Is his tail broken??? ‘Limp Tail,’ ‘Limber tail,’ ‘Dead tail,’ ‘Swimmers tail”, and ‘Cold tail’ in Labradors

Question: My 5-year-old Labrador roughhoused with a younger dog all afternoon. Tonight his tail is limp, and he can’t move. I think he may have broken his tail. It hurts because he walks away from me when I touch it. Did he break it while playing? What should I do?

Answer:  Whenever these traits are observed, make an appointment immediately with a veterinarian to get them checked out.

Diagram by Canine Works

He may have strained a muscle, tendons, or ligaments that actually support his tail and make it wag!

This issue usually appears suddenly as a flaccid tail hanging straight down, or is held out a few inches, then hangs down. The base is usually tender and may be swollen. The dog may act lethargic from pain.

In addition, the condition usually occurs in sporting and working breeds (Labs are in the Sporting Group), after a hard workout, prolonged swimming, extended time in a crate, or exposure to cold, wet weather.

Treatment:  Rest and an anti-inflammatory. Recovery takes about a week. Still, it’s important to see your vet. The tail injury could be more serious and may need a different prescribed treatment to speed up the recovery process.

Leave A Comment