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Help! Happy Tail


Guest wrldruler
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Guest wrldruler

So George got Happy Tail. We bandaged with Elastika and Vetrap and a foam hair curler as recommended. But we hit a major problem in that he will not let us change his bandage.

 

Everytime we try to touch his tail, he yelps, and tries to nip.

 

Funny thing is that the most sensitive part of his tail is NOT where the cut is. His cut is at the tip of the tail, and he yelps about 4 inches above the tip.

 

Could he have broken it?

 

How are we supposed to bandage and re-bandage this every day or week if he puts up this much of a fight every time we try to touch it?

 

Thanks,

 

Chris

 

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Do you have a spouse/housemate/friend? And a kennel muzzle?

 

1. Prepare a little bowlful of small treats (cheddar cheese cubes are good).

2. Put muzzle on dog.

3. Have friend hold dog while feeding treats through muzzle while you change bandage and tell him how good he is.

 

Hugs and luck.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Do you have a spouse/housemate/friend? And a kennel muzzle?

 

1. Prepare a little bowlful of small treats (cheddar cheese cubes are good).

2. Put muzzle on dog.

3. Have friend hold dog while feeding treats through muzzle while you change bandage and tell him how good he is.

 

Hugs and luck.

 

This works well. :) I've done this for soaking and bandaging sliced feet, etc. Especially with a new dog (or something I know will HURT) I muzzle (better safe than sorry, and it's easy to just pop on the muzzle, so why not?) I'd enlist Steve's help to hold him and give goodies while I do whatever is necessary. :)

 

 

In vino veritas
Rachael with Rook, missing Sully, Sebau, and Diesel

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Guest wrldruler

Thanks for the advice.

 

It took 3 people. My wife "hugged" him. I talked to him in a very high pitch annoying voice and fed him treats. And the mom-in-law (who once was a vet tech) carefully cut the old bandages off. Went fairly well.

 

Thanks,

 

Chris

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Guest FullMetalFrank

The only time my dog has ever nipped me was during a bandage change; I pulled his hair when removing the sticky part of the tape, it hurt, and he bit me. Then he looked at me as if to say, "uh-oh, what have I done?!" Now I'd probably use a muzzle if I was afraid it was something that might hurt. I am glad to hear you got his bandage changed sucessfully!

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Guest StriderDog

It IS possible that the bone 4 inches down is broken, though. Keep an eye on your pup and make sure that when the vet sees him next (follow up for the happy tail?) that you mention it to them. :nod

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Just went through a tail situation with Ace...I always muzzle her for bandage changes and anything that might hurt because she's very temperamental and will nip if it hurts. I know she isn't a mean dog or anything like that, she's just crabby when she's hurting!

 

A tip if you have taped anything to hair - use mineral oil, baby oil, or vitamin E oil on some gauze or a cotton ball and wipe the tape as you pull it back...comes unstuck right away :) It was a lifesaver for us because the ER vet put tape DIRECTLY on Ace's shaved skin on her tail...it was very sensitive and painful for her...we just poured some oil in a small cup and put the end of her tail in it until the tape came unstuck - had to wash her off then though because she was all oily!

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Elasticon is easier to remove if wet. It won't hurt to get the tail wet if you're going to change it. Just dip it in a bowl. My girls have a dog pool, so they get their bandages wet for me.

 

It is still sticky, but easier to remove than when it's dry.

 

I've got TWO happy tails right now. So, I had to go out and buy a case of elasticon and vet wrap. By the way, I found the local tack store (horse store) sold the elasticon if you have a hard time finding it.

 

 

Edited by MP_the4pack
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Guest Tigonie

I just saw this post. How is George doing?

 

It seems unlikely to me that there would be significant pain 4 inches above the "happy tail" unless there was something else wrong. It's possible that you are pulling the hair, but I would definitely keep an eye on it and maybe have the vet have a look. There could be breakage and/or infection that is causing the pain. My initial reaction is that there is something else wrong besides simple happy tail.

 

The way your post is written, it sounds like this is the first case of happy tail he has had for you, so this paragraph is possibly overkill. If there is breakage or infection or if happy tail is a reoccurring issue, you may want to talk to your vet about docking (amputating) part of the tail. Emma probably had about 15 happy tail incidents in our home over about 2 1/2 years. She never showed any signs of pain in the tail, though she did get sick of us messing with it all the time, to give her a "nerd tail". :lol We finally had Emma's tail cropped by about 2-3 inches, and she's been ok since. Others have amputated the tail to shorter lengths, which minimizes the chance of future problems. If you do a search on "happy tail" from the Search menu at the top of this board, you can find more info and photos.

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I second Tigonie's concern. I would be worried about an infection that is making his tail more sensitive. Is the wound red or inflamed, or does it have any nasty discharge or an unpleasant smell? Any black tissue around the area? If you see any of that, I would get him into the vet immediately for antibiotics and to discuss a partial amputation if you continue to have problems.

 

Jen

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest wrldruler

We are scheduled to go to the vet Friday 8AM.

 

George just came off the track, so he is going through the normal "awkard transition phase". So, unfortuntely, it is impossible for me to tell what is "normal George" and what is "upset George". I think he looks sad at times, but I know he's going through some upset tummy and spook problems at the same time. I would consider his energy to be low, but he's only been eating boiled chicken and rice.

 

A few days ago, the end of his tail had a definite gash in it. Just a bloody chunk missing. We've managed to stop re-injury the last 2 days. We've been letting it get air at night. But I noticed yesterday that the end of the tail looks swollen and red. Remember that "Cone Head" movie. The tip of his tail is now a red, shiny "Cone Head". Don't see anything black. Haven't smelled it yet.

 

The vet thinks the tail has been broken before. And we agree it is not the prettiest tail in the world. Looks a little crooked in my opinion.

 

For the first time, I think it is becoming unpleasant for him. I saw him hesitating to sit on command yesterday. I saw him try to do zoomies this morning for the first time, but stopped. I once heard him wimper in pain even though nobody was around -- he must have touched it himself or he sat on it or his sister stepped on it.

 

All that sound bad, but at the same time, when I get home today, he is going to be flinging that tail around violently, bashing it against every object around. Perhaps he forgets about the pain due to the excitement.

 

Thanks,

 

Chris

Edited by wrldruler
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Guest Tigonie

Yeah, that's the trouble with happy tail...they seem happy, and they keep wagging in spite of bleeding everywhere! :lol

 

If you do see signs of infection or serious worsening or serious pain, see if your vet can get you in sooner. Otherwise, Friday should be ok. In the meantime, continue to keep it clean and keep an eye on it. If you have a digital camera, you may want to take photos for the vet to see and/or for your own reference, so you can compare it to any future issues (if there's no need to dock at this time).

 

Unfortunately, happy tail often reoccurs, though some people have had luck getting it to heal up forever. If the vet doesn't think it's serious enough for immediate docking (i.e., no infection, breakage, or similar problem), you want to keep an eye on your walls in the future months for telltale polka-dots of doggie blood. This can range from a few dots here and there to a modern art look. (Please also note that the blood turns black after a few hours.)

 

Every time the tail breaks open, there is a chance of infection, besides the annoying clean up. If it gets infected or is a reoccurring issue, that's when you have to decide not to dock or to dock, and if the latter, how much to dock. But first things first. Keep us posted on what the vet says!

 

Here's hoping that George is better soon and that it's nothing serious or reoccurring!

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