Bullett PupDate: Limber Tail & Cani-Bits CBD Dog Treats
About a month ago, Bullett came with us to my in-laws’ house and he played with their young, energetic dog named Tabby. They had fun rough-housing, and once we were ready to head home he was adequately worn out as he is every time we go for a visit. That night, however, he was seemingly restless and could not seem to get comfortable. We were awoken by his constant need to readjust his positioning and location on the bed (he sleeps with us). He is a bit of a clingy, needy boy, albeit a sweetheart, so he also prefers to be on one of his humans while snuggling. Needless to say this behavior kept us awake and we were quite irritated with him. He couldn’t seem to get comfortable and we didn’t know why.
Now, Bullett is a very happy, high-energy dog. We went on a walk the next morning and I couldn’t help but notice that his tail--which is usually held high and proud and wagging like crazy--was hanging low and sad. We had initially wondered if his inability to get comfortable the night before was a stomach issue as he is prone to sensitivity, but I was able to rule that out and began to question if he had hurt his tail while playing with the “dog in law.”
So, like any pet owner, we did a Google Search and found out about an injury called “Limber Tail” or “Swimmer’s Tail.” It is most common with working dogs who overexert themselves, and often occurs in cold water. Sometimes the dog doesn’t know when to stop exercising, and the muscles around the tail that hold it up and cause it to move are hurt from over-exercise or not being properly conditioned for an activity. In our case, Bullett likely played too rough which resulted in his tail going limp. From what we read online, most dogs recover from this in a few days to a couple weeks, and it can occasionally require veterinary attention. Vets can offer cortisone shots and other medication for pain and swelling and may advise treatments such as RICE treatment.
He was being good about trying to rest and (initially) didn’t show any signs of swelling, so we opted to let him rest and if we saw no improvements for a day or two we would take him to the vet. Neither of us work professionally in the veterinary field, so our “household diagnosis” was more or less an educated guess.
I felt bad for the poor guy, so I decided to pick him up some Cani-Bits CBD oil treats from MadCat. We got the pumpkin and sweet potato kind. I had been curious and lightly researching CBD for a while with his separation anxiety in mind as I had been reading of the positive affects of CBD oil for anxiety, allergies, pain relief, and more. A couple friends of ours had used the treats with their dog and highly recommended them.
Well, they definitely helped. Bullett’s tail took only a few days to get back to it’s normal, proud position. There’s no way of knowing exactly how much pain he was feeling, but he was able to relax, take plenty of naps, and his tail never became swollen. We gave him 3 treats every 12 hours as recommended for his weight on the packaging, and slowly weaned him off in case he did have any slight residual pain. We wanted to ease him back into his routine.
If your dog gets limber tail, of course it is best to consult with a vet first. There are some cases of limber tail where a dog must see the vet for anti-inflammatories and pain medicine, as well as sedation if they are unable to calm down. If you don’t see much improvement in your dog’s tail after a week it might be best to have the vet check the situation further. Bullett did not go to the vet in this case, as his energy was normal and his behavior was more of discomfort and wasn’t affecting his function. We don’t go to the doctor everytime we pull a muscle, so we wanted to see if this would heal on his own and it did. Every dog is different, so Bullett’s easy recovery might not apply to another dog. Just monitor your dog and make decisions that are in their best interests.
The best way to prevent limber tail is telling your dog to stop if you notice they are overexerting themselves, avoid super cold water if possible, and avoid confinement for long periods of time following exercise.
When we first noticed his tail, we of course panicked and assumed the worst: “OH MY GOD IS HIS TAIL BROKEN WHAT DO WE DO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!?” Well, I wrote this because even though it was just a pulled muscle more or less--I understand worrying about a beloved pet’s well being. They can get into dumb knee-scrape injuries just like we can, and it’s okay to fuss, but this stuff happens.
Also...what a strange injury.
The Girl in the Unicorn Pajamas (& Bullett too!)