UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

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UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby 2tone » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:26 pm

Well, since day one sox has been the most happy pup ever. His tail will wag SO hard, he hits himself in the ribs. He's knocked down picture frames, cups, sodas, and anything else. Up until a week and a half ago, I came home from work, and noticed blood streaks ALL over my khakis. I immediately looked at his tail, and seen the tip had a small gash in it. We keep it wrapped all day, and the next day for work, he'll chew it off in his kennel. Just this morning, I went and got a cone for his head, and figured i'd try that only when he's in his kennel.

I called about 4 vet clinics, and one said they could "dock" it for 160 dollars. I found that suprising, because I didnt think this could be done after a few days old.

Another vet said that he would have to go through surgery, and would cost me insane amounts of money.

Another vet said to keep it wrapped, keep the cone on his head, and give it a few weeks. <--I have to admit, I dont like this option. He's a disaster with the cone on, and he will manage to find a way to make his tail bleed even with several gauze bandages protecting it.

I am at a real standstill here, because I LOOOOVEEE his tail, cannot afford him to get surgery, and hate seeing him with a bloody mess all the time. He doesnt act like it bothers him, but it has to. It's rather heartbreaking. I could afford the "dock" but that just didnt sound right to me, so I'm not going to chance that place.

Even with a dock, or amputation, how far would they cut? If not that much, wouldnt he just constantly bust open even the fresh dock? Would they have to make it a nub, like boxers? Please help!!!!!!!!!
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby Amie » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:31 pm

A LOT of us deal with this - some of us have had to deal with docking as the only reasonable option. I'm lucky in that it happens, but not severely. Docking was suggested to me, too, when Oscar was about a year, but it's never come to that. Where the dock is cut is up to you and your vet.

If you do a search (see the announcement at the top of any forum about how to do a search) you'll find dozens of different options for treatment for you that we've tried.

Good luck!
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby Adrianne » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:37 pm

Often they cut a few inches. Happy tail is a bitch to heal but once a fresh thicker tail is the tip its easier. For example most gundogs tails.

I have a male with occasionally happy tail. Someday it may need more and may need to be cut, hopefully never. If the tail gets bad enough it will get infected and rot.

Coming from a gun dog and farm dog background I grew up around a lot of dogs with home remedied tails. Super glue was one option.

It's up to you what you do. Most happy tail can heal itself but from the sounds of it your boy may have trouble.

My fosters and my own boy with happy tail have all lucky for me naturally healed.

If you wrap it be sure its a breathable wrap. Also I have seen the use of strong tapes such as duct tape to help secure a bandage. The logic behind this is fur grows back (all be it may cause further irritation when pulled out) but tails don't.

One of the best ideas I have seen but never tried is using a plastic bottle/tubing as an amor of sorts. Allow air flow of course but it will protect the tail while it heals from additional hard surfaces.

Good luck!


PS I did a quick search on another forum and found this.. I can't speak on it but it may interest you...

Here is what you *should* do: laser her tail. Ask your veterinarian (or call around to local vet offices) if they have (or have access to) a laser machine.

When you laser a wound it cauterizes the area and promotes new skin growth! Our hospital is lucky enough to have a laser and we have used it successfully for dogs who suffer from "happy tail".

The first laser treatment will be under anesthesia, but the treatments following the initial treatment will be done without any sedation at all since she will not feel the lasering.

Most "happy tail" dogs take about 4-6 weeks of treatments (3 treatments a week). She will wear a pretty funky medal splint at the end of her tail until treatment is done.

I wish you the best of luck!
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby 2tone » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:18 pm

well, i've read some posts, and am still not sure what to try. I am going to try cleaning it up good tonight (hopefully it didnt break open today) after work, and superglue it.

