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Why Is My Dog Bleeding From Its Tail? Causes and Treatments

At A Glance

Are you alarmed by your dog bleeding from tail? Excessive tail wagging is a common culprit. It may lead to physical injury that causes a dog’s tail to bleed.

You must identify the exact cause before you can provide the correct treatment for your pet.

Last Updated on: Apr 04, 2022

Is your dog bleeding from the tail? Tail bleeding in canines is more common than you’d think. Unfortunately, this condition is both alarming for pet owners and painful for dogs.

Don’t panic. Once you’ve identified the cause of bleeding tail on the dog, you’re already halfway to giving your pet the treatment it needs.

Let’s take a closer look.

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

dog bleeding and treatment


The presence of blood is the most obvious dog bleeding tail symptom. You may have noticed bright red or reddish-brown streaks on your dog’s tail. The bleeding can range from mild to severe.

You may fail to spot this immediately if the bleeding is minimal. Sometimes, the blood and other physical signs are hidden by a dog’s thick fur.

Also Read: Why Is My Dog Bleeding From Its Eye

Signs of Dog Tail Bleeding

  • The tail has a swollen tip.
  • There are bare or irritated spots on your dogs tail.
  • Your dog keeps biting its tail.
  • The tail keeps attracting flies.
  • Your dog may not want you to touch the affected area.


dog lying in pain

Happy Tail Syndrome

When it comes to dog tail injuries bleeding, vets often use the term Happy Tail Syndrome. This happens when the thin skin on a dog’s tail ruptures when it hits a hard surface repeatedly. Dogs with longer tails are at a higher risk of developing this condition.

Since this body part has plenty of blood vessels, the results can be quite gory. Some pet parents get a nasty surprise when they come home to blood-streaked walls or floors. The bleeding will eventually stop on its own, but only if you keep your dog away from intense activities.

A dog’s behavior is not always a reliable indicator that it has dog tail tip bleeding. Stories abound of puppies cheerfully wagging their tails while flinging blood all over the place.

Pro Tip: Medical professionals define a syndrome as a group of symptoms that are linked with a specific illness.

Complications of Dog Tail Bleeding

Spinal Injury

A canine’s tail is an extension of its spine, which is highly sensitive. If your dog’s tail is bleeding frequently, it may be a sign of a more serious spinal injury. In rare cases, this can lead to paralysis or even death.


Untreated wounds may get infected, which could spread to the inside of the tail.

Dog tail bleeding


Tail Wagging

“Wagging hard has everything to do with a dog’s personality,” says Carrie Uehlein from Veterinary Hospital of Davidson. Unfortunately, your pet can wag its tail so forcefully that it gets injured on hard surfaces.

Dogs wag their tails uncontrollably when excited. They often do not notice that their tails are already thumping on solid objects. When that happens, bruising, fractures and bleeding may follow.

Fights With Other Animals

A dog defending its territory will bite another canine, sometimes on the tail. If you have a hunting dog, it may end up tussling with either its quarry or a predator. Dog tail bleeding may occur when your pet plays rough with other animals.

Physical Trauma

A dog’s tail may get snagged on a barbed wire fence or thorny bush. Indoor accidents can also happen like getting caught by a closing door. Your dog could have been hit by a car or fallen off a high cliff.

Fractured tails are painful. If the tail is injured closer to the spine, urgent medical attention is required.


Lacerations are deep cuts that expose muscles and bones. Dogs tend to bite their tails when they are nervous. A wound is created after repeated biting of the same area, which then bleeds profusely.

Skin Diseases

Your dog may have skin diseases caused by bacteria or fungi. For example, pyoderma can cause your dog’s skin to have scales, pus, or even blood.

If the infection results in an itchy rash, your dog may bite its tail and puncture the skin. Allergies can also push your dog into biting his tail.

Dog in the park


The treatment for a dog bleeding from the tail will depend on how severe it is. A dog tail bleeding tip is usually treatable at home.

Home Treatment

  • Wash your dog’s tail with soap and water.
  • Dry the wound gently with a clean cloth.
  • Ask your vet for the proper ointment for the wound.
  • Bandage the wound to protect your house from blood stains and keep the wound from reopening.
  • Limit your dog’s movements and physical activities.
  • Use a plastic cone or Elizabethan collar to keep your dog from chewing on the bandage.

You should apply cold water or ice on your dog’s tail for several minutes. The cold water not only cleans the wound but also stops the bleeding and reduces the chances of inflammation. 

Professional Treatment

Medical professionals come in when the dog tail tip bleeding is severe. You may need to take your pet for a checkup if:

  • The bleeding is excessive and does not stop
  • Your dog’s tail has lacerations, broken bones, or pus
  • Your dog has a hard time moving its tail

The vet will run tests on your dog to determine the extent and type of injury you are looking at.


In some cases, your vet may recommend sedation. This stops the wagging temporarily. You might be required to continue with the sedative dosage at home for some days until your dog’s tail stops bleeding.


Your vet may give medications to relieve the pain before sending your pet home. Drugs also help treat the underlying cause of tail bleeding. This includes antifungal, antibacterial, and antihistamines.


Your vet may recommend surgery or laser treatment if medications do not alleviate the situation.

If the tail bleeding keeps on recurring, amputation of the tail may be the only way out. It may be better to live with a tailless dog than one at high risk of diseases and infections.

Dog standing near a tennis court

How to Prevent It

Here are tips to help you avoid dog bleeding from the tail:

  • Check the tail often to ensure that there are no wounds or blood.
  • If your dog fights with other animals, limit their interactions.
  • You may need to keep your dog indoors until its tail is healed.
  • Fit your dog with a collar.
  • Ensure that your dog’s hygiene is a priority. Give your pet weekly baths, not only when it starts to stink.

It can be a daunting task to prevent the happy tail syndrome. After all, tail wagging is a natural behavior for your pet. While you can’t stop it completely, you can treat the bleeding tail immediately.

Dog looking at his tail

Canines use their tails to communicate. However, constant wagging can lead to injury and bleeding. Don’t let your dog bleeding from the tail become a cause of pain or concern. With these tips and your vet’s advice, you can give your pet the help it needs.

Remember, a dog in pain cannot tell you that something’s wrong. As a pet owner, you have to be vigilant about their health.

Check out How to Stop a Dog’s Nail from Bleeding.



Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.