Tail Biting in Dogs in Malta — What Are the Causes?

Tail Biting in Dogs in Malta — What Are the Causes?


Since canines can not speak, they can’t make their wants or wishes plain to us in any easy or intelligible method. It’s simple to get annoyed when our canines interact in behaviors which are repetitive, troubling or damaging. All of us take some extent of enjoyment, alternatively, once we see a canine chasing her tail. When an occasional canine tail chase turns right into a behavior, although, and when that behavior ends in tail biting or tail chewing, it may possibly sign a spread of potential points.

What’s much more troubling is the sheer quantity of people that not solely ask, “Why does my canine maintain biting her tail and whining?” but in addition finish that query with “for no cause?” Simply because we can not instantly isolate the supply of the odd conduct doesn’t imply that it’s purposeless or with out basis. Obsessive or compulsive canine behaviors, like chasing and gnawing on the tail, at all times have a root trigger.

Closeup of a dog tail.

What are the most typical causes for canine tail biting or tail chewing? Pictures ©ulkas | Thinkstock.

The commonest causes of tail biting and tail chewing in canines are:

  1. Parasites: fleas, ticks, or worms
  2. Environmental and pores and skin allergic reactions
  3. Scorching spots and different secondary infections
  4. Stress, boredom, or confinement
  5. Damage
  6. Impacted anal glands

Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at every of those points under.

1. Parasitic infestations

Fleas and ticks are widespread sufficient seasonal afflictions for canines. We’ve all seen a canine scratch at a spot on his physique the place fleas are bouncing round or a tick has hooked up itself. With medicated collars, common baths, and prescriptions, these pests are pretty simple to deal with. In the identical method that people are allergic to the saliva of cats or canines, so too are some canines allergic, to not the presence of ticks and fleas, however to the saliva of their bites.

A canine with an undiagnosed flea allergy might chunk repeatedly on the website of an allergic response till they break their very own pores and skin to seek out reduction. Tapeworms may trigger such bodily discomfort within the space surrounding the anus {that a} canine feels compelled to gnaw on the base of her tail. Finally, it’s the ache she’s inflicting herself by fixed chewing that leads her to whine as properly.

2. Allergic reactions

Irritation of the pores and skin, or dermatitis, brought on by fleas and ticks is just not the one allergy that may lead a canine to chew at her tail. Environmental allergies — something from pollen exterior to family chemical substances inside — may give rise to allergic reactions. Whether or not the supply of your canine’s allergy is mites, mould or contact with different animals, the reactions are most extreme in a canine’s early years, between 3 months and 6 years outdated.

A human’s first intuition to a pores and skin allergy is to scratch at it, and it’s the identical for a canine. Apparently, attempting to deal with one allergy can result in the invention of a unique one. In case your canine has delicate pores and skin, one thing so simple as the shampoos or soaps you utilize to wash her may spur an allergic response.

3. Scorching spots

A scorching spot is an space on a canine’s physique the place repeated scratching or chewing results in the creation of an open wound. Heat and moisture are the optimum circumstances for hot spots to kind. Ought to a stray micro organism discover its technique to the positioning earlier than it’s correctly handled, a secondary an infection is a typical outcome. Acknowledge a scorching spot by the presence of blood, pus, and matted hair.

In case your pet or canine is biting on the base of her tail so often that she attracts blood, then secondary infections aren’t the foundation reason behind her downside, solely one other symptom. A veterinarian may help you identify whether or not the true cause has to do with hygiene, diet, or one other issue.

4. Stress and nervousness

Stress, nervousness and boredom can lead canines into a bunch of damaging and repetitive behaviors: tearing up your favourite footwear, your most comfy sofa pillows, and so forth. Out of necessity, some individuals crate their canines once they go away for the day. If canines spend an excessive amount of time confined, they could flip their attentions inward and search reduction the place they will.

The identical applies to canines who don’t get adequate train, interactive play or psychological stimulation. Some individuals might imagine a canine turns to self-destructive actions like tail biting as methods to get consideration, and in these instances, who can blame them?

5. Damage

Any type of rear or hindquarters damage — a damaged or fractured tail bone, for example — is one thing a canine can not inform his proprietor of, and will go unnoticed beneath regular circumstances. The depth of the canine’s ache might lead her to behave on or draw consideration to it by extreme chewing, biting, or licking on the affected space. Solely veterinary X-rays will have the ability to correctly diagnose such a problem.

A dog sitting and looking back.

Anal gland points might trigger canine tail biting. Pictures ©Fly_dragonfly | Thinkstock.

6. Impacted anal glands

Lastly, one other widespread cause why a canine could also be biting on the base of her tail till it’s bleeding is an impacted anal gland. A dog’s anal glands are as essential to a canine as our fingers are to us, and, socially, they fill related wants. Simply as we shake fingers once we meet of us, canine anal glands secrete attention-grabbing fluids that canines odor once they meet one another. That is one cause why canines are so intent on sniffing at each other’s rear ends at any alternative.

One apparent signal {that a} canine is having an anal gland situation is scooting, when he sits up and drags his butt throughout the bottom. Different signs embody a fouler-than-normal odor originating from a canine’s behind, hassle defecating (you name it constipation), and, in extreme instances, blood or pus within the feces.

How have you ever been coping with your canine tail biting?

As you possibly can inform, canines who’re giving a whole lot of consideration to chewing their tails — notably the bottom of the tail — could also be stricken with all kinds of issues. Actually, it’s fairly a wealthy tapestry of causes that may result in compulsive tail biting.

However, excellent news! Whether or not it’s practising higher hygiene along with your canines, discovering whether or not they’re allergic to some factor or creature across the residence, addressing small wounds earlier than they develop secondary infections or just ensuring they get out extra, all of those points are treatable.

Inform us: Have you ever ever had a pet or a canine who appeared to fixate on her tail space? Had been you or your veterinarian in a position to isolate the important thing downside and tackle it efficiently? Share your experiences with canine tail biting within the feedback!

This publish was initially printed on Might 1, 2018. 

In regards to the writer: Melvin Peña educated as a scholar and instructor of 18th-century British literature earlier than turning his analysis and writing abilities to puppies and kittens. He enjoys making artwork, climbing, and concert-going, in addition to dazzling crowds with operatic karaoke performances. He has a one-year-old feminine Bluetick Coonhound combine named Idris, and his on-line life is conveniently encapsulated here.

Thumbnail: Pictures ©Mike Watson Photos | Thinkstock. 

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