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Old 04-08-2014, 10:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Broken tail

Hi all
It seems like no matter how long you've been into dogs, you still will occasionally deal with things you have never dealt with before.

We have no idea how, but our male has broken his tail. It is the fifth bone from the last. The vets say it really needs to be amputated because of how the break is. The break is not straight across otherwise they said it could probably heal up without being taken off. They are concerned with it cutting off blood flow to the rest of his tail. He has a spot on the end also that he was licking on because of the pain and it has gotten infected. This has all just happened within the last few days.

My question is, have any of you experienced this and not had to take the tail off? We would really like to save it if possible but want what is best for him. Originally she said they would probably just take it off right above the broken bone, but after the other vet (the one who would be doing the surgery) looked at the x-ray he said he is concerned with phantom pain and that our male will always be bothering his tail, in other words, he thinks more of the tail should be amputated and not just above the break.

Thoughts?
TIA

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Old 04-08-2014, 11:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've seen several dogs go through this because of crate injuries. I would just go with what the vet thinks. You don't want any necrotic tissue back there.

My Fama had her tail removed completely. The recovery was quick and she doesn't seem to miss it at all.

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Old 04-08-2014, 11:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks David..appreciate your input
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's funny because people see her and don't notice for a while, then all of a sudden blurt out, "OMG... where's her tail?"

The healing process takes a bit, but it's worth it if the tail is going to potentially cause later problems IMO.

Let us know what you decide. Good luck!

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Old 04-09-2014, 07:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Our first GSD came home 1 day ( we live in the country) with his tail broken in half. He had to have it amputated, but never had any problems after- it was just pretty comical because he would poke us with the 1/2 that was left- Bob
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My parent's last foster was a 10 week old english foxhound pup, we don't know how but his tail was broken about midway. It was already healed, though crooked when he arrived and while it looked funny it didn't seem to bother him in the slightest.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie_in_KY View Post
My question is, have any of you experienced this and not had to take the tail off? We would really like to save it if possible but want what is best for him. Originally she said they would probably just take it off right above the broken bone, but after the other vet (the one who would be doing the surgery) looked at the x-ray he said he is concerned with phantom pain and that our male will always be bothering his tail, in other words, he thinks more of the tail should be amputated and not just above the break.

Thoughts?
TIA
My rescue had her tail removed for infection shortly before we got her. It doesn't seem to bug her or slow her down at all.

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Old 04-09-2014, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had a GSD mix that caught his tail on the bumper of a truck and broke it (this was years ago). The vet said to allow it to heal on it's own (there was very little skin damage). It became infected internally and the infection spread quickly. Amputation was required at this point, but we couldn't get the infection under control. Sadly, we lost him.

I think most vets are more proactive now and there are better meds available.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you for the responses
They did schedule the surgery before we left the office yesterday for one week from now but said if the swelling and infection has improved by then we may be able to avoid the amputation. So we will just see how it goes. If we get there that morning and they say it needs to come off then that is what we will have to do.

They prescribed him Cephalexin twice a day and said to give him some Rimadyl (we already have some on hand for one of our other dogs).
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Another question..
My husband just talked to our local vet that we use occasionally because he wanted a second opinion. They said the same thing..amputation. But there was a huge difference in price for the surgery compared to what we were quoted by our other vet.

The first vet is about an hour away from us but we use them more often because they are more specialized in the things that we need done. But, our local vet is good and we have confidence in them also. So if it were you, would you schedule surgery with the second vet even though they weren't the original vet to see the dog if it would save you several hundred dollars? She said they do these surgeries fairly often.
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