Happy Tail Syndrome & Broken or Cut Tail
Happy Tail Syndrome occurs when dog's wag their tails so hard that the tip splits open. Vulnerable tails can be thin and long or thick and medium length, the only ones safe are tails that are curled up over the back or small-dog tails. . Blood from an initially tiny injury drips when at rest and spray's for may feet when wagging. It's difficult to get the injury healed because of a dog's propensity to lick at injuries, and without a padded cover & protection the tail gets reinjured. Bandages fall off or are removed by the dog or get wet and slow the healing. Happy Tail Syndrome is often a recurring problem. It will stop only when the tail heals quickly several times, leading to a callus on the tail or they're blocked from the area where they are injuring their tails. . When do vets suggest amputating? Some vets will recommend cutting length off the tail from the first sign of happy-tail. Those are the vets who haven't had experience with K9 TailSaver or don't want to use a muzzle and have seen other dogs fail to heal. The suggested surgery is understandable because the injury drips blood, the tail bone can become exposed, the tip may turn black , a punctured artery can occur from chewing and infection may set in causing a strong odor and health risks. However, with proper treatment and an ability to protect the tail from licking and re-injury tails usually heal completely. Veterinary advice is recommended and if amputation is suggested you may ask for more time while trying the K9 TailSaver. Even for tails that look bad you may find that a veterinary wound specialist can save it using medication and laser for resurfacing. Skin will grow back over exposed bone in the right environment and often the hair grows back too.
Cones, muzzle, tape, bandages, foam noodles or tail binding, TailSaver or a muzzle are all readily available for keeping your dog from licking and chewing the tail. Only a muzzle or a K9 TailSaver will work for all dogs. If K9 TailSaver comes off or gets chewed the manufacturer will show you how to prevent it from happening again.
We moved into a small apartment, one that provided a perfect-storm of tail-bludgeoning geometries. The narrow entry way presents a tight corner where a closet door and the apartment door meet. Upon entry Buddy would get so excited to see us while, at the same time, getting backed into this corner at the exact moment that his happiness rang out. Before we were smart enough to know what was happening, we called it the drum roll. The tail was moving so fast, whacking each side of the wall, creating a drum roll effect that Tony Kenning would be proud of. Fast forward a few weeks and we started to notice red [blood] spatter in that corner...and just about everywhere else as the F=ma on this whip could get some distance. We eventually got pretty good at securing a sock (taped at the very base of the tail), but it wasn't a great solution. We spent > $100 on four cones of escalating size, all of which Bud-man defeated during the night, getting to his tail and making it worse. We built our own mouse-trap with a pool noodle and bungy cords tied to a harness. He whipped off the noodle in a nanosecond. We admitted defeat, went to the vet and they googled until they found the TailSaver. Then they have us a $1500 estimate to remove 5" of tail if that didn't work. Talk about motivation. We immediately purchased the TailSaver, spent the 20-30 minutes getting it just right, and it just worked. We did cut the first segment off the tail protector to shorten if up. We kept the cone on him night one, but then moved to spraying the platypus tail with some bitter-apple and let him go without the cone. He never complained, never went after it, and the tail started healing. He did a get a little bit of chafing but very minor. After 1 week we began removing the device when we were with him, then after two weeks were able to remove it all the time as the tail was in fairly good shape albeit still hairless, and he was not going after it. Now we keep him away from any tight corners and the tail continues to, slowly, grow hair back.