Limber tail is one of many names for a condition formally called Acute Caudal Myopathy. Some of the other common names include the cold-water tail, broken wag, swimmer’s tail, frozen tail, and sprung tail.
To understand Acute Caudal Myopathy better, the medical name can be broken down: “acute” meaning sudden-onset, “caudal” meaning hind end, and “myopathy” meaning muscle disorder: a sudden muscle problem at the tail base.
Dogs suffering from the limber tail will usually have a limp tail that hangs directly down (or a few inches out) from the base of the tail. The condition is often painful, so affected dogs can be reluctant to use their tail and may have difficulty getting comfortable. Seeing your dog with a suddenly limp tail can be both surprising and worrisome.
The good news is that the limber tail is relatively easy to manage and most dogs recover quickly. However, it is still essential to seek a veterinarian’s diagnosis to make sure that there isn’t a more serious condition mimicking the same symptoms as a limber tail.