Posted by: CandyB | 2008/10/02

Puppy Injured Tail in Door

Hi. My 4 month Labrador got his tail stuck in a door and removed the skin and fur off about 1 and a half centimetres of his tail. I took him to the vet and he had to go in for surgery where they removed another 5cm of his tail. When I went to go fetch my dog, the vet told me that he suggests having the whole tail docked as it is going to be very difficult to keep the stiches intact. I would really not want to have this happen and so would like to know if you have any suggestions on how to keep the wound clean (he is on antibiotics) and on how to dress the wound to prevent him biting his tail and stop the stiches from breaking open. I feel very guilty as I was not at home when it happened - he was with my sister, and I love him very much and do not want to cause him any extra pain or discomfort. Thank you in advance for your reply.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear CandyB

Your vet should have discussed this with you after the surgery. Best to contact him and let him show you how to do the bandage and wound care.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2008/10/03

I have been thinking about this question all day and I have various comments to make.

First off, the cybervet highlights something that seems to manifest itself often, if this forum is to be believed, which is that people don' t talk to the person they SHOULD be talking to about their animals'  problems: namely, their vet - and especially when the problem is about something the vet' s involved in anyway. Of course your vet should have told you how to manage this situation - and you need to follow his instructions closely.

But now I have two more problems. The first is: why, if the vet considers docking the whole tail to be advisable, didn' t he do that in the first place? He could in need have phoned you during the surgery to get permission, if that' s what he deemed necessary. If my vet handed me my dog back after surgery with the words: I reckon we really should have done this differently - I' d be asking him: why the hell are you telling me this NOW?

The second thing is: taking only a small bit off the tail of an adult dog is often quite problematical. In fact, any tail injury of a long-tailed dog can be a problem, and the biggest problem is: they WAG, and they hit their tail against stuff. So tail wounds are quite notoriously difficult to resolve, and can also cause other problems: pain, infection, and blood all over your walls etc when the wound gets bashed open all over again.

If your vet explained that to you, and you decided nevertheless that you didn' t want to have more of the tail amputated - why? The other dogs aren' t going to laugh at him! I know you' d rather the tail injury hadn' t happened in the first place - but it has, and now you have to deal with it with one consideration only, and that is the best interests of the dog.

For the record: I am against tail docking for cosmetic purposes, and have a fully-tailed dog of a breed that used to be routinely docked to prove it. But when the dog' s welfare, comfort or health is involved, then that becomes a different matter.

Please give this some though, and have another chat to your vet!

Reply to Chill

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.