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Discussion Starter #1
I just adopted a new lab. He's about 1.5 years old and is a wonderfull black lab. He still has a little of his puppy energy and troublemaker in him. On Sunday the babysitter accidentally let him out and he made the most of it. He swam through a small swamp, rolled around in something nasty and got in a wrestling match with a porcupine. When I got home I pulled all the quills out and gave him a hose bath outside, though I feel bad as the water was so cold he was shivering when it was done. We went to bed for the night shortly after.

Yesterday I noticed he didnt want to sit, flinching and standing every time he tried. Also his tail isnt wagging at all, it just hangs down behind his body. It does seem to hang a little weird, but I've had this dog for less then a wekk, so its hard to compare to anything i would reference as "normal" as his tail has always been wagging.

Thinking I must have missed a quill I did a close inspection. Aside from a little flinching and some fervent licking to try to get me to leave his tail alone I found nothing wrong. No quills, no cuts, not bumps, no noticable swelling.

Anyone have any ideas what might be wrong? If possible I would like to avoid another vet trip as I just spent a ton of money between the dog, his fence, all the supplies and the vet visit for his initial check-up and shots.

Thanks.
 

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Yup, sounds like cold tail to me also. Generally it takes care of itself after a day or two. If you want a buffered aspirin may help some.
 

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I third the opinion it does sound like cold/dead tail. Typically it is extremely painful to touch and wag and sit, I give the buffered aspirin (Ascriptin brand/type) and it will get better in 1-3 days. It is fairly common in the spring because dogs get out more after a winter break and do alot of swimming before they are in shape for the season. Vets often are NOT aware of this condition and want to do x-rays and other examines and often diagnose it as a sprained tail which it isn't.

Kelly and Amber
 

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This sounds very encouraging. Thank you.

For a 65 lb dog, what is the proper dosage of buffered aspirin to use?
 

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Yep, limber tail, cold tail. Sandy gets it quite often when we first start out going to the lake......he's in the water a lot. Contrary to popular belief the water does not have to be cold to cause it....though that can exacerbate things....cold water tightens up the muscle. It is over use of the tail muscles at the base. If you gently feel at the base of the tail where it joins the spine it often is warm to touch if it is heavily inflammed....also I've been able to actually feel the swelling. Labs with higher set tails can be prone to it more because they can get it from excessive wagging....muscles at the base of the tail get sore.

Can take a while to heal usually about a week for Sandy if he has it severe. The treatment is just buffered Aspirin and also I give him Vitamin C tablets (Ester-C) as it is an anti-inflamatory. Then he just has to take it easy for awhile and I do not expect him to 'sit' or do much formal training.

Vets often do not know about it and I had to kind of educate my local vet on the subject as he had not had many cases. He thought spinal injury at first and wanted to do x-rays,etc if it did not clear up. I brought in all that I had on the subject and gave it to him. I now take my boy to a different vet ....one that knows labs better. The local vet is okay with regular stuff but any illness or anything to do with body mechanics I needed a vet with more retriever breed experience.

The average dosage for buffered aspirin for dogs according to my vet is:

Use 5 grain (325 mg) buffered aspirin tablets.

A 60 to 80 lb dog may be given one tablet twice a day (every 12 hours) or 1/2 tablet three times a day (every eight hours). A 30 to 40 lb dog gets half as much; a 15 to 20 lb dog a quarter as much.

Also to give with food as it helps with reducing tummy upset.

Hope he gets to feeling better soon.
 

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I agree with the others. Cold tail. It often occurs after swimming--labs use their tails as rudders as they swim, so the tail gets a lot more of a work out than usual.
Make sure you give buffered aspirin--not enteric coated. The enteric coating doesn't break down in doggy tummies. Also give with food! Aspirin can be very hard on their stomach lining.

Jefferson has had it several times. Some get better after 1 or 2 days. Occasionally he will get a severe case that takes up to a week to go away.
 

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He seems to be a little better this morning, though still not all better.

are there exercises we can do to help strengthen his tail, or make it less prone to this problem?
 

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He seems to be a little better this morning, though still not all better.

are there exercises we can do to help strengthen his tail, or make it less prone to this problem?
Glad he is feeling a bit better. With Belle it seemed to go away with age, and whether superstition or not giving a buffered aspirin at breakfast and glucosimine and chondroitin seemed to help (may have had nothing to do with her not getting it again too!) :D
 
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