What do I do if my dog has a broken tail?

Dogs can break their tails surprisingly easily - all it takes is landing on it at the wrong angle with the dog's weight in some cases. Other hazards of day-to-day life can cause a break as well - car doors, regular doors, gates, you stepping on it - a tail injury is something a dog is going to be at risk for, especially if that breed has a longer tail.

   

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You should be aware that if you even suspect a break, you should go to the vet to have it checked out. The tail of a dog has many interlocking bones that are similar to the vertebrae of your spine. The problem is that you need to have any break fixed immediately because the bones will begin to regrow within a few days. If the tail is not set properly, it can be permanently fixed at an odd angle that is disruptive to the dog. It doesn't sound that bad, but it's not just about vanity: a tail that hangs at a crooked angle can get in the way of defecation and urination, causing the dog to soil itself every time it uses the restroom - leaving you to clean it up.

How do I tell if my dog broke his tail?

You may not be able to. There are some obvious signs such as pain, crying, sensitivity to the touch at a spot on the tail, or it looking bent. The dog might also be unable to wag the tail or move it properly. However, dogs can break their tails in ways that do not cause these symptoms. If your dog has any kind of serious trauma to the tail it's best to have it checked out.

Tails can also be dislocated, just like a regular bone, which can cause similar symptoms.

What is the treatment?

It depends on the extent of the injury and on the breed as well. Some vets will want to remove the tail entirely in some cases. In other cases, the break can be fixed using surgery or little devices to hold the tail bones into place so they can heal properly.

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