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Tail Is Definitely Broken


Guest BooandCalisMom
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Guest BooandCalisMom

Well we took our girl Cali in today to have her tail x-rayed and it confirmed that her tail is broken (and she has a pretty nasty wound there too!). It is a clean break about 6 inches up from the tip of her tail. She was in some pain this morning, didnt eat, and was lethargic so we knew this was not the typical case of happy tail.

 

The vet recommended amputation - but I wanted to get some feedback from you all. I would maybe prefer to take a wait and see approach but the vet (who does have some experience with greys but not a ton) said that because of where the break is, it may be better to amputate as she may continue to injure the area when she wags and also because of the risk of the end of the tail dying.

 

For those who have been through this, what did you do and why?

 

Thanks in advance!!

 

Megan

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Guest ThunderPaws

Personally, I would wait and see how the wound heals. If she still has feeling in the tip of her tail, there should be a good chance that it will heal, I hope? I've seen many dogs with kinks in their tails from a previous break, as much as a 90 degree bend.

 

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Guest Energy11

My friend's grey had a broken tail. I went over there to access and splint it. Hers was an obvious fracture, and did need amuptation. There was no splinting this one.

 

Guess with yours, it depends ... It is a hard call for sure. Good Luck with it!

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Guest boondog

You can wait and see how it heals, but you'll have to be very careful. There are lots of good bandaging recommendations on GT. That being said, I've gone through tail amputation with two dogs--Dillon and a foster, Shannon. They both had happy tail (no break) that wouldn't heal and resulted in the tip of the tail dying. Both Dillon and Shannon did extremely well with the amp. The vet only had to take off a few inches in each case. I've also had a couple of other fosters with varying degrees of happy tail and they eventually healed. It sounds like this is pretty bad, and it may require amputation. If so, Cali should do just fine. Best of luck and please keep us updated.

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Simon broke his tail at some point...it doesn't seem to bother him at all. Tail amputation is a bloody, major event and I wouldn't take it lightly. I would probably go with wound management and "wait n see".

 

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I friends greyhound had her tail bitten by a coyote, she opted to amputate, and it was a short quick surgery and she was healed up and good to go in about 2 weeks. The dog was about 11 when this happened. The vet told her that the surgical wound would probably heal quicker than the injury and break to the tail would heal. There was little to no bloody drainage after the amputation. And our vet is a simple country vet who is a jack of all trades, not a specialist. :) Good luck in whatever route you take. Personally I would amputate now as I think the surgical would would heal more quicly in most instances where there is a wound to the area.

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Bumper has 6" off his tail and came to us from the track like this. Unless there is a medical reason not to amputate (sounds like your vet is suggesting it), I wouldn't hesitate because of cosmetic or other factors. Bump, to this day, wacks his very active tail into everything and I am glad I am not having to treat / mend a broken one that, in his case, would probably break again. Again, I haven't been through it live, but the end result of his shortened tail is a non-issue. It gives him a little character! I'd go with your vet's recommendation.

Doe's Bruciebaby Doe's Bumper

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Follow my Ironman journeys and life with dogs, cats and busy kids: A long road

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I would amputate. Valentino had injured his tail and after trying several weeks to get it to heal and it wouldn't, one night after we were asleep he removed the offending part himself! It had started to die and he wanted it off. He needed surgery to close the end of his tail, so I would have it amputated if I were you.

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The break won't heal if the blood supply to the end of the tail is compromised. Wait-and-see will only work if the tail is relatively OK otherwise. If there's no circulation and no feeling then amputation would be necessary.

 

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I too vote for amputation. Wayne has his tail amputated, wasn't my decision but I adopted him the day of his surgery and took care of the healing process.

 

I was warned that it would be a tough healing process trying to keep the bandage on etc, but I have to say with Wayne, it was easy

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I would probably go with the advice of your vet I'm sure if the tail could be saved he'd try.

 

Sending well wishes for Cali...

 

 

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Halo had about 4 inches cut from his tail, probably a racing injury. It didn't change a thing. I would rather go with the amputation now, then an infection with gangrene setting in with a broken tail that might not heal. She won't even notice its gone.

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Patches broke her tail. It was at a 45 degree ankle & the bone (cartildge) was sticking out. The vet wanted to amputate but I opted for splinting instead. He did an excellent; I went in every 2 weeks for a splint change & it healed up nicely. Every case is different though.

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I would opt to amputate. My 1st Grey, Judy, came off the track with a broken tail. It was splinted and bandaged. By the time I got her, the circulation was gone and it turned gangrenous. I had it amputed and she was just fine. Healed very quickly with no ill effects. Of course She only had a 6 inch tail, but it wagged constantly!!!!! These sweeties cope very well post op. Good luck with whatever you decide. :bighug

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When Paul broke his tail, he had no cuts or abrasions. We think he just banged it hard against something or racing around a corner. We have kind of an open layout. His tail healed fine. I know Brandy came with a tail that had been previously broken and bent a little to the left.

Can you splint it like you would for happy tail with pipe insulation?

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Guest PhillyPups

I have no exoerience with this. The Queen came to me with a kink in her tail - I found out it got shut in a door (unintentionally of course) and broken. Gave her character.

 

Her son, The Clown Prince, Cisco had severe happy tail that had not been properly cared for by the time he got to Marilyn's. She tried to save it, but the damage was done. His was amputated, and he healed quite well and smoothly. It did not slow him down at all, he had amazing butt wag, and he will definitely win any "shortest tail" contest.

 

Cisco-2.jpg

 

eta - picture by GIJenn :kiss2

 

Good luck with whatever you decide. Personally I would go with the vet recommendation.

Edited by PhillyPups
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In May of this year our one girl had happy tail, we tried and tried to get it to heal. She was miserable, we were miserable. We struggled with the decision knowing it was a major surgery. We finally did have her tail amputated and her demeanor changed over night. It was a relief for all of us. Her 2 week recovery was very smooth and she healed beautifully. If ever faced with the decision again, we wouldn't hesitate.

Bernadette with Lincoln
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Guest BooandCalisMom

Thanks, all, for the advice. We went ahead and scheduled surgery for this upcoming Wed, and will keep you all posted. Cali seems so miserable with her tail the way it is now, and we don't want to risk any infection. I dont think she has any feeling left at the tip of her tail so I think it's best to let it go.

 

I am most scared of the recovery, but I know she will be fine in the long run, and it warms my heart to see all of these shorter-tailed princes and princesses!!

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I'm with AliWest; a broken tail (especially one w/ a wound) is tough to heal. If she's a happy-tail dog, it's even harder.

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No experience with a broken tail but I do have experience with tail amputation. Jake got his tail stuck in a cabinet door handle. Had the wound stitched closed but he wasn't given any antibiotics and he developed a major infection and had to have part of his tail removed.

Jake only needed pain meds for two days after his amputation and stitches came out in two weeks. He healed up really well, no problems at all. Just keep it clean and dry and make sure she doesn't chew at the stitches.

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