Why some dogs 'lose their wag'

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Why Some Dogs Tails 'Lose Their Wag'

Some dogs can lose the ability to wag their tails because of an often painful issue called limber tail.

While it is known to typically affect larger working dog breeds like Labrador retrievers, researchers at the University of Edinburgh set out to determine why it appears to develop in certain members and not others.

The team assessed 38 canines with limber tail reported by their owners and 86 dogs with no apparent symptoms.

The researchers found that "dogs with the condition were more likely to live in northern areas, lending support to anecdotal reports that limber tail is associated with exposure to the cold."

They also identified a higher incidence rate among working dogs but only found a mild correlation with swimming, which some had considered to be a contributing factor.

However, as a press release issued by the university states, "Labradors that had suffered limber tail were more likely to be related to each other than unaffected dogs, which may indicate an underlying genetic risk. Experts hope that further studies will identify genes associated with the condition, which could one day help breeders to identify animals that are likely to be affected."

RELATED: See images of cute rescued dogs

17 PHOTOS
Cute Rescue dogs
See Gallery
Cute Rescue dogs
Bounty paper towels celebrates DOGust the First, the universal birthday for rescue dogs everywhere, with North Shore Animal League America campus on Friday July 31, 2015 in Port Washington, N.Y. Bounty helps pet owners nationwide forgive their pets faster if they make a mess. (Amy Sussman/AP Images for Bounty Paper Towels)
North Shore Animal League America'€™s rescue puppies celebrate DOGust the First, the universal birthday for rescue dogs everywhere, with pet-friendly cupcakes courtesy of blogger and Bounty brand ambassador Crystal VanTassel-Lopez from CrystalandComp.com on Friday July 31, 2015 in Port Washington, N.Y. (Amy Sussman/AP Images for Bounty Paper Towels)
In this June 15, 2015, photo, a rescued dog walks down the back stairs of the Good Newz Rehab Center, the former home of NFL football quarterback Michael Vick's Bad Newz kennel in Smithfield, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
This photo from Friday June 5, 2015, shows a dog who was abandoned on Poland’s highest mountain, Rysy, in the Tatra mountains, possibly taken there to die, and discovered on Friday. By chance a group of climbers found him, and using ropes and chains successfully brought the frightened dog down from the craggy and icy mountain peak in an operation that took 10 hours. The frightened dog didn’t always want to cooperate, making the operation more difficult.(AP Photo/Dariusz Slaby) POLAND OUT
In this June 15, 2015, photo, Gus looks at a visitor from his room at the Good Newz Rehab Center, the former home of NFL football quarterback Michael Vick's Bad Newz kennel, in Smithfield, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL - In this image released on Thursday, March 19, 2015, 57 dogs rescued by Humane Society International and Change for Animals Foundation from a dog meat farm in Hongseong, South Korea, arrive in San Francisco. HSI worked with the farmer to remove the dogs from miserable conditions and close the doors of his facility for good. As part of the plan, HSI secured an agreement with him to stop raising dogs for food and move permanently to growing crops as a more humane way to make a living. HSI flew the dogs to San Francisco to be evaluated and treated for medical issues at the San Francisco SPCA. Some of the dogs will be transferred to additional HSI Emergency Placement Partners, including—East Bay SPCA, Marin Humane Society and the Sacramento SPCA. All the dogs will be found loving, permanent homes. In this image, two dogs settle in to their new digs at the San Francisco SPCA after their long trip form South Korea. (Sammy Dallal/AP Images for Humane Society International)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL - In this image released on Thursday, March 19, 2015, 57 dogs rescued by Humane Society International and Change for Animals Foundation from a dog meat farm in Hongseong, South Korea, arrive in San Francisco. HSI worked with the farmer to remove the dogs from miserable conditions and close the doors of his facility for good. As part of the plan, HSI secured an agreement with him to stop raising dogs for food and move permanently to growing crops as a more humane way to make a living. HSI flew the dogs to San Francisco to be evaluated and treated for medical issues at the San Francisco SPCA. Some of the dogs will be transferred to additional HSI Emergency Placement Partners, including—East Bay SPCA, Marin Humane Society and the Sacramento SPCA. All the dogs will be found loving, permanent homes. In this image, Adam Parascandola, Director of Animal Protection and Crisis Response for HSI, holds a dog at the San Francisco airport shortly after his