A Tail of A Dog

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Happy Tail Syndrome

We all know dogs love to wag their tails when they are happy. Sometimes it seems like their entire bodies shake, right along with those tails! It’s hard to imagine this could actually ever be a bad thing.

Though it is rare, sometimes a dog might wag his tail so hard, so violently, he can wack the end on furniture, standing objects, or even knock things over around the house. If done hard enough, your dog might actually injure the tip of his tail, causing a cut or tear to form. As he continues to wag his tail, two things can happen: the wound can get worse, and blood can actually splatter on walls and furniture of your house.

Also earning the nickname ‘Kennel Tail’, ‘Splitting Tail’ or ‘Bleeding Tail’, this condition is more prone to effect larger dogs with longer, smooth tails, like Labradors, Great Danes or Pitbulls.’Happy Tail’ is more of a nickname, since the condition leads to outcomes not happy at all.

How is Happy Tail Syndrome Treated?

There are several ways to tackle this problem, the most abrupt being docking (amputation). Your dog’s tail is actually an extension of his spine, composed of fleshy tissue as well as several vertebrae, and can sometimes become so injured that removal is the absolute best form of treatment. This is obviously extreme, and can usually be prevented.

Dog ‘Proof Your’ House

If you come home to see blood splattered on the walls and your furry friend wielding an injured tail, ask yourself what he might have hit to injure it in the first place. Try removing all the sharp or blunt standing objects you can, in order to create a safer environment. Once this is done, if your problem persists, you may need to look at other options.

Stitching & Bandaging

The wound might need a stitch or two; your veterinarian will be able to advise you. At that point, consider bandaging the tail, or adding a soft, cushioned material. In fact, there are already several soft ‘tail covers’ on the market you can try! Bandages or covers will also prevent your dog from irritating the injury by licking or chewing at it- as long as he doesn’t chew at the bandage itself.

Behavioral Training/Treatment

Ask yourself ‘Why’ is your dog wagging his tail so violently? What exactly is causing these
extreme reactions? Sometimes, your answers could be stress or anxiety related. Perhaps the
dog is under stimulated, and doesn’t receive enough exercise. Though you might need to do
some personal research yourself, try and treat those specific triggers in order to minimize or
eliminate this behavior.

Mood Altering Medication?

If your dog does suffer from anxiety or stress, you can consider talking with your veterinarian about medication to treat the problem. Just like humans, dogs can take ‘veterinarian prescribed’ medications made to treat behavioral problems like this.

My name is Chris, I’m 33 and write about dogs and cats when I’m not playing with my two furry
employees of the month, Loki and Volly. As a dog lover, agility trainer, and social media
specialist, there is always enough work to do and never a boring day around! After having
literally written hundreds of articles, there is still no short supply of knowledge to be gained and
I’m surprised with unusual requests every now and then.