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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Question Bad Tail Docking?

Hi! I'm new to this site. I found it when researching for breeders. I just got my new Dobie puppy. Red & Rust female named Lucy. She's doing great and adjusting quite well to my children and other dog (Akita Mix).

I do have a problem with her tail. At almost 8 weeks old it has no hair growth on the end. Instead the end is flat, not tappered and has a white scabbish appearence. When I traveled to the breeder to buy Lucy I asked about the tail. The breeder and her husband assured me that it would grow hair and was fine/healthy.

I took Lucy to my vet for a well puppy exam and with concerns about her tail as I had seen a small amount of dried blood on the end. The vet told me that the job had been "botched", and that Lucy would require surgery to correct the tail not only for cosmetic reasons, but to avoid any problems with it in the future.

I contacted the breeder, explained the situation. The breeder said that the tail was fine and that I should contact her vet to confirm that. I was surprised that she didn't know her vets name or have a phone number, but I was able to locate him as he is the only vet in a small, rural community. The vet's wife explained to me that the mother of my puppy kept licking the puppy's tails and they were'nt able to heal properly.

I contacted Lucy's breeder to reley this new information, but she still denies that there is s problem. As I still owe the breeder a payment balance, I proposed that I deduct the cost of the surgery from the balance. I haven't gotten a response from her other than requesting a picture of the tail which looks much the way it did when I took her home.

Does anyone have any advice or tips on how to handle this situation? I've had two other dobermans (one died from congestive heart failure as related to cardiomyopathy) but never had any other problems. The breeders were very helpful, organized and much more "professional" in their interactions.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 04:12 PM
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I don't really have any advice on the tail but welcome to DT! I have an akita mix too so I wanna see pictures.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 04:36 PM
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Many, many years ago, when I was a child and my parents got our first Doberman, we had the same situation with the tail and were told almost exactly the same thing by the breeder.

Well, all did not go well, the tail became infected and abscessed, The tail was re-docked and other than a tail slightly shorter than average, Trina was fine.

My parents also owed the breeder another payment but instead sent her copies of the Vet bills and told her they would be deducting the price of the tail repair from the final payment.

To make a long story short, this breeder took my folks to Small Claims Court and the judge ruled in favor of my folks, stating that the breeder should not have released the puppy with a defective tail.

I believe you are well within your rights to deduct the cost of tail repair from any balance due the breeder.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avianantics View Post
Many, many years ago, when I was a child and my parents got our first Doberman, we had the same situation with the tail and were told almost exactly the same thing by the breeder.

Well, all did not go well, the tail became infected and abscessed, The tail was re-docked and other than a tail slightly shorter than average, Trina was fine.

My parents also owed the breeder another payment but instead sent her copies of the Vet bills and told her they would be deducting the price of the tail repair from the final payment.

To make a long story short, this breeder took my folks to Small Claims Court and the judge ruled in favor of my folks, stating that the breeder should not have released the puppy with a defective tail.

I believe you are well within your rights to deduct the cost of tail repair from any balance due the breeder.

Good Luck!
My vet is doing my pups ears on Monday, same issue with tail and it's too long. He said its no problem, will cut and pull the skin from the top of the tail to underneath to repair the scar, says there will be no scars when he's finished. Same working theory as when they pull the skin around the ears so there's no scar on the edge of the ears is what I'm told
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 10:51 PM
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I would most definitely deduct the cost of the surgery from the breeders payment. Welcome to DT btw.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 07:00 AM
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I agree with what everyone else has said so far.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Jack

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Originally Posted by bleh60 View Post
I don't really have any advice on the tail but welcome to DT! I have an akita mix too so I wanna see pictures.
Here is Jack. I'll try to get another picture or two. He is a shepard-akita mix. Maybe some wolf too.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Pictures of Tail

Here are some pictures of the tail that the breeder described as normal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnedknees View Post
Hi! I'm new to this site. I found it when researching for breeders. I just got my new Dobie puppy. Red & Rust female named Lucy. She's doing great and adjusting quite well to my children and other dog (Akita Mix).

I do have a problem with her tail. At almost 8 weeks old it has no hair growth on the end. Instead the end is flat, not tappered and has a white scabbish appearence. When I traveled to the breeder to buy Lucy I asked about the tail. The breeder and her husband assured me that it would grow hair and was fine/healthy.

