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Water rod in dogs – that’s why not only dogs that swim get sick

Wasserrute beim Hund - deshalb erkranken nicht nur Hunde, die schwimmen

Canine water boarding is still a very under-researched disease. It got its name from the fact that it often affects dogs that have been swimming a lot or that are not used to swimming a lot, which causes the tail to be overstressed.

Since our dogs go swimming mainly in the summer, water rod in this country also occurs especially in the warmer seasons. When a dog is affected by water rod, it cannot move its tail and it has very severe pain in the area of the tail. Tail paralysis occurs.

Signs of water rod dog

Affected dogs show a very conspicuous tail posture. The tail is held horizontally at the base of the tail and the rest of the tail then hangs limply. In addition, affected dogs also have severe pain when sitting down. They then usually let themselves slide to one side to avoid the intense pain. The disposal of feces and urine is also very problematic due to the severe pain. The base of the tail is very swollen and very sensitive to touch to highly painful. The pain of a water rod is often compared to that of lumbago. For people who have already suffered from lumbago, it makes it a little more understandable what pain the dog is suffering.


Since the disease is little researched, the cause is also not clearly understood. However, as described at the beginning of this article, it is often associated with extensive swimming or swimming in cold water. However, this is not a must. There have also been increased cases of dogs sitting in a crate or car for very long periods of time with little room to move. One results from the fact that also a bad blood circulation or a compression in the area of the rod can be causes for a water rod.

Which dogs are affected?

Basically, any four-legged friend can get water rodent disease. More often males are affected than females. It often hits setters, foxhounds, beagles, pointers or retrievers.
The disease usually occurs in summer and many times in dogs that like to swim.

Is it possible to prevent a dog from contracting water rod?

It is believed that well-trained dogs are less likely to develop water rod. In addition, you should make sure that dogs always have enough room to move around, even during long car rides or other stays in a box.

Treatment options

Water rod is usually treated with anti-inflammatory painkillers. On the one hand, this brings about rapid pain relief and also causes the inflammation to subside.

In addition, heat applications to the tail root and treatment by a physiotherapist help.

With quick and correct treatment, the four-legged friends usually recover quite quickly and without late consequences.

Has your dog ever suffered from a water rod? If so, how did it show up in your quadruped? Feel free to leave me a comment! Water rod dog Water rod dog


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