Broken Dog Tail: How to Heal Your Pup’s Busted Wagger

Dog Health


Ben Team


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dog broken tail 1

Your dog uses his tail for a variety of things. But two of the most important things his tail helps with are balance and communication.

For example, your pup’s tail helps him relay information to other dogs, it keeps him swimming in a straight line when he uses it like a rudder, and it allows you to understand when he is scared, happy or wants something from you (spoiler alert: He always wants something from you).

Unfortunately, dogs often suffer injuries to their tail, which can cause them pain and prevent them from communicating properly with humans and other dogs.

Accordingly, you’ll want to address your dog’s wrecked wagger as soon as possible, to eliminate any pain and ensure that he can behave in the way dogs are meant to.

Below we’ll discuss the different types of tail injuries that occur, explain why your dog may suddenly have a limp tail, outline the primary methods by which tail injuries are treated, and share a few ways to help avoid them.

Broken Dog Tails: Key Takeaways

  • Dogs can suffer a variety of different tail injuries, ranging from minor issues to relatively serious problems. Things like small cuts and scrapes are usually no big deal, but broken tail bones will require your vet’s help to treat.
  • In addition to proper dog tail injuries, some dogs experience temporary tail issues. For example, some dogs will develop something called limber tail syndrome after swimming for long periods of time.
  • Tail injuries can be quite painful, so always contact your vet if you suspect your dog’s tail has become wounded. And as always, it is better to prevent tail injuries from happening than it is to treat them after the fact.

Get to Know Your Dog’s Tail

It is important to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of your dog’s tail, so you can take care of it in the most efficient manner possible. After all, tails are pretty foreign appendages to most humans.

Contrary to many dog owners’ assumption, dogs do have bones in their tails. In fact, the bones in your dog’s tail represent the terminal end of the spinal column. The number of bones in a given dog’s tail varies, but most have between 5 and 23 separate vertebrae.

The skin and fur coating the outside of the tail are essentially identical to that covering the rest of your dog’s body. Just beneath the skin, you’d find blood vessels, connective tissue and a series of tail muscles. Some of the muscles at the base of your dog’s tail are also involved in controlling their bowels and bladders, so severe tail injuries can occasionally lead to incontinence.

A collection of tendons and ligaments connect muscles to other muscles and the caudal vertebrae (tail bones) which form the core of the tail. These muscles provide precision control over the tail, thereby allowing it to serve as a remarkably effective communication device.

Types of Tail Injuries and Their Treatments

dog broken tail 2

Your dog’s tail can become injured in a variety of ways, and each requires a slightly different treatment strategy. Some of the most common types of tail injuries include:

Cuts and Scrapes

Cuts (lacerations) and scrapes (abrasions) can happen for a variety of reasons, including fights with other animals, running through thorny bushes, or simply brushing up against something sharp. Cuts can also occur if your dog bites his tail (such as may occur in response to fleas), or if he slams it into something while wagging it enthusiastically. Some dogs may even suffer scrapes after wagging their tail across cement or asphalt.

Minor cuts can be treated with typical first aid techniques; just wash the wound, apply a little triple-antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin) and try to keep it clean and protected until it heals.

On the other hand, major cuts – those that will not stop bleeding, appear deep, or extend for more than an inch or two – will require veterinary attention. Such wounds may require stitches, elaborate bandages, and prescription antibiotics.

Skin Infections

The skin on your dog’s tail may become infected just like anywhere else on his body. This includes ailments like flea allergy dermatitis and hot spots, among others.

The treatment for skin infections of the tail mirror the treatments used to treat skin infections in other places, and typically involve cleaning of the afflicted area and the application of appropriate medications.

Your dog may also need to be fitted with an e-collar to prevent him from licking or chewing on the afflicted area.

Strains and Sprains

The muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your dog’s tail can become strained or sprained just like any other muscles — a condition vets often call “limber tail.” This normally occurs following overuse or excessive exercise, but it can also precipitate from some type of trauma.

Many dogs suffer tail sprains or strains following extended swimming sessions (sometimes called “cold water tail” or “limber tail”), although hunting and herding dogs can also develop similar problems after working long hours.

These types of injuries usually resolve on their own with a few days of rest. However, it is important to visit your veterinarian if these types of problems linger.

