Sometimes having so much fun swimming has a price to pay!

The day after we returned from Lake Michigan I noticed Titans tail was limp, I knew immediately what the problem was.

You may have heard of “cold tail”, “limp tail”, “dead tail”, all of these are just different names for limp tail syndrome. When I googled it I also found it may be called “broken tail” or “sprung tail”. I have even heard it called “pump tail”.

You will see your dog hanging their tail down and not wagging it. Sometimes the tail may go out about 3 or 4 inches and then hang down, I think this is probably where the “pump tail’ name comes from as it looks like a pump handle. This affects the muscles in the tail not the tail bone and is quite painful but fortunately usually only lasts for a few days. It is unknown the exact cause but you may see it in dogs that have done an activity such as swimming or hunting where they use their tail a lot. It can also occur from cold water and very warm water baths.

Titan has had this one other time and I am pretty familiar with it so what I do for him is give him some Tramadol, which is a pain medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. I don’t need to keep him quiet as he doesn’t want to move around to much anyway. Anything that causes the tail to move or put any kind of pressure on it is very painful. Usually in 3-4 days he is much better. I don’t make him sit while his tail is sore as this just causes him more pain, so for those few days he gets freebies from obedience.

Here are a couple of photos I found online to show you what this looks like.

petsbest                       riverroadveterinary

                      Photo from                                      Photo from



I am not giving any medical advice or treatment recommendations for you and and your dog/s, you should always consult with your own veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.


Tina and the Brown Dogs

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