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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16109
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I am not sure what is going on but it involves her tail. She

Customer Question

I am not sure what is going on but it involves her tail. She is definitely uncomfortable and she doesn't want you to mess with it.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: She is part boxer and terrier right at 2 years old. She has been fine all day . Thi started arounf 8:00 tonight.
JA: OK. What is the boxer's name?
Customer: Pluto.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Pluto?
Customer: She went to the groomer's today for bath and flea dip but was fine after that.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 6 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 6 months ago.

I am sorry to hear that Pluto seems to have a sore tail and is showing signs of pain when you attempt to touch it.

I suspect that she may be suffering from tail head myositis. This occurs from overuse of the tail, usually after swimming, or playing and socializing more then usual. She may have been wagging her tail while at the groomer more than usual, or if she was nervous holding it down and tightening the tail head muscles, both of which can cause soreness.

This is a painful inflammation of the muscles at the tops of the tail which makes the whole tail sore with movement. Sometimes, especially in short haired dogs we can even see swelling at the tail base.

Given some time, rest and anti-inflammatories she will feel much better and her tail should regain its normal happy wag.

If she is eating and drinking normally and has no history of bleeding tendencies or a sensitive stomach you can give her 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 sore tail are usually traumatic (tail pull injury, hit by a car in the pelvis), disc disease, or a mass placing pressure in the spinal nerves that innervate her tail. But with no history of trauma and an abrupt change like she has tail head myositis is most likely.

Another possible cause of pain near the tail is full, impacted or infected anal glands, or discomfort after having overfull glands being expressed. 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 she seems to be scooting her bottom on the ground or licking her perianal area it is worth having her anal glands checked by her veterinarian.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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