Author Topic: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?  (Read 7334 times)

Offline ChipmunKira

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Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« on: April 27, 2006, 04:05:38 PM »
Rohan has a really dense tail, and he wags it so hard that it hurts when you get hit by it.  Lately, he's developed a tiny scab right at the very tip of his tail that he keeps re-opening whenever he thwacks his tail into the walls and doorjambs of my apartment in excitement.

I took him to the vet for it, and they bandaged his tail for a week...  But as soon as the bandage came off, he was back to damaging the tip of his tail.  It's bad enough that I have blood streaks all over the walls of my foyer...  If bandaging his tail up didn't help it heal and solve the problem, I really don't know what else to do.  I've tried to get him to stop wagging so hard...  I grab his tail to hold it still whenever I come home, but invariably, that gets him more excited and when I let him go it's right back to banging his tail into things. 

If anyone has a solution, I would greatly appreciate it.  It doesn't seem to bother him at all, but I'm getting really tired of blood streaks all over my walls and doors  :-\  Please help!!!
Kira
Rohan the dog
Morrow, Gianene, and Marin the rats

Offline Marybelle

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2006, 05:12:49 PM »
Unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot of suggestions, just a cautionary tale (tail?).  I knew someone who had a Dalmation who wagged too hard.  The poor dog ended up with a broken tail that died, and they had to get it amputated.  So watch carefully, just in case!  I hope that someone has a solution for you.

Offline Elaken

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2006, 07:25:06 PM »
I can only think you would have to keep it wrapped up, there would be no way to get him to stop.

When they were making a movie there was a scene with a dead dog in it, and the dog they were using kept wagging his tail since he was happy that he was doing what his trainer wanted.  They tried a couple dogs and none of them would not move the tail so they finally had to get a tailless dog to play dead.  So my thought is if they couldn't train a dog not too, what hope do regular people have?
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Offline OldsGal

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2006, 07:42:37 PM »
Um.  I personally think my dog's tail has it's own brain and does what it wants.  LOL.  But seriously I feel for you.  I would maybe try to bandage it up for longer than a week until it is 120% healed up and see if that works.
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Offline ChipmunKira

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2006, 07:47:00 PM »
I'm going to try bandaging it again and hope he doesn't just knock it off.  I was thinking, what if I took him in and had the vet just cauterize the very tip of the tail so it didn't keep bleeding every time he knocked it around?  I would hope that would stop the problem...
Kira
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Morrow, Gianene, and Marin the rats

Offline *Kat*

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2006, 09:00:32 PM »
I was thinking of that sort of thing but didn't know what it was called or such.

Offline Colie

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2006, 12:53:14 AM »
Would YOU want someone burning your tail  with a hot something or other? OWIE!! Even under anestetic i wouldnt want that done... My dog did this for a while when she was a puppy... injury in the same place. We took her to the vet, and was instructed to put neosporin on it... replace the bandages daily and the vet gave us the TINYEST collar type thing to put around the tail to stop it from banging into stuff and let the darn thing heal. She never really stopped banging her tail into stuff tho... but we did eventually, with lots and lots of different obedience classes get her to be more aware of her positioning in a room and around furniture (she was always knocking glasses off tables), so even tho she wagged hard, she didnt hit as many things. You could try that... but i wouldnt want anyone burning my dog's tail.. I dont think i'd ever forgive myself.

Offline trubandloki

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2006, 07:50:50 AM »
I wish you luck!
That is a tough one!
Having a happy dog is sometimes a problem.



I think taking him to the vet and having it cauterized would not help anyway.  Wouldn't it scab over where they cauterize it and that scab would break and bleed when it is whacked against the wall?


The best I can come up with is to wrap it and keep it wrapped until it is 100% better (a week is probably not enough).  But that is so hard to do.

Offline kmw

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2006, 11:45:07 AM »
Would YOU want someone burning your tail  with a hot something or other? OWIE!!

