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Limber tail, dead tail, swimmer's tail, etc.

741 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  3GSD4IPO
It's the thing that dogs sometimes get usually, but not always, after swimming where their tail is hanging limply and may be painful.

So Brae's had it a few times so far and has it now, always after a water activity.

I was on the Dutchie FB page and a lot of folks say their dog has never had it despite activities in water, and some say sometimes.

Some folks are also implying that since Brae is getting it often, it could be indicative of a larger issue. But he's eating, moving, eliminating and playing fine. And it does resolve on it's own. Admittedly, I've been pushing him hard the last few weeks and we've been playing in the water multiple times a week. I probably haven't given him enough time to heal in between.

But last I heard, there's still not too much known about why some dogs get it and others don't.

Any insight?
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I have heard of it, but Pepper LOVES swimming and has never had it (thankfully).
General consensus as far as I know, re: cause (from both actual vets and google), is over exercise/over training/over exertion. Ie: It's a muscle strain type injury.

Which means 'pushing hard and not giving him time to adequately recover' seems likely enough as a cause for me.

I've only had it once, and it was in another life (okay more than 2 decades ago) with an elderly lab. Not a problem I've had with this set of dogs. The only advice I can give is what you already know you need to do - dial it back, give him time to recover PROPERLY and completely, then work up to it slower in spite of not seeing signs of other discomfort (because you know how he is and you know he has no self-preservation and a lot of drive and will damage himself to keep going).
Sounds reasonable. Though I wonder why some dogs, despite loving water, NEVER get it? I mean, it's not like Brae is a weekend warrior... I've always pushed him reasonably hard and varied his exercise type.

And just to be clear, your thought is that general overexertion causes it? Because I'm trying to figure out if I need to avoid general exercise (spring pole, disc, etc) or just stay out of water. It's always been after a big water day, never dry land stuff
And interestingly, Sor's gotten it once or twice in the past from wading. He never really swam in his life (he did not get it after the swimming this year).
I suspect that it's a danged hard muscle group to work out of water :p Both as an explanation for why it TYPICALLY and SEEMS to happen and what to limit/be careful in working up to.

I also suspect a lot of dogs use their tails a lot more to 'rudder' than others.
Sooo... land exercise OK is what I am gathering :D :D :D
And yeah, if he's swimming he's swimming as hard as he frickin can. There is no 'casual swimming'. He only swims to get something, and he gets at things like he life is dependent on it.
I've only ever had one dog develop a dead tail one time. It was our Golden Retriever and he got so excited when we came home from vacation that he wagged his tail into uselessness, lol. Took a few days for it to get back into gear. He was an avid swimmer, too, but never got a dead tail from that.
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