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Asking For Prayers, Tail And Toenail Injuries


Urismom
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Last week, Uri's tail got caught in the door. He skinned nearly 2 inches of it, on both sides, right down to the tendons. He has seen two vets about it, one who suggested leaving the hair for cushion and to lesson trauma/prickles and using homeopathic creams with twice-daily bandage changes and ointments, and one who recommended giving it a good cleaning and shaving, and reducing bandage changes to every 1-2 days. Both vets had very valid points. In the end, we had it shaved down and are down to once-a-day bandage changes, partially because we are having trouble getting a bandage to stay in place any longer than that. We are refining our bandaging techniques!

 

Then, unrelated, he ripped out a toenail entirely the other night - blood everywhere. That's why we ended up seeing two vets about the tail....because we made a late-night emergency room trip about the toe. So he was limping, with bandages on both ends, and the poor boy is just miserable. The foot bandage is off now, but we are trying to keep him from licking it. We have a cone-of-shame, but he hates it and is very clumsy and easily spooked when it collides into evvverything....so wearing it is doubly distressing, plus he has still managed a few reach-around licks with it on. So I am just trying to watch him constantly, and putting the hood on only overnight or if I have to step away. He has Tramadol HCL pills to keep him low-key and help with pain, but I am using those sparingly and today he doesn't seem to need any.

 

The foot seems to be settling down for healing, but I am still so worried about his tail. Trying to avoid amputation, but not feeling optimistic the more I read about other cases. I will say - the wound looks no worse after one week...but it also doesn't look any better. Basically, it doesn't look any different. I just look at it the way it is now and I can't imagine it is going to heal. It looks so mean and there is sooooo much ground to cover.

 

I also feel like we can't leave him alone for a second - because if the bandage does come off while we are not looking or away, he instantly settles into licking, licking, licking...That happened Saturday morning and I feel like, with 2 minutes of licking, he exposed more tendon than had been exposed before and set us back several days of healing. That is an argument for giving him more Tramadol, because it keeps him sedate and he is less likely to be standing up, walking around, hitting the bandage, shaking the bandage off....but I don't like the way he seemed so doped up on it. If it was only for a few more days, maybe, but I know this injury is a long haul thing and I don't really want him on meds like that.

 

Anyway - we would appreciate prayers for his tail to heal, for vet wisdom regarding next steps, and for momma to manage the bandaging and 24-7 dog watch so that he doesn't get any licks in.

 

tail-a-small.jpgtail-b-small.jpg

 

My poor, sweet boy. He is such a good patient, doesn't protest one bit,

 

poor-boy-small.jpg

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Poor mom and poor baby. Have you considered a muzzle with poop guard?

 

Hang in there, and may his tail heal quickly!

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We found that if he wears the cone of shame, and also at the same time, his muzzle (no poop guard) , that seems to discourage licking. I'm sure he still could technically, but he's so miserable and encumbered that I think he figures "why bother?" So that's what we have been doing, at night only.

 

Hadn't thought of a poop guard, that might be a good solution. Do you know how they are sized, or are all plastic muzzles the same? I found these here: http://www.greyhoundsonly.com/greyhounds-only-store/accessories/236-stool-guard

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Until the guard arrives you can use duct tape at the bottom of Uri's basket muzzle. Good luck. That tail looks so painful, poor guy.

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Maybe a solution used for happy tail treatment would work. It involves gently wrapping the wrapped tail to a hind leg.

 

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Maybe a solution used for happy tail treatment would work. It involves gently wrapping the wrapped tail to a hind leg.

I saw that in some other threads. He's not much of a tail wagger and it's not banging onto things, so I'm not sure that's what we need, but thank you for the suggestion!

Until the guard arrives you can use duct tape at the bottom of Uri's basket muzzle. Good luck. That tail looks so painful, poor guy.

Ooh, duct tape, good idea! Thanks for the suggestion.

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Desi had a very similar injury last year.....thanks to a door.

 

dogtailsnov2013058-Copy_zpsfbb84fb6.jpg

 

It got bandaged ......

 

dogtails008_zpsc024556a.jpg

 

Seemed like it took forever to fill in & heal.....if I remember, nearly 6 weeks. But it did....looks good as new now,

except for a little bend that only I seem to notice.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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Have you used manuka honey on it? It does a great job on open wounds. Foam pipe insulation works great on a tail. You can't always tell which way it will go. I had a happy tail injury that looked great at the six week mark. A few days later, the tail died and we had to amputate. Good luck!

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Manuka honey!

 

Also, consider taping a cardboard tube (I have Young Living Oil tubes around the house which are narrow ... you may need to Mcguyver a toilet paper roll) to let some air get to the injury without permitting licking.

 

Good luck with the ouchies & itchies!!

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Manuka honey!

 

Also, consider taping a cardboard tube (I have Young Living Oil tubes around the house which are narrow ... you may need to Mcguyver a toilet paper roll) to let some air get to the injury without permitting licking.

 

Good luck with the ouchies & itchies!!

