What Is Limber Tail?
Limber tail is a condition caused by a buildup of dead skin cells in the area around your dog’s tail. This accumulation causes the hair follicles to stop producing new hairs and eventually stops growth altogether. The condition may cause itching or burning sensations when touched. If left untreated, it can lead to other health problems such as infections, abscesses and tumors.
The most common symptom is the itching or burning sensation when touching the affected area. Other symptoms include:
Burning or itching at the site where the hair was growing.
Painful swelling of the area.
Swelling of the surrounding tissue.
Limber Tail Treatment For Dogs
The first thing to do is to get rid of any dead skin cells that are causing your dog’s tail to become limp and weak. Use a pair of tweezers to gently pluck out any dead skin from the base of your dog’s tail as far up into the fur as you can see. If there are dark specs in the hair below the skin, you will be removing the cause of the itching that your dog has been experiencing. Do this every day until all the dark specks have been removed and your dog’s tail flicks back upright when he is not touching it.
After removing the dead skin cells, it is time to soothe the area and encourage new hair growth. First, give your dog a warm bath using a dog shampoo or human shampoo that is made for itchy skin. Use a medicated ear cleaner to clean out his ears. Pay extra attention around the ear flaps and inside the ear canals to get rid of as much bacteria as you can.
Dry your dog off once you are finished and apply some antifungal cream to the base of the tail and massage it in gently. Leave this on overnight and wash it off in the morning.
You can now begin applying a coat balm, fish oil or coconut oil to the base of your dog’s tail every day. Coat balm and fish oil both act as a protective barrier against bacteria and fungi while encouraging the growth of new fur. Coconut oil has been proven to stimulate the growth of cells, which will encourage new hair growth in your dog’s tail. Coat balm can be a little expensive, so cooking oil such as coconut oil is a good cheaper alternative.
If your dog’s skin is red and sore, you can apply some calendula cream or aloe vera after you have finished applying the oils to soothe his skin and prevent infection. You can get these from your local pharmacy or grocery store. If your dog’s skin is very sore apply some baby diaper rash cream twice daily and leave it on overnight.
Diet can also play a part in encouraging new hair growth. You can try adding more fish, sea vegetables, flaxseed oil or eggs into your dog’s diet.
It may take a couple of months for your dog’s tail to grow back to its original length, but with regular grooming and a few simple home remedies you should see results within two weeks. If you continue to apply oils and creams to your dog’s tail for a couple more months after new hairs have started to grow, it will help to strengthen the new hair growth and prevent it from falling out again.
Finally, if these steps do not help your dog’s tail grow back to its original length, it may be due to stress or bad breeding. If this is the case you should take your dog to the vet to rule out a chromosomal abnormality that is causing the stunted hair growth. If this is the case, there is not much that can be done and you will have to learn to live with a shorter tail on your dog.
Good luck with your dog’s new tail and let us know how you get on!
Tagged as: Advice Of The Day, Dogs, Grooming, Hair Loss, limber tail pitbull, limber tail staffy, tail, Treatment
Posted on December 21, 2014by John Smith
Does your dog have a limp? Is it in pain? Does it refuse to walk?
Well, read on and learn how to fix your dog’s issues!
You may have seen this issue in your dog if he or she has been playing for too long and seems to be pulling its paw up a lot or holding it up oddly. Your dog’s leg or paws could be sore or twisted from the excess playing.
The first thing you should do is check your dog’s legs for any cuts, thorns or anything else that could be in there that is causing your dog pain. If you find nothing, you can try to walk your dog on that leg. If it starts to limp more, then it could be a twisted tendon or muscle. If it continues to limp afterwards, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
The sooner you take it to the vet, the better, because this can be very serious if not treated.
These situations are very common in large breeds that have a lot of muscle or are very active. Luckily, the solution is also very simple and can even be done at home with little cost involved.
If you feel that your dog’s leg is just twisted or has a pulled muscle, then follow these steps to help it feel better.
1. Place your dog’s leg in an elevated position.
You can do this by putting a folded up blanket or some pillows under your dog’s paw.
2. Apply an ice pack to the aching paw for about 20 minutes.
You can put the ice directly against the paw, but move it every few minutes so that no part is left frozen for too long.
3. Take your dog for a short walk, making sure to keep the pace very light.
This will help to get the blood flowing and the leg working again.
4. After walking, apply the ice pack again as in step 2.
5. Repeat this process for the next few days until your dog is completely better.
It is very important that you do not push your dog too much while it is healing. If you start to notice limping again, then go back to step one and repeat until your dog is completely healed.
These steps should help your dog to get better without having to visit the vet. If you do think that your dog needs to see a doctor though, here is what they can do to help:
Common treatments for this condition include:
1. The vet may apply a splint or cast to keep the leg still and allow it to heal.
2. In more serious cases they may also need to give your dog some painkillers.
These can be given orally or through a needle.
3. They may also suggest some at-home treatment that includes rest and ice as we described above.
4. Finally, they may give you medication to help your dog recover more quickly.
As with any injury, the sooner you get treatment the better, so if you do think that your dog needs to see a vet, don’t wait too long!
Back to the dog health guide.
You may also like:
How to Train your Dog
Housetraining a Puppy
How to Make your Dog Stop Barking
How to Create an Indoor Dog House
Dog First Aid: What to Do if Your Dog is Sick
How to Bathe a Dog
Dog Care: What You Need To Know About Bedtime
Electronic Fences: Use them to Keep Your Dogs in the Yard
How to Make a Dog Bed
Why We May Be Misunderstanding Our Dogs (And Why It Matters)
Sources & references used in this article:
- Cumulative incidence and risk factors for limber tail in the Dogslife labrador retriever cohort (CA Pugh, BMC Bronsvoort, IG Handel… – The Veterinary …, 2016 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Limber tail syndrome in German shepherd dog (G Abbas, M Saqib, MN Mughal, AA But… – Veterinary Science …, 2015 – pagepress.org)
- Limber syndrome in a labrador retriever dog: first report in Brazil (ML Mistieri, V Grevel, JG Padilha Filho, JP Pascon… – Ciência Rural, 2006 – SciELO Brasil)