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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

My apologies if this Health forum is the wrong place for this.

My dober-girl, Sophie is just over a year now and, seems to have this random "tick"... sometimes she'll get spooked (even yelp at times, though there's no obvious trigger that spooked her), tuck her butt down (not drag on the ground but the "tuck" like they are running really fast) and spin around a few times really fast, eventually, plopping down on her butt to itch her nub with her teeth (that front teeth corn-on-the-cob type biting). She's seems to be mildly upset and anxious about it too.

It's quite random. The only time I can say she's done it with more frequency is if she is slightly stressed. But, that said, she's also done it playing in the living room, happy as a clam, for no apparent reason.

I talked to my breeder about it, and she said it could be "phantom tail" in that a nerve ending could be tucked up in there, rubbing against the bone of where she was docked and just "bite" from time to time.

Me, being a worrier, I'd want to rule out any chance of maybe lower GI problems or upset stomach, etc, etc. I've tried to trigger the behavior by tickling and rubbing the top, bottom, sides of the nub, but I can't get her to do it. Maybe the nub itself isn't the problem, she is just "itching" that b/c that's all she can get to? Have also checked for bugs crawling on her or flies lighting on her, etc. Her potty breaks are also quite routine and unremarkable.

If anyone has experienced this type of behavior or knows anything about "phantom tail," I would love to hear about it. Would appreciate any insight or info/suggestions/etc. If you have any other questions about it, I'd be happy to answer as well.

Best,
Adam
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I suspect your breeder is correct, and your dog has what is called a tail dock neuroma. This is when a bundle of nerve tissue forms at the site of docking, and can be quite painful. In general, this calls for surgical removal of the excess nerve tissue.
Thank you so much. This is quite helpful putting a term to her symptoms. A search of "tail dock neuroma" brings back a lot of information and a lot of the same symptoms from around the web. Even found an old thread from 2009 about it here on DT.

Most of the information I found in my brief search talked about a bulge or callous at the site, though Sophie does not have this. She has one of the most gorgeous nubs I've seen... no bald spots, scar tissue, etc. But, that said, I think I need to talk to the vet and discuss our options. Certainly not opposed to corrective surgery if it will help her.

Thank you again,
Adam
 

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Let us know if this is the issue; whenever you can get her checked out. It would be helpful to others to be able to read a thread like this, as some of the other thread were helpful to you.

Best of luck for you and your girl! :)
 

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Torque does the same thing. His original dock was a bad job, so when he was neutered I had them redock it. He will sometimes act like something is chasing him or biting/pinching his nub. The only other thread I could find with any info and not just a mention of a neuroma was this one http://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-corner/34462-yucky-nub.html

Is that the one you are referring to WillyStDobe? Anyone else know anything about the neuroma? It mentions in that other thread about a lump or "ball of cartilage." How big are those usually?

This is the bump on Torque's tail. It is right where the stitches ended and he's kinda always had it but I think it has gotten harder, not bigger I don't think, maybe a little.

 

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My Vet mentioned this when I took Chester in for his initial check up last Friday. The Vet who did the tails did't do a good job and he has sort of a callus on his nub. So when he's 5 months she is going to fix it. Hopefully this won't cause any additional problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Torque does the same thing. His original dock was a bad job, so when he was neutered I had them redock it. He will sometimes act like something is chasing him or biting/pinching his nub. The only other thread I could find with any info and not just a mention of a neuroma was this one http://www.dobermantalk.com/puppy-corner/34462-yucky-nub.html

Is that the one you are referring to WillyStDobe? Anyone else know anything about the neuroma? It mentions in that other thread about a lump or "ball of cartilage." How big are those usually?
Hi there, this is the thread I found specifically searching for "tail dock neuroma":
Talk Dock Neuroma

Great information there. This thread has also proven very helpful! If for any reason, her behavior seems to be aligned with the problem. Makes me happy that she's not just flipping out for no good reason! :)
 

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Is it possible that her anal glands need expressing?
Hi Cathy43, this is kind of what I thought in the beginning so we had that done. Vet said everything back there was looking good... no blockage, impacted glands, etc. She seems to be good on that front, but the behavior still persisted.

I spoke to our breeder this weekend, and we're going to have her looked at by the vet that did the docking and see how significant it is. There's no physical signs of issue (callous, sore, etc.), but, I we can get her some relief, I'd want to do it! I'll definitely keep this thread up to date with our progress, as it was immensely helpful to me. I'd want anyone else needing the info to get the same help I did!

Thanks to all for the input.
 

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Liberty used to do what you describe quite frequently when she was a puppy, and she also has one of the most beautiful nubs I have seen. There is no scar tissue, no bald area, and no bumps or lumps of any kind. She still does it every now and then (maybe once a month?), but the "episode" or whatever you call it is usually over in less than 10 seconds. I had two different vets check her out, and they both said that she does not appear to have a neuroma and it wouldn't be worth trying to repair her dock that seems to be otherwise fine. :(

I wish I could offer more helpful words of wisdom, but that's all I've got!
 

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Hi there, this is the thread I found specifically searching for "tail dock neuroma":
Talk Dock Neuroma

Great information there. This thread has also proven very helpful! If for any reason, her behavior seems to be aligned with the problem. Makes me happy that she's not just flipping out for no good reason! :)
Thanks! My searching skills are definitely sub-par. None of the pictures that were posted in that thread are there anymore. Could anyone post the pictures again? Or new ones from anyone else?

I am googling as well. I think Torque and I might be making a trip to the vet here in the near future...

Anyone who has experience with the neuroma and the surgery to fix it: do they have to take off more of the tail or can they just remove the tissue? I already had him redocked and he's on the last vertebrae, so out of tail to take off...
 

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Hmm, this post caught my eye, because my pup often sits down and chews on his tail as well. I figured maybe it just felt odd at the tip and he'd grow out of it, but now I'll have to look closer.

If this problem requires additional surgery will it be apparent at this young of an age?
 
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