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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everybody - Haven't been here in awhile, we've been enjoying Bella (Chocolate Lab) who is now 2 1/2 years old. I noticed yesterday that suddenly her tail, which is always up and wagging, is curled down over her bum all the time. She will lift it sometimes to wag, but it only lifts from the base and the first maybe 3 inches. The rest of it - although it still wags - just droops. I know she's not had an accident or injury - she's with us all the time, and she doesn't appear to be in any pain. She just acts a bit uncomfortable, and isn't as active as normal. She hasn't gone off her food/water and has no fever. She did go all day Tuesday without a poo, though, and I saw her drag her bum along the carpet that day also. The underside of her tail also seems a bit oily, and she's been chasing or biting at her tail alot (which is most times her signal to us that she has to go out) but we go out and nothing happens. She had two poos yesterday - one quite hard and the second one very loose. So something is obviously "off".

I remembered having read here about packed anal glands, so came back to do a search - it's sounds possible that's what's going on (she's never had to have hers expressed before) - but I didn't see where anybody mentioned anything about the tail "behaviour". Please help. Thanks.
 

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I think you might be right!

"Without going into detail on each test, I'll summarize the new findings. Old knowledge is that the occurrences seem to be in dogs after prolonged cage transport, a hard workout the previous day or change in climate (especially cold and wet). Less than half the dogs have a recurrence. It is felt that the dogs were either underconditioned or overworked when the episode occurred."

Living in the snow belt of Ontario, Canada, we've just had a major change in the weather over the past several days with colder temps, freezing rain, and snow falling yesterday. It's also possible that Bella had a good run in the backyard over the past couple of days with "Maverick", a spaniel who lives next door and runs her ragged!! I'll have to ask hubby because I've not been the one taking her out the past few days because of the cold, but I think I remember him saying they played together a couple of days ago.

So, is it necessary - do you think - to take her to the vet? I've been reading about how to check the anal glands - I can do that to see if there seems to be some issue there, but if not, this "Cold Tail" seems to heal itself after a few days. I just don't want to wait and have her maybe get worse if that's not the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wanted to mention that the article talked about warm compresses on the base of the tail as a relief for the pain/discomfort - so I tried a heating pad. She loves to lay on her back on the couch with her head in my lap, so I put a warm heating pad on the couch and got her to lay on it. After about 15 minutes she got up and seemed to have better movement in her tail - and she actually started playing for the first time in a couple of days. Now she is fast asleep. So maybe that is the issue and we can at least help her feel more comfortable as she gets over it. Thanks for the input - I never would have known about this condition if it weren't for this forum, so I am very grateful.
 

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I don't have any personal experience with cold tail (shoot, my dogs don't even have tails). You might contact your vet to be sure, but I think it goes away without medical treatment.
 
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