Common Injuries

Limber Tail Syndrome

Also known as "cold water tail" is most often seen in sporting breeds, including Labrador Retrievers. Ages of affected dogs range between six months to nine years. Typically, the dog's tail goes limp and hangs down from the tail base or is held horizontally three to four inches and then drops down. The dog may seem uncomfortable and in some pain.This is not a serious condition and complete recovery is usually seen within two weeks and often occurs within a few days.

The cause of Limber Tail is not known although it is thought to be associated with hard workouts, heavy hunting, and swimming in water that is either too cold or too warm.

Ruptured Cruciate Ligaments

Labrador Retrievers appear to be especially prone to this injury which is usually sustained during an activity involving twisting of the legs. A dog who has ruptured his cruciate ligament will appear suddenly lame, and usually hold the foot of the affected leg off the ground. The knee may become swollen. If the ligament is completely torn, the dog is generally treated with surgery.

For further information, see Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament, also see Swimming Improves Recovery from Knee Surgery in Dogs

Note: This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.