Max is a middle aged dog. He is an exceptionally happy dog. Happy dogs have “happy tails.” Happy tails never stop wagging. What Max also has is a very long, very thin, and very oblivious tail. He has a long skinny somewhat flexible whip-like tail. It swings long and loosey-goosey everywhere he wiggles.. He is always wiggling, and always wagging. Beating anything over long periods of time causes eventual damage. He has been the to vet many many times to try to stop the bleeding tail that happens with happy tail. Max came to visit a few weeks ago when the last 4-5 inches of the tail had become infected. The tail smelled bad, and looked like it had been put through a grinder.
Max’s dad wanted a better fix, a more permanent fix then the bandages provided. We would try every imaginable combination and concoction of bandage, pvc pipe, plastic tube, wadded up cotton, everything. Everything worked for a little while, but everything eventually got wagged or beaten off. And then the bleeding would start again.
Max’s dad thought the easiest way to releive the perpetual problem was to just cut of the tail. When asked where he wanted us to do this (which beleive me every veterinarian better do,, my idea of short is someone elses idea of long,, and no one wants to do surgery as a do-over, and if you elect short and they wanted long you can’t just glue it back on like the pin-the-tail ont he donkey game.
Also, if Max does decide that he wants to self-traumatize the tail after it is amputated it beytter be extra long.. in some cases we have to repeat tail amputations,, either from non-healing, wagging dehiscnece, or pet chewing, and you need to have a little extra tissue available. Don’t dock at the base.. unless there is a tumor and you have no choice.
Max’s surgery went very well. He woke up pain free and at half-wag.
Here is the cost of his surgery;
Surgical package; iv fluids, pump, catheter, 30 mins anesthesia $250
amputation canine $200
NSAID post op $16
Splint to protect the end of the tail, surgical site $50
additional suture pack $60
post op antibiotics $20
Max’s story is posted with his families permission.
YouTube of Max’s furious tail wagging here;
For more on this subject, and Max please visit my blog at KMDVM.com