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Tail is down?
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Hey everyone. I noticed that yesterday and today Hammond isn't keeping his tail up. It still curls about halfway down, but from his rump to that point it's either out behind him or hanging down.

    His behavior seems otherwise the same. Still energetic, still stealing socks, still killing toys, running around, sniffing on walks, chasing the cat, etc. His appetite seems to be the same (though he's getting fussy - I think he's bored of his food, because he will scarf down other flavors I use as treats). Pee and poo are both normal.

    He is itchier lately, I think a combination of dry skin, puppy shedding, and possibly fleas (vet visit on Monday). I can't see fleas or flea dirt anywhere, but I did see briefly what might've been a flea and he's nibbling himself a lot.

    I've read that usually a tail being down means something is wrong, but I can't think of anything that would be wrong.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Is it possibly just the itchiness? Or is it somewhat common for puppies to stop holding their tails up? It's intermittent, not constant. Sometimes he'll have it up when he runs to me, but put it down when he stops. Sometimes he'll have it down when he's play-bowing with a toy and put it back up when he abandons that toy for a different one.
  • Perhaps if he is itchy, he may be allergic to the food you are giving him. Shibas tend to be allergic to grains and some types of poultry.

    Are you stressed out at all? Sometimes if an owner is stressed the dog can become stressed and for shibas when their tail is down it can mean they are stressed. Granted the stress can come from many other places than the owner.

    Just some thoughts. I hope that helps. Otherwise your vet will probably be able to help =)

  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    He's on Taste of the Wild (salmon flavor), so grain free there. I have been using a Diamond puppy chow kibble for training treats which may have grains, so I'll stop using that for a week and see if it helps.

    When I got him to sit still long enough to poke around in his fur I did see some dandruff, so he'll be getting an oatmeal bath sometime this weekend.

    As for stress... yes, a bit, haha. I'll try to keep a better eye on how I'm behaving, even if that means crating him for an hour or so after work so I can take a nap. (allergies, puppy times, and work frustrations are leaving me very tired lately which then makes me irritable and stressed. :( )

  • Hello

    it might be a muscle strain.

    one of my dogs had one, the vet told me there is nothing much to do, it will heal by itself, dont get your dog too exited to keep her from wagging his/her tail until you take him/her to the vet.
    Post edited by ivanmeza03 at 2011-11-11 11:42:38
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Maybe add salmon oil to kibble? I read solid gold seameal is good for the coat too?

    I dunno really I'm lucky Saya can eat anything from beef to a ostrich and no issue..
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • maxwellsmaxwells
    Posts: 347
    I'll second the recommendation for adding salmon oil, as our dogs coats are nice and shiney/soft from the recent addition to their diet. I can only imagine it will be helpful as the temps drop, much like my own skin benefiting from additional moisture in the winter months.

    As far as his tail, my adults waiver on where they keep theirs. Mostly it's up across their backs, but sometimes they 'wear' it down for no discernable reason. But being uncomfortable (itchy) could certainly influence Hammond's tail-communication.
    Jenn & Stephen (humans), Ichiro & Akira (shibas), Abraham & Anya (cats)
    Post edited by maxwells at 2011-11-11 15:35:06
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    @ivanmeza03 Thanks, I'll ask the vet about that, too, if it's still going on by Monday (he seemed fine yesterday).

    @Saya I was hoping the salmon TotW would work, but I guess it's not, since he's definitely dandruffy. I'll pick up some salmon oil while I'm out later.

    @maxwells I really need to use lotion on myself, too, haha. Even without the temps dropping too bad recently, my own skin is still dry enough that (without realizing it) I'd itched my foot until it was raw (there's still a scab :/). I'm not sure if it's the cold weather or the dry forced-air heating or both. The cat has dry skin as well...

    He seemed to be better yesterday, keeping it up all day. So maybe he was just being tired or stressed or something and experimenting with leaving it down.
  • May be skin allergies from season sources. Toby only gets itchy in the fall from last 2 weeks of September through first week of November. It is always at the base of his tail and he will keep it down most of this time due to tenderness. The vet has us giving him antihistamines and tropical cream (he has to wear a cone for 4 hrs after we apply it he hates that) seems to help with him biting the area. I hate seeing him like that but at least it is only a month and a half and the cream really does help. Since it is only a short time frame the vet doesnt want to run a full allergy panel he thinks it may be leaf dander since most of the itching stops as soon as the snow falls and starts when the leafs start to change. Hope he starts feeling better soon
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Well, I'm not sure what his problem was for those few days, but he's been back to normal for a while now.

    The vet visit went well, no fleas, nothing in his poo sample, and now he's vaccinated enough to go on more exciting outdoor adventures. We did pick up a 1-month flea and tick preventative since it's been so warm out. Vet guesses the itching is just related to the shedding.

    His tail has been back up and stayed up and he even wiggles it when he's excited, haha.
  • Good to hear your doggy is ok :)

    I still think it was a strain thou.

  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    A strain or maybe a bruise. I forget how soon before his tail was down, but he chased a toy under a metal folding chair and on his way back out he yelped. I think he may have stood up too far/been going too fast and hit the metal bar that supports the legs with his back, maybe near his tail, so maybe it was just tender.
  • bumping this

    Mei's tail has been down since 5 pm (its now 10pm). We gave her a treat and went on a walk and her tail went up but at dinner, her tail down again. She looks restless (Standing and walking but doesn't lie down to sleep) and uncomfortable. She nearly went to sleep standing. I don't know if she is in pain, she just looks uncomfortable. I though she wanted to vomit but she didn't :/

    I picked her up earlier onto my bed and made her lie down. She is sleeping now but is this something that I should bring her to the vet for if it continues tonight or tomorrow?
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8516
    @meixdidi - If she is acting off, and especially if you think she may be in pain, take her to the vet. Better to be safe than sorry.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride

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