I took Lucy to my vet for a well puppy exam and with concerns about her tail as I had seen a small amount of dried blood on the end. The vet told me that the job had been "botched", and that Lucy would require surgery to correct the tail not only for cosmetic reasons, but to avoid any problems with it in the future.

I contacted the breeder, explained the situation. The breeder said that the tail was fine and that I should contact her vet to confirm that. I was surprised that she didn't know her vets name or have a phone number, but I was able to locate him as he is the only vet in a small, rural community. The vet's wife explained to me that the mother of my puppy kept licking the puppy's tails and they were'nt able to heal properly.

I contacted Lucy's breeder to reley this new information, but she still denies that there is s problem. As I still owe the breeder a payment balance, I proposed that I deduct the cost of the surgery from the balance. I haven't gotten a response from her other than requesting a picture of the tail which looks much the way it did when I took her home.

Does anyone have any advice or tips on how to handle this situation? I've had two other dobermans (one died from congestive heart failure as related to cardiomyopathy) but never had any other problems. The breeders were very helpful, organized and much more "professional" in their interactions.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 10:41 AM
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That is "lick Granuloma". It happens when the Dam or littermates or the puppy itself licks the healing wound. They keep licking it and licking it until it doesn't heal properly - then it forms this protective shield of bumpy skin.

How do I know - Kaiser has it too.

It can be corrected with debriding (?) where the vet basically scrapes the dead skin off and then re-sutures the tail. After that it is essential that the dog not be allowed to touch it until completely healed.

If it is not causing the dog any issue and you are not intending to show the dog - you could certainly leave it unless it bothers you.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 10:42 AM
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Yep it's a dock thats gone bad. I can't tell from the picture but the tail looks a little long also. I've got a blue rescue Hank that has a bald spot on the tip of his tail. He's 1 1/2 years old and the vet said he could repair it when he neutered him but in an adult there's a lot of pain involved in the healing. I didn't have it done because of the pain factor. It's just become part of ol' Hank. My vet said it would cause any problems for him in the future it just looks, I don't know, it just looks.... If you are going to have it corrected I would do so now while he's still a pup. I agree with the rest of the group about deducting the surgery cost from the balance owed.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmarek View Post
That is "lick Granuloma". It happens when the Dam or littermates or the puppy itself licks the healing wound. They keep licking it and licking it until it doesn't heal properly - then it forms this protective shield of bumpy skin.

How do I know - Kaiser has it too.

It can be corrected with debriding (?) where the vet basically scrapes the dead skin off and then re-sutures the tail. After that it is essential that the dog not be allowed to touch it until completely healed.

If it is not causing the dog any issue and you are not intending to show the dog - you could certainly leave it unless it bothers you.
My female boxer has this. I chose not to have it fixed and her hair has since grown over the spot.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 11:34 AM
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It could be that this IS a normal situation for that breeder, unfortunately. I've certainly never had a tail end up like that, but that's why I don't leave the dam unattended with her puppies while tails are healing.

I did have a rescue foster that had a tail situation like that going on, and I just had it fixed when she was spayed. So, that would be my advice. I'd just get it fixed when you get her spayed.

As for the breeder and payments and the cost, YOU could see this situation before you took the puppy and you share some responsibility in accepting the puppy that way. You certainly don't seem to have an agreement with the breeder regarding the tail whereas apparently you do have an agreement about payments. I really don't think that you have the legal right to decide to change the agreement.

Unfortunately, I think you may have to chalk this up to a learning experience unless you're willing to take them to small claims court over it, keeping in mind that you accepted the puppy as it was when you had the ability to leave her and not make the purchase.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryAndDobes View Post
It could be that this IS a normal situation for that breeder, unfortunately. I've certainly never had a tail end up like that, but that's why I don't leave the dam unattended with her puppies while tails are healing.

I did have a rescue foster that had a tail situation like that going on, and I just had it fixed when she was spayed. So, that would be my advice. I'd just get it fixed when you get her spayed.

As for the breeder and payments and the cost, YOU could see this situation before you took the puppy and you share some responsibility in accepting the puppy that way. You certainly don't seem to have an agreement with the breeder regarding the tail whereas apparently you do have an agreement about payments. I really don't think that you have the legal right to decide to change the agreement.

