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Cracked, bleeding end of dog tail - Update #22

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    Cracked, bleeding end of dog tail - Update #22

    We acquired a large dog with a grossly scabbed end of a long tail that keeps breaking open. He is a happy fellow that wags his tail a lot, flinging blood everywhere and re-opening the injury.

    He has seen the vet who said that we can try an antibiotic and topical antibiotic/anti-inflammatory, but most likely amputating several inches of his tail was the only treatment. It has been 2 weeks, and I honestly have to say that I have seen no improvement.

    Has anyone had any luck clearing up this type of injury? We really don't want to have to amputate 1/3 of his tail!
    Last edited by TheHotSensitiveType; Feb. 3, 2020, 12:05 PM.

    #2
    Amputation is the typical solution. Skin is just so thin there.

    Comment


      #3
      This is why some breeds dock tails. Its not always about looks.

      The English Pointer people deal with a lot of tail issues because they don't dock. I have heard that some people will put a plastic syringe tube or similar type of device on the tail and then wrap it so it is protected as it heals. I havent tried this so not sure how well it works. If you search pointer tail injuries you might find other suggestions.

      Comment


        #4
        1. Find out where it happens, maybe it is only 'one furniture' you have to remove.
        2. Be creative in making covers during healing process

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Thank you for the discussion! I hadn't thought of trying a syringe... If wrapping it does not solve the problem, we will go ahead with the amputation, but we wanted to honestly say we tried everything before going that route.

          We have had him 3.5 weeks, and he came to us with this injury. I am going with was neglected, physically and mentally, so he could have been chewing on it for all I know. We haven't caught him chewing on it now that we have him.

          Comment


            #6
            I've heard it called "happy tail". I have heard about amputation because of it. I probably would try to be creative first too- rolled cotton, vet wrap, some careful strips of tape? Not sure...

            Comment


              #7
              You could try to wrap it, but I'll bet it just comes flinging off (or he'll chew it off). I can't quite imagine how you'd do it, to be honest? You might need a cone?

              I have three cats with amputated tails. For all three it was a simple procedure, and they all healed quickly, with just a few stitches at the site. He'll probably never miss it (and if he's got the kind of tail my black Lab had - we called it a 'lethal weapon' - you won't, either!).

              Comment


                #8
                Assuming the tail is still in basically a straight line, and the broken end is not at an odd angle to the rest of the tail. And assume that there wasn't a lot of crushing pressure on the tail that has seriously affected the blood supply, then ..

                1.Take either a pencil or a chopstick and some appropriate bandaging tape.
                2.Lay the chopstick/pencil so that it extends about 3 inches past the break in both directions.
                3.Tape the tail to the chopstick.

                Try these tips, i think you will definitely find the difference in your dogs tail.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Alex and Bodie's Mom View Post
                  You could try to wrap it, but I'll bet it just comes flinging off (or he'll chew it off). I can't quite imagine how you'd do it, to be honest? You might need a cone?
                  And probably a crate.

                  But a couple of days wrapped and crated when alone might get the dog over the hump with regard to healing.

                  Or not, hard to know without seeing it. Tail injuries are hard.

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    For those who are curious - here are photos of his tail from 2 weeks ago. It looks a tad better than this right now, but there has been no significant healing.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Poor guy...that does seem pretty bad. Up to you, I'd still wrap and try, but either way.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Before I'd amputate I'd exhaust all possible remedies. Amputation seems like overkill for a wound that doesn't heal.

                        Look into "Underwood Horse Medicine" they have a website and many claims to healing horrible wounds.

                        I found out about it at my feed store when I went in for medicine for a "Summer Sore" type unhealing wound. Several

                        people instantly overheard my questions and they all agreed "Underwoods" was what I should try. Fast forward, within

                        a few days of using it, the wound started drying up and completely healed in a very short time.

                        As far as covering the wound after medicating, I'd try to tape on a long knee high sock, place tape up near body not near

                        end of tail. Gorilla Tape is great for this.
                        "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

                        Comment


                          #13
                          https://www.greatdanelady.com/articl...ing_a_tail.htm
                          Try this...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jreventer View Post
                            This is what I was going to suggest!

