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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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My dog keeps crying and chasing his tail. I dont know what

Resolved Question:

My dog keeps crying and chasing his tail. I don't know what to do. Bathed him with flea shampoo and still crying and miserable.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. K replied 8 years ago.

Is he trying to bite and chew at his rear-end (close to his anus)?
For how long has this been going on?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He bites at his tail not really the anus. He just keeps looking at his tail and crying.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 8 years ago.
For how long has he had this problem?
Is there any sore areas on his tail from him chewing at it?
How far down (close to the tip), is he chewing?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
no sores. about 5 days. His tail is like a large pug's. He bites in the middle of it. Thanks for your time.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 8 years ago.
If there are no visible sores on his tail, yet he keeps going for this area, then the most common reasons that he would do this are flea infestation and anal gland problems. Unfortunately, flea baths are not very effective against fleas, so this certainly still could be his problem. I recommend that you have him in to the vet so that he can be checked thoroughly for the presence of fleas. If they are present, then the vet will want to get him on a safe and effective monthly product like Frontline or Advantix, to rid him of this problem.

The anal glands are sacs that are located just inside the anus at 4 and 8 o-clock. They secrete a fluid that is normally released upon the animal's bowel movement. In some animals, the outflow of these sacs becomes obstructed and they become swollen and uncomfortable. The vet can evaluate if they are too full on a physical examination of your pet, and can manually express them to relieve the pressure. In some cases, if they cannot be expressed, the animal must be sedated and have the openings of the anal sac ducts cannulated and flushed with saline to allow for proper flow outward of the anal fluid. In other cases, the sacs can become infected and result in an abscess that must be opened up to drain through the skin. These cases are also treated with oral and topical antibiotics. Animals that are having inflammation from problems with these glands, will often lick at the area, and chew at their rear end, which can cause a fishy smell to their breath.

Here are a couple of links to some websites that show good pictures of this, and explain it further:

Another possibility is some type of nerve problem that is causing him pain in his tail (or some other annoying sensation that he does not like). Certainly, this is harder to diagnose and much less common then the other two problems, so it would not really be considered until the first two possibilities have been completely ruled out.

I hope that this information is of help to you, and I wish you the best of luck with your dog. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr. K

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