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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 29030
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My dog keeps biting his tail, leaving an bald patch.

Customer Question

Hello my dog keeps biting his tail, leaving an bald patch. Please could you advise me what to do. also should I take him to the vets. kindest regards cheryl
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner, Cheryl. Tail biting can have both a medical and behavioral etiology and sometimes both are present concomitantly. You'll need your vet's help in determining if there's an underlying skin condition annoying your dog and prompting his biting such as an over-active tail gland (an oil rich gland that can become swollen and infected particularly in intact dogs) on the dorsal surface of the tail near the tailhead, a flea saliva allergy (an important differential diagnosis), or perhaps a painful tail that had been traumatized and now he's obsessive-compulsive about it. Obsessive-compulsive dogs might not allow an area to heal perpetuating the problem although the original insult to the tail is long gone. Can you upload a photo of his tail to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or you can use an external app such as imgur.com or dropbox.com. I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing.