Tail amputation in adult dog w/tumor--recovery?

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Tail amputation in adult dog w/tumor--recovery?

Postby tiva » Wed May 14, 2008 10:48 am

Hi-
My vet has recommended tail amputation for my 12 yo Tiva (she had a mast cell tumor on her tail, which the vet removed, but it came back grade II, dirty margins--so the choice now is radiation or amputation. Amputation seems less stressful, since radiation would mean her staying at the University hospital for 4-5 days/week for a month).

Some of you have had adult dogs with such bad happy tail that you had to have their tails amputated. What was the recovery like? My vet says it's a long recovery to heal the stump, and she'll need to wear the e-collar for at least a month (Tiva doesn't mind the collar, however--she has had a lot of hot spots on that tail, so she's gotten used to it). How long was your dog in pain? How did you keep the stump stitches intact? Was it hard to keep the stump clean and uninfected?

Thanks for any input! Amputation seems better than radiation, but it's not an easy decision.
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Postby Amie » Wed May 14, 2008 10:52 am

I'd take the tail off, I think.

Is she likely to get sick from the radiation like humans do?
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Postby heartbullies » Wed May 14, 2008 11:32 am

My adult dog Booker had part of his tail amputated recently... I posted about it here with some photos.


It wasn't a complete dock, he still has half his tail, or a little more. The vet did a good job putting it in a protective cover with a plastic tube post surgery, and Booker had an enormous e-collar. He actually didn't mess with it at all, surprisingly... it had bothered him a lot before amputation and the bone broke and was visible through a deep wound on the tail, so maybe in comparison some stitches and bandaging were a relief.

In fact after getting the tail re-bandaged twice in 5 days (it kept coming off from him wagging!) I just removed the bandaging, the bandage was meant to let air flow around the stitches anyway, sooo..... I just kept the whole area clean and dry, and again, shockingly he didn't mess with it and had the stitches removed with no problem. His fur still hasn't grown back 100% and this surgery was done in the beginning of February.

I am so sorry to hear about the lab results. I hope for a speedy surgical recovery, and of course NO return of the lumps, for you and Tiva!
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Postby tiva » Wed May 14, 2008 12:56 pm

Thanks! Radiation can cause vomiting, itching, and pain, but the tail is one of the easiest places to have radiation. The hardest part for Tiva would be staying up at the hospital all week, each week for a month. Plus it would cost a fortune (about $4000+ vs. $400 for the amputation).

Tiva would absolutely hate being at the hospital. She is so used to being with us on the farm all day long, and she's a complete wuss about being left alone (the other two dogs are fine and just sleep; Tiva howls endlessly). We have the amputation scheduled for day after tomorrow, so we can stop obsessing and start healing.
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Postby spammie » Wed May 14, 2008 2:22 pm

Wishing Tiva a safe, speedy recovery. :hug:
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Postby Amie » Wed May 14, 2008 5:14 pm

Yeah, I thought as much. Radiation sucks, even the ones that they say are relatively easy. And add in being away from family, and it's just miserable - and you can't explain that to her.

I think the tail dock is the way to go, and I hope she's bouncing around and happy in no time! You'll both be in my prayers!
:hug: :pray :hug:
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Postby Leslie H » Wed May 14, 2008 8:47 pm

I'd do the tail dock too. We did it on an adult ab.
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Postby Margaret » Wed May 14, 2008 9:15 pm

Sending get well soon wishes to Tiva! Mast Cell cancer sucks!
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Update: Re: Tail amputation in adult dog w/tumor--recovery?

Postby tiva » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:13 pm

I stumbled upon this old thread while looking something else up, and thought I'd give an update. Tiva did indeed have her tail amputated 4 years ago, and it went perfectly well. The MCT recurred a year ago, this time in her front leg, and she's recovered fine from that as well. Now she's 16.5 years, and for the first time, her tail stub has a little problem (a hot spot in this warm, wet weather). But that's easily treatable--I hope!--and she's generally doing great, particularly for a dog her age. Each day, she goes for 2 good walks and she's full of energy and enthusiasm, when she's not snoring loud enough to wake the dead.
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Re: Tail amputation in adult dog w/tumor--recovery?

Postby Ilovethepits » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:30 pm

YAY Tiva! :)
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Re: Tail amputation in adult dog w/tumor--recovery?

Postby PitbullLover* » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:08 pm

16,5 wow that is one old lady, i'm glad she's feeling better that is one tough girl ;)
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