Loss Of Wagging Tail

by Bev King
(Coventry )

My Cocker Spaniel Doesn't Wag His Tail Any More!

My Cocker Spaniel Doesn't Wag His Tail Any More!

I have a 4 year 9 month cocker spaniel, who has always been so happy, his tail was always high in the air and wagging.

He recently hurt his back leg when a Labrador rolled him over. He wasn't well last week and had to have antibiotics and pain killers for his leg.

He seems to have lost his love of life and just stays in his bed all day. I am so worried. The vet said he had an infection in his anal glands and she cleared and cleaned them.

I thought that the tablets should have cleared that up, but his loss of tail wagging seems to be from then, please if anybody knows what might be wrong, I would be so glad to know.

Reply From Pauline (Web Owner)

Hello Bev,

Sorry to hear about your cocker's problems - a cocker without a wagging tail, it's almost unheard of - I can understand your anguish, however, I would ask your vet exactly what you could expect to see over the next few weeks. For example, does she think that the leg injury is the cause of your cocker being unable to way his tail - nerve injury perhaps?

Personally, I don't believe blocked anal glands are causing your dog's inability to wag his tail, however, I'm not a vet, this is simply my opinion.

I've added a couple of links to anal glands and anal sacs and how to clear cocker spaniel anal glands to give you a better understanding of the problem.

Have you considered that your cocker may not be wagging his tail simply because he's feeling a little 'depressed or (or even traumatized by the Lab)' at the moment?

My advice would be to go back to your vet and explain how you feel.

Write down specific questions you'd like answering to act as an aide-mémoire (it's surprising how we forget to ask even the most simplest of questions when we're inside the surgery).

For example:

  • Ask about the damage to your cocker's leg - could that have caused an injury or nerve damage? Would that stop his tail wagging?

  • Could it be because he's depressed?

  • Why is he lying in his bed all day, when he used to be so lively and happy?

  • Would an infection in his anal glands cause this?

  • Will his tail ever wag again? Is there anything that can be done?
We sometimes can't think straight when our pets are unwell - we worry so much about them and often feel helpless and inadequate.

Good luck to both of you, and please let us know how you get on.

Comments for Loss Of Wagging Tail

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No tail wagging due to pain
by: Anonymous

My Cocker, Kelsey 3yrs old was also playing with a golden and a bulldog. She got sandwiched between the two and wrenched her lower spine. Couldn't put any weight on her left leg. They put her on an nsaid, but in 2 days there was no relief. Brought her back and they took an xray and found she has degenerative disk disease. They put her on something else, and Robaxin (methelcarbamol). Crate confinement. Out for bathroom only. Within 3 days there was great improvement and now she's fine. We just have to minimize the roughhousing. While she was in pain her tail never wagged. good luck too you all, Wendy G.

Any news?
by: Paul

Any news on the cause of this please as we notice our cooker has stopped wagging it's tail but also notice it could not crouch down to go to the loo..

No Wagging Tail!
by: Sally

Poor mite, he sounds so unhappy. I guess he's not in pain otherwise you'd know wouldn't you?

It sounds like the Lab may have given him a bit of a shock and he's just reacting to that. He may snap out of it in time. I would try to get him back into the park and mixing with other dogs as soon as possible, but only if it doesn't upset him.

Please give him a hug from another cocker spaniel lover.

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