Comments on Dog’s Limp Tail May Be Cold Water Tail

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Roxy   San Francisco, California

11/28/2015 4:27:07 PM

My dog Roxie has her tail down just like a dog with cold tail would have; but she hasn't been in cold water. It did freeze last night when I took her out. Could that be it? Please right back!

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

5/15/2013 4:05:48 AM

My daughters 2 labs get this every spring when they go to the cottage the first time for the season. Both dogs swim allot. After about a day or 2 their tails are fine again. One of these labs is a healthy 17 year old but for almost 17 years he get this just for a couple of days after the first visit for the season to the cottage. Neither of her dogs appear to have much or any pain with this.

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michael   liverpool,

6/15/2012 6:03:01 AM

my dog suki has limber tail. she has not been in cold water of had a cold bath. is there any other way she could of got this limber tail without being in cold water please write back ?

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Rose   Highlands Ranch, CO

6/3/2012 12:34:48 PM

Thank you for your advice. Our border collie fetched sticks in our local dog park pond staying in the water for over an hour. I was really concerned of what may have happened to him permanently. But we have read your article and gave him his first aspirin today. I am grateful for your article. Bailey's mom.

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Marco   Atlanta, GA

4/22/2012 6:53:17 AM

Perfect, gave my dog a bath with some cold water and a few hours later, limp tail. Gave him some aspirin and hes on his way! Thanks for the article!


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Natosha   Wildwood, FL

12/28/2011 5:29:01 PM

Thank you so much for the info.I have a Germain Shepard mix with the same problem with his tail.I also feel like it's my fault by giveing him a bath in clod water on Christmas.It was 78 degres but I didn't realize of such thing or pain would happen.He has a vet apt tomorrow just to make sure.

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marilyn   United Kingdom, NY

10/8/2011 1:17:26 AM

Wow thanks for this. My 8 year lab has been contantly and erratically rubbing his back in grass and yelping. He dosn't have fleas or mites etc. I noticed he was hold back, tail area starnge and his one leg held stanrange. I watched his behaviour for ages trying to work out what was wrong, then I saw him constantly trying to get to his top tail area. When I touched him there he yelped it was obviously painful. I had bathed him teh day before. Reading this I think it is my fault, I bathed him cos I though mayeb he had fleas, and now I feel guilty because I think when I bathed him I caused flaccid tail to flare up. Feel so guilty. He is currently lying in his basket with a heated pad. I have some carpriene left after from treating arthritus in his mother, who died 3 weeks ago, can I use those. Also my dog used to live outside with his mother and only come in occasionally, now he lives in with me and is contantly wagging his tail, could he have sprained the musclesl from too much wagging.

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9/14/2011 7:29:32 PM


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maryalice   kokomo, IN

6/14/2011 9:10:40 AM

thank you for the info. we had had a lab mix that held her tail the way you described we never found out what was wrong. the vet never said what was wrong. but she did return to normal but i thought she broke her tail.

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Diane   Ft. Myers, FL

2/23/2011 4:09:04 AM

My 12yr. old Maltese has been fine until last night. I noticed his tail is down. He hasn't had a cold water bath. He did have a dental last Friday and is on Clindomyacin right now for the next couple of days. His blood work was good when he had his dental done and there were no extractions done this time. I'm concerned there may be a back problem...possibly?! Any suggestions would be most helpful. Thank you.


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John   Timonium, MD

12/26/2010 11:34:30 AM

THANK YOU !! I was duck hunting with my Chesapeake Bay Retriever in the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay.. We got into some birds and he made some great retrieves as usual.. Then I noticed his tail after we got home.. It was bent down and sore.. He did not sleep in the bed with me as he always does.. So you guys saved me a trip to the Vet, something I cannot afford right now with all these high taxes...

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jeanmarie   irvine, CA

12/22/2010 8:48:38 PM

I just rushed my Bullmastiff to the e.r. because I thought his anal glands were impacted but on returning home he is still tucking his tail in. I wish I had searched Dog FIRST. In California its been raining for 6 days straight and he gets walked 3 times a day in that rain. So I'm sure he's got cold/wet tail. UGH. THANK YOU FOR THIS article. I feel like crying I am so relieved!!! I can't bare to see him so restless. ASPIRIN HERE WE COME

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Bruce the Batman   Gotham City, NY

10/25/2010 5:07:23 AM

What a relief. I thought I had been doing something wrong when I gave my Lab a bath. It only happens in the fall and winter when colder water is used. Each time it took about 2 days for her to recover but it is sad to see the anguish the dog goes through. No one mentioned this but is there a funky odor associated with this condition? Thanks for the useful info

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Roger   Santa Clarita, CA

8/24/2010 6:34:31 PM

My dog suffered this problem. The vet and I joked that the human analogy to this condition would be similar to the episode of Seinfield when George Castanza emerges from the cold ocean water and is embarrassed by a case of "shrinkage"

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Carol   Bend, OR

4/21/2010 4:27:20 PM

This article was of great help to us. We were cross country skiing with our three big dogs recently. Our yellow lab (2 yrs Old) fell through thin ice and we had to rescue the poor guy. He is used to lots of exercise and cold water (but maybe not freezing!). He seemed non-plussed and continued to romp. That evening, we noticed that he had a major limp tail and seemed to be in

I googled and found you.....thank you so much...Direct, concise info..We had some Rymadil on hand and that seemed to relieve his discomfort. Within two days, the tail was high

Were in a rural area, so no access to a vet, but access to internet.

Thank you

Carol, Bend, OR

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Dawn   Southampton, NJ

4/12/2010 10:43:29 PM

I have a 16 month old pitbull that is VERY active on any given day. 2 days age we went to the shore (LBI) for the very first time. She loved it!! Later that evening I noticed that her tail was tucked and she kept turning to lick the base of her tail, and she also seemed "depressed". The next day my vet informed of cold tail but she did not fit the usual criteria. He checked her hips, expressed her anal glands (WOW!!) gave her vaccines, and sent us home. I told him that it was about 3 hours after we got home that the signs showed up. I thought I closed her tail in the car door or something. She does not illicit any pain, but then again my Son's pitbulls don't either. The info I found here, with other dog owners input is invaluable. Now I know what I need to deal with.

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teddy   Greeley, CO

2/16/2010 8:06:53 PM

my dog had the same thing twice but i have never known exactly what had been going on. i only noticed that it had happened a day after a swim.

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annisa   gilbert, AZ

2/14/2010 6:37:33 PM

thank you so much. I gave my dog a bath with cold water from the hose outside and I was playing with him in the cold water outside. I had no idea. I thought he was going to die.His tail went limp.

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Julia   Eagle Lake, MN

6/22/2009 7:27:30 AM

Just got bacfk from a weekend at the lake. OUr 2 year old laba swam and jumped off the dock all day. The next day our dog could not wag or lift his tail and was in pain all day, with pain at the base of his tail when touched or trying to sit down. He layed around all day moping. Came home and looked all over the inernet and found many article on limp tail-AKC lab site too-seems very common. Seems unusual vets that vet do not know much about it. Today on the third day, his tail is recovering and he is almost back to his happy self - did give half an asprin the day we got home.

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tony   crowley, TX

5/25/2009 7:45:22 PM

thanks, had no idea what was wrong with my lab. gave her a bath yesterday and rinsed her with the water hose. late that evening her tail went limp. makes me feel better knowing what it is

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