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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19456
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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my dogs tail is bent sometimes. What is that from

Resolved Question:

The first time it happened, it was after he hit his back on the top of the window, in jumping out of the track. The tail went limp and I could tell he was very unconfortable laying down.
It's happend twice since that the tail goes limp. Possibly a back pain, not sure. What could it be and what should I do? The tail comes back to normal after he rests for up to a full day. But after the last time, it's gone back down for no apparent reason. My dog is 3 years old, and very tall and fit. (catahoula cross).
Thanks
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.
HiCustomer

There are nerves in the lower spine that do affect the tail. So he may have an injury that causes some swelling in the discs affecting the tail. He could also have a problem with his anal glands which will cause a dog to hold their tail down as well. The anal glands are 2 sacs on either side of the anus at about the 4' o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. If your dog is continually licking their anus and dragging it, it could also indicate that they are full. This problem can usually be resolved by emptying out the glands. To empty them or express them, you will want to cover the area with a tissue and press your finger on the dog's anal glands with an upward motion. A foul smelling liquid should come out. If nothing comes out and your dog appears to be in pain, you should take him to the Vet. Your vet can do this easily, as he is experienced at it.

Excellent site on anal glands
http://www.dr-dan.com/analsac.htm
http://www.thepetcenter.com/wai/analsacs.html

There is a condition "cold tail" that Labradors, English Pointers, English Setters, Foxhounds and Beagles sometimes get which causes them to hold their tail close to the body. You can read about it here.
http://www.geocities.com/ccrhearts/Tail.html
http://www.thelabradorclub.com/oldsite/cold.htm

It is possible that this is what you are seeing with your dog. With cold tail recovery varies and sometimes takes up to 2 weeks for the tail to recover. Some owners feel the administration of anti-inflammatory medication aid in a faster recovery.

I hope this information is helpful to you.
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