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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been dealing with this for years and now I've got something medical going on with me and I can't physically keep up with all the washing of blood. I've been fighting this tooth and nail because, well his tail is part of him. As much as it drives me crazy, I love it. I worry about him going under anesthesia, worry about the surgery, worry, worry, worry. He deals with it fine, so at this point it is just a weight off my already strugling shoulders. Well, I'm sure my walls would appreciate it too. Honestly I gave up at the old house and my walls looked horrible. I washed and washed until it became too much to handle for me. I don't want to get to that point at this new house. The kids have been helping me a lot since I'm hurting but I can't ask them to wash blood for an hour a day every day.

Is this extremely selfish? I feel like it is. Having him undergo serious surgery for a non-medical reason. It hasn't been infected in a couple years, no lick granulomas anymore, still just the scar tissue and other than him licking when it is actively bleeding, there is no reaction from him at all.

Anybody done it? I guess a serious consult is in order to find out what is involved as far as the procedure and recovery. Sigh.......I sure will miss that tail but I won't miss the headache and body aches it has brought with it.
 

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If he is breaking it open as often as you make it seem to me regardless of infections or granulomas that is a serious issue, it sucks for you and i imagine cant be great for him.
Do you want to stub your toe every day several times a day or break/catch a finger or toe nail so hard it rips and bleeds?

Whatever you decide i dont see it as being selfish thats for sure! Its both of your sanity, health, and overall happiness to be thought of.

Good luck!
 

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I think you would have some luck digging around a Dane forum or talking to a Dane breeder/rescue. At some point, my foster girl had serious happy tail as is evident from the rock solid knob of scar tissue on the end of her tail. I know she came into rescue with bandages on her tail, so I'm guessing having the tip covered constantly allowed it to heal enough so that it could no longer break open. You just have to be careful to avoid the tail now or else it's like having a rock slung at your leg :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rotten, yes, that is what Jordan has on his. I call it a bulb of scar tissue because it reminds me of like a flower bulb. How did you possibly keep her from reinjuring it? I've tried to do the ignore when we first come in where everybody ignores him for at least the first 5 minutes, but he doesn't calm down. Honestly, he isn't obnoxious really at all, just happy. I've also tried to come in quickly and put him in a sit right away in the middle of the room. The trick is how to keep him from ever becoming happy. He's even split it on our legs before, nothing else, just our legs. I try to only wrap it when we have a hard time getting the bleeding to stop because wrapping it is a new set of headaches and he often splits it right through the wrap causing us to have to wrap layer upon layer. It seems we never get it thick enough the first time or two.

That is a great idea to post on a dane forum and talking to recues. I know of one actually very close to here that we had a home visit from. I'm sure they have had to deal with this before.
 

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I think hers was more the result of being confined in a small area, rather than having that type of tail wag prone to happy tail. She does hit it really hard...hard enough that our neighbors can hear it, but it hasn't split back open yet. This is the only picture I have with the tail wrapping on:


It looks like vet wrap.

A link I found on the Dane forum:
TAIL HEALING METHOD

A response to this method: "That's what I did, too, but the Zonas tape didn't hold. Duct tape, changed regularly & used over healthy furred skin worked much better. I also used an extra-wide, extra-large dog collar around the waist instead of fabric. The collar stayed flat on the dog's back and didn't bind the way cloth does. It was also much easier to take on and off. She wore this for 3 months, was able to potty in it (but I unclasped her tail for walks & poopies), and didn't mind it at all. I changed the tape about twice a week or as needed.

Happy tail *can* be healed using this method in many cases. Amputating a partial tail is no guarantee that they won't reopen the amputated part, so it isn't always a cure. " source:http://dolforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=67273&highlight=Happy+tail

Same thread, different poster:

"Monroe battled happy tail for a while, and still gets a small bleeder every now and then, but we are out of danger of amputation! Here is what worked for us:

First, we stopped taping the tip of the tail. Some vets recommend a full cover with padding on the tip of the tail, but ours took that off and left the split tip to air dry and heal.

He made us stop putting any kind of softener or moistener on the tail. No honey, no Neosporin -- he wanted to dry the tail up as much as possible and help it create a callous along the way. Soft tail tip = vulnerable tail tip. Monroe's tail tip is now one big callous and it protects itself.

Third, we slung his tail up between his legs. We made sure that the tape attached to the D ring was plentiful but nice and loose. The loose tape made him much less likely to want to chew it off. We also used kinesio tape at the breeder's suggestion because it was breathable and less likely to trap moisture (moisture = licking/chewing).

Hope that helps! It can take awhile to heal, take heart. "

I'm not sure if you can click the link and read the other responses, but there are a couple of other threads on it as well if you want more info.

