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Poorly tail (sorry long)

(10 Posts)
MrsZoidberg Wed 26-Sep-12 12:28:43

My GSD seems to be holding his tail a little lower than normal.

Yesterday he was playing with his sister who has a bad habit of pulling on his tail. He did yelp and run away from her, but I didn't see exactly what happened. Normally if she hurts him, they both stop, there's a bit of a staring match and the game either restarts or they both just wander off. Today he won't play with her.

He's wagging the tail as furiously as usual, but when I ran my hand down it he was clearly unhappy - at about 5" from the base (he went to bite me and then thought better of it which is a massive improvement in his bite inhibition - when we got him he was terrified of everything, and somewhere in his terrible past, he'd learnt to solve his issues with his teeth sad).

But it is not coming up higher than level with his bum iyswim.

He has issues with his tail being touched anyway, he lets me groom it normally but if you lift the tail, he gets very upset (god knows what happened to him for this angry).

I know I should take him to the vets but I have 2 problems with that - my car is at the garage with a very expensive looking error message and I don't know when I'll be getting it back, and secondly, the monster is absolutely petrified of life.

- He has a meltdown if he goes off of our land.
- He has a meltdown in the car - dog guards don't restrain him, so I need DH to drive whilst I look after Monster, which isn't going to happen until the weekend.
- He tried to kill the last vet who touched hm - now I have been working on this, and I think we're in a better place, but he is still going to try and kill the vet, or anyone who tries to touch his tail .Thankfully I have very lovely understanding vets.

PiLs spaniel had something like this, but they are away and so I can't ask them if it was the same.

Obviously, if he needs the vet, all the above is is surmountable, but if I can adopt a wait and see attitude, then I think it is better than putting him through the trauma.

So, lovely Doghousers, what would you do?

Scuttlebutter Wed 26-Sep-12 13:28:33

Several options, and I'd start with a nice brew and later tonight with a wine of choice. smile

I'd call your vet and tell them basically what you've told us about his tail and ask what they would advise.

They will probably want to see if there is a break in the tail - and if so, if there is still blood supply, nerves etc in the end so check if end of tail is still warm and if possible is still feeling. Is there any obvious sign of a cut/wound? If so that might need to be treated.

Is it possible that if your vet thinks its necessary to for dog to be seen, they'd be willing to make a home visit (especially as they are aware of Dog's issues)? Obviously you'd probably have to pay extra for that but might be less hassle.

Alternatively, they may advise that it is safe to wait until weekend when DH can assist in wrangling the reluctant patient.

MrsZoidberg Wed 26-Sep-12 14:54:52

Thanks Scuttle.

I gave the vet a ring, they have asked me to check for feeling - he was chewing the tip just now, so I assume it itched, so that's good news. I'm hoping I can get away with this, but I'll give it a little squeeze and hopefully retain all 5 fingers grin

I need to pick up metacam, and give it till the end of the week. So keep your fingers crossed for my little Monster.

jennycrofter Wed 26-Sep-12 14:58:49

I've no actual knowledge, but when Ddog broke his tail, he was chewing at the end despite it being "dead" and gangrenous. The vet said that wasn't unusual. He lost most of it in the end, but is absolutely fine now.

If you do manage to feel it, have a think about the temperature. The vet said that Ddog's tail end was slightly cold, which was what worried her when he first hurt it.

Fingers crossed though.

MrsZoidberg Wed 26-Sep-12 18:37:59

I touched the end and was rewarded by a loud squeal and my aggressive dog burying his head under my arm and whimpering! I did it again (as I'm mean) with the same result. Unfortunately I can't hold it long enough to assess temperature, but when he snuggles up with me this evening, I'll try again. Hopefully the metacam will have taken the edge off the pain.

If there is one good thing to come out of this it's his behaviour. He has a low tolerance of pain (I assume due to his early history), and so the slightest issue results in very ott reactions. The first time I checked the tail over, he was clearly going to bite me, and as his mouth made contact he stopped and threw himself away from me. This time, I just got the head burying as I would from the others.

All of us are being exceptionally careful around him though, as I would be devastated if all his hard work was undone by one of us accidently catching his tail.

Fangolina Wed 26-Sep-12 19:18:59

Could it be "Cold Tail" my Labrador suffered from this last year and his tail near the base was painful. He couldn't lift it pass his bum and was in pain.He found it uncomfortable to wag or sit.

Cold Tail is not always caused by a dog being in water or by excessive exercise. It could be caused by the damp weather we have been having.

I forum that I am on recommended giving him half a nurofen tablet with food. But the Metacam will work just as well ( I didn't have Metacam) I also wrapped a hot water bottle in a towel and when he lay down, I placed it against his tail and this seemed to give him some relief. The symptoms lasted 2-3 days and he then was back to normal. Some vets don't recognise "Cold Tail" and will take expensive x-rays.

Hope your dog gets better soon, it's awful when they are not well.

MrsZoidberg Thu 27-Sep-12 00:00:18

Thanks Fangolina, I've looked up the symptoms of Cold Tail - he is holding the tail at that angle, but has no issues wagging it. He is careful as he sits though.

I think the treatment is going to be the same either way, so hopefully the metacam will start working soon - it has made him very sleepy and he's crashed out at the mo grin

CalamityKate Fri 28-Sep-12 00:21:46

Ooh I thought I'd broken my puppy when I first got her! When she was little she used to carry her tail curled over her back like a teapot handle and one day we were playing and she sort of toppled over and when she got up her tail hung completely limp. Like it had died. Next day it was a bit livelier and the day after that it was back to normal. I assumed she'd trapped a nerve or something. Hope it's nothing serious x

MrsZoidberg Fri 28-Sep-12 10:43:52

His tail is being held a little higher today, and wagging furiously which looks just plain silly grin

I was allowed to feel the tip last night and it feels warm, but I did get "the look" when I tried it. I'm going to try feeling the sensitive bit later after today's metacam kicks in. If he still looks like he's going to rip my hand off, then I think he'll have to go to the vets in the morning.

He's seriously happy though, so I can't imagine it is hurting him that much.

Scuttlebutter Fri 28-Sep-12 11:48:43

After our elderly girl broke her tail, it healed but had a kink in it, and DH used to refer to her affectionately as his "wonky donkey" grin

Hoping all goes well at the vets tomorrow.

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