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Guest ebscearce

Very Very Sad Happy Tail (Poor Results After Surgery)

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Guest ebscearce

My poor Trump-dog. He got happy-tail the first week of July. We tried a toilet paper roll to keep bandages on, and we tried a syringe for protection; he never got a scab (or a scab that stayed).

On August 5, a Monday, the vet and I decided to cut his tail back to hasten the healing. He was great M/T/W, but on Thursday, he chewed out his stitches (I know, I should have muzzled him- I didn't realize it at the time). He got a staple on Thursday, and a "bandage" of large curlers around his tail; he was muzzled as soon as he came home.

On Sunday, the curlers fell off- and I found out that the staple didn't hold.

[WARNING: GROSS MEDICAL CONTENT]

He had skin hanging off his tail; the bone was exposed; it was still wet, no scabs.

 

The vet suggested that we put the curlers back on for protection and it would just have to heal on its own. She and I have spoken again, and she said she's at a loss for what to do. [the base of his tail has cotton on it; then the curlers are attached with elasticon; he has 4 curlers duct-taped together to protect his tail, but there is nothing to significantly prevent his tail from hitting the inside of the curler; I am concerned that the cotton has shifted and is moist from the weeping from his tail.] From my uneducated view, there is no skin to stitch together. My vet does not have cauterization- don't know if that is a possibility.

 

It's not so wet tonight (Tuesday), but I can still see bone and blood vessels- and I am very anxious about taking off the curlers and checking it up close.

 

So what do I do? Should this sweet dog have another surgery?

 

Any suggestions would be wonderful!

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Guest ebscearce

*quick note: after his surgery, he was not muzzled. His tail was protected by a bandage; on Wednesday I was told to take the bandage off- I started to take it off, but he managed to shake it off. He had to get an extra stitch to keep the wound from bleeding. It was Thursday that he got the staple, as a result of him licking out the stitches. It wasn't until Sunday that I found out that the staple "didn't take".

 

*he's on an anti-biotic, tramidol and rimadyl.

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If there's bone exposed, he needs another surgery. It's not going to heal on its own. Your decision at this point is whether to do another surgery to just remove a small piece of the tail to get back to healthy tissue to close, or go ahead and dock his tail short so you won't have to deal with happy tail again. Is your vet experienced with greyhounds? I'm surprised she would say to let it heal on its own with bone exposed.


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Yea-maybe I'm missing something-I find it hard to believe that your vet is not scheduling a second surgery by now-it's not going to heal on its own at this point.

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Does someone have a therapeutic laser unit near you? I haven't used it on a tail yet but I have used it on lots of other patients with infected, poorly healing wounds. It s amazing what a difference it can make.


Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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I have two dogs with cute six inch tails. I kept a cone on Gigi, because there was a slight possibility that she could get at her stitches. Sounds like more surgery will be needed. Good luck!

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Poor dog. Poor you! I think more surgery is needed as they have to pull a flap of skin over to seal it.

It will need a tail splint, regular dressing changes, and SO important now... the correct antibiotic identified from a culture. You could ask them to use medical strength Manuka Honey on it too. Your dog needs to wear a muzzle with stool guard or a long cone; the inflatable collars are not reliable to keep them from a tail stump.

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My last dog had a portion of his tail amputated due to a 16 week happy tail (and he was having major surgery on his leg anyway). My vet cut off a few inches, but spared the skin. He then sort of wrapped the extra skin around the end (providing the dog with a double layer of skin on the tip). Bandaged it up (he had 24 staples in his leg, was on cage confinement, and wearing a cone), and checked when the staples were removed. It heeled beautifully and the dog never once had another problem. Of course he was also on heavy duty antibiotics for his leg, so perhaps that helped?

 

A partial tail amp is not that complicated. This sounds like a massively botched job.



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Guest Clawsandpaws

I had a not so happy tail problem too. We opted to remove the whole tail, leaving a 3 inch nub. It healed wonderfully. However, I have met dozens of dogs with half/partial/3/4s and none of them had much difficulty healing. I would also take my dog to a new vet (I actually did switch vets through my process also) ASAP.

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I had a not so happy tail problem too. We opted to remove the whole tail, leaving a 3 inch nub. It healed wonderfully. However, I have met dozens of dogs with half/partial/3/4s and none of them had much difficulty healing. I would also take my dog to a new vet (I actually did switch vets through my process also) ASAP.

