Limber tail

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Limber tail

Post by LyndaW on Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:55 pm

Troubles never happen singly, do they?

As well being heavily involved and pre-occupied with my son's problems recently (no major emergencies - don't worry!), I dropped my very heavy loo-seat onto my thumbnail. The pain was out of all proportion to this silly mishap, and my thumbnail is a very fetching shade of blue/black!

BUT - Kuchar was real droopy-draws yesterday, didn't enjoy his walks at all, was very mopey all day with a hunted, anxious look on his face. All vital signs OK and he ate up his dinner. But both my son and I noticed separately that when we caressed him and ran his tail through our hand as we are prone to do, he didn't like his tail touched at all and ran off with that look on his face. This morning I touched him gently at the base of his tail and he ran off again. Plus, as far as we can remember, he hasn't wagged his tail since the day before yesterday and it's just kind of drooping there.

Now, until I entered these forums (now only THIS forum!) I had never heard of limber tail (my previous two dogs - Dobies - had been docked as tiny puppies) but I remembered Caryll mentioning it so I looked it up on the net and I feel pretty sure that this is Kuchar's problem.

Rest is mentioned as treatment - does this mean not walking the dog? He enjoyed his walks more today but his tail is still just dangling there.

Anti-inflammatories were also mentioned.

I would be grateful for anyone's opinion - thank you!
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:41 pm

Oh, dear! hug Sorry you and Kuchar haven't had a good day!

How is he holding his tail? This can often be an indicator of how bad it is. If he's holding the base of the tail out, away from his rear, with the rest of it pointing straight down or tucked under, that's a big indicator that he doesn't want to move it at all.

Anti-inflammatories are really good, as it's caused by an inflammation of the muscles at the base of the tail. Heat packs are also very effective at loosening the muscles. I wouldn't recommend the usual 'ice, then heat' method, as cold and/or damp is usually one of the main triggers for limber tail. Dog-safe pain killers should also help, if you have them.

I'd judge the walks on how Kuchar is feeling. hug If he's really reluctant to move anywhere, it's best not to force him, but some coaxing might help!

Hope he feels better soon! hug
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:43 pm

Ooh, and it might help for future reference if you could establish what might have caused it. Has he done anything out of the ordinary recently, like swimming, over-exertion, bashed his tail, etc.?
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Re: Limber tail

Post by LyndaW on Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:08 pm

Thank you Eleanor!

His tail is not tucked tight into his bum scolded-puppy style, but standing out about an inch or so, and then drooping down. The photos of limber tail on Google pretty accurately reflect Kuchar's tail.

As for what caused it, I can only remember that just prior to this I was walking him along the street in the dark and he suddenly stopped right in front of me (I don't demand rigorous heel-work during his evening stroll as I want him to sniff about and enjoy himself as much as possible) and I crashed into him and I'm pretty sure that I thought at the time that his tail had got crookedly if briefly squished between my legs and his stationary bum. None of his tail bones look dislocated however.

Thank you for your advice - if he's still the same tomorrow I will try a gentle heat pack if he allows it.

What would be the best anti-inflame to use?

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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:24 pm

It does sound like limber tail, the poor little guy! sad Maybe the knock bruised his tail muscles. Daft boy!

I'd say turmeric would be a good choice! Doggy-safe, not as expensive as drugs and completely natural! And some nice, gentle hugs to speed up the healing process and make him feel better! hug
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Caryll on Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:36 pm

LyndaW wrote:Thank you Eleanor!

His tail is not tucked tight into his bum scolded-puppy style, but standing out about an inch or so, and then drooping down.  The photos of limber tail on Google pretty accurately reflect Kuchar's tail.


That sounds 99% Limber Tail! (aka Cold Tail, Dead Tail)

WE found that Dempsey improved gradually over a few days, with the first 2 or 3 days the worst. I've read several conflicting reports as to the efficacy of ant-inflammatories. Some say they are a god-send, others say no good at all. The one thing they all say, though, is to apply gentle heat - a warm hot water bottle held gently against the tail seems to help a lot.

