Dogs are constantly wagging their tails. If they're not careful, their tails can get caught in doors or under feet, or in other serious situations that result in injuries. If your dog is favoring its tail or you notice unusual swelling in its tail, here are some steps you should take to identify the problem and provide treatment.
Check for Thorns or Insect Bites
The first thing you should do is look for thorns or insect bites, especially if your dog spends a lot of time outside. Pay close attention to the areas underneath the tail and near your dog's tailbone. Those are the areas that will come in contact with thorns and insects while your dog is either walking or sitting.
If you find thorns, remove them carefully and then wash the area with soap and water. Wipe the area with betadine wash to prevent itching and promote healing.
If you see signs of insect bites, such as bee stingers still in the skin, or bite marks, you should remove the stingers and then use water and soap to clean the affected area. Use cold compresses to help reduce swelling.
Inspect for Injuries
While you're looking for thorns, it's important that you also look for signs of traumatic injuries, such as the type caused by car accidents or fights with other dogs. If your dog has had its tail run over by a car, you'll see signs of a crushing injury. The area will be bloody, and there could be exposed tissue. If your dog has been in a fight, you might see bite marks, blood, or exposed tissue. If you see any of these injuries, you should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.
See the Vet
If your dog develops a fever following a tail injury, or yellowish discharge is apparent around the wound site, you should contact a veterinarian. Tail wounds can become infected, especially if the wound is not protected while it's healing. Be sure to tell your veterinarian that your pet has suffered a tail wound when you call.
If your dog has injured its tail, you'll need to provide treatment for it. The tips provided here will help you care for the wound and prevent infection. While your pet's wounds are healing, try to keep the area clean and dry. Contact your veterinarian or an animal hospital if the wounds don't heal properly.