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Horse's tail fell OFF???

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  • Horse's tail fell OFF???

    One of the horses at the barn was at a show and had some sort of freak accident in her stall over night in which something was caught/wrapped around the lower part of her tailbone. I guess there was baling twine caught around her tail about five inches from the bottom of the bone (Rumor has it that the people in the barn next to ours threw a bunch of TRASH over the top of the stall like plastic shavings bag, baling twine, garbage INTO our horse's stall, thinking there was no horse in there or something) The twine was cut off from around the tail and her tail had a cut in it but it was still attached.

    Fast forward to 24 hours later and her tail FELL OFF from the last 5 inches down, the ENTIRE thing, like a lizard's would

    She had a TDF tail that was hands down the thickest, longest, prettiest tail I had EVER SEEN on a horse and now there is only the sides of it left. At least the sides of it are still thick and long so she had a thin tail now but it is not 100% gone like if she had had an "average" tail to start with.

    How in the heck does this happen? I had no idea their tail circulation could be compromised that badly just overnight.....I assumed to have the tail lose that much blood flow, it would have to have been for closer to a week, not just a day???

    Anyone hear of this happening or experienced it with a horse before??

  • #2
    I've heard of people putting a tail wrap on too tightly before trailering to a show, and having the whole tail come off when they unwrapped, so I'm sure it's possible.

    Just hope the damage wasn't permanent and it will regrow.


    • #3
      I knew a horse that had the same thing happen due to a tail wrap- he lost about the last 4 inches. I heard it had occurred during an 8 hour trailer ride.


      • #4
        I had a horse sit/lean on the rear trailer door for balance during a 7 hour ride and a patch about 4 inches square in the middle of the tail fell off within a few days. The area developed a scab/loose skin and the hair came right off with the patch of skin. Scared me that it wouldn't grow back or would come in white, but it started growing back right away in the normal color.


        • #5
          i know someone who tied the tail bag to close to the end of the tail bone and then put electrical tape around the top of the bag to keep it on. she must have run that over the very end of the tail bone b/c when she took the bag off 2 weeks later the very end of the tail and all the hair attatched came off to.
          and no the bone isn't going to come back and you better hope the new end of the tail bone doesn't scar to bad so hair will grow back.


          • #6
            If twine was wrapped tightly around the tail it sounds to me more of an "on purpose" thing than like someone just throwing some twine in a stall and the horse getting it wrapped around her tail.
            You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


            • #7
              There was a well known case, many decades ago, in which all or most of the Polish team lost their tails due to too-tight tail bandages on a (train) trip to a show.

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


              • #8
                Ouch! The bone can't grow back, obviously, but the side hair will grow longer and look better in time.


                • #9
                  A friend shipped her horse from CA to New Mexico for an event, and foolishly put a neoprene tail wrap on him for the 18 hours trip. When he arrived, all the hair fell out of his tail, leaving a bald stick tail. The vet said she was lucky that's all that happened. The tail eventually grew back to some degree, but it was never quite the same.

                  I'm sorry about the mare. How terrifying for her to feel that pain and be so helpless.


                  • #10
                    Good reason to have a night check when everybody has gone home or to bed.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pj View Post
                      If twine was wrapped tightly around the tail it sounds to me more of an "on purpose" thing than like someone just throwing some twine in a stall and the horse getting it wrapped around her tail.
                      I was thinking the same thing!!!!

                      Poor mare, that is so lousy....hopefully the hair will eventually grow back but I guess it all depends


                      • #12
                        We had a LOVELY conformation hunter lose his tail after colic surgery. The tail bandage was too tight during the operation and when it was removed, he lost his whole tail.... Nothing left but a stump. Sounds like this mare was fortunate that it was at the bottom of the tail rather than the top. It will not grow back.

                        Very sad and unfortunate. I doubt the twine could have gotten around her tail on accident....
                        The rebel in the grey shirt


                        • #13
                          I was not at the show, this is the story I was told regarding the twine. That is beyond my realms of thinking if someone did that to her on purpose.

                          She is only a 3 year old too......GORGEOUS well bred Oldenburg filly that also does the conformation hunters

                          So it will never grow back? (The hair, not the bone)

                          It looks like a hot dog at the end of her tail right now.....really really sad

                          Her owner still has "the tail." It is creepy, it has the five inches of bone/cartilage still attached. She is thinking about having it made into a fake tail for shows after the filly's remaining tail heals. Would she just be better off buying a brand new fake tail than having the one that came off made into one?