 

You can also use one of those plastic curlers over the bandage. They are very useful for tail injuries.

Sorry for butchering the english language. I try to keep the mistakes to a minimum.

 

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I have heard good things about Manuka honey, I will get some of that.

 

Last night it took over an hour to change the bandage. We have a good mechanism to get the bandage to stay on - it doesn't fall off anymore, so he hasn't been able to lick it in a few days, so that is good. But, it does slide down a bit, like the innards shift, about an inch downward....so instead of the non-stick pad being against the wound, the dry gauze ends up on the wound...and then it bleeds through those layers, dries, and the stick to it. So I had to keep moistening the gauze bit by bit to peel it away so it wouldn't hurt him or disrupt the wound, very frustrating.

 

It must be harder on me than on him, because during that hour-long process -- during which I was in tears -- he was so chill, he ended up asleep in a deep dream, twitching and running in his sleep.

 

We have a follow-up vet appt tomorrow afternoon.

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Guest LazyBlaze

Definitely try the Manuka honey, a good medicinal grade one. Blaze also skinned his tail in a door last year, he had a nasty wound not unlike Uri's and it took two months to heal, but it did eventually heal. Keeping it clean and moist with the Manuka and making sure he can't get to it are key, as infection is the biggest risk. We had the same problem as you're having with the gauze sliding down and causing bleeding during bandage changes, so we switched from using gauze to using a foam dressing called Allevyn Lite (not sure if they are a UK thing, but you'll be able to get something similar in any case). This helped massively with the healing (you just need to make sure that the foam dressing is held in place securely top and bottom so that it doesn't slide down too, but with a long enough piece of foam it's straightforward). With the gauze it felt a bit like every bandage change did damage and set the healing back a bit.

 

My vet also told me that it's possible for scar tissue to impede blood circulation down the tail as it heals, and that sometimes this necessitates amputation too, so keep feeling the end of Uri's tail below the wound to make sure it is warm.

 

We also did laser treatments on Blaze's wound, which really helped kick the healing process into action after we seemed to get slightly stuck for a little while a couple of weeks in. So if your vet or anyone s/he knows has a laser it's worth a shot.

 

Good luck, and hang in there! I remember so well how stressful it all was. Really hope Uri is wagging his tail again soon! Best of luck with his sore foot too, the poor boy.

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Brooke had a happy tail incident and it eventually healed without problems. Recently, I learned something new from our vet. When Ben had his leg bandaged our vet put some tape above the wound fairly loosely touching his fur only. Then he took a surgical stocking and cut a section of it into a 6" length and put tape along the top edge of it and onto Ben's pre-taped leg. This way, when we changed the bandage, we only had to remove the tape from the tape so it never touched the wound. I also learned that I didn't have to tape the bottom of it because Ben did not pull the top of the stocking up, it just hung on his leg.

 

I can post a pic if this is unclear, but I wish I knew about this with Brooke's injury. I would have applied the tape to her tail abovethe wound so it touched fur only. Then I would have taken an piece of the stocking and taped the top edge to the tape on her tail, so I would only have to remove the tape from the other piece of tape which is sooooooooooo much easier. Plus a few times the blood soaked through the gauze and the tape stuck to it, which caused the scab to come off.

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I think I can picture that. Part of the problem is that Uri is naturally/long-term bald along the backside of his tail, from about an inch above the wound upward. So there isn't a lot of area to work with above the wound for taping, without putting it on bare skin -- which is its own problem. We actually haven't been taping at all near the wound, it's too hard to describe the way the ER vet showed us to bandage it, but it only involves tape on the fur below the wound, which we extend above it a little bit where fur allows. So tape near the wound is actually not an issue...but gauze in it, seems to be.

 

Hubby put some duct tape just on the bottom of his muzzle, like a makeshift poop guard until the one I ordered arrives. (Don't worry, I'll make sure it's off often enough for him to drink water.) Seems to be working for the foot-licking. I can't wait to see the vet tomorrow! Hope we get some good advice! I took pictures of the wound Tuesday, and again yesterday, and I have been comparing them on the computer screen to see if I can see any difference....hubby says (and I know) it's crazy to look for any change in that short of a time period. :-p

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You can poke some holes in the bottom of the duct tape or apply the tape such that there is an opening for drinking but not for licking! Tricky, but do-able.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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When Idol had a tail injury it took about 6 weeks to totally heal. We kept it protected with 1/4 foam pipe insulation. The most successful healing is the injury amputation. If you can keep him away from it and covered, you've got a good chance to save the whole tail.

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Ace degloved his front leg in a deck sliding accident before I got him. He had 73 stitches in his lower leg. The person caring for him (his owner died) did not know to change the bandage. When I got him, his leg was a gooey mess, that couldn't be stitched again. Manuka honey did an amazing job and I COULD see the day to day improvement. My vet had suggested using sugar, but the honey was sooo much easier. It also made it easier to get the non stick pad in place because the honey held the pad while I wrapped the gauze. Manuka honey is magic!

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