Having a “Happy Tail” seems like it would be the opposite of an issue.
However, it actually is an unfortunate injury that is often seen in breeds like labs, Great Danes, and Pit Bulls. According to the Veterinary Centers of America Inc., the injury happens after a pup hits the tip of their tail “repeatedly against solid objects,” usually because they are just too darn excited. While speaking to The Bark in 2018, Dr. Carrie Uehlein, who co-owns the Veterinary Hospital of Davidson in Davidson, NC, explained that pups who are prone to this syndrome tend to be “bright, energetic, and super excited to see people.” Here at the Gentle Pit, we can attest that this perfectly describes Pit Bulls!
“They will not stop wagging their tails no matter how much it may hurt them,” said the veterinarian.
Unfortunately, this means they will keep wagging, even if their skin tears, which can cause “bleeding ulcers,” as reported by the VCA. The publication also noted that Happy Tail can also “expose delicate nerves that cause pain,” meaning for your pup’s sake, you will need to take them to the vet. Depending on the severity of the injury, the veterinarian may simply “bandag[e] the injured area” and give your pup some “antibiotics and pain medication.”
However, there are other ways to help heal Happy Tail. During The Bark interview, Dr. Uehlein asserted, “K-laser treatments work the best” for this type of injury. She noted that this involves “a class 4 warm light laser that increases oxygenated blood flow to the region you are treating to quicken the healing time.”
The Bark noted that without “K-laser treatments," pup parents can expect the “healing time” to be about five weeks. The VCA also reported that if the injury does not “heal, the best solution is surgical shortening of the tail.” To avoid amputation, seek medical treatment for your dog at the first signs of Happy Tail.