Breaks and Dislocations

Breaks and dislocations are some of the more serious tail problems from which dogs can suffer. These types of injuries frequently occur when a dog’s tail is stepped upon, shut in a door or pulled (please do not pull your dog’s tail). In the case of a break, one or more vertebrae are fractured; in the case of a dislocation, two or more vertebrae are separated.

Broken or dislocated tails are often extremely painful, so immediate veterinary attention is warranted. It isn’t usually possible to place a cast on a dog’s tail, so the treatment options are relatively limited. Nevertheless, broken and dislocated tails usually heal with time, rest and protection. However, they are often permanently kinked at the damaged spot.

Nerve Damage

The nerves connecting to your dog’s tail can become damaged through traumatic events, such as being hit by a car, or as a byproduct of slipped or damaged vertebral discs (in the back or tail). Because some of the nerves and muscles in your dog’s tail are connected to his rectum and bladder, these types of injuries can significantly compromise your pup’s quality of life.

Nerve damage can sometimes be treated through the use of steroids, and pain medications can help keep your dog comfortable. It will usually be necessary to treat the underlying cause (such as disc-related diseases) to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

Symptoms of a Tail Injury

A variety of different symptoms and signs can indicate that your dog is suffering from a tail injury. Some are more obvious than others, so you need to be observant in order to give your dog the best chance to heal completely.

A few of the most common symptoms of tail injury include:

  • Carrying the tail in an unusual position
  • Wagging the tail to one side*
  • Alterations in your pet’s gait
  • Repeated licking or biting at the tail
  • Guarding the tail
  • Limp tail that hangs
  • Inability to move the tail
  • Unusual whimpering or other vocalizations
  • Hair loss
  • Any changes in your dog’s normal tail-wagging behavior
  • Foul odors coming from the tail
  • Incontinence

* Some dogs normally wag to one side or the other, which is not a problem. Sudden changes, however, do indicate a potential injury.

Broken Tail FAQs

dog tails

It can be shocking to see that your pup has a busted wagger, and this causes many owners to have numerous questions. We’ll try to answer some of the most common questions owners have when faced with a broken-tailed dog, below.

How much does it usually cost to repair a broken dog tail at the vet?

We understand that treatment costs will be one of the first things many owners will wonder after noticing their pup’s busted wager. And while we’d love to give you an estimate, it’s just not possible.

The severity of the injury, your dog’s breed and health status, and the treatment you opt for will cause the prices to vary significantly.

If your pet’s tail isn’t badly broken, and your vet suspects it’ll heal on its own, you may only find yourself paying for a basic vet office visit, X-ray, and some pain meds. This will likely cost you about $100 to $200.

On the other hand, if your pet ends up needing surgery, you’ll likely find the costs soar into the thousands.

Can a dog’s broken tail heal on its own?

Some broken tails can heal on their own, but others will not. There’s no way for you to know this without your vet’s help, so it is always a good idea to take your dog in for an examination – especially if he appears to be in pain.

How long does it take to heal a broken tail bone?

Healing time will vary based on the exact nature of your dog’s injury and the treatment plan you and your vet have undertaken. Minor fractures or sprains may heal in as little as a week or two, while more serious injuries may take a month or more to completely heal.

What can I give my dog for inflammation?

Never give your dog any medication without your vet’s approval – many common people medications can be very toxic to dogs. Your vet may instruct you to administer an over-the-counter pain medicine to your pet, or he or she may prescribe a pain-killing medication that is specifically formulated for dogs.

How can you tell if your dog’s tail is broken or merely sprained?

The only way to be 100% sure that a dog’s tail is, in fact, broken is by X-raying the tail (your vet may be able to achieve a pretty high level of confidence by feeling the tail, but you’ll probably lack the experience to do so – besides, this will likely hurt for your dog).

However, it’s a good bet that your dog’s tail is broken if he is unable to wag it for a prolonged period of time (say, 24 hours or so). This is particularly true of dogs who can only wag a portion of their tail.

Preventing Tail Injuries

Some of the best ways to avoid tail injuries are so obvious that they really needn’t be said. But we’ll remind you just in case!

