Tail Breaking in Dogs and Its Treatment

Dog Health

The tail is one of the most important parts of dogs. A large part of the communication that dogs establish with humans and other dogs is through tail movements. The tail is also extremely important for dogs to maintain their balance. Thanks to their tails, dogs can jump higher and land without injuring themselves. An injury to the tail significantly affects their quality of life.

The tail is an extension of the spine and contains small bones held together by joints. Like the rest of the skeletal structure, these bones can break or crack. Depending on the length of the tail, the number of spines in the tail of dogs varies between 5 and 23. The greater the number of bones, the greater the risk of fractures or other injuries. There are soft discs between the vertebrae that make up the tail. These discs give flexibility to the tail. The tail muscle and nerves also provide the movement of the tail. In short, a dog’s tail has a complex structure made up of bones, muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Tail breakage or other tail injuries in dogs are a serious health problem and should be treated before it is too late.

dog that can't hold its tail upright

Symptoms of Tail Fracture

“Why does the dog’s tail break?” The answer is usually trauma. If your dog’s tail has not been as active as it used to be lately, this may indicate a problem. Symptoms of a broken tail include swelling, twisting, and curling of the tail. Dogs with a broken tail often have difficulty moving their tails and keeping them in their normal position. Tail fracture occurs when the bones forming the vertebrae in the tail are broken. This is why fractures are quite painful for dogs. Because the tail is very painful, it causes whining and crying sounds in dogs. Dogs lick them to heal their wounds. Your dog constantly licking his tail is also among the signs of a broken tail.

veterinarian giving medicine to dog

Tail Fracture Treatment

Tail breaking in dogs and its treatment is a difficult process. When you suspect that your dog has a broken tail, you should contact your veterinarian. In tail fractures, the tail is usually fixed so that the broken bone fuses properly. The treatment is easier and the healing process is more comfortable when the fracture is close to the tip of the tail. However, the closer the fracture is to the body, the more difficult it is to heal. Because there is usually a possibility of nerve damage in this region. In some cases, the dog’s tail may need to be clipped. Tail break treatment in puppies takes a shorter time. Since puppies are in a rapid development process, recovery progresses more quickly. However, puppies have a more difficult recovery process due to trauma and the pain of the tail.

curled dog tail

Other Injuries That May Occur To The Tail

In addition to tail breakage, other injuries affecting the tail can also be seen in dogs. Moreover, some of these are much more common than tail breakage.


Scratches can occur on the tails of dogs due to various reasons. Scratches are seen due to reasons such as the tail rubbing against the concrete surface or barbed wire or getting stuck under the seat wheel. In cases where the hair is plucked and the skin becomes visible, it is necessary to wash the area gently with soap and warm water. In cases where the scratch is a little deep, antibiotic ointment can be applied to prevent infection. Elastic tape is applied on the ointment instead of adhesive tape. In this way, the tape hairs can be removed without plucking and painlessly. It is usually sufficient to apply the ointment and wrap it for a few days. However, the bandage should not be tight enough to block blood flow. It may be necessary to use an Elizabethan collar so that the dog does not remove the bandage. You can view the collar models that dogs can use for a safe recovery process by clicking here.

Nerve Damage

Although the nerves in the tail are protected by the bone structure, they can be damaged. Pulling the tail violently can lead to stretching or tearing of the nerves. When the nerve damage from the tail pull occurs in the upper spinal cord, the dog is usually unable to defecate. This indicates damage to the nerves that control the toilet. Although this nerve damage that occurs over time heals, in some dogs, incontinence is permanent.

Loose Tail

Loose tail syndrome, also known as cold tail, is a very painful muscle condition. It is seen due to excessive effort. It causes pain at the base of the tail. The dog reacts painfully when this area is touched. It is more common in large breed dogs. It is common in dogs swimming in cold water. The treatment for loose tail discomfort is rest. In the meantime, veterinarians recommend the use of painkillers to make the healing process more comfortable.

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