Unfortunately, I think you may have to chalk this up to a learning experience unless you're willing to take them to small claims court over it, keeping in mind that you accepted the puppy as it was when you had the ability to leave her and not make the purchase.
See I do not see it that way. They took the puppy under the false information that the tail was fine and will be ok. However, after a vet exam they find out it is not fine and dandy. This is misleading coming from the breeder. If the tail was in fact ok after a vet exam then yes, they should pay, but that is not the case. I would hold out payment until I knew how much it was going to cost me.
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The tail IS fine - in other words the dock job was done ok - well maybe a little long ideally should be 2 vertebrae but who's counting.

The issue is with the Lick Granuloma - that was not the breeders fault and was not the vets fault. One could consider it an act of nature. Ok there could have been precautions taken by the breeder to make sure they didn't lick each other - but what breeder do you know of that would separate all the pups?

As the consumer, it's my responsibility to be aware of these things and then make a decision to either take the dog or look for another. If I wasn't sure what it was I would have done some research to corroborate the breeders story and not just take it at face value.

I personally think that the issue with the tail is a very minor one and does not change who the dog is at heart. Who he is as a dog, a family member, etc.

If he's not being used for show and the owner doesn't find it offensive it doesn't matter because all that matters at the end of the day is if the owner and dog have bonded and find each other comrades.

Looking for some form of compensation AFTER the sale took place with out this being discussed and put in writing is just thinking that won't get very far inter-personally or legally.

If it was that bad that it is causing an issue then I'm sorry but the dog should not have been purchased. But then I see the dog as more than a tail.


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnedknees View Post
Hi! I'm new to this site. I found it when researching for breeders. I just got my new Dobie puppy. Red & Rust female named Lucy. She's doing great and adjusting quite well to my children and other dog (Akita Mix).

I do have a problem with her tail. At almost 8 weeks old it has no hair growth on the end. Instead the end is flat, not tappered and has a white scabbish appearence. When I traveled to the breeder to buy Lucy I asked about the tail. The breeder and her husband assured me that it would grow hair and was fine/healthy.

I took Lucy to my vet for a well puppy exam and with concerns about her tail as I had seen a small amount of dried blood on the end. The vet told me that the job had been "botched", and that Lucy would require surgery to correct the tail not only for cosmetic reasons, but to avoid any problems with it in the future.

I contacted the breeder, explained the situation. The breeder said that the tail was fine and that I should contact her vet to confirm that. I was surprised that she didn't know her vets name or have a phone number, but I was able to locate him as he is the only vet in a small, rural community. The vet's wife explained to me that the mother of my puppy kept licking the puppy's tails and they were'nt able to heal properly.

I contacted Lucy's breeder to reley this new information, but she still denies that there is s problem. As I still owe the breeder a payment balance, I proposed that I deduct the cost of the surgery from the balance. I haven't gotten a response from her other than requesting a picture of the tail which looks much the way it did when I took her home.

Does anyone have any advice or tips on how to handle this situation? I've had two other dobermans (one died from congestive heart failure as related to cardiomyopathy) but never had any other problems. The breeders were very helpful, organized and much more "professional" in their interactions.
Welcome to the forum, Skinnedknees. Jack's a handsome boy and the pup is sure cute.

Unfortunately, looks like you're learning the hard way why folks on this forum have spent so much time and energy trying to steer puppy buyers to more ethical breeders.

The type of breeder you've encountered here is usually friendly and personable *before* the sale, but not so helpful and available after. They also typically deal with reported health issues as you're seeing them do--denial, denial, denial.

This type of person is generally referred to as a "backyard breeder" and many of them will argue until the end of days they are doing nothing wrong.

The pups who have issues, from small and relatively minor, to horrid and even fatal, say different. And it's really hard to watch the new owners have to deal with the mess this type of breeder has created.

I myself would deduct the cost of the puppy's tail repair from whatever balance remains, would keep all documentation, and ask the treating veterinarian to prepare an explanatory letter to the breeder. I'd send it all certified mail, notarized, along with the remaining balance, if any.

Then, enjoy your pup, hope nothing else arises from this breeder's poor decisions for her animals, and spread the word about your experience--try to prevent others from buying from this type of unethical person.

Sorry for the rant, enjoy the forum and post lots of pics

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I think you are right. I sent these pictures to the breeder and she offered to pay for half of the surgery (knock off $100 from the $850 selling price.) I'm not going to have her ears done, but I am going to have her spayed and I'll have the surgery done then. I'm just hoping that it doesn't become infected first. That is my overiding concern; infection, and sepsis.