Be careful that you don’t step on your dog’s tail, try to avoid letting other animals bite your dog’s tail, and be careful when visiting rocking chair factories.

 Keep your dog on a leash anytime he is in an unsecured area and don’t leave your samurai sword sitting around at tail height.

However, there are a few other ways to avoid injuries that aren’t so obvious.

 For example, you should be careful when letting your dog jump down from high places, as his tail may get caught in the process.

 It’s a good idea to avoid letting your dog over-exert his tail, by suddenly beginning an intense physical activity. Don’t, for example, let your dog swim around for hours if he doesn’t get the chance to swim very often, avoid letting your dog swim in very cold water, and introduce working dogs to their activities slowly.

 It’s also important to use a good preventative flea treatment to nip flea allergy dermatitis in the bud. You may want to pick a product designed to kill ticks too, especially if you and your pup frequent tick-infested areas.

dog broken tail 3

If your dog spends a lot of time on abrasive surfaces (such as a driveway or cement-bottomed kennel), be sure to inspect his tail frequently for signs of scrapes or injury.

You also want to be sure to give your dog plenty of exercise, stimulation, and companionship, to avoid stress-related biting and licking, as the tail is often the focal point for such behaviors.

One of the trickiest problems to avoid is the so-called “happy dog” syndrome, in which a dog’s exuberant wagging results in repeated injuries. For starters, you’ll want to remove as many tail-height hazards in your home. But this will rarely eliminate the problem entirely; you can’t very well move the walls in your home, for example.

You can speak to your vet about padding your dog’s tail (or at least the afflicted region), and there is at least one type of tail-tip protector you can use in such attempts. However, you may have no other choice but to have part of your dog’s tail amputated to prevent further injury and suffering.


Has your pup ever suffered from a broken or injured tail? Have you ever noticed that your dog has a limp tail? We’d love to hear about it! Do you know what caused it? Were you able to help him heal at home, or did he require veterinary care?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by

Ben Team

Ben is the managing editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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  1. Tami Drake Avatar

    My 6 year old rottweiler pitt bull mix has the ” happy dog syndrome!” And, let me tell you, his tail is also a weapon. Yesterday, I noticed the upper portion of his tail, from his behind, down about 5-6 inches, was swollen, and painful to the touch. It feels warmer then the rest of his tail. He is NOT having any trouble wagging it, or incontinence, he just doesn’t want me to touch it. Problem is, when I come home from work, or get out of shower, go to get mail, lol he goes happy berserk, wags it all over the place, hitting walls, doors, me, lol everything. How do I help him heal, when he constantly wags it? He is a VERY spoiled boy, but he’s always happy! I just don’t know how to help him, I know it hurts, and that really concerns me.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Tami. There are a few different kinds of splints, slings, and tail protectors on the market, which help to protect your pup’s tail in different ways.
      However, given that it is swollen, painful, and warm to the touch, we’d recommend that you get him to the vet for an examination first. While you’re there, you can ask your vet about the best kind of tail-protecting device for him.

      Best of luck!

  2. Lily Avatar

    I have a 3 month old great Dane named Ace..the tip of his tail is clearly broken but when I went to the animal hospital they said he had a fractured tail..instead of treating him they tried to give me a $2000 bill of things they wanted to do that were unnecessary..I’m not sure what to do I bought bandage for his tail and a cone so he wouldn’t touch it but he’s still in pain..they didn’t even offer medicine until I pay the bill..I paid for his checkup $140 to be seen for 5min literally..I need help and advice

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Lily. We’re sorry to hear about Ace’s tail!

      The terms “fracture” and “break” refer to the same thing, except that doctors and veterinarians generally use the former, while laypeople generally use the latter. So don’t worry about them calling it a fracture.
      As for what is necessary vs unnecessary, we’ll defer to the vet’s judgement. There are a lot of things vets recommend doing that seem unnecessary to owners, but are actually quite important.

      All that aside, the best path for you may be to simply visit another vet. He or she will probably provide a similar treatment plan, but if you shop around, you may be able to find one who’ll do it for less money.

      We wish you and Ace the best of luck!

