Tail Problems in Cats and Dogs

Photo by reader of the pack


Pet owners usually do not have a dog or cat’s tail in mind when thinking of pet care.    Tails can have a lot of problems too.  If your pup or kitty has a tail that is injured or sickly, then a few tips will help you ease the discomfort.



1.  Darn Fleas-  I am sure fleas are nice little fellows, but they sure can do harm to a dog or cat’s tail.  Your fur baby will be chewing away at that tail if fleas are setting up house and dining on that skin.  You can purchase flea medications, that must have pyrethrins as an ingredient, and apply that to the tail to get rid of those fleas.


2.  Yucky Tail?-  Well, there are some glands at the base of a dog and cat’s tail.  Those glands have a tendency to release fluids.  Those fluids are the cause of a lot of sore tails.  The fluids make the tails of cats and dogs inflamed and rather oily.  Yuck.  Well, boys have this problem more than girls, but no matter the gender, a tail like this needs some cornstarch dusted over it and combed through.  Do the cornstarch thing once a week, or perhaps twice, and the problem should be resolved.


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3.  No Dirty Tails-  A dirty tail is a problem tail.  Oatmeal-based pet shampoos do the skin and the tail a lot of good.   Clean tails make for happy dogs and cats.


4.  Oh Dear!  Infection-  Tails on dogs and cats can become infected.  If patches of fur are missing from a tail, and the tail is a source of soreness and is too tender for a touch, then wash that tail every other day to get the healthy tail back!


5.  Tails Can Be Playthings-  Tails move.  Tails are furry.  For some dogs and cats, tails are fun to play with.  A tail that is played with far too much becomes one sore tail.  Distraction is the only cure for the tail-used-as-a-toy habit.  Make a loud noise, like dropping a book on the floor several feet from the tail-playing dog or cat.  Do this often enough, and tail-playing will diminish.


6.  Hey!  Play with Me!- If humans had tails and they were bored or no one paid any attention to them, then they would play with their tails too!  So, have regular playtime with your cat or dog, and tail-playing that leads to a sore tail will certainly be abandoned in favor of play with you.   Make sure you have a lot of dog and cat toys for your fur baby’s enjoyment too!  A fun toy is better than a tail any old day!


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7. The Sweeping Tail-  When we had our big dog Bo, we could not leave any breakable items on surfaces at his level.  Bo’s tail would knock everything off the surface with one quick sweep.  Make sure any items that could harm a tail are removed from positions where a tail may land.  No way could we have a box fan blowing when Bo was around since that tail would have sustained damage from those fan blades.  If a dog or cat steps on the pieces of a shattered base, then you have paw problems on your hands.   Make your home tail-safe for dogs and cats.


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