Have you heard of this? Until last summer, we hadn’t. I didn’t even think it was real. It’s very real. Our Lab, Juno, got it last year.
Swimmer’s Tail occurs when dogs swim in water that’s either too warm or too cold, or when dogs simply swim for too long and aren’t yet properly conditioned for that amount of activity.
We don’t know if it was because the water in our pool was, in fact, too cold for her at the beginning of the season (our first year with a pool), or because Juno got too excited and swam too darn hard for her first time in. She loves swimming, so she knows how to do it, and we know how to read her signals for when she’s getting too tired, but she got it anyway.
She had the tell-tale signs: a tail that shoots straight out about 3 inches then hangs limp to the base, even when the dog is happy or excited.
Luckily, Juno’s swimmer’s tail only lasted 3 days and we didn’t have to take her to the vet. We could still touch and lift her tail, and she wasn’t in any visible pain. She did chase her tail more than usual and was a bit lethargic.
You can read more about Swimmer’s Tail here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limber_tail_syndrome It’s also sometimes called Limber Tail, Cold Tail, or Broken Wag.
We just opened our pool for this year last weekend. There won’t be any swimming for a while until the water warms up! We know better this year.
You can see Swimmer’s Tail in action below. We didn’t have the heart to capture Juno’s experience on camera or in video.