  3. Nonda Avatar

    My dog started whimpering and yelping today. I thought it was abdominal pain & we even went to urgent care, but while I was waiting she seemed fine & they had checked for any signs of a serious emergency, so I decided to go home without being seen. Later she started up again & stuck her nose near her tail. When I examined, I realized her tail was the source of the pain.
    Earlier that day she had rolled in something foul, so I hosed her off w/shampoo outside. I had a hold of her tail so I could rinse her hind side & she tried to bolt away – I grabbed tighter to keep her from running & she ended up pulling me over. I had no idea that I might have hurt her, but I guess I must have pulled a muscle. I hope that’s all it is.
    Months ago I met a couple with dogs at a lake & the husband was playing w/his dogs in the water – Remi swam near him & he tugged her tail in play like he did w/his own dogs. She got really upset & got out of the water & started barking at him. Now I’m wondering if she may have had an injury to her tail even before this incident & every time something like this happens it re-injures the old injury. She’s a rescue, so I don’t know what all she’s been through before my home.
    I feel awful & realize that I should have been more careful & more gentle – I’ve never injured a dog’s tail before & didn’t realize they could be so fragile. I gave her some doggie anti-inflammatory & will keep an eye on it tomorrow to see if she needs a vet visit still. Now I know & will be extra careful about her tail.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Sorry to hear about your pooch, Nonda! We’ve got our fingers crossed that she turns out OK!

  4. John Avatar

    Yesterday, my 8 year old Lab mix just yelped and jumped up from where was laying and started running around with his tail down as if he was bitten or poked by something.
    I could not find anything in the area that caused it and was wondering if he could have twisted his tail when he went to lay down. He will not let us touch his tail, but seems okay when he sits or lays down. It looks like there may be a slightly swollen area halfway down his tail but he does wag his tail, just not as vigoruosly as normal.
    Not sure if I should take him to the vet and if he will allow the vet to touch his tail.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, John.
      Yup — a vet visit sounds in order. Your vet will have several tricks for examining him while he’s in pain.

      Best of luck!

  5. Jackie Avatar

    We rescued a boxer mix in October of 2021, at 4 months old. He had a clearly broken kinked tail but the vet through the rescue said it was healed and there is nothing we can do about it. He does not seemed bother by his tail at all, however we have had consistent urinary incontinence issues with him. He is a very smart boy and knows to go to the door when he has to pee but he frequently dribbles urine around the house and sometimes will fully urinate when he is just lying down.

    We did an ultra sound and his urinary tract system didn’t have any concerns and we have run several blood panels that all came back normal. So I am wondering if his incontinence is due to his broken tail and is there anything we can do to help his incontinence???? Thank you!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Jackie.

      Broken tails certainly can lead to incontinence, but there’s just no way for us to be able to tell if that’s what is going on — you’ll need a vet to help determine the cause. You’ve obviously already spoken with one vet about the issue, but it wouldn’t hurt to consult with another, given that the first didn’t really help.

      Regardless of the cause, your time and effort may be better spent focusing on managing the issue. Fortunately this is pretty easy with boys, you’ll just want to check out some belly bands. That should help reduce the indoor accidents drastically.

      Best of luck!

  6. Kathy Avatar

    My daughter accidentally closed the car door on the last couple inches of her greyhound’s tail. The vet said she did not believe it to be broken by palpitating the tail. The vet has prescribed some pain meds. What should we look for in the next week or two concerning his behavior? He is a house dog and I’m concerned about possible incontinence. What are your thoughts and recommendations?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Kathy.

      Sorry about your poor pupper! Honestly, we’ll defer to your vet, who has actually examined your doggo.
      But if he or she didn’t seem concerned about (or even mention) incontinence, we wouldn’t worry.

      However, you may notice some behavioral changes for a while, such as being a bit more skittish, not wanting his tail touched, or — potentially — being reluctant to hop in the car.
      Just take good care of him and continue to work with your vet.
      Best of luck!

