Why is my Dog’s Tail Kinked?

We have a 14-week-old American Bulldog that I discovered has a kinked tail about one inch from the tip. He has not always had this....

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Sep 30th 2008


We have a 14-week-old American Bulldog that I
discovered has a kinked tail about one inch from the
tip. He has not always had this. It has happened
in the last couple of days and unfortunately our
vet has been out of town.

It does not seem to bother him and the rest of the
tail looks as it always has but I sure would like
to know if anything can be done to straighten the
tail. Thanks.

Julie
Washington State

Kinked tails are very common in dogs and cats. Kinked tails generally are harmless. Unfortunately, most kinked tails can’t be fixed.

Tails most often become kinked when they are traumatized. If a bone segment in the tail is broken or if two segments are dislocated, the tail becomes crooked.

Many types of injury can lead to kinked tails. In some instances, people accidentally step on or close a door on their pet’s tail. Other pets injure their tails without human help. Rough play and striking a tail against a wall while wagging it can also lead to kinks.

Although the sort of injury that leads to a crooked tail definitely is painful, most animals with kinked tails do not suffer from any long-term pain. Once the initial pain subsides, the problem is strictly cosmetic.

That is a good thing, because there is no ethical way to straighten a kinked tail. Such a procedure would require painful fracturing or repositioning of the bones in the tail (or, worse yet, amputation of part of the tail).

Therefore, I doubt that your dog’s tail can’t be fixed. However, you can take heart from the fact that it does not need fixing.

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