I just love his tail, it seems to give him 110% of his character!
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby Kingsgurl » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:09 pm

Uhg! I'm sorry you are dealing with this. There is nothing 'happy' about Happy Tail (except the dog roflmao ) I ended up having to dock Mysti, but it was a last resort and I only did it after the tip had necroptic damage (basically, the bone was dead and decaying)
You can try gluing it shut with surgical glue and wrapping it with a syringe cover or other hard protective cover until it heals. Good luck!
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby Adrianne » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:18 pm

Oh it should be said superglue DOES sting, so try to make it as positive and safe as possible. If you feel your dog may react badly have someone assisting you. Even if not you may want to try and have someone feeding the dog treats while you touch up the tail.
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby 2tone » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:19 am

well, I got a good layer of superglue on it. I'm not sure how much it bothered him, I just sat on the ground with my legs indian style, and he layed in my lap while I glued, and wrapped. He looked up at me right after I applied the glue, but then laid his head on my knee as if he felt like I was saving him..haha!

So, you stick the tail inside the syringe bottle, and tape it? I am going to try that next, but making sure I am understanding this correctly..
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby BabyReba » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:21 am

argh, i'm now experiencing happy tail for the first time ever, and like someone else said, there's nothing happy about it at all.

doc doesn't have a really thin tail, and it's really well-covered in fur, but somehow he's managed to break it open this week and i can tell it's really hurting him because he's holding his tail at an odd angle.

i've been keeping it clean with chlorhexidine wash, and i'm also trying to dry it really well a couple of times a day with the hair dryer, in hopes that it will dry up, scab over, and heal up.

fingers crossed!
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby dr961 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:34 pm

I haven't used this on happy tail, but one of my dogs had a bad cut on his foot which just didn't seem to want to heal and I used a product called EMT Gel, available from online vet supply places and even some feed stores or places that sell horse or livestock supplies. The stuff worked like a miracle on the deep cut, forming a coating which stopped the bleeding and seeping. It doesn't sting or hurt, and also comes in a spray which contains a bitter tasting additive to prevent licking.

I've been able to deal with happy tail problems by bandaging lightly at the first sign of bleeding, before it gets really bad. For a tail with a bad problem, I'd certainly try the EMT Gel along with bandaging. And in the future, try to steer your dog away from walls and furniture when he's wagging like crazy!
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby tiva » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:30 am

I hope your home remedies work, and if they don't work, trying to find a vet with experience in the laser technique sounds like it might be worthwhile.

I did want to give you a bit of reassurance from experience: if you can't control the happy tail, docking isn't necessarily a bad option. It's a lot better than necrosis! Our elderly pit bull Tiva had to have her tail amputated 3 inches from the base (when she got a mast cell tumor, not happy tail), and even though she was 12, her recovery was very quick (2 weeks in a cone so she wouldn't bother the stub healing) and the lack of a tail hasn't seemed to bother her. In fact, she used to get hot spots on her tail, and now she doesn't, so she's actually happier than before.
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby southern_comfort » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:31 am

The tip of Atticus's tail was constantly bloody for about the first month from whacking it so hard on stuff. Then he "grew out of it" all of a sudden. How long has Sox been doing this?
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby BabyReba » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:38 pm

Doc's not-very-happy tail got infected, and we had to take him to the vet to wrap it. Aggravating. Now he looks like he has a giant matchstick for a tail.

Photo evidence:

Image
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby Amie » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:42 pm

roflmao

This gives you some great opportunities to light a fire under his butt on all those times he isn't moving fast enough!

roflmao
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby BigHE » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:45 am

Any updates on the tail?
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Re: UGH. Happy tail, aka, bloody tail

Postby BigHE » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:47 am

(Oops! Was trying to edit previous post)

Any updates on the "Happy Tails?" Did just keeping it wrapped work? Ranger, my 8 mo old APBT cut his today. I really don't know what to do yet. It stops bleeding until someone leaves the house or comes home and he goes nuts with the tail wagging. I mean if I leave the house just to check the mail or something (3-5 minutes) he acts like he hasn't seen me all day and goes bizerk. Same happens when my wife and kids come in or leave. He whips his tail practically all day. I put his tail in a bottle (with drilled air holes) to keep him from licking and banging it further. eCollars suck the life out of him, LOL. He refuses to move with them and tries to sleep while sitting. Here's a photo of the tail for those looking for an eCollar alternative. You don't have to put tape directly on the tail. You can use a layer of that stuff that looks like a sticky Ace Bandage before using the medical tape. That's easier on the hair. Any other suggestions are appreciated. I really hope docking is not necessary.

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