Sunday, January 03, 2010

Limber Tail

I've read about it before, but now can claim first hand experience with a dog developing limber tail (also called cold water tail). After a hunt this weekend that featured a couple of pretty extended retrieving efforts, we got back, cleaned birds, generally picked up, then noticed that Booker the Chessie was walking funny. I thought he had a cockleburr caught in an indelicate place, but an attempt to check his tail brought a cry from him, the first I've ever heard. His back end was extremely tender and he generally felt down. A bit of internet research suggested an anti-inflammatory. Fortunately, he seems much better today after a little ibuprofen and some rest, though he'd still prefer to lay around and isn't his normal active self.

Normal tail:

Broke-looking limber tail:

We're hoping a week's rest will have him back to form.


Terry Scoville said...

I experienced this with Jet last year for the first time. It is also called "swimmer's tail". It was a week later that her wagger began to work again. I spoke w/several vets and they told me that it is still not understood(physiologically) as to why this happens. Sounds like Booker has made a return to his former self. Such a relief.

danontherock said...

I have seen this several times in several of my dogs. Don't worry it will take a week or so and he will be back to normal


spotted face said...

Poor thing. I haven't run into this yet.

mdmnm said...


Thanks for the comment. Booker isn't 100 percent, but he's not in pain and almost back to normal.

Thanks, Dan!

Wandering Owl- If it happens, you'd swear his tail is broken or otherwise injured.

Trout Caviar said...

Ouch. I feel Booker's pain, and I'm glad to hear he's doing better.

Happy hunting to all~ Brett

Chas S. Clifton said...

That happened once with my first Chessie, and "tincture of time" was the cure. I think it happened only once.

mdmnm said...


Thanks for letting me know about your experience. He's pretty much done with it now and I'm hoping it won't come back.