Beagle Tail Health Problems

There are many characteristics that make the beagle dog truly extraordinary. Its position as America’s 5th favorite dog was achieved through more than just its wonderful friendly personality and companionship. The beagle tail is a distinct feature that comes with a myriad of issues that must be understood by every beagle owner.

People often ask “do all beagle dogs have a white-tipped tail?” well, yes. If your beagle is purebred, then there is every probability that it has a white-tipped tail even if it’s just a few strands of fur. Beagles have particularly conspicuous ears that droop down to the sides and a super sensitive nose that can perceive the smallest scent.

The nose of a beagle has 220 million receptors that enable them to perceive any scent while humans have just 5 million receptors. This is what makes the beagle a great hunting companion to sniff out other animal scents. When the dog picks up a peculiar scent, it tracks the scent until its source is found. However, the beagle tail is the icing on the cake. Let’s look at physical traits that are peculiar to the beagle tail;

Facts about the Beagle tail

The American Kennel Club and other constituents have standards for the right appearance of the beagle’s tail. This feature separates the beagle from other canines in the hound group. A perfect description for the standard beagle tail would be ‘average length tail with a brush, moderately set high with a bit of a curve but not curved back over the body.’

The beagle tail is a very important part by which their mood can be determined. You may have noticed various shifts in the activity of your beagle’s tail. When beagles are calm they may lay down with their tails tucked close to their bodies.

Some other gestures may be wagging their tails, pointing it towards the ground, curling it and other, these are perfectly normal unless you notice some gestures of pain when your dog is trying to raise its tail or move it to a particular angle; then we might be dealing with a dislocation.

Health problems related to beagle tail

Dogs easily express their feelings with their tails. One popular adage is “tail between legs” as a sign of shame or hurt.” However, there are certain tail conditions that are signs of pending health problems. Spinal cord-related injuries such as ruptured disks can lead to limpness of the tail, and this problem may take a while to become noticeable.

Secondary issues like age can also become a factor. As beagles grow old their joints, tendons, and muscles may become a liability due to arthritis and other age-related illnesses. This could affect the tail causing limpness. Here are a few signs you should look out for;

Limber Tail

This condition can easily be noticed if your dog has a flaccid tail. The limp tail often looks awkward, and lifeless. The limber tail, commonly known as cold water tail or the broken wag, gets its names from its physical appearance. It is caused by excessive exposure to cold temperatures or overexertion in physical activities. There are also a ton of other causes such as a reaction to climate change, and the discomfort of enclosed spaces.

When your dog shows difficulty in wagging his or her tail, difficulty in defecating, shows reluctance to sit properly, or you notice that the tail takes a few inches away from the body and droops flaccidly with signs of swelling and pains in every part of the tail from base to tip, then we have us a limber tail right there.

What is Swimmer’s tail? This condition is basically a limp tail that is developed when a dog overexerts his or her tail. This expression does not necessarily mean that all swimming dogs develop this condition even though the chances do exist. This condition is characterized by a flaccid tail and can be painful as well.


Sprains are experienced by dogs as a result of muscular and joint fatigue. Excessive use of the tail, maybe due to strenuous activities such as swimming can cause your beagle tail a lot of stress. As much as your dog requires adequate exercises, it can take a toll on his or her health. To avoid the occurrence of sprains, you may need to restrict your dog from rigorous activities and control symptoms of sprain with the use of a canine anti-inflammatory.

Swollen tail

A swelling at the upper base of the tail can cause the inability of the dog to raise his or her tail and this is usually accompanied with whimpering and restlessness. This can be caused by a number of reasons such as swimming, hunting, confinement in narrow crates, cold weather conditions and others. The swelling is as a result of restricted blood flow.

Fractured tail

A fracture of dislocation can occur during playtime or when accidents happen such as when the dog’s tail is stepped on or stuck between furniture. This can be painful and causes a limp tail. In this situation, the dog might become extremely sensitive and will react painfully or spontaneously when the tail is touched. Dislocations can often be visible when the dog’s tail is positioned at an unusual angle. After proper diagnosis medication for this condition can be administered. In some cases, surgery might be necessary, and in extreme cases, a partial amputation of the tail may be needed if the injury is severe and unable to heal.

Nerve trauma

A sudden traumatic experience such as car accidents can lead to a limp tail. The damage to the nerve causes a tail-down. This problem isn’t peculiar to accidents alone. Disc disease can also cause it. When the disc is damaged, it puts pressure on the spine which limits the ability of the tail to move freely by itself.

Many other neurological health problems can lead to damaged nerve, this condition affects the lower back and also affects movement. Treating a damaged nerve or spinal cord injury will require professional recommendations from a veterinarian. Treatment may include medications such as canine anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, tissue or spinal surgery, and others.

Allergies and infection

Dogs are exposed continuously to infections and allergies depending on their environment. Beagles can find themselves with various cuts and scratches while playing around and these injuries can be exposed to all forms of bacteria and allergens causing severe trauma. Dogs react to infections and allergies on their tail by constantly scratching at the area, licking or chewing at the irritation to relieve its pain however this usually makes it worse, leading to a more critical injury.

Treating an infection on the tail can take some time to heal as canines are prone to certain habits such as chewing their tails, excessive wagging and getting their tail caught while playing around these acts could lead to open wounds, however, there are treatment methods that can be suggested as alternatives for this conditions by a qualified Vet.

Treatment for skin infections is mostly by using oral antibiotics, topical medications, and others. Care should be taken when choosing a treatment method, especially when picking a topical medication as dogs tend to lick affected areas a lot.

Diagnosis and treatment

Physical examinations are the first step in identifying a broken wag and all other forms of tail issues. A qualified vet may also conduct simple X-rays to be sure that there are no dislocations, separations, or any other injuries.

Treatment can be administered using anti-inflammatory drugs that are specially made for pets, not humans and antibiotics in the case of infections. A warm pack applied at the base of the tail can also help to reduce pains and numbness. In some cases, corticosteroids injections are used to reduce the trauma and pain of a limber tail.


There is actually such a thing as excess exercise. The best way to introduce your beagle to physical activities is to start with less strenuous exercises such as walks and gradually increase the period or level of activity. Some dogs require more exercise than others and overexertion can take a toll on your beagle if stressed. When dogs play, they are very dedicated, and this may lead to self-inflicted injuries which become infected due to exposure. A proper check, as often as possible would enable one to discover injuries and signs of infection before they become very pronounced. Also, ensure that the dog kennel or crate is spacious and not too confined to allow free movement.

How long will it take to recover?

Full recovery from tail problems such as limber tail syndrome may take two weeks or more, depending on factors such as health status, feeding, lifestyle. Infections may take longer due to the sensitivity of the condition. A lot of these injuries occur when there is no one watching, and these health conditions come as a surprise. This is why it is necessary to monitor your beagle’s activity in the parks, at home, and everywhere else.

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