Loola is a five and a half year old Border Collie who came to the Windaroo Veterinary Surgery Animal Hospital to see Dr Lisa Roberts, as one afternoon after she had accidently been run over by a four-wheel-drive. When she came in, Loola was walking quite timidly, with her tail down between her legs. Fortunately she did not appear to be in shock, and didn’t seem to have any injuries to her chest or abdomen, but Dr. Lisa thought she may have a fractured tail or ‘tail pull’ injury, which is usually far more common in cats.
The first night Loola was given pain relief to keep her comfortable, and she was instructed to have bed rest with the plan of having x-rays the following day.
Dr Laura then took some x-rays to check for chest hernias which can occur after the pressure from being hit by a car, and to check whether her bladder appeared intact. Fortunately these were both fine, and there was no evidence of any pelvic fractures.
There was however a fracture right at the base of her tail, as well as some soft tissue swelling a little further down the tail. The fracture and resulting damage to the nerve explains why she is unable to feel or move her tail. Unfortunately for Loola and her owners, the tail requires amputation; otherwise, the dead weight can worsen the damage to the nerve, as well as potentially getting caught in things and creating a large mess when Loola needs to go to the toilet.
There is the potential for long term problems if Loola is unable to toilet properly, if the nerves controlling urination and defecation are affected. If Loola is able to behave and toilet normally after her surgery, there are unlikely to be any further long term problems. Though Loola is usually quite timid, she has tolerated everything we have done really well. The hardest part for a Border Collie is usually the ‘strict rest’ part of the treatment! Good luck staying calm and quite will you rest up Loola!