We found that cold water (swimming in a lake/river for example) sets Dempsey's tail off more than anything else, but it can also be caused by repeated blows (furious tail wagging against things/bashing the tail against objects etc).

The bad news is that once a dog suffers Limber Tail once, he's likely to get it again - the good news is that it's rarely as bad in subsequent times, and the recovery rate is generally 100% over a few days.

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Re: Limber tail

Post by tracyp on Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:04 pm

If it is limber tail it is muscular & can take from a few days to a few weeks to recover from. I would just watch him. But I would be off to the vets for xrays if no improvement within the week of if he seems to be in pain.
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:02 pm

Personally, I'd wait for longer than a week, depending on how bad it is originally. blush A couple of Dempsey's bouts have taken a few weeks to clear up properly. Most of them have cleared up in under three days, but the first one in particular took a very long time to completely heal. Once we'd realised what it was, it only took about a week, but the symptoms had been showing for over two weeks before.
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Re: Limber tail

Post by LyndaW on Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:33 pm

Thank you everyone!

Kuch does seem to be improving gradually. He can now sit with his bum on the floor and he holds his tail more naturally when he is moving. He is also happier in himself.

I am watching his tail like a hawk! There was a bit of a gentle wave today, but when I see it thrash to and fro in ecstasy again I shall be a very happy bunny.

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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:40 pm

Bless him! hug Did he have trouble sitting down then, and do that sad, hesitant little half-squat before bouncing back up?
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Re: Limber tail

Post by LyndaW on Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:48 pm

Yes he did - and I told him (kindly) that wasn't a sit, it was a curtsey.

Shame, shame, shame.
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:50 pm

Aww, poor little boy! tongue Mean mummy is teasing him!
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Re: Limber tail

Post by LyndaW on Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:07 pm

Well, in mean mummy's defence, she didn't thrash him TOO severely! wink
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:04 pm

laughing Maybe mean mummy will let you sleep on the hooman bed tonight! happy
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Re: Limber tail

Post by LyndaW on Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:56 pm

Oh definitely! He's my cuddly-wuddly baby.
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:51 pm

Aww love Don't you hog the covers, though! He'll need looooooots of space!
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Re: Limber tail

Post by LyndaW on Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:54 pm

Yes he has lots of space thanks to a double bed left over from my married days! I do like a teeny corner of the duvet for myself though, which I hope is not too selfish!
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:41 am

shocked How dare you? He needs all of the covers!
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Caryll on Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:06 am

Poor Kuchar! Dempsey had trouble sitting as well - they look totally ridiculous when they squat like that! love

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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:59 pm

We had to lift him onto his side, as he couldn't lie down on his own!
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Shisa on Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:40 pm

Poor boys! Hope Kuchar is feeling a bit better. There is nothing worse than not being able to do something to help them.
I'm a firm believer in antiflams. I'd give him some Petcam or Metacam.
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:06 pm

Agreed! happy Anti-inflammatories are Godsends!
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Caryll on Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:06 pm

Trouble is round here, you can't get metacam or similar round here without going to the vets, and as surprising as it seems, a lot of vets know nothing about Limber Tail & start talking xrays etc!

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Re: Limber tail

Post by LyndaW on Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:37 pm

If it wasn't for you good people (Caryll in particular!) I would never have heard of limber tail and doubtless would have rushed off to the vet and gone through the gamut of General Anaesthetics, X-Rays, expensive drugs etc.

As it is, Kuchar is 99% back to normal - enjoying his walks again, looking happy, and today has been wagging his dear little tail at anyone and everyone with only slightly less vigour than usual.

Thank you one and all, you have been such a big help to me and Kuchie. hug hug hug hug
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Re: Limber tail

Post by Eleanor on Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:48 pm

Glad he's feeling better hug
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Re: Limber tail

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