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Old 09-23-2007, 05:02 PM
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Default Uncle Fred's Tail

Uncle Fred is missing the end of his tail. There is a big ugly ball of scar tissue intstead of the tail tip. Usually he has this rough scaly scar there. When we first got him it kept getting red and weepy all the time. I asked my vet if he could neatly dock just the last inch of tail, and he said that in his experience that didn't work out well, and that if you attempt that in an adult dog they worry at it and it turns out no better than before.

He said if it was a big problem we should dock his tail SHORT. Uncle Fred seems to enjoy his tail. It is very expressive, and when he is happy he carries it like a flag. I am very reluctant to cut it off. I also think it would ruin how he looks (I am vain about him, I know). It has been healed and caused no trouble for months.

I was just congratulating myself on how we wouldn't have problems with it anymore and then this morning it was red and oozy again. He must have smacked it on something. It doesn't seem to be bothering him. When this happens I usually sneak up on him when he is sleeping and dunk the end in a Dixie cup of Betadine.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Anyone have experience with partially docking an adult dog tail? I warn you in advance I am not terribly receptive to the idea of chopping the whole thing off.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:29 PM
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Preparation H will help shrink the blood vessels and reduce bleeding.

Also - this is a technique I've used on one of my danes in the past....

http://www.greatdanelady.com/article...ing_a_tail.htm
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:29 PM
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Well, the only advice I have is that if its a problem, you should probably go ahead and do it. You might want to get a second opinion from another vet, and expect it to be expensive. But an injury that won't heal is likely to be a lifetime problem, and a constant threat of infection. Also, it just can't be confortable.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfacedanes View Post
Preparation H will help shrink the blood vessels and reduce bleeding.

Also - this is a technique I've used on one of my danes in the past....

http://www.greatdanelady.com/article...ing_a_tail.htm
Have you tried the EMT gel? It sounds promising. I'll try the preparation H too- I will make sure it's non-toxic first.

Once again- I am not receptive to the idea of cutting off his entire tail. It really doesn't appear to bother him, he doesn't worry it or anything. I want to either control the problem or find out how docking about 1" of tail would go.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:48 PM
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EMT gel is WONDERFUL stuff. If you can get some, I say go for it.

How is he about bandaging? Will he chew it off immediately or leave it alone? If you can get a thick pillow of guaze on there and vet wrap it long enough to heal, you might be okay.

Trust me, I have the happy tail breed, and I've gone through some nasty tails, but I've never resorted to docking. It takes some work and effort, but it can work out.
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:08 PM
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Since you have experience with tail problems, I wonder if you could give me your gut feeling on this one. I know I can get this episode under control in a few days. And I know it will happen again as long as he has that ball of scar tissue on the end of his tail. I have never seen anything like it on a human- if anything it looks like a ball of giant taste buds. I want to try a heavy bandage on it, and if he doesn't chew it off, I want to try docking that inch off the end of the tail at the same time as he finally gets neutered.

That way, if it doesn't work he won't be any worse off than he is now, and I won't subject him to extra anesthesia. But what do you think the chances are that he'll leave it alone and let it heal nicely?

I like the Happy Tail description- it is exactly what Uncle Fred has, and I would hate to lose it.
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:40 PM
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I think docking an inch off his tail when he gets neutered would be a smart thing--but get a second opinion or a third from other vets, and make sure the vet you take him to is EXPERIENCED in docking.
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:55 PM
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My Chip did something with his monster wag that I didn't notice until my walls were painted red !!! Poor boy . didn't bother him in the least , and I have no idea how it happened . I treated it after clipping some hair and he was fine . Wanted to cut out my walls though and sell it as Golden art !
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:55 PM
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Honestly, if you're going to dock it, go all the way. I knew of one dane who wacked his tail open, and they had to dock it because it wouldn't heal. They docked it too short, and he just re-opened it, so they had to put him under AGAIN and redock it.

Same with a lab I knew who had a tail injury. They ended up docking her three times before they finally just took it down to a nub.

I guess it depends on why the tail keeps getting injured, but if you've got a case of chronic happy tail and he won't leave a bandage on it, your only option may be to dock in the long run. But if you do it, make sure you do more than an inch or two. At least go vizsla length - it still leaves a semi tail, but it's not as succeptible to injury.
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:56 PM
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If you think he'll leave the bandage alone, or want to try it, I'll happily walk you through a bandaging process that worked well for me. It'll just have to be tomorrow because I'm heading to bed now.
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