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Happy Tail...how Long Does It Last?


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Gigi has major happy tail. I have cleaned the crime scene three times since yesterday afternoon. She has been through three bandage changes already. She lost the first one in the doggie door. Someone on Facebook posted that three days of bandage and padding was all they needed. I had never heard that before, but sounds real good! Most people have said three weeks. This is my first experience with it. Ace came to me last month with a four inch tail from a happy tail incident before I got him. Gigi has been here since February, and I had expected this to happen from day one. I live in a small house with several narrow areas. Gigi wags her tail with a LOT of force!

Should I take her to the vet for antibiotics to be safe? I have already caught her stretched out in the dirt today.

Anyone have words of hope for me? At least I have four other ogs to help me clean the blood off the walls!

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I never like bandaging for very long, with anything. Not sure how I'd handle your situation. :( I don't have narrow areas (all the doors that Summer goes through are double, either French doors or regular double doors) and I don't have any regular hallways in my house -- so when she has had happy tail (I believe we're at a count of 3 times now) it has been caused by outside factors, namely trees, and she can heal inside.

 

Here's a link that I found useful for getting bandaging to stay on her tail. I found I could get the bandage to stay on even at a greyhound playdate! I would only bandage her for that and leave it unwrapped at home. Summer would be healed within a couple of days for two of her happy tail occurrences and for her worst occurrence it took about 1 1/2 weeks to heal. Grassmere happy tail.

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Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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If it's clean and doesn't appear to be infected, she doesn't need antibiotics. Clean it well when it's gotten dirty (bandage fell off, dog licked it or laid in dirt) -- mild soap, Nolvasan solution, or bactine plus running water is fine.

 

If it's a linear cut, a little butterfly or two as first bandage would help hold edges together so it can heal.

 

Keep your bandage light in weight. We used a little pad of vetwrap or nonstick gauze over the cut area to help protect it, then wrapped with vetwrap. We used an anchor of Elastikon (extra-sticky tan tape) starting @ 2" up from the cut and extending @ 6"-8" up the tail to keep it from being wagged off. You will need bandage scissors when you eventually want to remove the Elastikon. And don't get it too tight -- depending on tail diameter and hairiness, you may be able to just press your Elastikon anchor on lengthwise instead of wrapping around and around. We used a couple little tabs of Elastikon or white medical tape to attach our vetwrap bandage to the long Elastikon anchor.

 

We continued to bandage the tail for @ 3 weeks AFTER the initial cut healed (scab fell off, revealing nice pink scar).

 

Initially, when cut was fresh and still oozing, we changed bandage @ every 2 days, then every 3, then every 5-7. You have to keep it dry. If it gets wet, you have to take it off ASAP, gently clean the area, pat dry, and put new bandage on .

 

Good luck!

Edited by Batmom

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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Here is a rough diagram of how we bandage happy tail here. When you wrap your vetwrap around the tail, start wrapping at the bottom. When you change the bandage, you just have to change the gauze/vetwrap parts. The Elastikon anchor can stay in place for as long as you want.

 

bandaginghappytail_zps2f3572d2.jpg

Edited by Batmom

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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I use the above bandaging strategy until step #4. At that point, I slip a large or extra large (depending on the diameter of the tail) syringe sleeve (get one from your vet and cut the end off) over the cut/light padding. Then run the elastikon down over the top of the syringe to hold it in place.

 

This gives the cut a rigid protection in case it gets banged against anything, yet still allows air to get to the wound to help heal it. You will have to keep this on for probably several weeks after the wound heals. The skin is *very* tender and liable to break open again at the slightest whack.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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My current vet uses the syringe cover too. He slices it down one side and bends it open a bit to make sure it's big enough. I haven't used one because I never seemed to have one at the right moment :lol :lol :lol .

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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Elastikon can be a beast to get off. To loosen the excessive stickiness, cut your piece of Elastikon and stick it briefly to your shirt or your pants so it picks up a bit of lint. Then stick it where you need it on your dog's tail.

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Happy tail is a bear to deal with. The only thing that worked for us was the pipe insulation method, while leaving on a muzzle with a stool guard. That seemed to have the best staying power, but after several months of wrapping the tail only to have it break open again at the slightest whack, we eventually opted for a partial amp. Super frustrating.

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Guest zombrie

Minerva had her tail wrapped for 3 months, I was a day away from making an appointment for an amputation. I then got the idea to tape pipe insulation to the tip of her tail and it healed within 2 weeks. It gave her tail protection but also allowed the wound to breathe

Edited by zombrie
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How long a piece of pipe insulation? I have been using the foam curlers, but they need to be a little bit longer. The injury is at the tip, and needs to be heavily padded because she continues to whack it on everything she passes. I didn't like the looks of if today, so we are going to the vet tomorrow. The area around the bloody core looks black. Can tissue become necrotic in to days? It now looks like the tip of the tail is gone! I will feel better when a vet looks St it. Gigi isn't touching it, except for banging it on every hard surface.

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It can become necrotic quickly. You can also have some nasty dried blood and bruising there, and it can be hard to tell the difference. Best have the vet take a good look and see. Will keep your pupper in my thoughts!

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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Don't be surprised or shocked if you actually lose more of the tail. If the bit below the injury has compromised blood flow, it can just rot off very quickly. Not due to anything you did wrong. It just happens.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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The area around the bloody core looks black. Can tissue become necrotic in to days? It now looks like the tip of the tail is gone!

 

Definitely sounds necrotic, which as Batmom said, can happen very quickly. When the tissue dies, you almost have no choice but to do a tail amp. :( Good luck.

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The black area was pooled dried blood. When I bandaged the tail before going to work yesterday morning, I slathered it with manuka honey. That also helped to keep the inside layer of bandage stuck in place while I continued to wrap. This morning the bandage was still on, so I left it alone til we got to the vet this afternoon. The wound looked sooo much better today! It was dry, instead of oozing. We are going to watch and see at this point. Gigi had a bad time coming out of her spay anessthesia in February. She aspirated, was intubated, and on oxygen in the ICU for two days. I hope to avoid surgery if I can.

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:yay

 

Have you ever seen when a reptile injures its tail... like, it becomes shriveled up and black? That's what Truman's tail looked like pre-amp. Totally necrotic.

Keeping my fingers crossed for Gigi to be on the mend.

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