Dear Dr. Baum —
My dog bites her tail till it bleeds! She has consistently been chewing on the tip of her tail, and when she gets excited — when she hits her tail — the tip of the tail splatters blood everywhere and everywhere it touches. What is causing her to do this? She is a blue pit, female, almost a year old, raised with children.
Carolyn, Houma, Louisiana, USA.
This is a common problem in dogs with long tails that like to be wagged. The tip of the tail gets repeatedly traumatized and never heals. Most of these cases require that the tail be amputated, although some will respond to protective bandaging, especially if it is possible to change the environment so that the wagging tails have more room to wag!