Tail Trauma Average Cost

From 517 quotes ranging from $100 - 800

Average Cost

$350

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What is Tail Trauma?

Injuries to the tail, no matter how serious, warrant veterinary attention as there is no way for the owner to know the full extent of tail damage. Before rushing your cat off the vet, however, call ahead as the vet may be able to advise you over the phone if the injury is minor.

Tail trauma in cats is usually the result of accidental injury.  A cat’s tail extends from the spine. The tail is an important part of a cat’s body as it provides them with a sense of direction and balance as well as control over their bowels. There are no breed, sex, or age predispositions for developing tail trauma, although outdoor cats have a higher risk for experiencing tail trauma than indoor cats.

Symptoms of Tail Trauma in Cats

Tail trauma can range in severity. It may be as minor as a small scrape or as severe as complete paralysis. Other symptoms may also be present depending on the cause of the trauma. In any case, seek immediate veterinary attention as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Limp tail
  • Difficulty urinating and/or defecating
  • Lack of or no movement in the tail
  • Signs of pain
  • Hair loss
  • Skin damage
  • Bleeding

Types

Many types of tail trauma may occur in cats, including, but not limited to:

  • Abrasions
  • Fractures
  • Bone breakage
  • Dislocation
  • Nerve damage
  • Complete paralysis

Causes of Tail Trauma in Cats

The primary cause of tail trauma in cats is accidental injury. These injuries may range in severity, from the tail simply being shut in a door to being hit by a car.

Diagnosis of Tail Trauma in Cats

Call your vet as soon as you can to let them know what happened; they will be able to advise you on whether or not an appointment is necessary to evaluate the damage. During the appointment, your vet will be able to make a tentative diagnosis based on a thorough physical examination and presentation of symptoms. Be sure to inform your vet of the extent and duration of your cat’s symptoms, as well as any recent accidents that may be the cause of the tail trauma.

The appearance of the tail is usually sufficient for making the definitive diagnosis. However, in more severe cases of tail trauma, blood count, urinalysis, x-rays, and other standard diagnostic testing may be utilized, particularly if the tail appears to be paralyzed.

Treatment of Tail Trauma in Cats

Treatment may vary depending on the severity of the trauma.  Your vet will be able to advise you on a treatment plan based on your cat’s specific needs. 

In minor cases of abrasions, treatment may not be necessary. For more severe abrasions, a tail wrap, coupled with the use of antibiotic ointments, may assist in the healing process. In some extremely severe cases, tail shortening may be required.

If there is a fracture in the tail, treatment will vary depending on the severity of the fracture. Minor fractures may not require any treatment at all. If the fracture is more severe and the bones in the tail have been crushed, amputation may be required. If the tail is broken, it may be able to heal by itself depending on the location and extent of the break. Surgery may be required, although vets tend to prefer to allow the tail to heal on its own before taking this route.

Nerve damage may require more invasive treatment. Depending on the severity and extent of the nerve damage, surgery may be required to restore normal bowel and/or urinary function. If the tail has been completely paralyzed, amputation is generally required. In some cases, full nerve function may return after a month or longer.

Recovery of Tail Trauma in Cats

Recovery and prognosis may vary depending on the cause and severity of tail trauma. Always follow your vet’s post-treatment and/or post-operative instructions carefully. Never apply any antibiotic ointments made for human use unless specifically instructed to do so by your vet.

You may want to limit your cat’s outdoor activity during the recovery period. You may also have to assist your cat in urinating and defecting normally if the tail has undergone nerve damage, is limp, or otherwise unable to move.

If your cat has undergone surgery or amputation, do not allow them to irritate the surgery site. Ensure they have a warm, safe place to rest for the duration of the recovery period. Your vet will be able to advise you on helping your cat adjust following amputation.

Your vet may or may not schedule follow-up appointments as needed to monitor healing. If you have any questions, or if the tail does not seem to be healing with treatment, contact your vet immediately.

