Happy tail not so happy now...

(59 Posts)
User9870 Wed 24-Oct-18 11:24:27

Almost 2 weeks ago our dog hit a wall while out walking and got a small cut on his tail. We cleaned with salt water and it scabbed over.
Over the next few days it kept opening up again everytime he wagged his tail so we bandaged it up to stop this. However it carried on bleeding when he hit have tail on anything so we ended up going to the vets.

His wound is now infected and he is on a course of antibiotics. We have to keep his tail bandaged to protect it. But daily take off the bandage to clean it and put on a clean bandage.

He's been on antibiotics 2 days and if anything the wound looks worse. It's still weeping and bleeding and looks white and pussy.

The vet mentioned if it doesn't get better he may need it amputating which I am torn about.

On one hand he loves his tail. It's so long and pretty and I love to see dogs of his breed (Weimaraner) with their tails. Also it's a major operation.

But on the other hand this is the 2nd time he has split his tail but the first time healed fine. He's likely to do it again and be in pain again. It could be better in the long run and prevent a lot of pain.

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BiteyShark Wed 24-Oct-18 11:30:55

If you think it looks worse then I would be phoning the vets to see if they want you back.

I know what you mean about tails. Despite my cocker being a working breed one of our criteria's was that he didn't have his tail docked as I love to see them in their full glory. However, tails are notoriously difficult to heal so if he kept injuring it and it meant less pain then I would let them amputate even though I would be sad.

In the first instance though I would see whether the vets think your dogs tail is healing or getting worse.

userxx Wed 24-Oct-18 12:27:18

Our old grey had half of his tail removed as it had split in kennels, made absolutely no difference to him.

User9870 Wed 24-Oct-18 14:22:28

DH has come home and said it doesn't look worse so maybe just me worrying. Also pointed out he has only been in antibiotics for 2 days and to give them a chance to work. So maybe I am worrying too much.

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User9870 Thu 25-Oct-18 13:22:46

Just cleaned and changed bandage. It doesn't look worse today. But it doesn't look any better.

It's still weeping with a bit of blood...but I guess even with the bandage he will still knock it when he wags his tail which although padded will still cause some trauma to the wound.

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User9870 Thu 25-Oct-18 14:44:04

And then he knocks it and bleeds through his bandage!!! It's never ending sad

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userxx Fri 26-Oct-18 11:45:34

That's the problem, it doesn't get a chance to heal itself as it just gets thrashed around again!!


Haypanky Fri 26-Oct-18 11:48:31

This is EXACTLY what happened to my dog. In the end he had half of it amputated. The vet wanted to take it all, they thought it wouldnt heal just taking half but luckily it did. I felt terrible but honestly he's been fine.

User9870 Fri 26-Oct-18 12:46:09

It's looking more and more likely he is going to have some of his tail amputated.

I changed his bandage today and he's got a fresh cut just out of where I put the padding bit.... So that's now 3 areas of damage.

I think I feel a bit guilty for all the times he has hit me with his tail and I've joked about cutting it off to save my legs. He's just so happy and waggy all the time and his tail goes with a right whack!!!

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Haypanky Fri 26-Oct-18 13:52:28

Sounds like it to me unfortunately. It's hard to get tails to heal, there's less flesh and less blood flow. Dog will be fine without part of the tail though (but I understand you'll feel bad, I still do!)

Stupidusername1 Fri 26-Oct-18 13:56:49

Our Grey's tail never healed so had to be amputated. Her little tail was so cute

LittleBLUEsmurfHouse Fri 26-Oct-18 20:22:40

My cocker had a 3/4 tail amputation - he looks docked now. I felt awful about it. He on the other hand was happier once it was off - other than the first night after the op, when he whimpered and wanted cuddles - by the next day you wouldn't have thought he'd had a major op and was back to wagging his little stump at 90mph.

It took me a few weeks to get used to his lack of tail - I really hate the docked look. Now we are months down the line and it's fully furry, I'm used to it and I find it kind of cute - it's his bear tail (and it still wags at 90mph just without the thwack, thwack, thwack sound).

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 26-Oct-18 21:54:12

This is exactly what I fear my lab doing. We call it the Tail of Doom. He’s forever thrashing it into door frames and edges of furniture. How he hasn’t broken it yet I do not know. He’s knocked stuff over before and yes it bloody hurts when he whips you across the legs. Or in the face as my poor dd found as she sat on the floor one day.

