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Ugh...tail Injury

Guest hllb

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Hubby just accidentally shut Izzy's tail in the door. It was only the very tip, but it's split open, with the bone exposed (I think anyway). I've bandaged it up with sterile gauze and vet wrap, and she's resting quietly in her crate, with her muzzle on. It didn't seem painful at all.


I'll take her into the vet tomorrow (unless you guys have some miraculous treatment for me - money is really tight with two mortgages :blink: ). Is there anything I should be doing tonight that I'm not already?


What will they do tomorrow? Any chance they can stitch it up? It's really like a flap torn open. And, any ideas how much money we're looking at?

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Both of mine have had tail injuries. Dusty's got caught in a door, so was cut on both sides. Beth returned from outside one day with a good sized gouge out of hers. Both of them healed but it took a REALLY long time and a Bite-Not-Collar to keep them from going after the bandages. Good luck!

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The bandages fell off now. She's not bothering it at all, it just slid off. Any ideas? I tried to let her out of her crate to go outside, but one wag and she was bleeding all over again.

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I was just getting ready to post myself ... I let Riley get his tail caught in the door on Saturday night ... blood everywhere (to be expected), but I made the trip to the evet ... they attempted to snip & clean the torn tissue & let it heal 'naturally', but when they got to see the damage (3-4" of torn skin down to bone from apparently 2 separate tears, with torn ligaments), they determined that partial amputation was a better course of action.


I was given informal advice about how a dog's tail will heal itself (uh ... the term 'falling off' was mentioned during the conversation :sick ), but personally wasn't able to handle the care that I believe would have been required (changing the bandages and keeping my other hound away from it), so this was a good course of action for me (as I still cry when I think of the pain Riley's in right now).


My choice was expensive (not quite mortgage payment, but probably second-mortgage size) -- due in part, I'm sure, to the out-of-hours e-vet timing (yep, surgery at midnight on Saturday night).


I'm so sorry for Izzy's injury!!! Good luck!!





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Guest crazy4greys

For now you can use the pink curler method.


Buy pink curlers from the drug store and remove the inside plastic clip.


Cut it lenghtwise like a hot dog bun.


Put some neosporin and a piece of gauze on Izzy's tail. Place the tail inside the curler and start wrapping the tape from them bottom of the tail upwards to the butt. Wrap all the curler then go onto the fur a bit with the tape. You need really sticky tape for it to stay on.


I use elastikon, but I buy it online. I forget what the human version is.

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I talked with someone from my group tonight and she gave me some good tips to dress Izzy's tail. Hubby held Izzy while I shaved her tail, and trimmed as much hair off the wound as possible, cleaned it, and gooped it up with antibiotic ointment. Then I wrapped it in gauze, and secured it with medical tape. Then I wrapped that in duct tape. Then I put a toilet paper tube over it, and duct taped that on. So far so good. Izzy was a trooper and really didn't have any issues with us handling it, until we were cleaning it. And even then, she was a perfect angel.


You can see the bone, but maybe not as badly as I initially thought. If you want to see the gory details, you can see it here:




And this is what it looked like after being bandaged up:



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Ouch! That looks so sore. Let us know what the vet says. Sending hugs. :grouphug


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Been through 3 tail injuries - 2 of them are walking around with "shrimp tails" and Joey is still walking around waving his helicopter tail proudly.


I tried the curler, toilet paper tube, baby sock, etc. As long as the tail doesn't get infected, cleaning it well and putting neosporin and wrapping it well until it heals works (worked for Mr. Joey). I couldn't wrap Joey's tight enough, but dbf put gauze at the very tip of the tail and wrapped Joey's tail so tight with vet wrap it didn't come off for a week. We also taped it with cloth tape so it wouldn't come loose. Just wrap it pretty tightly and make sure there are no signs of infection.


Hope Izzy heals well!

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We'll do a bandage change tonight, so far the bandage has stayed on very well. After we see how it looks tonight, we'll decide if she needs to go to the vet.


I would absolutely go to the vet. Even if the vet doesn't think amputation is warranted, I think it's wise to put her on prophylactic antibiotics. Because tail injuries get re-opened so easily, they tend to take a long time to heal and get easily infected. I have seen the worst case scenarios including my current foster who had an inch of dead (totally black) tail hanging on by a thread and above that about 2 inches of raw, in places to the bone tail and a dog who nearly died from a blood infection after multiple amputations. The good news is both dogs are doing fine now. I have also seen tail injuries heal on their own, but I think it requires really good care - regular bandage changes with very sterile materials and keeping it from getting knocked around at all times.


Not trying to totally freak you out, but maybe put a little fear in you b/c a tail injury that isn't healing will likely get infected, which will result in you needing to do an amputation (around here with our rescue discount that runs us $700+). If your vet visit is really nice, they might allow you to come in periodically for a bandage check just to keep an eye on it for little to no charge and I would recommend that (weekly until it's healed at least) on top of doing your own bandage changes as necessary in between.


It sounds like there's a good chance you'll be able to get this to heal on its own since she's leaving it alone and letting you bandage without a problem, but again, I think it's wise to have your vet keeping an eye on it too. I hope that helps (and that you don't find me totally obnoxious :P ).


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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Actually, I did take her to the vet because when I looked closer at it during the bandage change, I realized that a piece of skin was missing.


We took her to the vet tonight. The bone is exposed so he was concerned with infection. They did think I did a great job shaving it though :lol: It cost me $160 just for a vet visit, antibiotic injection, and a bandageing :shock: :shock:


They said we could either amputate part of the tail (more expensive, much less work, more of a sure thing) or try to heal the tail (less expensive, way more work, may end up amputating later anyway). So, we decided to just go ahead and amputate about half of her tail. We only need to take off the tip, but we wanted it taken up higher so there will be much less chance for it to get injured again. They'll use a laser so hopefully it will be quite easy to care for post-op.

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I was going to weigh in, but I see you've already decided.


I had 2 inches of my last dog's tail amputated after 16 weeks of living in what looked like a butcher shop--but only because he was having major leg surgery anyway--the surgeon didn't even charge me.


George came with happy tail. I believe cutting the fur once the bleeding starts is a big mistake, because that removes any natural padding. It also makes it harder to keep the bandage on.


If you haven't already had the surgery, you might reconsider having so MUCH of her tail removed. As I said, she didn't cause this by repeatedly slamming her tail into things. A dog who has that problem I would 110% agree with you--but this was totally different!


I'm sure she'll do fine. Neither of my dogs had infections, and the one with the amputation did just great! You'd never know it; his tail was extra long to begin with. George's healed just fine, and now I know the tip of his tail is white!


Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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"she didn't cause this by repeatedly slamming her tail into things"


While that is true, she beats her tail on EVERYTHING...constantly. Our vet tech has 8 greyhounds herself and even thought it was a good idea because of how frequently and forecefully she bangs her tail. We left the exam room, and the lobby speckled with blood :o

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