Dog Keep Tail Down – What Does It Mean?


Discharge from dog’s ears is often a sign of an auditory organ disease. It may be of an infectious, allergic or parasitic nature, or may be the result of an injury or a tumor growth. Identification of the problem is easy enough even at an early stage, as the symptoms are very prominent.

Possible Causes

In certain breeds, due to the anatomical peculiarities of the hearing organs, there is a periodic outflow of liquid sulfur. In other cases, auditory discharge indicates pathology. These include:

  • dog keeps tail tuckedEar Tick. The parasite causes otoacariasis. At an early stage, the discharge is of serous nature, but may later develop impurities of pus.
  • Eczema. This disease develops due to dirt, moisture, and household chemicals getting into the auricle. It can also be the result pf a hypersensitivity reaction to parasite bites.
  • Otitis of the outer, middle or inner ear. The inflammatory process with this disease causes brown discharge from dog’s ears that looks wax-like. The development of otitis is preceded by hypothermia, lack of hygiene, parasite bites. Bacteria, fungi, and ear mites can also lead to this condition.
  • Allergic otitis. It develops as a result of hypersensitivity to an allergen or an imbalance of hormones.
  • Ear hematoma. Accumulation of fluid between the auricle skin and cartilage. It is a consequence of an injury, capillary rupture, mechanical wound.
  • Neoplasm. More often occurs in senior animals. The most common type of such growth is sulfur adenocarcinoma.


Tuborrhea in dogs is usually accompanied by the following symptoms:

  1. dog keeps tail tucked downpurulent smelly discharge from dog’s ear; animal fiercely scratches its ears, which often leads to skin injury and inflammation;
  2. the dog shakes his head, tilts it to one side and rubs against the furniture;
  3. affected area looks inflamed and edematous;
  4. putrid or sweet odour.

Dark discharge from the ears of a dog indicates the presence of a tick. They have an oily texture and resemble shoe cream. Oozing liquid quickly dries, forming a peel on the coat. Severe otoacariasis may be accompanied by fever, refusal to food, convulsions and even complete hearing loss.

With underlying otitis, a dog may experience pain when chewing and opening its jaws, purulent discharge from the ears and eyes is observed, and the temperature often increases. If left untreated, in the form of inflammation of the cerebral cortex and impaired coordination may occure. Allergic otitis is accompanied by increased sulfur discharge and the predominance of fungal microflora.

Hematoma is manifested by auricle edema and sagging of the ear, blue or greenish shade of the skin in the affected area. With underlying eczema rashes with liquid contents appear, the skin reddens, swells, and the discharge has an unpleasant smell.

Neoplasms in the ear canal cause smelly secretions and head trembling. Only one ear is usually affected.


For the diagnosis and treatment, you must contact your veterinarian. Only the specialist will assess the true state of the auditory organs and determine the type of pathogen by performing necessary testing (smear and scraping). The treatment method will depend on the cause of the pathology:

  • puppy that keeps tail tuckedIf a purulent discharge from the dog’s ears is the matter, this most often indicates an infectious process. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory or antifungal medications are usually opted for with this condition.
  • In the setting of otoacariasis clean the ears from crusts first, then treat them with acaricidal drops, ointments or aerosols. It is preferable to use agents that act against both adult mites and their larvae.
  • Elimination of the foci of eczema is performed with astringents and corticosteroid ointments. With severe itching, the doctor may prescribe Cortisone or Prednisolone tablets.
  • The veterinarian pumps out the contents of the hematoma with a syringe or performes excision of the painful formation.
  • If the discharge is established to be caused by allergic otitis, antihistamine drugs, local application of soothing agents and ointments is prescribed. Be sure to eliminate the allergy-causing agent from pet’s living area.
  • If there are abscesses or pus accumulations behind the eardrum, the doctor may resort to surgery.

Treatment must be carried out timely, as loss of hearing in dogs greatly decreases their quality of life.

Preventional Measures

A particular susceptibility to diseases of the ear and mastoid process is seen in breeds with long hanging ears, but other dogs suffer from them as well. To reduce the risk, be sure to follow certain rules. Inspect the pet’s ears several times a month. In a healthy dog, they should be clean and pink in color. Regularly remove the accumulated dirt with special solutions that moistened cotton swabs and remove easily accessible contaminants.