  7. Madeline Ditta Avatar
    Madeline Ditta

    I adopted a 10-year old dog with a severely broken and crooked tail. When I put him on my lap he changes position and I worry that he is in pain. Also when it get caught on something he looks distressed. I don’t want him to be in pain. My vet sort of ignored it since he had many other issues which she thinks are allergy related besides bronchitis. I want to make him comfortable. I am not sure how to proceed. I certainly don’t want to cause him more pain. Thanks.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Madeline. Two things:
      1) If your pupper doesn’t seem comfortable when you put him in your lap, you should probably just stop doing so. Even if he isn’t experiencing pain or discomfort, it sounds like he just doesn’t like it, which is good enough reason to avoid making him do so in our book.
      2) It may be wise to speak with another vet. On the one hand, your dog’s health problems may be serious enough that the tail is a minor issue by comparison. But on the other hand, a vet who “ignored” a painful condition wouldn’t fill us with confidence.
      Best of luck with your four-footer!

  8. Elizabeth Avatar

    Our 8yr old Llewellyn is a run ee- hence his name is Rocket. For his first run after 3 weeks of crate rest for leg injury, I thought he had limp tail. After a week, it started looking worse. Vet trip and over $200 later, he has a few of 1 level 6cm from the base of tail. Vet gave carprofen and said try not to let him wag. 8 weeks to heal. We’re 1 week in post get visit. We’ve limited activity, but impossible to keep him from wagging. He’s just a happy boy!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Sorry to hear about your pup’s struggles, Elizabeth. But it sounds like you guys are working through things as best you can.
      That said, “Vet gave carprofen and said try not to let him wag” doesn’t sound like very realistic advice!

      Best of luck with the healing process.

  9. Donna Campbell Avatar
    Donna Campbell

    My dog came out of the mobile groomer with a dark spot and a kink in his tail that were not there before what does it mean?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Donna.
      We can’t tell from afar what’s going on, but we’d recommend taking your pooch to the vet — it sounds like it could be a broken tail. It’d also be wise to simply ask the groomer if anything happened during your pet’s trim.
      Best of luck!

  10. Sandy Beyer Avatar
    Sandy Beyer

    We have new pups that are now 3 weeks old. 4/5 of them look perfect but we are noticing ones tail. It is small and positioned on the right side ( not in the middle). Should I be concerned ?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Sandy.
      We’d recommend having your vet check it out ASAP, as it may be indicative of other health problems or give the little pupper problems when trying to go to the bathroom.
      But if he’s otherwise healthy, it may just end up being an aesthetic “problem.”
      Best of luck!

      1. Kari Avatar

        My dog sounds like this dog described here. Her tail is short and crooked, but the problem is that it doesn’t move away when she poops. Her poop the last couple days has been soft, so every time she goes to the bathroom I have to get her in the tub she wash her. Is this just what we will have to do her whole life? I mentioned it at her checkup recently and was a bit underwhelmed with the vet’s response. She pretty much just said she was either born that way or it was broken when she was a baby.

        1. Ben Team Avatar

          Hey there, Kari.

          Unfortunately, her tail will likely be crooked forever, so if she doesn’t move it out of the way when pooping, you may indeed be looking at frequent cleanup and baths.

          That said, there are a few things you could do:
          1) Experiment with different foods to find one that produces the firmest stools. That should at least help reduce the amount of cleanup necessary.
          2) Consider using dog diapers. That’ll certainly entail a lot of work on your part (changing them, etc.), but you may find that preferable to bathing her more-or-less daily.
          3) You could discuss caudectomy (surgical tail docking) with your vet.

          One last thing: Never hesitate to shop around for different vets if you aren’t happy with the one you are currently using. It’s always important (not to mention helpful) to find a vet with whom you can truly partner to provide your doggo with the best quality of life possible.

          Best of luck!

  11. Sylas' Mom Avatar
    Sylas' Mom

    You recommend treating scrapes or cuts with a triple antibiotic like Neosporin. I’d like to point out that those are actually very TOXIC for dogs. They will cause your pet to go into septic shock. Please consider correcting this part of the article.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Sylas’ Mom.
      You should always discuss medications with your vet before using them on your dog, and you certainly don’t want your pooch to ingest large quantities of it, but most vets agree that triple-antibiotics are safe to use.
      In fact, triple antibiotics are considered a basic supply for canine first-aid kits.

      See our article about Neosporin for more information.
      Thanks for checking out the site!

  12. Tabitha Avatar

    I have a mini chawawah and her tail has been hurt before we got her she was hurting when my husband picked her up. She doesn’t normally have a problem my concern is the base of her tail is a little swollen how can I help the pain stop until I can get her into the vet

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Tabitha.
      Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do without the help of your vet. That said, you may want to try Ask a Vet — it’s an online veterinary service. They may be able to provide you with some helpful advice.
      Best of luck!

