While the wagging tails of dogs often indicate happiness and joy, a whipping and/or long tail also may be the source of many possible injuries to our canine companions. The most common causes of injuries to the tail include trauma, such as a closing door, as well as being accidentally stepped upon. I find that many dogs who like to swim often come back with tail injuries. Tail injuries may also occur as a result of fights with other animals.
Signs of a tail injury may include the presence of wounds and/or punctures, as well as being painful on touch. In some cases, the tail may be held down low due to the pain on lifting. Diagnosis is often made by physical exam; however, in some cases x-rays may be needed to make sure there are no secondary bone fractures of the tail. Because of the rich nerve and blood supply to the tail region, even small injuries may be quite painful and bleed very easily.
Treatment of tail injuries may involve debridement and cleaning of the affected areas, and in some cases a protective bandage may be needed for several days. Antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications are also often used in many cases. I have found that the homeopathic remedy hypericum in 30c potency given twice daily for 2-3 days quite helpful in reducing pain and helping with healing of most tail injuries.