Have any of you Labrador retriever owners out there heard of swimmers tail? Well, I never had, until a few weeks ago, and let me tell you, it’s one of the most pathetic/heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen.
Let’s see… It started something like this.
Then the next morning…
I’m sleeping (yeah… we’re back to me, Mike, not pretending that I’m Caleb anymore) and I hear my little buddy wake up and jump on my bed, but something’s not right. He’s in so much pain and whining over and over again. I mean, Caleb is just not feeling it… Hmmm, I know… Maybe he has to POOP and holding it all night has made him really uncomfortable/in a lot of pain. So I rush to take him outside, tail straight down, he does his business, and we’re back in the house without a tail wag or nothing. What the heck? So Caleb lies around all day like the most unenergetic dog, and everytime something happens that should make him happy he only whimpers and cries.
Pretty pathetic, eh? I was so worried I couldn’t contain myself… I mean what the heck was wrong with my poor buddy. It just hurt my heart so much to see Caleb in so much pain, and I had no idea what was going on. I can’t imagine what my family went through when I snapped my neck. YIKES!
So I had to get down to the bottom of this. I jumped on the computer, and started doing a good ole web search for Labrador retrievers with a sore, limp tail only to find article, after article about dogs experiencing “swimmers tail”. All the pictures showed tails that looked exactly like Caleb’s, but he was in so much pain! It must be something worse than that! So I called up the great folks at CCI, and that’s what they thought, that maybe Caleb had sprained his tail, but that I should take him to the vet if his symptoms got worse. Well, I just couldn’t handle waiting any longer; I took Caleb to the vet! We walked in the door, and instantly the ladies at the front desk go, “Awwww…. Somebody hurt his tail!” Then the next thing out of their mouths, “Did somebody go swimming yesterday?” And then the vet walks in, pokes around a bit, does a thorough examination, and with a big smile says, “Somebody had too much fun yesterday! Looks like Caleb pulled his tail. He’ll be all better in a few days.” And that was that, Caleb got swimmers tail by playing in the water too much. It’s something that happens quite often to Labrador retrievers especially when they swim too much early in the season when the water is still cold and they’re not conditioned for the exercise. I guess, they move their tail back and forth in the water, just like it’s a rudder, and with all the extra resistance it’s easy to pull a muscle. Then the next few days it’s pure agony, especially when they get excited and try to wag their tail. Thank goodness it only takes a few days to a week before it’s all better!
So in case any of you are worried… Yup, Caleb is all better! I actually decided to wait a few days before I wrote this post so he would be all better so that all the people who love/know him wouldn’t be worried and heartbroken. Have no fear… Mr. Happy Pants is right back to his wiggling and shaking booty self!
All right, time for a training session on getting a soda out of the fridge!