Why Is My Dogs Tail Swollen At The Base?

There are many possible reasons why your dog’s tail might be swollen at the base.

It could be a reaction to something they ate, an infection, or something more serious.

If you’re concerned, it’s always best to take them to the vet to get checked out

A swollen tail base is not normal and can indicate that there is something seriously wrong with your pet.

The most common cause of this condition is cancer.

However, if your pet has cancer, it will usually have other symptoms as well.

A swollen tail base may also be caused by a number of non-cancerous conditions including infections, allergies, or even kidney disease.

Other causes of a swollen tail base include internal bleeding, tumors, abscesses, and fractures.

If your dog shows any signs of discomfort in their tail, you should bring them in immediately to see the veterinarian.

The sooner treatment begins, the better.

Unfortunately, some dogs show no outward signs of discomfort until it is too late.

For example, a dog may experience severe pain in its tail but continue to go about his regular activities without letting you know.

Inevitably, the pain becomes so intense that he cannot walk normally and eventually collapses.

What could be the reason for a swollen tail base?

If your dog has a swollen tail base, it could mean that there is an infection in their tail.

This can be caused by bacteria, yeast, or parasites — all of which should be treated with antibiotics.

However, if your dog has a swelling in the base of its tail and there’s no sign of any other infections, then another cause may be in play.

Here are some possibilities:

  • It could be a reaction to eating something that is irritating the skin around the tail.
  • The base of the tail can become irritated because of an injury, such as a burn or bite from another animal.
  • A tumor on the tail or elsewhere can cause irritation of the tail area.
  • An organ problem, like kidney failure, could cause inflammation of the tail area.
  • Some dogs have a condition called pyoderma, which causes inflammation of the skin around the tail base.
  • Bacterial toxins can irritate the skin around the tail base.
  • Certain diseases of the nervous system can lead to inflammation of the tail base.
  • Ticks can burrow into the tail and cause irritation.

Most of these conditions will require a visit to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Could it be an allergic reaction?

Allergies are one of the most common causes of swelling in dogs.

Allergic reactions can happen when their bodies recognize something as foreign and attempt to fight it off by sending white blood cells to attack and destroy the invader.

A dog that is prone to allergies may have frequent episodes where their tail swells up at its base, usually right after eating something new.

It doesn’t matter if it’s food, air, pollen, grass, or any other substance that has recently entered their body — if anything is making them sick, their immune system will kick into overdrive and send out the white blood cells to help kill whatever is causing the problem.

This can cause a lot of discomfort for your dog because their immune system is going to want to throw everything it has at the problem.

They’ll be uncomfortable for days, sometimes weeks, before their tails go down again.

If this happens regularly, it’s likely that you should be concerned about what your dog is eating.

If they’re eating something that contains a certain type of protein (like chicken), then they may need to avoid that particular protein source until their tails go back to normal.

Another possibility is that your dog may just have a sensitive stomach.

Some dogs don’t like specific foods, so they may not eat them often enough for their digestive tract to grow accustomed to them.

Other dogs who have sensitive stomachs may also have issues with dairy products.

If your dog has been having diarrhea every day since he was a puppy, it’s possible that his digestive tract isn’t used to digesting milk.

If you think that either of these is the case, talk to your vet about changing your dog’s diet.

You can also try some home remedies to see whether that helps bring their tails back down to normal.

How to help your dog

Here are a few things you can do to make sure your dog feels better while their tails are still swollen:

1. Try giving them some Epsom salts to drink

Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, which is a mineral found naturally in soil.

When your dog drinks a glass of water containing Epsom salts, it draws the minerals from the water and combines them with their bloodstream.

These minerals can help loosen up tight muscles and relax sore muscles.

2. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise

Exercise stimulates blood flow and circulation, helping to flush toxins through their bodies.

This can help remove waste materials from their systems, so you can reduce the amount of time their tails swell.

Also, when they’re doing strenuous activity, they tend to sweat more, which helps flush out any toxins from their systems.

This means that when their tails go back down, they’ll feel better.

3. Give them a bath

Your dog may be feeling extra-sensitive if their tails are swollen, so bathing them may help to relieve their discomfort.

Plus, washing their fur removes dirt and debris that may be stuck under their skin.

That can help ease the itchiness that comes along with being itchy all over.

4. Put them on a heating pad

Heat therapy is another great way to treat inflammation caused by allergies.

It can help break up swollen tissue and increase blood flow to those areas.

Heating pads can be purchased online or at pet stores, but if you’d rather heat up your own bed, you can use a hair dryer and wrap it around your dog’s tail.

5. Get them a massage

Massage is another good way to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling.

Just put a towel underneath their belly and gently rub their tail between your hands to stimulate circulation.

You can also use a soft brush to gently stroke their tail. Again, this can help relieve the itching that accompanies swelling.

6. Use a topical cream

Topical creams such as hydrocortisone are commonly prescribed to treat allergies.

Using these creams can help reduce swelling and itchiness.

Be careful not to apply too much, though, or you risk overdosing them and possibly creating a dependency.

7. Stay calm

If you notice that your dog’s tail is swollen, and you aren’t sure what’s causing it, you can ask your vet about treating it at home.

But if you wait too long, it may become too painful or inflamed to treat.

Don’t panic if it continues to swell, however.

Just keep track of how long it takes for it to return to normal.

You know it will eventually come down, so keep yourself occupied with something else until then.

Could it be a sign of infection?

One of the most common things that can cause swelling in a dog’s tail is an infection.

While this doesn’t sound like much of an issue, it can be very dangerous when left untreated.

Infections in dogs can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and even toxins.

If you think that your dog has an infection in their tail, don’t hesitate to bring them into your veterinarian’s office right away.

They will have the necessary tools and training to quickly diagnose what kind of infection they are dealing with and give your pet the proper treatment right away.

Dogs who spend time outdoors are at risk for infections from contact with contaminated soil, water, insects, and other animals.

These types of infections are called zoonoses.

Zoonotic diseases include rabies, Lyme disease, toxoplasmosis, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, tularemia, brucellosis, and Q fever.

The good news is that these kinds of infections aren’t life-threatening.

However, they can be really painful and require antibiotic treatments.

A lot of times, symptoms such as lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite can occur before the animal begins showing signs of illness.

If your dog shows any of those symptoms, it’s important to see a veterinarian immediately.

Even though some of these infections are rare, they still pose a great danger to your pets.

What if my dog has a tumor?

It’s not uncommon for dogs to have tumors in their tails.

They can occur anywhere on the body, but most often appear on the base.

When this happens, there is usually no other symptoms that accompany it besides the swelling and discoloration.

It’s important to remember that just because a dog has a tumor does not mean that it will necessarily kill them.

In fact, most tumors are benign and do not pose any threats to the life of your pet.

However, you should still bring your dog to see your veterinarian as soon as possible to avoid any complications that may arise from the condition.

How can I treat my dog’s swollen tail base?

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from a tail swelling at the base, your first step should be to contact your veterinarian.

They will likely want to rule out any underlying medical conditions and perform necessary tests.

Depending on what the results of those tests are, the doctor may suggest treatment options for
your pet.

Here are some common causes of tail swelling at the base:



Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)

Food allergies

Kidney problems

Heart condition

Other health issues like diabetes, cancer, etc.

If you have other questions about treating your dog’s tail swelling, please leave them in the comments below!


If your dog has a swollen tail at the base, there’s probably not much that you can do about it except monitor it and make sure you have all of their other health-related issues taken care of.

However, if you’re worried, it’s always better to see a veterinarian immediately so they can run some tests and find out what’s causing the swelling.

Megan Turner

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