I too had a girl with a happy tail and removed all but 3 inches. What a difference after suffering with it for almost 8 years until she opened it and it wouldn't heal. I had it done at NGAP in Philadelphia last October and the vet did an amazing job. I had to change the bandage every other day for about a week and a half until the stitches came out, but it healed beautifully and we and she are very happy.


 

Mom to Melly and Dani

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Another surgery is urgent! I waited too long for a tail to heal and my very grey-savvy vet said it could have infected the blood and spread up the tail and into her body.... this need to be corrected by a vet that knows what they're doing. Yours does not. Please keep us updated.


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From your description I'd have to agree that another surgery would give the best results but perhaps I'm misunderstanding the situation. My girl had her tail severed in a freak storm door accident. (I will forever feel horrified & guilty about this.) This of course required surgery. Because this involved crushed bone & flesh the vet actually removed an additional, vertebra to make sure he had enough healthy skin to work with. Her tail used to touch the ground but is now the length of a Lab's. It healed perfectly though & without complication. I did most of the bandage changes myself.

 

Have to wonder if part of the problem was the lack of healthy skin at the end, whether from infection or compromised blood flow. If the skin needed to be trimmed back far enough to have exposed bone then likely the vet should have removed it (the bone) back to at least the next joint or possibly two joints up. If you are not comfortable with how your vet is handing this or if your vet really is out of ideas then a visit with a different vet could be your best bet even if it requires a long drive. This doesn't mean you would have to switch vets entirely but consulting with a different surgeon for this particular problem would seem logical... at least it would to me.

Edited by kudzu

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We had this issue with Valentino, the solution, the vet went in and surgically shortened his tail a bit more, closed it up, wrapped it and had me bring him back for weekly bandage changes for 3 weeks. It healed with no problems what so ever. The only draw back, he had a shorter tail, which didn't stop him for a minute!


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We used 1/4 pipe insulation. Soft foam. We kept it on our dog for 6 weeks and she didn't have an amputation. You have to be dilligent and monitor. Tape the tail above the wound and then tape the insulation to the tape. We had another dog who ripped his tail and needed about a 1 inch amputation and his healed fine just with bandages and a hard plastic cover the vet applied. Good luck with your boy, but I think he needs another surgery.


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Another surgery is urgent! I waited too long for a tail to heal and my very grey-savvy vet said it could have infected the blood and spread up the tail and into her body.... this need to be corrected by a vet that knows what they're doing. Yours does not. Please keep us updated.

Is "Sarge" the same dog that was recently rehomed by GFNJ?

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Is "Sarge" the same dog that was recently rehomed by GFNJ?

 

it sure is :beatheart:beatheart:beatheart

My new senior boy is working his magic on me every day, healing my broken heart after losing Remy to Osteo... LOVE him to bits... :beatheart:beatheart:beatheart


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Guest ebscearce

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

 

The veterinarian consulted with another practice, and Trump is scheduled for surgery on Friday morning; I think that when she said she was at a loss for what to do, it was because she doesn't want him to have the trauma of another surgery- but we have all realized that it's necessary.

 

I will suggest that most of the tail is removed, and that he have a double flap of skin sutured to the site.

 

How should I care for the site after the surgery? He'll be muzzled with a guard, and I hope his tail will be too short to knock anything- but should the stitches be exposed or bandaged? Should we cover the tail with curlers or a syringe again?

 

We will look into Manuka Honey; has anyone heard of using prescriptive antihistamines to aid healing?

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He should have a bandage on it for around 3-4 weeks. I took Ringo in every 5 days to have it changed, by the vet!

 

I had my vet dock it to the length of a weim - are you going to the other clinic? Aftercare is paramount!


Diane & The Senior Gang

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If you can, have them cauterize with a laser. As I recall, we only had one follow up appointment. No frequent bandage changes.

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Gigi was bandaged for a couple of weeks with one change in the middle. She never messed with it, but I kept a bite not collar on her when I couldn't be there to watch her.

Good luck!

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it sure is :beatheart:beatheart:beatheart

My new senior boy is working his magic on me every day, healing my broken heart after losing Remy to Osteo... LOVE him to bits... :beatheart:beatheart:beatheart

OHHHH, I had my eye on this guy when I saw him pop up on the site! We just lost Charlotte July 14 and Sarge stole my heart but my husband doesn't want a leg-lifter (or at least a tall leg-lifter)...we are fostering a senior Yorkie instead!

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