You're right about the backyard breeder type. My first two dobies came from breeders that were active members of dog clubs and prided themselves on the betterment of the breed. They were both in the Seattle area. This puppy came from Spokane. It's clear that the breeder was in it for a yearly chunk of money. She presented such a different image in her online ads. My 10 year old son was with me for the 3.5 hour drive there. It would have been awful to leave Lucy behind So I suppose that I really wanted to believe what the breeder told me about the tail.

It's very difficult to find dobermans in my area, especially puppies that don't cost $1800-$2000. The prices have really shot up since I bought my last doberman 15 years ago. My last puppy came to me at 14-16 weeks with ears done and from active champion parents and I paid $750. If I didn't love dobermans so much I would have gone back to the humane society for a mixed puppy!

Thanks Again
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFawnRising View Post
Welcome to the forum, Skinnedknees. Jack's a handsome boy and the pup is sure cute.

Unfortunately, looks like you're learning the hard way why folks on this forum have spent so much time and energy trying to steer puppy buyers to more ethical breeders.

The type of breeder you've encountered here is usually friendly and personable *before* the sale, but not so helpful and available after. They also typically deal with reported health issues as you're seeing them do--denial, denial, denial.

This type of person is generally referred to as a "backyard breeder" and many of them will argue until the end of days they are doing nothing wrong.

The pups who have issues, from small and relatively minor, to horrid and even fatal, say different. And it's really hard to watch the new owners have to deal with the mess this type of breeder has created.

I myself would deduct the cost of the puppy's tail repair from whatever balance remains, would keep all documentation, and ask the treating veterinarian to prepare an explanatory letter to the breeder. I'd send it all certified mail, notarized, along with the remaining balance, if any.

Then, enjoy your pup, hope nothing else arises from this breeder's poor decisions for her animals, and spread the word about your experience--try to prevent others from buying from this type of unethical person.

Sorry for the rant, enjoy the forum and post lots of pics
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnedknees View Post
Thanks, I think you are right. I sent these pictures to the breeder and she offered to pay for half of the surgery (knock off $100 from the $850 selling price.) I'm not going to have her ears done, but I am going to have her spayed and I'll have the surgery done then. I'm just hoping that it doesn't become infected first. That is my overiding concern; infection, and sepsis.

You're right about the backyard breeder type. My first two dobies came from breeders that were active members of dog clubs and prided themselves on the betterment of the breed. They were both in the Seattle area. This puppy came from Spokane. It's clear that the breeder was in it for a yearly chunk of money. She presented such a different image in her online ads. My 10 year old son was with me for the 3.5 hour drive there. It would have been awful to leave Lucy behind So I suppose that I really wanted to believe what the breeder told me about the tail.

It's very difficult to find dobermans in my area, especially puppies that don't cost $1800-$2000. The prices have really shot up since I bought my last doberman 15 years ago. My last puppy came to me at 14-16 weeks with ears done and from active champion parents and I paid $750. If I didn't love dobermans so much I would have gone back to the humane society for a mixed puppy!

Thanks Again
Our dog has a similar tail to yours. We are gonna get it cut down a little more cause it is really long when he gets his ears done and get neutered. I cant believe a backyard breeder charged you 850 though. We just got our second doberman from a backyard breeder but we only paid 100 for the pup with tail cropped and dewclaws removed.

Before looking at this website I didnt know about the difference in titles or what they were(still dont) and health testing. I love all of our animals and they are family
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 05:48 PM
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Dogs Age: DOB 4/5/09
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You might want to ask the breeder to show you the receipt from the vet for the tail docking. The breeder very well could have done the docking to save money. We went through the same thing, and will get our dog's tail corrected when she gets spayed as well. It is my understanding that the vet will also need to make sure the dock is at the right spot in relation to the joint and nerve. I would advise keeping antiseptic on it. Bella went through a long phase of chewing at her nub, but it has healed at least.

"Everybody loves the Bella!"
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 10:39 PM
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Dogs Name: Dortch's Scarlett Rose (Scarlett)
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Welcome to DT! Thanks for this post, I'm a first time dobe owner and I was wondering why my pup's tail was bald, too. It looks just like that. I don't think I'm going to bother having it fixed though if its not bothering her, she's not a show dog.
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