Tail Trauma Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Gibson
Siamese
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Cut on tail

My cat has a cut of some sort on the tip of his tail and my vet said that the end of his tail needed to be amputated. I'm a little worried about the whole procedure. Is it safe?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
484 Recommendations
Tail amputation is often a good suggestion for a non-healing wound. Cats typically tolerate this surgery quite well, but if you are not sure about the surgery, it never hurts to ask more questions of your veterinarian so that you feel more comfortable, or to get a second opinion, as someone else may have a different idea once they see his tail. I hope that everything goes well for Gibson! Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/cat/treatment/amputation

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Mindy
tabby
18 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My cat was fine all day, and after using the litterbox to deficate I noticed the bottom 2/3 of her tail was hanging limply behind her. Her anal glands were just checked a month ago and were good, and she has been deficating regularly now that she is getting pumpkin puree every other day with breakfast. I’m worried that at her age, being sedated for an xray or amputation could kill her.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
A limp tail is normally attributable to a traumatic injury, without an examination I cannot say what the cause is; you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination as they may be able to palpate the bones in the tail (easy to do) and would be able to give you a better idea of what is going on. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Happy
mixed, part Maine coon
12 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

tail paralysis

My cat recently came home from the vet after a CHF crisis with a limp tail. It was not like that when he went in and now it hangs straight down and has no movement. He does not appear to be in any pain and he is still urinating and defecating. Should I take him to another vet to get checked out or should I wait and see if it resolves on it's own? I don't want to stress him out with an unnecessary trip with his condition.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
484 Recommendations
Thank you for your email That is certainly strange. Since he was recently at your veterinary clinic, I think it would be worth a phone call or visit to let them know that you are noticing this problem - maybe they noticed it too, and with his larger problems, it didn't get discussed. If they are not aware of the problem or don't have a solution for you, it would be best to have him examined as soon as he is stable to see what might be happening and what your options are. I hope that he does well.

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Lilly
Maine Coon
10 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Pain

I accidentally stepped on my cat's tail last night and now every time i touch it she meows and jerks her tail away... I am worried that it might be dislocated

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
484 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Lilly should be examined by your veterinarian for any signs of trauma or pain to her tail. I unfortunately cannot see her through an email, but your veterinarian will be able to examine her and determine any extent of injury. I hope that she is okay.

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Wendell
Domestic shorthair
6 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Paralysis

We recently had to take our cat to the vet for constipation. Since then, his tail has been paralyzed. We're not sure how it happened, but it's completely limp and he doesn't seem to have any feeling in it. There are no injuries to it that we can see.

It's been about two weeks now with no visible improvement. He seems to feel well otherwise - eating well, purring, cuddling, defecating and urinating on his own. We're trying to decide when/if he needs to go to the vet about this. Might it still heal on its own?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
484 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm not sure what might have caused that loss of function to Wendell's tail - that is unusual. I would think that he would need to see his veterinarian, as that isn't normal, and after 2 weeks it is unlikely that the tail is going to get any function back. Your veterinarian will be able to examine him, assess the nerve function to his back end, and make recommendations on options you have. I hope that everything goes well.

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Maggie
dsh
4 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

No control of bladder, bowels, tail
No control of bladder, bowels, or tail

Medication Used

Clavamox antibiotic- oral

I rescued a stray cat that has a completely dead tail. It do move at all and she can't feel it. She can't control her bladder and bowels. She's getting x-rays next week. I'm worried she has nerve damage. If she does, what are the chances it can be fixed with surgery, medication, etc.? I know it will be very expensive and I'm willing to take a second job to pay for it, but I'm afraid there may be no point. Is nerve damage reversible? Thanks!

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
484 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Your veterinarian will be able to give you an idea as to the extent of the damage, and whether it may heal. Some nerve damage does heal, but if the damage is too extensive, Maggie may not be able to recover. I wish the best for her, and hope that you get good news at your appointment with her.

