Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Limber Tail Syndrome

Yesterday, I woke up to find something wrong with Siff.

Her usually tightly curled tail was horizontal with her back. When I lifted it, it dropped back down like a limp noodle, and she seemed unable to curl it or wag it. When she sat down, she didn't seem to be able to even exert the control to move it out of her way.

Very concerned, I texted my husband. I told him that I was worried that her tail was either dislocated or broken. I asked if I should call the vet, which I really wanted to do, but not without talking to Grig first.

He gave an affirmative answer, and I quickly phoned our vet. She is amazing, and told me that she could come by our home by 1:30 p.m. She is an At Your Door Veterinarian, and so she comes to our home to give shots and do exams. I used to work for her in college, and she's one of my favorite people.

I really enjoyed worked as a Veterinarian Assistant, and I learned a lot from her. I knew she would know if Siff's tail was dislocated or broken. I didn't remember her being injured or yelping. If it was broken, it seemed like I would have heard something or noticed it sooner.
This is how it hung all day yesterday. It was very strange.
We went on a nice long walk to get the excess energy out of the dogs, but Siff was pretty tired at the end. Her energy level wasn't anywhere near normal. It was weird though, because she didn't seem to be in pain either.

The vet arrived promptly at 1:30. She greeted the dogs and tried to hug Siff, but she was too excited. She asked me if Siff ever calmed down enough to hug, because she looked so huggable. I told her that she was super huggable and that she quickly calmed down.

Then, she examined Siff. After a few minutes, she told me that the tail didn't feel broken or dislocated, and Siff didn't seem to be in very much pain. Then, she told me that she had seen this kind of situation before. I guess some dogs, especially Labradors, hounds, and other hunting dogs, will sometimes get limp tails like this. They call it Limber Tail Syndrome or No Wag Syndrome. They usually get it after long periods of rest followed by sudden exercise or after swimming in cold water. She wasn't sure how Siff had gotten it, and neither was I. We've been walking, but not an extreme amount.

She wondered if it might have to do with Siff's heat. She told me that she had once seen a German Shepherd that had gone lame when it entered its heat. That makes sense, since there is a softening of some tissue when dogs go into heat.

She gave us some anti-inflammatory drugs, and, after a few more minutes, left.

Today, Siff's tail is already better.

This is how it usually sits on her back.
I looked up Limber Tail Syndrome yesterday, and on the internet it said that many veterinarians have not even heard of it because it is such a rare condition. I'm really grateful that our veterinarian had and was able to diagnose it. It definitely was comforting to know that nothing really serious was wrong with our baby girl.

It was kind of a funny realization too, how much we care about her.

Grig grew up on a farm, so he's always been a little bit on the "dogs are tools, not family," side of things. I didn't feel entirely the same, but our dogs were always outdoor dogs, and so I loved them, but they weren't a huge part of our lives.

Siff and Arkhon are. They are with me nearly 24 hours a day, and we do tons of things with them. They aren't on the same level as Kevin, our son, but they are definitely part of our family.

At the thought of Siff being severely injured, both Grig and I got pretty stressed about it. He was surprised later by how bothered and upset he was. We have fantastic dogs. They are very well trained, and rarely cause us stress. Mostly, they are stress relievers.

We're so grateful that our beautiful Norwegian Elkhound is alright. I'm also really grateful for our Veterinarian. She is wonderful.

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