Why does my pet chase his tail?

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If you have ever watched a cat or a dog chase its own tail it can be rather amusing and perhaps even a bit concerning. This is especially the case if they’re an older pet and they have a habit of chasing their tail to excess, making them exhausted.

Also known as whirling, tail chasing is common in kittens and puppies. They think of it as a game, providing a source of amusement often when they don’t have another pet to play with.

Tail chasing is far less common in older pets and may be a physical or behavioural problem. Fleas, ticks, worms, allergies and irritated anal sacs can all lead to tail chasing in an attempt to ‘scratch the spot’ without being able to actually reach it! An examination with us will rule out these simple problems.

Tail chasing can also become a worry if your pet seems to be chasing their tail in an obsessive and compulsive manner, similar to OCD in humans. Certain breeds, such as Oriental cats seem to suffer this more than others, stress and boredom may play a role. Some animals may even manage to cause trauma to their tail in their frenzy.

If your pet is chasing its tail it is best to arrange an appointment with your vet so they can rule out any problems and put your mind at ease.


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