                          • #14
                            We had to dock our TB's tail last year because of melanomas. Our vet used a large rubber band type material (I googled - an "elastrator band") and had to use a machine to wrap it on tight enough to cut the circulation off. Even with that, it took a good two weeks for the band to cut into the tail enough to dock it completely.

                            Re: pain - my vet assured me that it was a pretty painless procedure, all in all. The first hour or so is the worst, but once the circulation is cut off there's no real feeling. Like if you wrap a rubber band around your finger, it's irritating and such at first, but eventually it just goes numb. I'm not the horse, however, so I don't know firsthand how it feels, but Rocky didn't require any pain management.

                            I guess, knowing what we had to go through with Rocky - I can't imagine a piece of twine being able to "accidently" wrap itself around the tail tight enough to dock it in 24 hours. I would think it had been there longer and was applied on purpose. Of course, I am skeptical about many of the "I heards" etc ... but I guess it can happen. Just knowing it took a good two weeks for a very, very tightly applied piece of elastic to cut through the tail I don't know how a tail wrap could do it in a few hours. So who knows!
                            If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                            ~ Maya Angelou


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by huntjumpmore View Post

                              So it will never grow back? (The hair, not the bone)
                              Depends on the amount of damage and scarring. Sounds like most of the necrotic stuff fell off already.

                              But I would say it's pretty safe to say that the amount of lost tissue that had hair follicles lost will make the amount of tail hair she ha previously much less now.
                              "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                              • #16
                                When I bought my first horse 34 years ago her big 3 yr. old son was pastured with her and I noticed he a really short, wispy tail. I asked the owner why he was docked, and she told me he'd gotten hung up in wire as a baby. The vet who treated him wrapped the tail too tight and the bottom part 2/3rd of the tail just fell off.

                                Accidentally docked, poor guy...
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                                • #17
                                  How scary! That poor mare!
                                  I wrap my mare's tail with a fleece wrap for long trailer rides. Only tight enough for it to stay on, which isn't very tight.
                                  I'm going to be extra paranoid about it now, we'll be moving hopefully up to WA next spring. Maybe I'll not wrap this time.
                                  Rebel Without Cash!


                                  • #18
                                    Wow after reading all of this I don't know that I'll ever use a tail wrap ever!

                                    For hope take a look at Shine Hill Peanut. It been awhile since I've seen his owner post but I remember thinking he was docked early (he's a Percheron stallion) but now she rides him in dressage and he has a gorgeous tail. You can't tell it's been docked at all.
                                    Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
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                                    • #19
                                      If it were me and I still had the end of the tail, I would definitely save it and have it turned into a fake tail, assuming this horse is a show hunter or something like that.

                                      If you talk to a braider they can likely take the skin off the tail dead tail (so gross, I know) with the hair still attached and turn it into a fake tail that can be wrapped around. It's pretty natural looking once on.

                                      Much less gross, I suppose, considering it's your own horses tail and not some random tail off a dead horse.

                                      Off of customtails.com:

                                      What are rendered tails?
                                      Rendered tails are horse tails still on the hide. They come in varying colors, lengths and weights. Rendered tails can work well for horses that have lost most of their tail hair due to tail damage or whose tails have been severely chewed. Rendered tails are shaped to form around the horse's tail bone, covering up and taking the place of the existing tail. Rendered tails can also work well as a tail extension - another way to add fullness and length to your horse's own tail. Rendered tails are braided in high on the tail bone. They are more time consuming to put in, and it is a two person job to braid in a rendered tail - patience and practice help! However, when there is not enough tail hair to attach a regular tail extension, a rendered tail may be the answer. See the Braiding Instructions and Tail Care page for further information on attaching a rendered tail.

                                      Rendered tails do a nice job of taking the place of the tail hair that used to be there. In some cases, both with the tube end attachment tail extension and the rendered tail, small tail plugs are braided in to fill in where the extension/rendered tail and the horse's own tail hair meet, to help blend all the tail hair.
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                                      • #20
                                        Don't give up on her - she will still be quite useful and with a little work to learn to compensate for her missing 'balanc bar' she could well return to her pre-accident form. I raced a mare that lost her tail at some point - rumour had it she was wrapped for the haul from Ohio, and the tail wrap slipped. She raced just fine, was odd to harness because she barely had enough tail to put the crupper under, but she was one tough mare.

                                        To give you hope, look closely at Bigtime Ball in the photo accompanying this article from a month ago: http://standardbredcanada.ca/news/8-...rong-five.html Never did find out what happened but lacking a tail didn't slow him down one bit.
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