Monday, March 3, 2008

Limber Tail

We took Lucy swimming at the lake this past Saturday morning. It was chilly and the water was covered in a layer of ice. Lucy loves swimming and is pretty immune to the cold water, so the weather and ice were not even a factor for her. She was so into retreiving ducks, she would get mad when we didn't move fast enough for her. She just wanted to keep getting ducks from the water (don't worry - we have fake ducks, called dockens, that she retrieves), so we kept letting her swim. She needs to stay in training for some hunt tests Todd hopes for her to compete in and also for hunting season next fall!

Anyway, when we got home we noticed that something was wrong right away. Her tail was was not up and wagging and did not want us to touch her at all. This is not like our Lucy girl, as her tail is always wagging and she loves getting as much attention as possible. Thankfully, or not so thankfully, this has happened before, so we knew it was another case of limber tail. Limber tail is a common problem in sporting dogs, although a lot of vets do not recognize the symptoms. There are many tendons and muscles around the base of a dog's tail and the dog essentially overuses the tail or pulls muscles in the tail. The vet told us that this is one of the most painful injuries a dog can have. She likened it an athlete pulling a groin muscle or hamstring. You can read more about limber tail at the Woodhaven Labs site. Basically, it means that the dog cannot lift their tail, which makes it difficult for them to do normal things - running, going to the bathroom, sitting, etc.

Lucy was fine a few days later. We gave her some medication to help with the swelling and pain. But, it is weird to see her tail pointed down and just hanging there, like in the picture below.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

Oh wow, I've never heard of that before. I have, however, pulled a groin muscle and it's very painful. Poor Lucy! I'm glad she felt better quickly after it happened!