We have been having a terrible time with Skippy breaking open the end of his tail and bleeding all over the place. The boy has a very long, heavy tail that he wags all the time. It constantly bangs on the walls, corners, tables, whatever is around. This has been going on for over a year now and the episodes are coming closer and closer together. His tail is bandgaged 75% of the time. My friend , who is a vet tech says that it might need to be partially amputated. I've had him to the vets a couple of times, but it is usually partially healed and he has never said anything about amputation. Does anybody have any experience with having to have some of their dogs tail amputated - for any reason? If so - how did they do? I am about to that point - this can't keep going on. I dread having to cut off any of his beautiful , long, gaily held, inappropriate lab tail - but I fear that it is coming in the future.
When I was a kid my aunt and uncle had a big sweet harlequin Dane named Brunehilda. She had to have about 1/4 of her tail amputated for the same reason. For years they battled the bandage on the end and finally just had it snipped and that was that.
I would think the surgery would give him a better quality of life. I imagine having a sore tail would be painful (and whacking it on things all the time doesn't help matters). Plus the worry/threat of infection setting in.
Although surgery is always a risk, if it can be done for a better quality of life I will opt for it.
Talk with your vet about it and see what he thinks.
Back in the mists of time I had a wonderful 100 pound generic companion named Morgan. He was quite the character. He had the ears, head and tail of Lab, and the markings of a liver and white pointer. He looked like he was wearing white sport socks and the last eight inches of his tail looked like it had been dipped in high gloss white paint.
At the time we were living in an upper duplex with a flat tarpaper roof as a back porch. We were having family over for burgers and conversation. The now ex fixed deviled eggs and left them right on the edge of the kitchen table two feet inside the back door. I went out to tend the burgers, Morgan followed. I came back in and Morgan got distracted by the deviled eggs and stopped just inside the kitchen. The spring screen door slammed shut on his tail. He shrieked. When I got back into the kitchen there was blood on the ceiling and walls and more being splattered as he continued to wag his tail. His tail was laid open. we took him to the emergency vet where it was determined several of the bones in his tail were crushed and so about three inches of his tail was removed. The hair grew back but the tail was no longer pointed. It was more like a blunt pencil. To my recollection he showed no pain afterward, and he lived for several more years without showing any remorse.
Just wanted to send good thoughts to Skippy (and you). I've read about dog's having a partial tail amputation for the reasons you mentioned, and it turned out fine.
Brenda, Sam & Bodie
I agree get skippy's tail shortend 75% of the time is too much time to waste on a bloody tail. I think it will heal faster if it is taken care of.
My first lab had to have her entire tail amputated because of a stupid vet's terrible error. She had an infection that had entered the bone in her tail. She did very well after surgery, the scar healed beautifully and the hair grew back around her rear.
Kelly's tail tip died when she was so sick and it fell off eventually. It sure didn't bother her any. She lost about an inch. I'll try to find pictures of it.
I know of someone whose Lab had a MCT on her tail and they amputated her tail. Its about 3 inches long.
Ok, here is Kelly's tail dying
Here is a picture of her showing how short her tail was afterwards.
And before anyone says anything about showing a dog with a tail like that, I had a note from my vet stating the circumstances of Kelly's illness and that the tail was not amputated, that the tip fell off on its own. I was never asked to produce it and none of the judges ever asked about it. Of course, her story by that time was pretty well known. She won many times as a Veteran with her tail like that.
♣ Laura ♣
The others have already given good advises, I just wanna send good thoughts to Skippy.
~Veronica and Nikki~
Sweet Emma, 16th of February 1996~26th of November 2010
Always in my heart and soul. Together forever, my love....
Nikki 6 months
Wow! I never would have dreamed these severe tail ailments were so common! The posts are very reassuring, Pat. All the best to your lovely Skippy.
(And Kelly was still gorgeous!)
Seamus and Flynn