  13. Erin West Avatar
    Erin West

    My 9 year old mini dachshund had a very low key morning with no vigorous activity. My husband suddenly noticed a 90-degree bend at the top of his tail. He’s in good spirits and doesn’t react to touching his tail. There are no emergency vets available in our area and the wait list to get into a primary care is 48 hrs. Is there anything I can do for him while we wait? He’s drinking water and moving normally. We’re keeping him and still as possible. Is there anything else we should do to make sure he’s safe?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Erin.
      Poor pooch! We’re glad he’s not showing any overt signs of pain, but we’d recommend contacting Ask a Vet to cover your bases.
      Our fingers are crossed for your pupper!

  14. Tammy Avatar

    my chihuahua is 5 in excruciating pain don’t have money for vet wat to do

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Tammy.
      We’d recommend calling your vet or a local veterinary emergency clinic. Explain your situation and see if they will offer you a payment plan.
      If that doesn’t work, we’d recommend asking friends and family to help pay for your pup’s veterinary bills.

      But you’ll just need to figure out something — it’s not fair to let your dog suffer in excruciating pain.
      Best of luck.

  15. Russ Avatar

    My 9 month old boxer was wrestling with the 3 year old boxer and landed on his docked tail after poor dismount while jumping. After much yelping and hunched scooting around, it’s got a kink near the end now, and he keeps licking it. I’ll see how he handles it today, and if it gives him any more trouble, I’ll take him into the vet. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Glad the article helped, Russ, but we’d recommend going ahead and visiting the vet.
      The kink may be caused by a broken or dislocated bone, which is undoubtedly very painful.
      Best of luck! Let us know what your vet says!

  16. Debbie Avatar

    Hi – my Pomeranian mix dog had surgery on his tail about 4 weeks ago to remove a mass. After many emergency visits for pain control, etc. he seems to be doing better except for the fact that he keeps wanting to go after his tail. We’re still giving him Gabapentin and trazadone and recently started giving him amantadine. He seems to like pressure on his tail, usually by us holding it, or wrapping it tightly with vetwrap. He was initially also given carprofen, but we stopped shortly after surgery because we thought it was causing him to have constipation (didn’t go to bathroom for 5 days). Should we have continued with the carprofen? Would that help the problem he seems to be having with his tail? It’s been a rough month for us, but especially for him. Just love to have him back to his old sweet self without having his tail wrapped.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Debbie. So sorry to hear about your pooch’s troubles — poor little guy!
      We’re not vets, and we recommend following your vet’s advice regarding your pup’s care. That said, it does appear that carprofen can cause constipation, but — according to one study — it doesn’t seem to do so terribly often.
      It’s probably a good idea to revisit the subject with your vet and take things from there.
      We’ve got our fingers crossed for your pupper!

  17. Jeff eby Avatar
    Jeff eby

    Carl ran off for about 4 hours yesterday and when I found him I saw that he had an altercation with some wild animal. I suspect a large groundhog because the bite marks have no punctures but are scraped clean of hair and a layer of skin. No bleeding. But he is very protective of his tail and is keeping it tight to his body. He hasn’t wagged it since and I haven’t seen it in his normal position, up and curled over his back. He is quite subdued and timid, which, although he IS normally a calm dog for his age, 9 months, is somewhat unusual. I am taking him to my vet today and will see what she thinks but will accept any advise here. Thanks.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Jeff.
      First of all, we’re glad you found your pooch and that he was more-or-less in one piece!
      His behavior and wounds would definitely give us cause for concern, and a trip to the vet seems very wise.
      We don’t have much more advice to provide at this point, but we’ve got our fingers crossed for your pupper!
      Let us know what the vet says.

  18. Elizabeth Van Der Velde Avatar
    Elizabeth Van Der Velde

    The article states that a veterinarian may advise to give a dog ibuprofen for pain or something specific to dogs… a vet would Never recommend giving a dog ibuprofen as it can kill a dog I like aspirin. Stating that in your write up is naive and dangerous as it. iPod lead pet owners to think it is ok to give it to their dog. A better word would be baby aspirin if a. None toon to a human drug must be made that a vet might recommend. Please do more research before posting what a vet might prescribe.