TrippingTheVelvet Fri 26-Oct-18 22:16:44

Our wee Cocker's healed but it took ages. He literally needed supervised all day to stop him knocking it. He had a cone on and although he could still get at it, it was much harder and we exercised the bejaysus out of him in the park so he was too knackered to run about the house and hit it off the walls and furniture.

User9870 Sat 27-Oct-18 17:08:15

Left him for a hour and come back and his bandage has disappeared and hes chewed at his tail....
Vet says to keep an eye out for him not eating or been sick or not pooing but he should just pass it (as he usually does with the toys bobbles socks he has a habit of eating....) This dog will be the death of me!!! He's harder work than 2 kids and a husband!!!

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BiteyShark Sat 27-Oct-18 17:10:23

Oh dear, not something you want to happen on top of everything else. Cone of shame for him now.

User9870 Sat 27-Oct-18 18:57:52

Tried a cone...his tail is so long he can still get to it lol.

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BiteyShark Sat 27-Oct-18 19:05:55

I think the trick there is to get one two sizes to big so it reaches far over the nose. The obvious downsides is that apart from knocking into everything you would have to remove it for them to eat and drink.

SleightOfMind Sat 27-Oct-18 19:11:54

We used Manuka honey on our old greyhound’s tail and managed to save most of it.
You can get the dressings already impregnated with medical grade stuff or buy it in a tube.
(I’m not suggesting you use a bit of toast crumb & butter smeared stuff from the cupboard grin)
I have a tube of it in the hound first aid kit now. Its great for speeding up healing and doesn’t seem to sting when applied at all.

FairfaxAikman Sat 27-Oct-18 20:05:17

Have you tried dog ends to protect the tail but let air get to it?

Alternatively (though this might be too big for a Weim tail but works for a lab) get one of those plastic things for applying a finger bandage and use micropore to secure it, trapping a few hairs from the tail in each turn to stop it being pulled off.

FairfaxAikman Sat 27-Oct-18 20:06:02

Oh and maybe colloidal silver. If it's as bad as you say then you've nothing to lose by trying it.

Chelonia Sat 27-Oct-18 20:34:00

Vet nurse here - Obviously please discuss any change in wound care regime with your vet. My preferred method of treating happy tail is to ask your vet for something rigid, like a 30 or 60ml syringe, and use this as part of the dressing. Agree apply wound-grade manuka honey dressing directly onto the wound, then an absorbant pad such as Allevyn. (Important that the gunk the honey draws out will be absorbed and kept away from the surface of the wound) Then take the plunger out of the syringe and put the barrel of it over the tip of the tail. Then put regular padded bandaging over the whole lot. The syringe will add to the weight of the bandage though so need to ensure you tether it quite a ways up on the tail using v sticky elastoplast. The rigidity of the syringe can help prevent more trauma from whacking the tip. Your vet will remind you but you only use the manuka while the wound is gummy looking.
Definitely agree bigger buster collar! You can actually make the cone narrower if needed, hard to explain but put the clip nearest the collar wherever it fits his neck, then put the next two clips into the next slots over. They won't be perfect as you're messing with the angle of the clips so you may need to use duct tape the cover them to make sure it doesn't pop open. Should make the whole cone narrower. Helps stop him whacking into doorjambs too! And make sure the edges protrude a good couple of inches past his nose!!
Good luck, these are such frustrating cases to treat and correct wound care is a science in itself with new developments all the time, it's hard to keep up to speed on new recommendations!

LittleBLUEsmurfHouse Sat 27-Oct-18 22:40:39

When we were still trying to save my cocker's tail he ended up wearing a cone 3 sizes bigger than normal. However they can't eat or drink with such a big cone on, so whenever I could 100% supervise I swapped it to a 1 size too big one, then back to the 3 sizes too big one for any time I needed to leave the room or would likely be distracted.

Wolfiefan Sat 27-Oct-18 22:46:28

There’s a couple of online suggestions for this. One is making a cover with a butchered pool noodle! You need the padding but also to let air get to it.
Our dog has been known to foot chew. A muzzle worked better than a cone.
Good luck.

User9870 Mon 29-Oct-18 08:11:32

Well good news...he puked up the bandage he swallowed.

Tail was starting to look better yesterday but today is back to bleeding.

DH wants to give it a few more days as it doesn't look infected anymore and may heal better now infection has gone.

OP’s posts: |

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