When a funny little one clumsily tries to grab its tail, it’s pretty hard not to smile ... But if a dog experienced in its experience begins to engage in such entertainment, and does it with special frenzy, the owner may begin to worry. What makes an animal behave this way, and what should an owner do if his dog runs after a tail?
Reasons to run around your own tail
If a pet loves to "circle" from childhood, chasing its own tail, and does it periodically, then most likely this ritual is an ordinary game that does not deserve special attention.
However, if the puppy does this often and does not stop with age, then we can talk about pathological problems. And when an adult animal suddenly begins to show interest in its own tail for no reason, the owner is simply obliged to worry.
There are a number of reasons that indicate the presence of a disease or any pathology:
- It is possible that thorns, twigs, or other objects got stuck in the dog’s hair, or a cleaver was formed from the coat, causing pain and discomfort. His inept attempts to get rid of them outwardly may resemble running behind the tail.
- Irritation of the skin of the anus - often occurs after prolonged diarrhea, can develop against a background of allergies, trauma. Healing of damaged tissues is accompanied by itching and other unpleasant manifestations, and the dog, trying to get rid of the inconvenience, tries to grab itself by the base of the tail.
- Clogging of the anal glands or the occurrence of an inflammatory process in them are unpleasant pathologies that provoke severe itching, soreness, discomfort. In addition, the general well-being of the animal can noticeably worsen. The dog becomes restless, can ride the priest on the floor, spin in an attempt to reach out and scratch the inflamed area. Such behavior does not bode well, and the dog cannot get rid of this condition on its own. The professional cleaning of the anal glands, which is carried out by the veterinarian after a diagnostic examination, helps to solve the problem.
- Parasites (helminthic infestations) are another reason for the pet’s increased interest in its tail. Without timely preventive measures, the dog can become infected with worms, bring fleas or ticks from a walk. A strong infection negatively affects the condition of the animal, its coat becomes dull, dandruff may appear on the skin, the dog often itches, runs after its tail, and is anxious in every way. Bloodsuckers always choose areas with more delicate, thin skin, and the anus, with its folds, fits perfectly.
- Fungus is a pathological condition that is almost impossible to prevent.
The listed causes of running around are associated with physiological changes that occur in the body of the animal. But there are also mental factors that can provoke such behavior.
Often spinning and trying to grab a tail are nothing more than a sign of mental illness. Moreover, experts note its genetic origin, which is diagnosed at a fairly early age.
Unfortunately, but in this state, all attempts to wean from this habit are useless. Behavior lends itself to partial correction, which is carried out with the help of sedatives and training.
Usually, animals with mental disorders are not allowed to breed, no matter how valuable they are for breeding. In a dog running behind its tail due to mental disorders, the offspring will suffer the same disease.
However, there are certain difficulties that do not immediately reveal the ailment:
- Most often, the pathology is detected in babies 3 months old and older, when they have already arrived in a new home. But this is typical of kids, and the owner almost never draws his attention to it.
- Inexperienced owners may not be aware of the existence of such a problem, since they are usually not warned about this probability. For many years, many people consider such running around as just fun, not even knowing about the pathological background.
To date, deviations in the psyche of dogs are found literally right away if it was born from pedigree dogs of experienced breeders who do not stop improving their own knowledge in the field of dog breeding.
In addition, obsessive mental disorders for a long period were not included in the list of possible diagnoses. Veterinarians and dog handlers have not been interested in this area for a long time, so it is still little studied.
In addition to running behind the tail, other symptoms of genetic abnormalities were ignored. For example, jaw clicking was associated with eye disease or the central nervous system, rather than genetic abnormalities.
But not only the diagnosis is difficult, but choosing the right treatment is also a difficult task. Doctors specializing in mental illness in dogs - zoopsychologists and zoopsychotherapists, are very, very few today. But charlatans offering such services, a huge amount.
To suspect something was wrong, just observe the behavior of the animal. It’s worth worrying if the pet has the following behavior habits:
- often clicks the jaw;
- runs in a circle behind the tail, not even trying to grab it;
- obsessively licks, sucks certain parts of the body, often these are the tips of the paws;
- bald spots appear on the body - the pet gnaws on "nonexistent" parasites;
- begins to eat garbage, inedible objects, feces;
- suddenly becomes aggressive, for no apparent reason (malevolence towards males is considered abnormal).
Even one of the above symptoms should be troubling. Even more worry is necessary when there are several signs of a violation. In this case, the owner cannot independently help his four-legged friend; consultation with a veterinarian, dog handler and zoopsychotherapist is required.
Pathological regular tail chasing
Pathology has almost the same development in all dogs, only the timing and duration of the stages differ. Tail races will remind you of fun until the dog starts to growl irritably and his breathing is not disturbed.
Initially, with such symptoms, dogs were diagnosed with “CNS activity disorder,” but there was one caveat - treatment that was suitable for this ailment did not give a positive result. The study of pathology made it possible to draw a number of conclusions. For example, a disease is not only transmitted from generation to generation, but also progresses with age.
Some methods tested over the years turned out to be productive, the pet became calmer, stopped scratching and scampering behind the tail. However, with the abolition of medications, symptoms worsened, in addition, the condition was aggravated by additional deviations.
For the first time, veterinarians began to consider the pursuit of the tail as a pathology in the 50s of the 20th century. The first sick dog was a hunting breed, the conditions of which were far from ideal. He lived in a small enclosed enclosure, constantly closed.
With a detailed clarification, it turned out that almost up to a year of age, the puppies were inhabited by cells. Dogs were deprived of walks, socialization and whirling in place was their only opportunity to be active.
The veterinarian managed to pick up the dog from the unfortunate hosts and observe his behavior for a long time. Even being free, the puppy performed the same type of action: he circled - stopped - examined his tail - growled - circled again. In addition, the animal’s eyes became blurred, he was indifferent to food, there were attacks of aggression.
When the issue of this behavior was raised during the conference, it turned out that almost all veterinarians faced a similar phenomenon, but it was not clear what to do with it and what steps to take. A detailed study of pathology made it possible to study it in more detail and to find out the development mechanisms.
It was possible to evaluate the wave brain activity during tail-spinning, but the data obtained were not at all encouraging. It turned out that when the dog "cuts" circles, he actually experiences a seizure, which confirms the presence of a mental disorder with obsessive conditions.
Such seizures occurred against the backdrop of a variety of situations:
- space limitation;
- inability to move freely;
- after punishment, especially if it was accompanied by a voice increase;
- due to overly loud sounds, etc.
Most often, these phenomena were stressful for the animal and significantly increased the level of anxiety.
Tail Pursuit Video
Can the owner help his pet
Unfortunately, there is still no official therapy developed. Treatment is prescribed based on the symptoms, the intuition of the doctor plays a large role. Experience has shown that if you prevent the pet from circling while holding it, then no result will be achieved.
The basis of therapy is a technique that allows you to find out the root cause of the disorder. Doctors warn that if it is associated with genetic abnormalities, then a violation of behavior can only be slightly corrected.
The work will be painstaking, the owner must constantly distract the dog from his occupation, you can use toys, teams. As soon as the dog responded - it must be praised.
After a while, the dog will acquire a new habit, instead of the old one. For example, with increased anxiety, he will be mistaken for his toy, instead of catching the tail. It is better to start correcting behavior in a familiar, calm environment so that there are no strangers or animals nearby.
As it turned out, the usual tail-spinning, which many considered exclusively as fun, upon closer examination is a possible sign of mental illness. And if the owner observes this behavior with his four-legged friend, you should not panic. It is better to find a specialist who is involved in this problem and get qualified advice.