arrival from South Korea. (Sammy Dallal/AP Images for Humane Society International)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES - Instead of selling commercially-raised puppies, Pets Plus Natural opened a new location in Gibbstown, New Jersey, that offers rescued shelter dogs and puppies for adoption. The dogs will come from various shelters across the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. The store joins more than 2,200 other pet stores around the country that have signed the HSUS’s Puppy Friendly Pet Stores pledge. This is the fifth puppy-friendly location for the Pets Plus Natural pet store chain and the company plans to convert the rest of its stores this year. In this photo, an adoptable shelter puppy kisses a potential new family member at the store’s grand opening and adoption event on Saturday, March 14th. (Mark Stehle/AP Images for The Humane Society of the United States)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL - Twenty-three dogs rescued by Humane Society International from a dog meat farm in Ilsan, South Korea, arrive in Washington, DC, on Jan. 5 and 6, 2015. HSI worked with the farmer to remove the dogs from miserable conditions and close the doors of his facility for good. As part of the plan, HSI secured an agreement with him to stop raising dogs for food and move permanently to growing crops as a more humane way to make a living. HSI, the international affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States, is working to reduce the dog meat trade in Asia, including South Korea, where dogs are farmed for the industry. HSI plans to work with more South Korean dog meat farmers to help them transition out of this cruel business. In this image, HSI animal rescue responder Masha Kalinina holds a puppy at Dulles International Airport after his long flight from South Korea. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Humane Society International)
A Dutch rescue specialist holds a dog after arriving at Eindhoven Air Base, The Netherlands, on May 6, 2015, after assisting with the search for victims of the earthquake that struck Nepal. A unit of 62 people and eight dogs from the Dutch Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) was mobilized for the mission. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN --NETHERLANDS OUT-- (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Border Collie named 'Spring' soars as he attempts to catch a frisbee during a competition at the annual 'Woofstock 90210' dog show in Beverly Hills, California on March 8, 2015. The annual event is held to raise money for animal welfare as well as find homes for rescue dogs. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
SOUTH PORTLAND, ME - FEBRUARY 2: Sally, a mutt rescue dog owned by Andy Parker and Margie Kendrick of South Portland, tears across Willard Beach Sunday, February 1, 2015. (Photo by Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Customers Yvette El Sayad (L) and Jasmin Camarena hold rescue dogs inside the temporary Pup Up Dog Cafe during their fund raising event to raise money for a permanent dog cafe in Los Angeles, California on January 23, 2015. The organizers say this will be Americas first dog cafe where owners can bring their dogs to socialize as well as adopt rescue dogs. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
ALEXANDRIA, VA - JANUARY 6: Deirdre Hyde with 'Thel', one of about two dozen dogs rescued from South Korea by the Humane Society International group and taken to the Alexandria Animal Welfare League in Alexandria, VA on January 6, 2015. The Washington-based Humane Society International reports that 23 dogs were taken from a meat farmer and 12 were flown to the DC area yesterday. The rest are expected to arrive today, Tuesday. Dog will eventually be placed in approved home thru the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, the Fairfax County Animal Shelter, The Loudoun County Animal Services, the City of Manassas Animal Control and Adoption Center and the Washington Animal Rescue League. The farmer raised the dogs for human consumption and accepted compensation to stop farming dogs for meat but will grow bluberries instead. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WITH AFP STORY BY ROBERT MACPHERSON: LIFESTYLE-US-SKOREA-ANIMALS A dog called Snowball rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea settles into the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria shelter January 5, 2015. A total of 23 dogs destined to be killed for human consumption in South Korea are being imported into the United States this week to be put up for adoption as pets, in the first such dog rescue of its kind. AFP PHOTO / ROBERT MACPHERSON (Photo credit should read Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images)
Kyra was thrown out to die in Northern Greece and rescued. Roosevelt Island in the Manhattan Borough of New York, New York, USA. Manhattan Borough of New York, New York, USA.
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners