So much of Papillon “type,” and especially the breed silhouette, is influenced by its tail, a magnificent plume that is long, flowing, and arched over the back in a proud carriage. For obvious reasons, this kind of tail is sometimes referred to as a “teacup tail,” or “teapot handle tail.” Stuff happens, however, and that tail can be stepped on, pulled by an exuberant puppy, or caught in a door. Injuries to the middle of the tail aren’t as severe as injuries to the base of the tail which can actually lead to fecal incontinence. How? The bones in the tail are a line of progressively smaller vertebrae that are a continuation of the spine. They run from the pelvis to the tail tip with muscles and nerves running along the tail’s length. They control sensation and movement, but it’s the important nerves near the base of the tail that contribute to control of bowel movements. An inability to wag a tail, or drooping it can both be signs that the tail need to be checked out.