How Serious Is A Broken Tail In Dogs?

Posted on: 20 January 2021

Dogs are amazingly expressive creatures, especially when you consider the fact that they can't actually talk. You know your dog and can read their moods. One of the most obvious ways in which your dog expresses themselves is with their tail. A dog's tail is a remarkably complex part of their anatomy, allowing a form of signal-based communication, not to mention the fact that it greatly aids their balance. A broken tail doesn't only mean that your dog may be unable to adequately demonstrate their mood, but it can also be quite dangerous.

An Extension of the Spine

Your dog's tail is essentially an extension of their spine. It's made up of a number of vertebrae, with intervertebral discs separating each bone. These discs protect the vertebrae and permit motion (allowing your dog to wag their tail). Even though the tail protrudes outwards from the body, its connection to your dog's spine means an injury can be very serious.

Extremely Painful

A broken tail can be extremely painful, and as such, obvious distress is one of the key indicators of this type of injury. The tail itself will also be limp, and while your dog will instinctively try to move it, this motion will cause significant discomfort. Additionally, your dog may lose control of their bowels and bladder, as the muscles that regulate these functions can be compromised as a result of the injured tail. It should be noted that tail breakages are generally more problematic the closer they are to your dog's body. So, a break at the base of the tail will be far more serious than a break at the tip of the tail.

Urgent Treatment

Given the potential for substantial pain, an obviously broken tail must be treated immediately. Take your dog to an animal hospital for urgent treatment, which will begin with pain relief. The tail itself will be examined, and the vet will likely order an x-ray to determine the extent of the damage. The tail must then be reset to allow the vertebrae to fuse back together in the correct position. Failure to reset the tail can mean that the vertebrae may reset themselves in a misaligned position, causing further discomfort. 

Your dog may not seem like themselves when they're unable to properly wag their tail. Remember that a broken tail can be a severe injury, and your dog needs prompt medical care so they can regain their wag.

Contact a local pet hospital for more information.