Why Dogs Keep Their Tails Down?

Mother Nature is uncommonly fair – since she deprived of the ability to speak the most faithful of four-legged human’s friends, she bestowed on them a wonderful medium of their emotions. The tail. Of course, it performs other important functions as well, helps to maintain proper balance, indicates the state of the central nervous system, etc. But for the owner of the pet, the dog’s tail is, first and foremost, an instrument of communication. And if the dog keeps tail tucked, even an inexperienced dog breeder feels that something is wrong. An animal with a healthy psyche and without deviations does not behave this way.

Genetic Disorders

Paradoxically, the pedigreed dogs are considered to be less healthy than ordinary stray animals “without kith or kin”. Yet, the explanation for this is totally logical: the gene pool of stray dogs is due to natural selection only, which is based on the good old principle “the strongest survives.” The most part of the bred animals are prone to hereditary disorders, including problems with the skeleton structure. A puppy that keeps tail tucked because otherwise it cannot physically do anything with it is a clear evidence of congenital pathology. Such an anomaly can be due to these three reasons:

  1. Thoughtless breeding is the most common factor in puppies with skeletal problems that lead to the tail being immobilized.
  2. Genetic mutations. A pinch is a splicing of several vertebrae (two or more) that cause deformity of the spinal column. When spinal nerve endings get pinched in the process of fusion, the tail loses its flexibility, its muscles being constantly squeezed or stretched, its mobility is also partially lost.
  3. Behavioral factors. Such deviation in any pet’s behavior always has its provoking causes. Conventionally, those can be divided into three general groups: low socialization, training mistakes. The consequences of severe stresses. Disturbances in the psyche (the most difficult to diagnose). Animal signals that concern the state of their nervous system: Fear – the dog tries to get away, its ears are pressed to the skull. Panic fear – the dog keeps tail tucked down and whines, tries to hide its head, darts around erratically. Passive defense – there are signs of fear, but the animal clearly intends to defend itself.

Fear does not exist in dogs at the gene level. If an animal is constantly showing signs of fear and anxiety, then it is in constant stress. The stress leads to depression, and behavioral deviations become yet more pronounced: the pet poops in the house, ceases to obey its guardian, spoils things, bites.

Acquired Diseases

For some pathologies, when the dog keeps tail tucked down, it is a characteristic symptom. If this symptom is accompanied by anxiety, lack of appetite, drowsiness, you should immediately contact a specialist.

Hypoglycemia is a terrible disease that can lead to a lethal outcome in a matter of hours. In the risk group are female dogs in early post-partum period. The essence of the pathology is in a sharp decrease of blood sugar. The pet looks frightened, it has a chill, presses the tail down and sits or lies as if exhausted. This is followed by a considerable drop in body temperature, shaking, convulsions, lethargy and even death. To save a pet at the first sign, you must forcibly pour some sweetened water in its mouth ( to fill up glucose levels) and immediately take it to the veterinarian.

Anemia – low red blood cell count (poor hemoglobin count). This condition causes oxygen starvation, prolonged hypothermia (low body temperature), chills, lethargy. The prolonged deficiency of iron also leads to the fact that the dog keeps the tail down and hides, curles up and refuses to move. It simply does not have any strength for this.

Injuries or damage to the spinal column can cause different, but always hazardous consequences. Paralysis (partial or complete), loss of control of certain parts of the body, muscle spasms due to a clamped nerve, pain syndrome – it is an incomplete list of possible outcomes. Dislocation of the vertebral discs is a dangerous condition, when the pet thrushing in pain can cause itself even more damage.

Painful conditions are various (toothache, headache, etc.) and they may force the animal to whine, keep its tail down, toss or lie unmoving for hours. Be sure to take the suffering patient to the specialist as soon as may be to sooth the symptoms and eliminate the cause.

The ability to ‘communicate’ in the language of your pet, or rather, to understand what it is trying to say , is an important step to achieve a harmonious relationship with your  canine companion.

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