Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuc Lost His Wag: Limp Tail Strikes Again!

Puppy Tuc lost his wag!

I've written about Limber Tail Syndrome (aka, Cold Water Tail, Limp Tail, Dead Tail, Flaccid Tail, Lost Wag, Broken Wag, Broken Tail, etc...) here before: in February, 2008, and in July 2005 (just click on the underlined dates to see those posts). In fact, my Limber Tail posts still generate the most reader "hits" at LabTails each day -- far more than any others. It's a little-known-but-more-common-than-you-think injury that happens to sporting breeds after swimming, bathing, or playing in cold water.

Thankfully it's not serious, though it is painful, and it clears up on its own.

For more information, feel free to read the previous posts listed above, or check out these articles from The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc. and Woodhaven Labs.

In any case, Tuc developed his first case overnight (the rest of the canine crew have had their turns).

I broke out the kiddie pools yesterday -- 80s outside, low humidity, clear skies, brilliant sun. A delightful day for the kids to get wet. And since it appears we won't be going to the cottage any time soon (our usual dock-jumping, Lab-swimming, water-retrieving place), the kiddie pools will have to suffice.

As expected, Tuc and Pinot had a ball:

That was yesterday (note Tuc's tail in the pool pics above - happy boy!).

This is how his tail looks today:

You have to remember, this is Tuc we're talking about here: always-happy-Tuc; wiggle-butt-Tuc; our gives-Kenya-a-run-for-her-money-as-wiggliest-Lab-at-our-house-Tuc; our drink-spilling-coffee-table-clearing-lethal-tail-Tuc!

Poor sweet boy. He looks so confused and pathetic. He's hurting. He can't wag. It's too uncomfortable for him to sit down. And I can't even give him a butt-rub in consolation (he's really tender back there).

I honestly don't believe I've ever seen Tuc with his tail down -- not even when we've reprimanded him. He is the epitome of spunk, spirit, and endless optimism.

Flaccid tail has tempered him a bit, though. A wee bit, perhaps, but a bit nonetheless.

Ahhhh, but there's good news for him.

BOTH Elsie and Kenya are in heat now, so he's got plenty of things to sniff to keep him distracted:

He seems happy enough to sniff, even if he can't lift his leg the usual way to mark his territory.

And besides, he's got a couple of weeks still to enjoy their pheromones. He just can't do anything about them for at least another year (Ridge still reigns in that department).

So if he's got to have Limber Tail it may as well be now.

Poor boy. He'll get over it, just as the rest have done over the years.

I'm still convinced, however, that there's nothing more pathetic than a Labrador retriever who lost his wag. Especially one like Tuc.

'Til next time,



Chester said...

Have not had that experience yet but I know where I will come for advice if it should ever happen. Chester's tail is like Tuc's. Always flyin' high in the wind.

Thanks for letting us know it does get better.
Chester and Mom

Cheryl said...

Poor Tuc boy! I hope he's back to his usual self soon!

JackDaddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JackDaddy said...

I re-read your post and it answered my question!


Thoughts said...

Poor Tuc, Im so sorry to hear about this Joan. Ive never heard of such a thing but am relieved to know that it can get better. Denying a Lab or Retriever the wag of his tail is horrible!!!


Ms. ~K said...

Oh Tuc,
We hope you'll be wagging that otter tail soon!
Hugs and Rubs,
Zack, Sassy and Buddy

Anonymous said...

I have just had the same experience with my black labrador Bubba... he looks so sad and I have been trying to see what is wrong with his tail but you have just answered my question. I am so worried about him... does it take long for this to sort itself out and is there anything I can do to help him? I love my little boy and it's hurting me so much to think he is unhappy!

Anonymous said...

I have a male Lab named Remington (2) years old and this started yesterday afternoon after him swimming in 64 degree water for hours... He can't sit for his tail won't go straight, he lays down on his side... After reading several articles, I hope they are right in saying in about 2 to 3 days its normal again.


Anonymous said...

This happened to our black lab Poppy two days ago after swimming in the sea. She seemed to be in some pain at first and I thought the kids had accidentally trodden on her tail. I was really worried about her and contacted a friend who bred labs. She confirmed what I had read on the Internet and said two of her eight dogs suffered from the condition. Poppy is now starting to recover and we have had some half wags today! It was a real worry at first but a detonate improvemt is taking place thank goodness.

Anonymous said...

Well it happen just as i'm reading, after hunting in 50 degree water Drake our black lab seems to have this condition today. After waking to my wife calling at 2:30 am thinking it was just a bathroom call for him, i realized it was much worse. Thanks for the help. John

Tim. said...

Im so relieved to find this post, Our golden lab has just got this condition today for the first time, Having never experienced this before we started to get very worried about our "Bobbi" who is a rescue dog, We couldnt get hold of a vet as its a bank holiday here in the UK & didnt want him suffering, So out of desperation I decided to search the net to find out what it could be, So thanks very much for putting our minds at rest with your post & we look forward to Bobbi wriggling his back end again very soon!,,,,,Many Thanks!.

Anonymous said...

Our Lab Molly didn't swim in any water but she is such a happy dog and loves people so much that she just wiggles and wags her tail.. now it's limp and she is in pain also.. she has done this before from over excitment.. the vet said she broke her wag.. rest and quiet time for a few days and she should be ok.. and she was.. now she has done it again tonight and she is so sad looking just like Tuc.. Poor babies.. So glad I found this site..