I actually had to have blood vessels in my nose cauterized with chemicals.  It really didn't hurt that bad.  But as trub pointed out, it *did* scab over and so you'd be right back to where you are now.
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Offline ChipmunKira

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2006, 01:34:31 PM »
hmmm, I didn't realize it scabbed over again.  I thought it would just stem the blood flow to the area so that we could stop having this problem.  Really not sure what to do about it excecpt to keep bandaging his tail until it fully heals.
Kira
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Morrow, Gianene, and Marin the rats

Offline Kati33

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2006, 12:00:02 AM »
If it gets bad enough long enough the vet may decide to just amputate/dock his tail. I've seen a few "happy tail" dogs wind up this way! (All the more reason I get them tailless to start with! :) )
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Offline nancycccslp

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2006, 08:13:44 AM »
Kati is right.
This is actually called "happy tail syndrome."  It's common with Labs; don't know what breed you have.  It is not unknown for the tail to have to be amputated; sounds harsh but isn't.  Do a search on "happy tail syndrome" and see if there are any less invasive suggestions.
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Offline GinKaruja

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2006, 11:13:48 PM »
Amputation is something to consider if this keeps happening/gets worse/if the tail stays injured.  Some dogs have weaker/thin tails, others just abuse their tails in their constant happiness to the point of severe damage.  A serious infection could happen if this continues to happen, or even tail breakage, which is a pretty horrible thing for the dog to go through.
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Offline E!!

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2006, 04:40:37 PM »
I don't know if it would work or not , but you can try super glue. Use it to close the wound up and then add some extra as an additinal layer. The bonus is that it pretty cheap and quick. The draw backs are (if your like me) you might wind up with glue all over yourself. ::)

Speaking of gross tail stories, I had a German Shepard mix who got hit by a car and broke his hip. For some reason the damage left him numb from the hip down. he could still walk (it looked a littel funny) but he couldn't really feel anything. Well for some reason he started to chew his tail as high up as he could reach it. needless to say it was *nasty* so we had to dock his tail. (He even tried to chew on teh amputated part-ycuk) so he spent the rest of his life with a wierd half tail.

Offline Tara

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2006, 01:35:19 PM »
My dog is a hard-wagger, too, and I knew that it hurt us, but I always figured she'd tone it down if it started hurting her!    Glad I read this thread!

Just curious, is there any difference between docking and amputating - maybe in the proceedure that makes it less painful or something?     I wonder if it's not a good preventative measure so she doesn't end up having a painful problem later on - or should we wait to see if it becomes a problem?  I love her happy tail, and I would hate to see it go, but if it would save her some pain down the line...

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Offline Marybelle

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2006, 05:06:27 PM »
Docking generally refers to the removal of the tail as a pup, and is usually done without anesthetic, and for asthetic reasons (although not always).  Amputation is usually a medically necessary procedure, as with a dog that wags it's tail so much that it gets hurt. 

I wouldn't do a preventative amputation.  It's possible she'll go through her whole life and never have a problem!  And ideally, dogs should have tails (at least most of them). ;)

Offline ChipmunKira

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2006, 05:47:13 PM »
I bandaged his tail again for a while, and it seems that it's fixed the problem.  I cleaned my walls of any traces of the blood marks, and there haven't been any more all weekend.  Hopefully it stays like this...  I guess I can always bandage it up again!   ;D
Kira
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Morrow, Gianene, and Marin the rats

Offline trubandloki

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2006, 07:17:28 AM »
So glad to hear it is doing better!!!

Offline dragynflye

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2006, 11:23:09 AM »
"happy tail" is a b!tch.  i've never had to deal with it myself, but i know lots and lots of dane owners who have.  there is really not a whole lot you can do to prevent it, just take care of it if it happens (much like you're doing).  it's hard to get happy tail to heal because every time it's allllllllllmost there, they whack it open again!  in a worse case scenario, as in it becomes a chronic problem and is causing your poor poopy lots of pain, amputation should be considered.  the same problem also happens with ears.... they get an injury and every time it starts to heal, they shake their head or paw the ear and split it open again.  i was fostering a boxer once who had her ear split in a fight..... took it months and months to heal!

Offline ChipmunKira

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2006, 11:37:15 AM »
thank you guys for your help...  it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one with this problem.  He did mess it up again after it looked almost healed.   :-\  I guess I will just have to keep bandaging it!   :P
Kira
Rohan the dog
Morrow, Gianene, and Marin the rats

Offline KellyNZoo

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Re: Wagging tail too hard; causing injury... any solutions?
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2006, 01:03:21 AM »
I would seriously listen to the advise given and get the amputation.. he's just going to KEEP re-injuring it.. even if it doesn't bleed on your walls, it's going to be painful for HIM.