There are many reasons skin infections could occur on a dog’s tail, including allergies or infections related to cuts and scrapes that come from trauma.
“We see many infections from allergies, which cause the pet to chew and itch at their tail,” says Dr. Duffy Jones, DVM of Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital in Georgia. “Because the tail typically has very little extra skin, once the skin is broken into an open wound it can be very hard to get it to heal.”
Treatment for skin infections is difficult, Jones says, because while the dog can be placed in an Elizabethan collar to prevent them from licking the tail, the dog will likely still wag the tail, irritating the wound.
“Many times they are going to need to be on oral antibiotics,” he says. “Sometimes we also add in topical medications but those can be difficult because it might cause the dog to want to lick more.”