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Tail docking

(16 Posts)
Pippin8 Tue 22-Nov-16 20:23:09

I have a springer, he's 2. We rescued him when he was 18 months. He has a full tail, but keeps splitting it. There is blood all over as its like a sprinkler as he's always wagging!

We don't work him, but do exercise him on farmland & in woods. He's a typical springer, into brambles, hedges, water etc. We've stocked up on bandages & spray plaster, but DH thinks it'll be practical to get him docked. I don't, I think it's cruel & I'm not even sure the vet would do it.


Soubriquet Tue 22-Nov-16 20:26:36

The vet would do it if it keeps splitting

Tail docking is controversial.

Most dogs don't need it but I do think some so. It's painful when it splits and it's not fair on the dog

taptonaria27 Tue 22-Nov-16 20:28:15

I've seen it in one of mid the rescue programmes I think it was Oaul O'Grady. There was a greyhound who kept damaging its tail so they cut it right down

TrionicLettuce Tue 22-Nov-16 20:28:24

How often is he injuring it? If it's occasionally then no, the vet probably wouldn't dock but if it's to the point where it's never healing because he just keeps opening it up then docking might be an option worth investigating.

hungryhangry Tue 22-Nov-16 20:29:26

Can't you just regularly shave the hair on his tail?

TheoriginalLEM Tue 22-Nov-16 20:31:17

I am very anti tail docking however i absolutely think you should get your dog's tail removed. It will need to be done under anaesthetic so willl be costly but better than repeated injury.

Mrsmorton Tue 22-Nov-16 20:32:18

One of my weimaraners does this all the time. The other only occasionally but I'm worried the pup's will never heal. An infection there can be very difficult to manage so I'm considering docking but not sure.

What would shaving achieve? When we had her neck shaved for a blood test, she got Harvest mites infested in there. There's always something!!

Lookinatu Tue 22-Nov-16 20:36:48

I have seen dogs in work come in with this and the problem is allowing it to heal so surgery might be a option for you.

dudsville Tue 22-Nov-16 20:40:44

I'm thinking about dog communication. Spaniels wag their tails constantly.

hungryhangry Tue 22-Nov-16 20:41:43

Well if it was due to long hair catching etc then shaving would work, clearly not the issue with a Weimaraner though.

I had my dogs dew claw removed as it kept getting injured but the vet said they could only legally remove it if there was no bone joining it to the body, which due to a birth defect it wasn't (which was the cause of all the injuries anyway).

Against docking unless there is no other way to prevent injury to the dog, but if having a tail causes the dog constant pain and risk of infection then I'd advise at least asking a vets opinion.

hungryhangry Tue 22-Nov-16 20:42:37

Also I agree that tails are super important for communication, one of the main reasons I believe they should be kept if at all possible.

Mrsmorton Tue 22-Nov-16 20:56:37

hungry are you in the UK? AFAIK the law isn't that specific (as it doesn't actually define what a dew claw is) but just talks about anaesthetics.

Pippin8 Tue 22-Nov-16 21:42:52

He's recently been groomed so his fur is shorter & that's made it worse.
So, shaving him would be a no no.
It does split then scab, then split then scab, so no real healing. He goes in any ditch, muddy puddle he can find, so I worry about infection even though I wash him off each time.

Floralnomad Tue 22-Nov-16 22:33:50

I regularly meet a lady with a springer on our walks and hers has exactly the same problem . I have a patterdale X and he is docked but still has quite a lot of tail , about 5/6 " , so still has plenty to wag , if your dog could be left with at least that amount I'm sure she'd be fine .

Gallopingthundercunt Wed 23-Nov-16 04:33:51

Both DDogs 1&2 are docked, both done legally post ban (they are working cockers who do actually work) Touch wood we've never had a real tail injury and they plough through anything hmm

A friend of our has an entire tailed springer and has resorted to shaving, which seems to have alleviated the problem of damage to some degree. I struggle to see how it actually helps but it certainly does.

Whitney168 Wed 23-Nov-16 06:54:45

Can't you just regularly shave the hair on his tail?

Well, that would just make it worse ...

Docking was not done for anaesthetic reasons. It was done because the environment some dogs work in and their way of working damages their tails and/or some other aspect of their work made it necessary.

If you have a dog who is regularly splitting their tail significantly then yes, I would absolute ask the vet to dock it, even if not a short dock - taking the thinner portion off should remove the problem, so vet might wish to dock to half/third. Unfortunately, some vets will no doubt be idiots about this.

Constant splits give risk of infection, as well as being uncomfortable for the dog (and a nightmare for the owner, but that really is secondary).

If the dog isn't splitting it significantly, then I have seen aloe vera taken internally have good effect.

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