Comments on Swimmer’s Tail May Cause Dog’s Yelping, Panting

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Susan   Suluth, Minnesota

6/4/2015 8:51:52 PM

My Boxer/Mastiff girl Dora, has swimmers tail for the third time. 2 years ago, it was virtually unheard of. We were 100s of miles out in woods. Thankfully someone had a computer phone and looked up the symptoms, that gave us a name. Most people have never heard of it. At that time, her pain was so great, she would hardly move. I sat in the warm sun/shade with her for 3 days. I had Homeopathic Arnica Montana in first aide, gave her the oral, and rubbed her tail with the oil. It helped. I have always heard of dangers of human pharmas on animals are not to be given. So she got better with the Arnica. Last year, she got it again, rest, Arnica, and the oil rub. Now June 2015, 2 days, I thought we were taking it slow, but her mom entered the fun, and once again, Dora over did it. So once again, the Arnica and oil gave some relief. Today we went to a vet and I bought her some Rimadyl. I hope we never have to use it. It is an animal safe pain killer. But, now I know how to break her into the swimming slowly, which will be hard to do, but it is a fact. She has sprained the tail muscles. I am unsure if she is more susceptible now, as sprains in humans are. It will be hard to keep her full blast out of the water. I hope this has given some insight to those that are unaware. It is very scary, but your dog will heal, and have that happy high wagging tail within a week. Healthy Dogs!

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angie - 254226   

6/24/2012 4:34:33 AM

our wirehaired pointer got it while on holiday at the lakes never heard of it before but everyone there knew what was wrong .the vet gave him a muscle relaxant as it is like a cramp so very painful for them but he was ok again after 2 days

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April - 253939   

6/21/2012 5:10:27 AM

My Honey Swirl (American bulldog/Husky mix) has had "cold water tail/swimmers tail/dead tail" twice before than last night she had us up all night in So much pain, crying and panting and couldn't get comfortable, sure enough shes got it again, this time it was from her bath she got. So we gave her buffering aspirin and Tramadol in hopes that will ease her pain. Poor thing just lost her best friend (Boxer-Sasha) on last Thursday and is now in so much discomfort. Stinks to see your baby's in so much pain. The vets can't do anything other than give you pain relievers and tell you to rest your pets. Good luck to all of you with the same problem.

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Tina   Minneapolis, MN

8/20/2011 4:29:32 PM

My Puggle swims almost every morning. 2 days ago he started yelping, panting and refusing to walk. He was in so much pain. Took him to emergency room, he was x-rayed and diagnosed with swimmer's tail had never heard about it. Was put on Rimadyl and Tramadol. 36 hours later and no sleep. Took him to vet. All vitals signs ok, more x-rays. Same diagnosis. Was given an injection with strong pain. We are now back to square 1. Dog in so much pain. I just don't know what to do. Vet says it can take up to a week for improvement. Dog refuses to pee, as well.

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Mike   Orchard park, NY

8/17/2011 10:07:25 AM

My lab developed swimmers tail while on vacation yesterday. Called my vet & they suggested Bufferen Asprin twice a day to re eave the discomfort.


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carol   yorkshire, UT

8/1/2011 10:07:20 AM

Daughter just took her Bedlington to the vets with the same symptoms as swimmers tail - the vet had not heard of it and basically said there was no such thing - the symptoms happened the day after he had been in the sea - too much of a coincidence i think. Hes on painkillers and rimadyl so same treatment though. thanks for the info.

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Sally   Surrey, YT

11/4/2010 12:05:13 AM

My labrador has had swimmers tail twice previously and has today got is again. When he was about 1, we took him to the sea and a few hours later, he couldn't moe his tail. The vets thought that he had dislocated it at first and took some x-rays etc and couldn't really understand what was wrong as nothing showed up. He then had it again 6 months later and we saw a different vet, who diagnosed it as swimmers tail. Since then, we have been very careful when we go to the sea that he swims along the shore and not out into the sea, as it occurs when they are swimming and use their tail as a paddle. Unfortunately, yesterday he went out with his dog walker and found a lake, swimmers tail has occured again. I forgot how painful it was for him. He looks very sorry for himself. Off to the vets again :-(

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scott   Scottsdale, AZ

6/7/2010 9:53:20 AM

OK, my 2 labs can not get enough of the water. I to have had this problem with my dogs tails going limp. The vets really don't know how this occurs but they do know that it is the strain of the muscle at the start of the tail. So I did some research on my own. I have a theory that I have been doing and it has worked so far. I would watch my dogs swim. I would be under water with goggles and watch how they used there tail, and yes they do use there tail like a rudder. But this is the key of the most strain on there tail that I Saw. After they would retrieve a ball or toy out of the water I started to notice the amount of water on there tail when they were on land. There tails are wagging and I could see the strain on the tail with the heavy water at the end weighing down the tail. To give you an example, take a fishing pole and with the end of it (the skinny end) retrieve a wet piece of wet newspaper out of the water. The pole will bend and you will feel alot of weight on the end of it as the pole will bend. Now a fishing pole is like a dogs tail. The handle is the mussel and the pole is just the end of a dogs tail, just bone and skin. So then I took the fishing pole with the wet news paper and stuck it under water with the paper at the end and started waving the pole back in forth. The resistance at the handle was vary hard to weave back and forth. So now I realized its the amount of hair on there tail. But then a friend told me that he has a pointer witch is a vary short haired dog and short hair on the tail and had the same problem. I had his dog come to my home and let him play in the pool. As I watched his dog under water and also out of the pool the same things were happening. Even though his tail was short haired it was still holding a great amount of water. the hair on his dogs tail is short but still lays down on the tail. Hair can only get wet when hairs bundle together and then hold water. Even when I watched his dog under water the hair would fan out like a paddle and create resistance. So I did it, I shaved my dogs tails. Not shaved like to the skin but like a butch cut you would see on military personnel. The hairs would not bind up when they got out of the water witch resolved in not much water at all on there tails. When they would swim there was not alot of resistance on there tail when they would use it like a rudder. I have not had this problem since Ive done this and so has my friend with his short haired pointer. I only do this in the summer months because my dogs don't really swim in the winter. I'm not saying this will help all dogs but what I did help mine.

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Dan   eastern shore, MD

12/30/2009 12:38:30 PM

I have a yellow lab 4 years old. We were hunting the other day and had a great hunt. After getting him cleaned up he seemed fine. After a couple of hours I noticed he was favoring his back side, not sitting correctly. I then noticed by the base of his tail was swollen and appeared to be in a lot of pain. Not knowing what was wrong i tried making him as comfortable as possible. The next day the pain seemed to progress. I called the vet and she stated after the exam it appeared that he had swimmers tail. She prescribed metacam and stated he should be feeling better in a couple of days. The vet explained that swimmers tail is caused by swimming in cold water or sitting on cold services.

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Scott   Rio Vista, CA

12/3/2008 9:42:19 AM

We had the same thing with our lab. At first I thought the Vet was crazy when she told us about it, but after some online research we found it was exactly what had happened. Our lab went to a dog salon for a bath and about 8 hours later appeared to be in a lot of pain. Tail tucked under and whining. Some pain pills and one bad night and he is fine.


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