won’t jump up on the bed, it only lasted a day and he was fine. I am wondering could his back be getting arthritis and affecting his tail, he is only four.

    Thanks Dr Ed that limber tail does sound like him except it can comes and go throughout the day. For a lab his tail does have a curl or loop to it and sometimes it’s up and wagging fine then later that day he walks slinky and it’s down and left. Can the lumber tail come and go through out the day?

    The other thing is my vet retired another guy came in with another vet and I think they have given my dogs good care. But should I go to a sports dog specialist I think they have one in a bigger town 50 miles away.

  8. #6
    Senior Member labsforme's Avatar
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    Doc Ed proably nailed it. I took my dog out for an afternoon hunt and no retrieves/birds. Came back because she had been soooooooo happy and that night tail held low and looking at her tail like " what's wrong with you?" This is a trial dog in training 3-4 days a week and in great shape. It happens.

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    Senior Member JMitchell's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Jeff, I hope that is the problem. I came home from work today and he was happy to see me and feeling good. I was touching his tail and he was guarded and licking my hand then he relaxed. I almost thought it did seem a little swollen in the middle but hard for me to really tell. I did take a picture. I do remember one thing that now makes me think he did this swimming. I hunt a slough that’s only 15 yards wide and a hundred yards long. I dropped a mallard across it and he swam across got out grabbed it and ran back to the edge. He stopped and acted like he wanted to cheat and that is not like him at all. I said here and he swam across. That makes sense of a swimmers or limber tail. I do have left over muscle relaxers from when he hurt his back I will talk to my vet tomorrow to see if he should be on them till I get him in. He is acting different then when my other lab got limber tail that had me concerned but I suppose all dogs are different. Thanks again for the responses.
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    Is the tail warm and limber or cool to the touch?

    I ask because the dog I have now had a bout with this and the blood supply was compromised, causing the tail to wither and amputation was necessary. For her, there was a mitigating factor in that she had Canine Mandibular Osteopathy (lion's jaw) as a youngster, so the skeletal structure of the tail may have been compromised to begin with. -Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

  11. #9
    Senior Member JMitchell's Avatar
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    He tail feels normal, today he was a little guarded but he isn’t use to me touching his tail. While walking around the house he was what I would call a little slinky and turned around twice and looked at his tail he didn't sit and bite it like before. He is in need of getting out so I am taking him on a little easy walk tonight. My vet had to change his appointment to next Tuesday ☹️ Hopefully he is all better by then, we will see.

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