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More On Mable's Tail Injury

Guest Frannie

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Guest Frannie

So now I'm confused. And slowly going broke.


The vet I've been going to for 15 years, to whom I'm shelling out the $72 for a wound check and bandage change every five days, insists that this is the necessary treatment.


I recently moved to a new neighborhood. There's a small storefront veterinary clinic right around the corner. He has no computer, no fax machine, and no assistants. His records are all in his handwriting. He spells greyhound "Gray Hound" (he's not a native English speaker).


People who go to him swear by him. I worry about whether or not he is grey-savvy (kind of obvious that he's not.) So, nice as he is, I have a weird feeling in my gut about taking my dogs to him for anything more than shots & heartworm.


I did speak to him on the phone about bringing Mable in for bandage changes as an alternative to winding up on the street. He said sure, bring her by anytime. He said he could show me how to do the bandage. And then, this really surprised me (and made me hesitate), he said that she might not need to be bandaged at all.


This idea scares me. The wide difference in opinion scares me. Any thoughts? Similar experiences?


Adding to my considerable stack of worries, Mable is limping. (She is a wart-former, but I haven't found a wart on any of her pads.)






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Guest EmbersDad

wow...when ember had her toe amputated, the return visits for bandage changes were gratis for me. word of mouth can be a good thing. have you spoken to anyone with a hound that uses the new guy?

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Guest JohnnyBell

Honestly, I would do the bandage changes myself. It's either going to heal or it's not, regardless of who's changing the bandages. If it doesn't heal then they amputate below the break. Sounds like with the money you've sunk in her tail being re-wraped it could have been amputated and truly healing. I'm not trying to be a smarty pants in no way, but tail breaks more then likely won't heal and if they do it take a looong time and I'm sure the pup is uncomfortable too.


I forgot to add that my Sophie had 4" amputated off her tail because it was broken and trying to get it to heal was a losing battle. She still had a 13" tail. She healed quickly after the easy surgery.

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I would think you would be able to bandage the tail yourself.When my boy lost his to happy tail, the first bandage change was done by the vet, but he showed me the best way to bandage so I continued to do it myself. First 2 weeks are crucial in the healing process but after that, it was easy and healed quickly. Try it...you may surprise yourself.


Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12



:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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Guest paulamariez

My vet here in Wisconsin charges $50 something per visit to do bandage changing. My vet is WAY overpriced on their stuff too.

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Guest Willerton

I just went through this exact thing with my dog. I had slammed his tail in a door probably just a bit higher up than you did. I tried to go the stitches and healing route, but in the end, I wish I would have just amputated right away. When he had stitches, his tail was in a bandage, which cuts off circulation to some degree even if it is not tight. Now that it was amputated, it was never bandaged.


There is very little blood flow to the end of the tail. Crush injuries damage more than just the bone and the skin, but also the blood vessels. Keep an eye on it--if it starts looking leathery, feeling really cold, or if your dog starts having a lot of pain which is getting worse, the tail is probably dying. Tails typically take about two weeks to die. I had my dog's tail amputated and he feels very, very much better now.


Before amputation:



Two days after amputation:


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Guest Enna

Some vets are partial to the, "let it air out" approach to healing. My only two concerns with not wrapping are 1) lack of padding if the tail hits something in your home and 2) lack of anything to control the bleeding (and spatter) if the wound re-opens.


Still, you can find all sorts of wisdom about happy-tail wrapping just by searching here or in Google, and all of those approaches are less than one bandage change at your vet.

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I personally think that $72 to rebandage the tail is VERY pricy. :( As a point of comparison, Sunny who has the broken leg had a bandage change yesterday and quick recheck by the ortho vet. The bandage cost was $55.66 and the vet exam (specialist) was $31. That's in SoCal at a specialty clinic where EVERYTHING is more expensive than a primary vet. BTW, his bandage is huge and takes a lot of cotton, gauze and at least 3 rolls of vet wrap, plus 45 minutes of time. I've been able to get happy tail to heal just fine with home techniques, but would definitely keep some padding on the tail so it doesn't strike something and start bleeding again.

Jeanne with Remington & Scooter the cat
....and Beloved Bridge Angels Sandee, Shari, Wells, Derby, Phoenix, Jerry Lee and Finnian.....
If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again.

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Frannie, I remember you! It seems like many years ago when I was on CoG, when Patsy was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma. You made such an impression on me because of your compassion and empathy, and the eloquence, humor, and perceptiveness of your posts. I remember how deeply you loved your dogs, and everything you went through to help them. And I remember Mabel, who came to you after devastating losses, and how very, very shy and afraid she was. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember one of the vets you went to was very expensive, and the office staff left much to be desired (putting that tactfully). Is this the same vet? I may be out of the loop here in Pittsburgh with a vet I love who happens to be a lot less expensive than others I've heard about, but $72 for each bandage change seems high to me. Of course, my vet charged me $250 to amputate Winnie's leg, so I could be way off base! But anyway, are you in the room when they do the bandage change, or do they take her in back? If you can see what they do, could you do it yourself? Or if it's a matter of materials, could you go to the other vet for the changes, and let him know what was done? I know you want what is best for Mable, but would it be worth it to see how she reacts to the other vet? I mean, if she is comfortable there, and you could get similar treatment, it would be worth it to save some money. I'm asking a lot of questions, and I know that money is not the main focus, though realistically, it has to play a part at some point. I've never had a dog's tail amputated, but I did have a dog's leg amputated, and I can say with certainty (because I knew my Angel Queen very well) that Winnie didn't think she was at all handicapped. And Mabel would likely not miss those last few inches of tail. And she wouldn't be any less beautiful without it. I don't know if this would work, but I've had several fosters with happy tail, and we used those plastic curlers (pretty pink) taped to the tail. They provided protection, but still let the area heal without danger of the wound being broken open again. Kinda silly, but it worked. I hope you can find a solution for your sweet girl. And I hope you come back here! Lots of collective knowledge and support.

And it was nice to "see" you again!

Edited by queenwinniesmom

Nancy, Mom to Evangelina and Kiva
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, my angel butterfly Laila, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Catsburgandhoundtown

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When Jake has his tail amputated he went bandage free.


Give this other vet a try. Every dog has a tail and I'm sure he has seen many dogs with broken tails. You don't need a grey savvy vet to deal with a broken tail and some vet wrap. If it comes to the point that the tail can't be saved then by all means go back to your normal vet for the surgery.

Edited by Greylover97


Carolina (R and A Carolina) & Rebel (FA Ready).
At the bridge: Kira (Driven by Energy) 7/19/97 - 6/17/04 & Jake (Jumpstart Dude) 9/12/00 - 1/24/15

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