                            Here's an alternate method I've heard some folks have had luck with: https://grandavevet.com/tail-bandage-for-minor-wounds/

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I’m gonna try and keep a long story, as short as possible! Oops, it’s still a novel...

                              My dearly departed dude had a nasty tail sore and an abscess directly under his tail. (Mid tail cyst that was fine until it wasn’t, the infection spread and created the abscess under his tail...) He didn’t have enough healthy tissue at that point to close an amputation. The vet tried a number of things that didn’t work, I couldn’t bring him home in his condition (daylight could be seen through the now open abscess under his tail) as I wasn’t prepared and he was a difficult patient for me. As a last ditch effort, our vet applied a sugar bandage and wrapped his entire tail in a pants bandage. The sugar helped to draw out moisture, heal tissue and starve the bacteria. It had to be changed every 24 hours. At each bandage change they were amazed at his improvement! Due to the amount of infection and healing required...we did the 24hr bandage changes for a month. It was quite successful, he actually seemed to enjoy going to the vet constantly!

                              Anywho, where’s the short part?! Haha! Perhaps you could try something similar? Clean it thoroughly, pour table sugar on it and wrap it up for 24 hours? The tail bandage would probably be excessive for your issue, but the wraps around his hind legs (like a jock strap) kept the bandage on.

                              Good luck to you and your pooch!!!

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Happy tail is a real problem. Dogs that wag so much like that, that wag and wag ..ignoring that their tail is wacking on objects are wagging at you. So, in this equation there is the tail, the hard object and you. The thing you have the most control over is yourself. You can move to the middle of the room. You can move the dog away from you. You can close the door between you and the dog. You can train your dog to sit. Or to Down.
                                Consistency, Insistency, Persistency

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  I have dealt with many tail tip injuries in my Irish Wolfhounds over the years, as they have very long tails and can generate much velocity. It can look like a slaughterhouse when one has opened up a tail tip, blood everywhere. They can be a long time and frustrating to heal, but so far, knock on wood, I have not had to amputate a tail, though it is not uncommon for IW owners to resort to this.

                                  The goal in getting a tail to heal is to provide protection for the tail while also providing enough air circulation for the wound to heal and not allow it to be reinjured. I have had luck with using foam pipe insulation, open at the bottom and extending past the tail tip. IWs have a little more hair on their tail, so it is a little easier to tape the foam to the hair on the tail, a little more challenging when you are dealing with a short-coated dog. You must be careful to not wrap anything so tightly you cut off the circulation and kill the tissue. You can also try a plastic bottle with holes drilled into it, or a pool noodle. You can use sugar on the open wound, or whatever your favorite concoction is. As long as the air can get to it and you can examine and treat it daily, many different surface treatments work.

                                  Another approach is the tail sling. Instructions on making one are here: https://www.iwclubofamerica.org/tail-sling

                                  You must unhitch it when the dog eliminates so it is a little more high maintenance.

                                  You must not not allow the tail to whack anything and open up again while it is healing, or you will be back to Square One. It can be very frustrating. You must not allow the dog to greet people in areas where the tail can hit furniture or walls. Teaching a sit for greeting can help. You will become very conscious of where your dog’s hindquarters are and quick to grab the tail or move to avert potential disaster.

                                  If the dog tends to want to chew it, you have to prevent that. Various nasty things on the bandage or pipe insulation may help, but some dogs need to wear a muzzle., at least at times. A cone might work for a dog with a shorter tail than a wolfhound’s.

                                  It does take time, perhaps months. I continue the treatment longer than one might think, as the new skin is still pretty fragile. You must wait until you have healthy hair covering the site.

                                  If you do not mind the appearance of a docked tail, or one that has been amputated well above the tip, and it is not a show dog, I hate to say it but it may be easier all around to just go ahead and have it amputated. They usually do heal up pretty quickly and it may not be worth it to you to devote all the effort and time to try to avoid doing it.

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    I really appreciate the time everyone took to respond! The discussion has been very helpful.


