Is your dog always biting her tail and whining?
Since dogs cannot talk, they cannot make their needs or desires plain to us in any simple or intelligible way. It’s easy to get frustrated when our dogs engage in behaviors that are repetitive, troubling, or destructive. We all take some degree of pleasure, on the other hand, when we see a dog chasing her tail. When an occasional canine tail chase turns into a habit, though, and when that habit ends in the dog chewing on the tail, it can signal a range of potential issues.
What’s even more troubling is the sheer volume of people who not only ask, “Why does my dog keep biting her tail and whining?” but also end that question with “for no reason?” Just because we cannot immediately isolate the source of the odd behavior doesn’t mean that it is purposeless or without foundation. Obsessive or compulsive canine behaviors, like chasing and gnawing at the tail, always have a root cause. The most common are:
- Parasites: fleas, ticks, or worms
- Environmental and skin allergies
- Hot spots and other secondary infections
- Stress, boredom, or confinement
- Impacted anal glands
As you can tell, dogs who are giving a lot of attention to bitting their tail — particularly the base of the tail — may be afflicted with a wide variety of problems. Really, it’s quite a rich tapestry of causes that can lead to compulsive tail bitting.
But, good news! Whether it’s practicing better hygiene with your dogs, discovering whether they are allergic to some thing or creature around the home, addressing small wounds before they develop secondary infections, or simply making sure they get out more, all of these issues are treatable. Otherwise, it is better to consult a veterinary to get the right treatment.
Have you ever had a puppy or a dog who seemed to fixate on her tail area? Were you or your veterinarian able to isolate the key problem and address it successfully? Share your experiences in Dogalize and leave your comments!