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Grayson
I don't know
2 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

cut on his tail that bleeds

I have a 2 year old male "Grayson". He has a very long tail. He has an injury on his tail about 1 inch long that is a small gash. This originally happened about a month ago, and when discovered I took him to the vet. We were not sure if one of the other two cats had attacked him or what. The vet treated his tail gave him an antibiotic shot and gave us salve for the tail. Problem is now, he wont leave his tail alone, he chases his tale constantly, bites his tail until he bleeds again and has the tip of his tail furless. I have bought sprays, creams and salves and nothing works. Any recommendations? This behavior seems to have started shortly after we got a new cat and the two females don't get along. Do you think this is stress related and if so what can I do about that? He never goes outside and he does not have fleas. I have recently bought an diffuser, I have drops for their water and I have ordered a thunder shirt. Any other suggestions? I am at what wits end. I will take him to the vet again, but they hate the vet so badly that I have to sedate them to go...which is unpleasant and sometimes just doesn't work.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
484 Recommendations
Thank you for contacting us about Grayson - it sounds like he is having a rough month! You have tried everything that you can do at home, for sure. At this point, he may need some anti-anxiety medication, at least short term. It is possible that he is re-directing the stress of the cats in the house to himself, in which case the anti-anxiety medication should help. If his tail is really still bothering him, and he is having nerve pain, there is a medication that can help with that too. Unfortunately, I do think that means a trip to the vet for him, as unpleasant as it may be for him - you might try calling your vets office or going in to talk with them about what is going on, since they saw him recently, they may be able to help you without seeing him, but they will have to decide if they need to see him or not. I hope everything goes well for him.

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Sunny
Domestic shorthair
8 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Our 8-month-old kitten, Sunny, recently came back inside with a noticeable kink roughly 6 cm from the end of his tail. He also had a 2 to 3 cm laceration at that point and an apparent gap in the vertebrae. We took him to an emergency vet who told his tail had been stretched but not broken. She added that she thought that the damage would reverse over the next month.

Unfortunately, we are not certain on recovery. His tail hangs limp from the point of injury with no movement whatsoever beyond the injury. He’s moving the rest of the tail somewhat (mostly raising it halfway vertically, no lateral movement at all) but the tip just hangs straight down. Everything else is normal--no issues with toileting or walking.

What are the actual odds of recovery from such an injury?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
To this extent, I am less optimistic about Sunny regaining function of that portion of his tail back; however, it wouldn’t hurt to take a wait and see approach or a month or so to look for any improvement before deciding on amputation. I wouldn’t like to put specific odds on the recovery, but I am not optimistic given your description. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Warrior
ferel
4 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Found a 4 week old kitten and saw his tail is eaten off and one of his toes on the back paw to him to the vet gave him a antibiotic shot and cream for his eye.what els can i put on the open wounds to heal and make sure there no infection

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
You should bathe Warrior’s wounds with a dilute antiseptic and apply an antibiotic ointment if the wounds are small; however if the wound on the tail is severe, a partial caudectomy should be considered. The most important thing is to make sure that the wounds are clean and that Warrior is hydrated. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Luna
Calico
7 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Hello my kitty got her tail smashed in the door and cried pretty loud
. We think it might be broken it feels like it is bent about half way down. She is eating and playing normally. She is wagging her tail but it is pointing down now when she moves it. I ran my hand through her tail and she wined a little. Does she need to ne taken to the vet or will ot heal on its own?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
It would be best to have Luna checked by your Veterinarian as broken vertebrae can cause chronic pain if they don’t heal correctly and a caudectomy may be required (cutting the tail off before the fracture). Your Veterinarian will also prescribe pain relief for Luna as well as this is a painful injury for a cat. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Babu
Bengal
2 Months
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

My kitten tail is paralyzed. There is no movement at all. The vet has told me to cut of the tail. I just wanted to know that is it possible for the tail to return?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
Once the cat’s tail is removed, it doesn’t grow back; there are coccygeal vertebrae in the tail and those bones will no reform after a caudectomy. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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