Broken Tail Tail Injury

Buster’s Vision Education Tool

Tale of the Broken Tail!

By Bobbi Evenson, Founder for Buster’s Vision & Proud to be an Animal Advocate

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Kepler’s Broken Tail! (Don’t do this!)

It was the perfect day to frolic in the tide at Santa Cruz and have a picnic lunch. We fetched the dogs and headed to Santa Cruz Lighthouse Beach.

Kelper and Galileo started their howling immediately upon smelling the ocean water. Kepler and Galileo are Chocolate Labs and water dogs. And yes, they are absolute, astronomically, awesome! (You better have super strength if you have a medium to large dog that loves water. As they will drag you straight away into the ocean.) 

The best time to take your dog to the beach is during low tide. It’s a must to have them trained and listen on command or the ocean tide can carry them away. You can do a Google search on the number of dog drownings in river rapids and oceans. We played happily in the tide. On the beach, we hurled a ball using a Chuckit for Kep and Gal to chase. It just couldn’t get any better.

Note: You cannot believe how dirty a dog can get from swimming in the ocean. Their fur collects sand like a magnet and clumps up. I’ve learned faithfully to brush and towel down my dogs prior to entering the car or half the beach will end up in your car.

Sadly, the trouble begins with the broken tail.

We decided to take a break and eat our picnic lunch next to a beautiful small beach cliff. My ex-boyfriend (he’s a good guy) launched Kepler’s ball up the side of the small cliff while munching his sandwich. Naturally, Kepler scaled vertically straight up the cliff to retrieve his ball. In the process, he fell straight back onto his tail in a sitting position. It was dreadful. I immediately took Kepler to the vet. X-rays confirmed a broken tail. The vet resets the broken tail injury and bound with dressing. I could not play with Kepler for several weeks. I had to keep him confined until he healed.

The moral of the story. Don’t throw balls up the side of a cliff for your dog to chase. Always be mindful of your dog’s tail.

Things to Know About Pet Tail Injury
Check the length of your pet’s tail indicating a fracture or break.
Symptoms:

• Tail Swelling
• Droopy or Limp Tail
• Out of Joint Appearance
• Tail Not Wagging
• Injury or Bleeding
• Changes in pet’s movement or gait.

When my dog broke his tail, a portion of his tail was more rigid and stuck out. The broken end was limp and hanging.

Tail Injury Treatment

I strongly suggest you take your pet to the vet if there are any signs of trauma to the tail. Trauma to a pet’s tail could be a very serious underlying problem. Perhaps a serious infection from a flea or tick bite, muscle disorder, ulcer, etc. In serious pet tail trauma, part of the tail may have to be amputated.

It’s very scary seeing your pet in tremendous pain. Many times we convince ourselves there is no problem because of finances. If you love your pet. Don’t hesitate if vet care is required. Be responsible and take your fur-baby to the vet. In the long run, it may save you money. Delays in medical care may compound into a more serious problem that could put your pet into a life-threatening situation with tremendous pain and additional medical care or costs.

Tail Injury Recovery

Follow the veterinarian’s instructions on how to care for your pet while recovering from surgery. That includes pet medication.