    Never give your dog any medication without your vet’s approval – many common people medications can be very toxic to dogs. Your vet may instruct you to administer ibuprofen or some other over-the-counter pain medicine to your pet, or he or she may prescribe a pain-killing medication that is specifically formulated for dogs.”

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hi, Elizabeth. It’s rare, but some vets do recommend Ibuprofen under some circumstances.
      Thanks for reading!

  19. Jennifer Sperry Avatar
    Jennifer Sperry

    Thank you, this information gives me ideas as to what I should be looking for. And, that if the tail is looking better in a day or two, then I should seek help from my vet. All good tips thanks again!

  20. Camille Avatar

    Hello, I can’t seem to tell if my dog has broken her tail or just badly spranged her tail. It happened about 7 days ago. She is a cavalier and we also have a boxer and they were running around in our backyard like they always do. My little cavalier always try’s to keep right up with him so what I’m thinking might have happened because nothing else makes sense, is if he accidentally stepped on her tail while they were running side by side, and it her may have jerked her tail. It happened within the matter of seconds because I went inside to get a drink and came outside and she was sitting in the grass looking really strage like something was up. My whole family was outside but no one was watching nor saw what might have happened. So that’s our best assumption. I immediately went to call her and she wouldn’t run to me so I went up to her and had to pick her up, and as soon as I did she yelped really loudly. So I brought her inside and we started to try to figure out what was hurting her. It was her tail but it’s at the part where it connects to her body that hurts her. We tried lifting it to look and maybe see is she had gotten stung but she started yelping/ screeching over and over a couple times in a row bc it was so painful for it to be lifted and so we couldn’t look around her tail at all because she would cry. I decided to wait a day because my mom was convinced a wasp stung her but she was still just in so much pain the next day I brought her to the vet. The vet tried lifting her tail to look and my little cavalier just couldn’t bare the pain. So she just started to feel around her tail without lifting it and she just was kinda uncomfortable but nothing that was causing her major pain. So the vet decided to give me liqiud pain medication and steroids to give her twice a day. I’ve been giving her all her medication for about 5 days now and she seems to being doing a little bit better but she still doesn’t want anyone touching or really being near her tail. She doesn’t lift is near as has high as she used to when she wags it but I just don’t know if I should take her back to the vet or not. I just hate seeing her in pain but also don’t want to waste money going if it’s just going to heal on its own, when I’ve also already been given the medication needed to treat it. Thank you so much.

    1. Ben Avatar

      Hey, Camille. So sorry about your pup. It’s probably a good idea to go back in to the vet, just to be on the safe side. Maybe give the vet a call first and explain what’s going on. The vet may be able to reassure you without the need for an office visit.
      Best of luck — let us know how it turns out!

  21. James Martin Avatar
    James Martin

    My dog has broken his tail in two places. It was done maybe 5 to 8 days ago. He has been licking it constantly. Hair has began to fall off the tail on the tip where his licking.

  22. Megan Avatar

    I volunteer at an animal rescue, and we took in a dog with a completely broken/detached tail bone. She is the happiest little girl who loves human affection. She was once adopted because of her beautiful look and happy personality, but sadly returned because of incontinence. Her story breaks everyone’s hearts because she is less likely to be adopted due to her broken tail. Can surgery fix her up to get bladder and bowel control back? Are there other remedies to this problem other people have encountered?

    1. Ben Avatar

      Hey, Megan. That is heartbreaking. 🙁

      I don’t know if they can restore nerve function or not. Does your rescue work with a vet? I’d recommend consulting with him or her.

      Either way, I thank you on behalf of the dog for doing all you are doing to help her.

      Best of luck — keep us updated!

