Acute Caudal Myopathy or commonly known as Swimmers Tail is a condition that usually occurs after excessive swimming or swimming in cold water but can also be caused by excessive wagging or strenuous exercise. Swimming can provide hours of fun and entertainment, as well as great exercise to both you and your dog. However, like all things in excess or if your pet is not use to strenuous activity, it can lead to injuries.
This condition often affects working dogs and is commonly found in pointers, setters, beagles and retrievers, although it can occur in any dog with a tail (both long and short). It occurs when the muscles of the tail are injured and the tail hangs limp and does not move. You may also notice that your dog is reluctant to sit down or may seem uncomfortable or restless. In some cases if the tail is very painful you may notice lethargy or a decrease in appetite. Do not lift the tail as this may cause pain and more inflammation to your pet.
If you suspect that your dog has developed this condition you should bring them to see a veterinarian right away. Swimmer’s tail is painful and should be treated with anti-inflammatory pain medication. The condition can last several days to several weeks and is more likely to recur once your dog has suffered an initial bout. Strict rest is usually advised until the tail is back to normal. In rare cases if left untreated the limp tail can become permanent known as Dead Tail 🙁
Gradually increasing the amount of time your dog spends in the water and not spending extraordinarily long amounts of time training (unless your dog is accustomed to it) can help to prevent dead tail. If you suspect your dog may have swimmer’s tail or you have any questions about prevention or treatment of this condition please do not hesitate to call Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital at 201-646-2008 or visit us at http://www.meadowlandsvethospital.com