orthopedic pain management
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Pet Tip

Limber tail in dogs – Pet tip 140

Limber Tail Syndrome (AKA cold tail, dead tail, broken wag) is quite common among some breeds of hunting dogs, such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Pointers, Setters, and Beagles. It is a condition in which the tail becomes limp and sometimes painful after exertion, particularly during inclement weather, swimming, or in an under-conditioned dog. It is a condition well-known to hunting dog owners and trainers, but not commonly seen by veterinarians. The syndrome is characterized by the swelling of the muscles at the base of the tail (the wagging muscles, which are also used heavily during swimming when the tail may serve as a rudder). These muscles are bound to the tail by a tight ring of connective tissue. As the muscles swell and expand, the connective tissue begins to serve as a tourniquet – cutting off normal blood flow.

When increased pressure within a confined space results in reduced blood flow, it is known as a ‘compartment syndrome’.

Vicki Munroe
Province, Country:
NS, Canada
Date of Birth:
April 2000
Date of Death
September 2003
Not Provided
Coat Colour:
Eye Colour:

We adopted brothers from the local pound in August of 2000, abandoned in a cardboard box in a field they said,  and one of which we named Java (he's on the right)... The cutest guys, but to call them brothers?  Totally different in look, behavior and temprament.  When Java turned one we discovered that he not only had hip-dysplasia, but sufferred from Epilepsy.  We gave him the best of medical care and all the love a dog could ask... although his hips remained good, the epilepsy took a toll on his liver from the medication.  He was the best dog an owner could hope for .... loveable, gentle and smart, but we had to say good-bye to him after only three short years, as he fell into a coma.  I miss him with all my heart and while we knew his lifespan would be shortened, we never imagined saying good-bye this quickly.  He left us being the best companion he could and enjoying life chasing his ball and playing with his brother only an hour before he took a nap and fell into his coma.  We did everything we could to save him... but he lays to rest in our yard, by the pond he so loved and we will always be close.  My heart still aches, but I know he's at peace and had the best life while he was with us. XO

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