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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Docking Adult Doberman; Advice Needed

Before I make this post, I want to let you all know that I have been to a veterinarian who recommended that I redock his tail for non-cosmetic purposes. This is not something that I just decided one day I should do. I DO NOT WANT to cause him any further pain or stress, and I really don't care what his tail looks like, but it does indeed seem to be causing him distress and he has been chewing at it for the past 6 months now. It is not comfortable for him and I am running out of other options!



These are pictures of his tail, how it looks right now. When I first adopted him at 1 year old, his tail was beautifully furred except for the very tip which was knobby and black-skinned (you can see the knobby part best in the 3rd photo). But for the past 6 months he has, I assume, been licking and chewing on it. The tail does not look comfortable, it seems as though the skin has stretched over the bone. He is constantly getting bloody sores on it after he runs around in the woods because it has no protection covering it. It's just skin, and then right under that it's bone! I need advice as to what to do. This is a 3-year-old Doberman, he is well past the age of docks and crops. But I think this extreme case warrants the consideration of a redock. What is everyone's opinions? I really need advice, I am not sure if I should go ahead with my doctor's recommendation or not... I have heard both horror stories AND success stories with redocks. Any wisdom is helpful, thank you.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 03:54 PM
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Google and research tail dock neuroma.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 04:02 PM
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Yes I think he will be much happier and so will you with his tail re-docked. That looks incredibly painful and a very poor job to begin with. My boy has something similar, although not nearly as severe, and I regret not having his fixed- He is going on 11yrs old now. Your boy's new tail will be a lot shorter because of how much scarring is there.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkevs View Post
Google and research tail dock neuroma.
I have. But I am not looking for any more Google search hits, I am interested in asking real human beings who have Dobermans who have dealt with this issue before what they would do in my circumstances. The suggestion for tail dock neuromas is surgical removal. Are you telling me your suggestion is to redock the tail?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 04:18 PM
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Technically a redock is surgical removal, just removing only what is necessary. It will probably be about the length of most euro show dobermans.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 05:03 PM
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If my dog was distressed and for 6 months had been chewing on his tail and my Vet recommended a redock... Yes I would have it done.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 09:03 PM
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Hi Shaddie!

Best to you and your boy. Please update, regardless of your decision vis a vis the tail

Also, how about a pic of the intake (eating) end of your boy.

John
Portland OR

Last edited by 4x4bike ped; 06-19-2017 at 09:05 PM.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 07:26 AM
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If his tail was fine when you initially got him, one of the things I would also want to investigate is a possible spinal injury.
While it is entirely possible it is an issue from docking, I wonder how he went so long without issues initially.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 09:55 AM
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A recommendation by a vet who sees the dog, your own investigations and the fact that the dog licks and chews at the tail would be enough to convince me to have him redocked.

As far as why his tail looked OK at a year and is now a problem could be for a number reasons--neuromas sometimes develop over time and there is some bone growth on the vertebrae even at year. If you are concerned that your vet may not have correctly diagnosed the problem ask for a consult with a vet neurologist as well.

And your dog looks to have enough tail length that his redock probably won't be as short as the average Euro type dock. In redocks what is generally done is that as much skin is saved as possible and bone and neural tissue removed, then the skin is pulled back over the stump so that there isn't pressure on the bone--many of these kinds of problems start because the tail was originally docked through a vertebrae not between two vertebrae--even experienced docker can have this happen because it can be tough to feel and dock between the vertebrae.

You may find that old, ingrained habits die hard and you'll have to initially teach your dog to leave his tail alone.

Good luck and I'd definitely redock in this particular case.

Last edited by dobebug; 06-20-2017 at 09:57 AM. Reason: A million typos
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 08:26 PM
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I had my Doberman's tail redone. I wouldn't say he was in daily agony by any means, but you were definitely aware he was sensitive about it. I do not regret having it done. I do not feel it bothered him significantly right after the surgery and he was definitely more relaxed about it long term. Whoever did the hack job initially left a pointed wedge of bone.
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