Some other suggestions were wrapping the tail with bubble wrap leaving the tip exposed, using a beer cozy to wrap the tail, and a water bottle on the tail.
Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is exactly the O-ring method I used before. I did end up having to pretty much wrap the whole tail because he gave himself lick granulomas, but it worked. After that he got what they called a "dead tail" or limp tail for a few days, which also gave it extra time of healing. I'm going to read through more of the threads. I'm curious about the ones that stopped bleeding after enough scar tissue. I can't imagine any more scar tissue than he has. His is definitely not soft tissue. I do know that if we go the amputation route that it has to be pretty skillfully done as far as length, and better to go shorter than longer because 1. If only cut off the damaged portion it is easy to have the same injuries on the new tip and 2. If cut shorter but still too large of a stump they can irritate it when sitting. I'd definitely have to do some vet inverviews. Our vet doesn't do surgery anymore and is a mobile vet. I'm still not totally convinced yet though. I'm just extremely frustrated.

BTW, your girl is beautiful. I laugh at your chair blockade. I have something similar right now in my back yard to separate the backyard from the back field that borders our neighbors dogs and dogs behind us. People laugh, but it works. LOL. The dogs think it's an impenitrable fortress. When I'm rich I'll think about privacy fencing the whole thing but it is an acre on its own.
 

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When I worked for a vet, we had an American Bulldog who had the same issue. We had to wrap his tail whenever he came to board because he would knock it against the concrete in the runs and it would look like a murder scene. His owners eventually had it amputated and he recovered fairly easily. They said that life got SO much easier when they didn't have to deal with the constant wounds and blood in their house. I can only imagine that the dog was happier as well.
 

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I know many dogs that have had the tail removed when they are older and all seem to heal well with no issues. Dobes with tails are hard enough to place let alone dobes with happy tail.

ETA - dogs I have seen docked late are with rescue hence my comment about placing them. I did not mean to imply that hbwright was placing her dog.
 

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I agree with others that just having it break open that much sounds like a medical reason to me. It can't be fun for the dog any more than it is for you I wouldn't think. The only other suggestion I'd like to add is looking into laser therapy. Our last foster came in with a nasty case of happy tail and the vet did a few rounds of laser therapy. In all honesty I don't know much about it, but it healed up nice and didn't break back open again while I had him. Good luck...and I feel your pain scrubbing Crime Scene SVU off the walls!
 

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Years ago I had one of my boy's tail redone, not because of a sore, but because it was too long and really looked awful when he was being shown. I think he was about 10 months old when I redid it. It healed beautifully and did not really seem to bother him...I was never sorry that I had it redone!

Jan
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I know many dogs that have had the tail removed when they are older and all seem to heal well with no issues. Dobes with tails are hard enough to place let alone dobes with happy tail.

ETA - dogs I have seen docked late are with rescue hence my comment about placing them. I did not mean to imply that hbwright was placing her dog.
LOL, no absolutely not. Where I go he goes. I'm even considering asking if I can stay for procedure because honesly he's only been away from me with a trusted sitter for a couple days, in his own home. I cannot imagine leaving him for a day, nevermind forever. He's much like an appendage of my own.

Thanks to you all. I really am starting to feel better about this. I've got to get his Vetgen VWD test ordered so I can get that done before the procedure and discuss cardiac testing, but I'm pretty determined at this point. Another bleed today and that's all it took. I cannot rightfully expect the kids to have to take up my slack from being in pain and I cannot keep him in bandages and contraptions 24/7. I feel confident that I've done every suggestion I've researched over the years and the problem is just not going to go away on it own. I spoke to a vet tech friend who says it is a really standard procedure, which makes me feel much better. I'm going to start interviewing this week and hopefully get his surgery scheduled soon.

:( poor guy has no idea what's going to happen to him but he'll be so happy not to have his tail messed with every day and be allowed to get excited when we get home.
 

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I believe I would have the tail docked. That sounds like a lot to deal with. A constant battle that you are loosing. Sounds like my fight with Kyrah's incontience. Last summer I finally broke down and put her on pronin. I was trying to use diapers b/c I hated the idea of her taking meds everyday. It was a loosing battle. I was driving myself insane washing blankets and diapers everyday. Worrying about the couches & beds. Her takin pronin has been a relief to me, my washer & dryer...hmmm....probably even my electricity bill. I have to say life has been simpler! Much less stress!
 

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It sounds like you're making the right decision for you and him. It can't be comfortable for him to constantly be splitting it open and then having to deal with wraps and supervision so he leaves it alone. I imagine it's painful and annoying for him, as well as you.

I hope you post about the process on here so if anyone else finds themselves in the same situation they will have a reference to read through and kinda have an idea of what to expect. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, I'll definitely let you know the process. I'm just hoping work cooperates. Funny how we just spent $4,000 on a new engine paying 1,000 a week, thank goodness work was pleantiful and since I've made this decision my husband has sat at home. I feel like screaming. Moving took up all our reserves so I'm planning on doing this before building back the reserves. May consider just doing care credit. I do believe I have chosen the vet though and feel very comfortable with him. It's Jordan's best dog buddies vet and we have met him before.
 
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