Thursday, June 17, 2010

'Tis the Season for... Limber Tail Syndrome (Just a Reminder)

It's summertime (well, officially in about 4 days), and we all know what that means for Labs:  water play!  :)

What fun!

Well, most of the time.

As a reminder to all of us who have water-loving dogs of any kind, I'm re-posting the informational blog entries I've run here before on the condition known as "Limber Tail Syndrome" or  "Cold Water Tail" or  "Limp Tail" or "Broken Wag" or "Flaccid Tail Syndrome" (it goes by various names).

Often unknown to veterinarians (until we educate them), this condition can scare the bejeebers out of pet owners whose beloved canines suddenly develop wagless tails (yes, the tails just sadly hang off their hind-ends like limp noodles). The bases of the tails are often tender to touch and quite uncomfortable for the dogs.

The condition is temporary, though painful, brought on by exposure to cold water.

Rather than rewrite everything here, I'll just supply the links to my previous entries.

Just so you know, every one of our labs, except little Chessie of course, has developed Cold Water Tail at one time or another.  Some, a couple of times.

All rebounded well and without complications, most within 2-3 days (Ridge was our longest at about 5 days).

And (another fyi) the information I posted about this syndrome, by far, generates more traffic to LabTails and more comments than any other subject about which I've written.

It's a common problem. Given the current season, a timely one, too.

I hope it helps!

'til next time,


Chester said...

Hi Joan! I don't get around to visit often anymore but your post reminded me to thank you for the limber tail information. Chester recently developed a limber tail after a day at the lake and thanks to YOU, I knew as soon as I saw it what it was. Otherwise I may have gotten excited and worried when all I did was go for a baby aspirin and gave him a few days to get over it. Thankfully he did. Surprising how many dog, even lab owners that had never heard of it. I may not either had I not been a RR awhile back.

Thanks again!
Chester's Mom

kayceebeebee said...

This is how I found your blog, must be about 3 years now, and I have been a faithful reader ever since! I love your blog.

Mary said...

Hope gets it once a year in the winter...we can swim longer than you up north. We find that massaging the area around the tail and butt area gently helps plus we carefully put a heat pack on. Antiinflammatories are very useful too. We do this and Hope bounces back in about a day or two. Hope this info helps!!!

JackDaddy said...

Yes, thank you! I hadn't heard of this until I started reading the dog blogs. I hope I never see it!

dank brewer said...

Wow, this just happened to me last night. We had an amazing day at the Lake. Nala, my yellow lab was swimming her little heart out. We got home and I gave her a rather warm bath then, in the middle of the night we heard a horrible yelp. It was Nala's tail. She must have over exerted herself. I guess I need to manage her swimming a little bit...because she is in pain! Her tail is already getting a little better though and hopefully it goes away soon.
How soon can I let her back in the water? Should I wait a few weeks after recovery?

JackDaddy said...

I think yours was the first blog where I read about LTS and so thank you again for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for your post and your blog. This could be a very long post, so I will condense. We adopted a lab mix two years ago, shortly after I was diagnosed with an incurable lung disease. Daily rigorous exercise helps "clean" my lungs. Once "Harley" realized I was going to exercise each morning she will not let me alone until we do. She has improved my live immensly, very few people even realize I am ill.
Yesterday we took Harley to the lake and she swan next to me in my Kayak for a long time, well over a mile. Then retrieved for a half hour or so. At 4 am this morning she woke us up crying, her tail was limp etc. We took her to emergency vet care, they xrayed and gave her Rimadyl, that did not work so we are now on Tramadol. She sleeps and rests. Doc said her anal glands were impacted so he cleaned them and said that was the cause.
I did not buy this as the cause, so to the net found your site and bingo, I think we have solved the case. She is sleeping now and resting and we are so relieved to have found your site.

Thank You

Harley's Dad

Tara said...

Hi Joan,

Thank you for this information! My New Zealand Huntaway's waggler is a noodle this morning after a short walk in the snow last night. This is the first snow our city has had in a few decades so I guess my girl wasn't climatised for it.

Poor girl, she has dysplasia in one hip, a dodgy cruciate in the other leg, with advanced arthritis because of it, and she's only six years old!

Have given her a Tramadol and will take her to the vet for a check up, but thanks for putting my mind at ease in the meantime.