Q. My dog is biting on his tail, above his tail, by the top of his back. What is wrong?

A. A very common problem causing the symptoms described is fleas, you should treat him for fleas and also make sure you spray the environment. Flea product should be prescribed by your vet and not some old kind of insecticide, otherways you may still find fleas on your dog . If fleas have been ruled out, another common problem is anal gland impactation, but in this case your dog would be paying attention to the lower part of the tail.

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A. Biting where the tail meets the body is often a common symptom in dogs who are experiencing external parasites such as fleas, or even problems with the anal glands below the tail.

If your dog is not currently on a flea preventive, you can check for any signs of fleas or parasites by lightly brushing the fur over his tail on-top a white colored surface. If flecks of black or brown "dirt" appear on the white surface, this is often an indication of a flea problem. Treating the fleas can help. Flea bites can also cause minor allergic reactions, causing itching and redness in the area for a while after the fleas themselves are gone. Preventing licking and chewing by placing a T-shirt over the affected area, or an Elizabethan collar (cone) on your dog can help the area heal without causing a secondary infection from licking and chewing.

The anal glands can also become impacted which may cause itching, chewing or "scooting" of the bottom or area near the tail. This is because the impaction of anal fluids can be uncomfortable. You may also notice a strange "fishy" odor to your dog as they try to relieve the problem. Your local vet can express the anal glands for you, and check for any problems with them that may have caused the impaction.

If the problem does not resolve, or symptoms such as hair loss, redness, open wounds or sores appear, then it is best to make an appointment with your local veterinarian for care.

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