  23. Lisa DVM Avatar
    Lisa DVM

    Ben, please, please, PLEASE!
    NEVER list ibuprofen on your website as something you can give your dog! I have seen so many dogs very sick or die if they’re given ibuprofen. MAYBE a little aspirin, although when people give it, it limits what better antiinflamories I can give them until they’ve been off the aspirin for at least 5-7 days.
    Lots of human meds are fine for dogs, but NSAIDS are a class of drugs that you have to be very careful with in dogs. They are much more sensitive to them than humans are. The BEST thing to do is get a safe antiinflammatory from you vet, or if you must give something OTC, the next best thing is a little aspirin. And watch for vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite with use of any anti-inflammatories. If they have any of these symptoms, stop the medication and call the vet.
    Phew! Sorry, reading that raised my blood pressure, so I had to get that off my chest! 🙂
    You give great information otherwise, so thanks!

    1. Ben Avatar

      Hey, Lisa. Thanks for reading and for your comments. If you go back and look, I actually said

      “Your vet may instruct you to administer ibuprofen or some other over-the-counter pain medicine to your pet, or he or she may prescribe a pain-killing medication that is specifically formulated for dogs”

      I’d never recommend giving any pain meds to a dog without first consulting your vet.

  24. Richard M Hooper Avatar
    Richard M Hooper

    We moved into a house that had been vacant for sometime almost a year ago. There were two squirrels who had made themselves at home in the backyard. One morning we noticed a chunk of hair gone from around our dogs tail and their were bite marks around her tail. It was red and swelled up. We took her to the vet and they couldn’t figure it out and put her on antibiotics. The swelling didn’t go down and the vet couldn’t figure out what the swelling and oozing was from even though I believed it was a squirrel bite. My otherwise very healthy dog who is 13 years old but in shape like a 5 year old started having weird symptoms of seizures, dementia, epilepsy, and balance problems. I put bentonite clay on the area which pulled out the infection and cleared it up, but balance problems seemed to persist. In August, (two weeks ago) she screamed like a cat being eaten by a mountain lion and was in so much pain that she didn’t recognize us. I gave her tramadol and a week later it happened again. I took her back to the vet, he took an xray and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but when the vet tech asked me when the last time she wagged her tail; I responded that I couldn’t remember and thought her health was declining and she was depressed. The vet prescribed Carprofen (an anti-inflammatory) and with two days she is jumping around and wagging her tail. Her dizziness, leg shaking, and seizure type symptoms are gone. I read on this site to find that it only stands to reason that the squirrel did bite her and it did affect her tail. I will be taking her back in for lab tests to see if she has any parasites or something that the squirrel could have given her, but for the most part I think the vet tech’s question was light a light bulb that answered the question. The vet didn’t say anything regarding her question and I think ruled it out, but the meds he prescribed surely did the trick. I hope this might help someone who sees the weakening of their dog’s back end and unbalanced back legs ask their vet to prescribe the Carprofen to see if it helps and realize that it might be their tail connected to the spine that might be the issue.

  25. Annie Avatar

    Our Labrador is an exuberant tail wagger. This afternoon when we came outside her tail had a definite kink about half way down which everyone noticed immediately. I gently felt the area and it appeared to bother her a little bit she still kept wagging her tail as much as ever. She did seem reluctance to sit unless the tail moved to the side. After about 10 minutes of wondering if we needed a trip to the vet, the tail suddenly straightened. Any ideas???? She has a fairly high pain tolerance, runs into walls and just shakes it off for example. I’m wondering if she may have dislocated the tail and knocked it back in with constant wagging and knocking it against floor and timber House posts.

  26. Pia Briccocola Avatar
    Pia Briccocola

    My Lhasa Apso has hurt/broken her tail in the middle and can’t lift it at all. She cries out if her tail is touched and tries to bite my hand. It seems quite painful. What can I do? Will it heal on its own?

  27. Kare Garrett Avatar

    Our dachshund began curving his tail under his rear 3-4 days ago. He usually carries it upright or straight out and lifts it when going potty. Since he can’t lift it I gently lift it to clean his back end and he cries in pain. I’m not sure if it’s his tail or lower spine. Other than rest do you have other treatment suggestions? We are seeing the vet on Monday.

  28. Tracy Avatar

    My dog had “swimmers tail” before and her curled under to her belly and she could not wag it. A few days later she could wag it a little. She had a complete recovery to her happy “helicopter tail”

    1. Kate Garrett Avatar
      Kate Garrett

      Tracy, How long did it take before your pups tail was back to normal? Our dachshund is having trouble squatting to poop and keeps his tail curved underneath.

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