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Q: I think my dog's tail is sore. How can I tell?

June 28, 2010 | By Mary T. | 3 answers | Expired: 1479 days ago

Mary T.

Can a dog break its tail by wagging too hard?

Chosen Answer
HealthEditor
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Aside from a long, heavy tail that is cut or bruised by striking something else, a free-wagging dog's tail is unlikely to break.

Long-tailed dogs (Irish Wolfhounds and Labrador Retrievers in particular) seem to spend a lot of time nursing sore tails. Most likely those injuries were the result of high-speed collisions with sharp, solid objects such as furniture.

Sometimes the nursing (chewing, licking) can be more disfiguring that the original injury, and hair loss or infection can occur. The tip of the tail might need to be amputated in extreme cases.

Thanks to the vets at BluePearl Veterinary Partners (bluepearlvet.com) for this answer.

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Readers' Answers (2)
daryl b.
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Jul 12, 2010

i don't know how often it occurs but i had a friend who had a great dane and whe would wag his tail so hard the he hit a coffee table and broke it about 2 inches from the end. so i guess anything is possible

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Jillian
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Jul 12, 2010

yes, but it has to be pretty hard and on the right surface. a dalmatian i use to sit for wagged his tail so hard into a doorway, i think it was, that it broke open and blood sprayed everywhere. i'm not sure he broke it, this was years before i met him, but it definitely did some damage. i wouldn't say the tail could break clear through this way, but it could create a hairline fracture. and try telling a dog not to wag their tail for a few weeks!

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