Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.I am sorry to hear that Bentley isn't holding his tail normally.Is he showing signs of pain when you attempt to touch it?Can he lift it to a normal position, but then does it fall back down, or is he unable to lift it? If he can lift his tail, but just seems like he doesn't want to then I suspect that your fellow may be suffering from tail head myositis. This occurs from overuse of the tail, usually after swimming, or playing and socializing
more then usual, but can also be related to a tail pull or struggling.It is a painful inflammation of the muscles
at the tops of the tail which make the whole tail limp. Sometimes, especially in short haired dogs we can even see swelling at the tail base. Given some time, rest and anti-inflammatories he will feel much better and his tail should regain its normal happy wag. If he is eating and drinking normally and has no history of bleeding
tendencies or a sensitive stomach
you can give him buffered aspirin at home for a couple days.The only over the counter anti-inflammatory that can be used in dogs is buffered, enteric coated aspirin (like ascriptin). Aspirin does cause stomach and intestinal irritation and ulceration as well as clotting problems so should not be given for more than 2 to 3 days consecutively and should always be given with a meal. If you choose to use it watch for lack of appetite, vomiting, blood in the stools or dark tarry stools and stop immediately if you see those. Do not use aspirin if your dog has liver or kidney disease or a history of a sensitive stomach or clotting problems. The dose for aspirin is 5mg to 10mg per pound of body weight orally every 12 hours (about one half of a 325mg aspirin for a 25 to 35 pound dog every 12 hours). Always give with a meal. Do not use for more than 2 or 3 days. Other causes of a limp tail are usually more severe trauma (tail pull injury due to a tail getting caught, being hit by a car in the pelvis), intervertebral disc disease, or a mass placing pressure in the spinal nerves that innervate his tail. But with his history of your dad holding his tail and an abrupt change tail head myositis is most likely.Another possible cause of pain near the tail is full, impacted or infected anal glands. These scent glands are found just inside the rectum and when they are abnormal and uncomfortable the inflammation can spread up to the tailhead area. If he seems to be scooting his bottom on the ground or licking
his perianal area it is worth having his anal glands checked by his veterinarian.If he cannot seem to feel his tail tip, cannot lift his tail or is having trouble passing urine or stool that indicates a more serious problem. Do not give aspirin, he should see his veterinarian.Please let me know if you have any further questions.