                                    Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
                                    Look into "Underwood Horse Medicine" they have a website and many claims to healing horrible wounds.

                                    As far as covering the wound after medicating, I'd try to tape on a long knee high sock, place tape up near body not near end of tail. Gorilla Tape is great for this.
                                    I contacted Jeffers about the product you mentioned, and their pet care specialist did not recommend using it on a dog. They instead recommended trying this product which I have ordered: https://www.jefferspet.com/products/...wound-care-gel

                                    Gorilla Tape is a great idea... I wasn't sure what the best type of tape was going to be.


                                    Originally posted by Lazy Palomino Hunter View Post
                                    ... Here's an alternate method I've heard some folks have had luck with: https://grandavevet.com/tail-bandage-for-minor-wounds/
                                    That is exactly what I was looking for. A tail sling would be very difficult to manage for us, but this would give him the cushion to avoid further damage to his tail while his tail hopefully healed. Is it wrong I think it is really funny that the model dog never moved during the photo shoot?


                                    Originally posted by Houndhill View Post
                                    ... I continue the treatment longer than one might think, as the new skin is still pretty fragile. You must wait until you have healthy hair covering the site. If you do not mind the appearance of a docked tail, or one that has been amputated well above the tip, and it is not a show dog, I hate to say it but it may be easier all around to just go ahead and have it amputated. They usually do heal up pretty quickly and it may not be worth it to you to devote all the effort and time to try to avoid doing it.
                                    Thank you for your first hand experience in dealing with this! He is our pet with no further aspirations beyond that (the vet finally had an opening for neutering and dental 1.5 weeks ago). I really hope protecting the tail will clear up the problem, but if it does not, he would still have 2/3 of his tail after the amputation...


                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by TheHotSensitiveType View Post
                                      I really appreciate the time everyone took to respond! The discussion has been very helpful.




                                      I contacted Jeffers about the product you mentioned, and their pet care specialist did not recommend using it on a dog. They instead recommended trying this product which I have ordered: https://www.jefferspet.com/products/...wound-care-gel

                                      Gorilla Tape is a great idea... I wasn't sure what the best type of tape was going to be.




                                      That is exactly what I was looking for. A tail sling would be very difficult to manage for us, but this would give him the cushion to avoid further damage to his tail while his tail hopefully healed. Is it wrong I think it is really funny that the model dog never moved during the photo shoot?




                                      Thank you for your first hand experience in dealing with this! He is our pet with no further aspirations beyond that (the vet finally had an opening for neutering and dental 1.5 weeks ago). I really hope protecting the tail will clear up the problem, but if it does not, he would still have 2/3 of his tail after the amputation...

                                      Yes the pipe insulation method that Lazy PH posted is very similar to what I use. I also use Gorilla Tape as suggested. I’ve probably treated 10 + “Happy Tail” injures and haven’t lost one yet, knock on wood!


                                      Fingers crossed, good luck, keep us posted! But if you do decide to go ahead and amputate, don’t feel bad- sometimes you have to do what is best for dog and humans even if the result may not be not optimal in terms of aesthetics, and 2/3 of a tail is still a good tail!

                                      Comment

                                        Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Update: His tail is looking better! I had trouble getting the pipe insulation to stay when I only did wraps around the tail. For my second attempt to keep it on, I cut the black gorilla duct tape down the middle to a 4-5" length. Those strips went length wise down his tail (4 total), and I did ~4 around the tail to keep it all together. It stayed until he shed enough hair for it to come loose this weekend... Bandage Attempt #3 is staying on so far, and he hasn't been that bad about chewing it off (had to replace the foam once). I am actually seeing pink skin with no scabs in some spots!

                                        In bad news, he and our other large dog got into a fight this weekend requiring 3 stitches on the top of the new guy's snout and a drain in the other's neck. This dog is a lot more than we bargained for to put it mildly. This new guy is going to wear a muzzle in the yard once the head cone comes off, indefinitely.
                                        Last edited by TheHotSensitiveType; Dec. 3, 2019, 10:41 AM.

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