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Tail drama

Discussion in 'Boxer Anatomy and Physiology' started by BubbasmomSD, Jan 16, 2012.

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  1. BubbasmomSD

    BubbasmomSD Boxer Pal

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    Hi Everyone,
    It has been a while since I have visited this site. I have a question about our 2 year old boxer. We rescued him from a boxer rescue a year ago and love him to pieces. He never had his tail docked so my question is, is he too old to get it done? I have heard from some that at his age it is almost like removing a limb, however, a woman at the dog park recently told me that she got her 5yr old boxer's tail cut when she had knee surgery and she said it is the best thing she ever did.
    I don't want to hurt him, but his tail is obnoxious! It leaves bruises on my legs, and just this past weekend, left a bruise on our 6 month old baby... :(

    We asked our vet about it and she said she would not cut his tail, but she told us she knows another vet that specializes with boxers and she would be happy to refer us to him. We hadn't had the chance to talk to the other vet, Just want to see if anyone here has had previous experience with crazy obnoxious tails.

    Is this why their tails are usually docked at a young age? or are there health reasons for cutting the tail?
     
  2. prittiegirl

    prittiegirl Super Boxer

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    This process can be excruciating for adult dogs. It is typically done when they are very very young (no more than 3 days).

    I would never consider doing this for my dog because it is "obnoxious" and leaves bruises. I would do some serious reading up on the effects of removing a tail during adulthood. This would be something to consider as an absolute last resort if your dog is having major issues with splitting open and causing infection, like one of the other members. Even then, I think you would want to look at all other options first.
     
  3. Furface

    Furface Boxer Booster

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    please don't put him through what is an agonising process - and basically now as serious as an amputation, just becasue he is showing you how happy he is!
     
  4. LILYLARUE

    LILYLARUE Boxer Insane

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    I have an adult dog who had his tail amputated at age 2. Trust me, you don't want to do this!!! It is soooo painful for the dog and for you to watch him in pain. It's like removing your arm cause it bumps things. It's an excruciating surgery with a long healing process.

    Most dog's have tails......owners have learned to deal with it. Please, please, do the same! There is no other reason to remove his tail other than your bruised shins? To me, that's ridiculous reason to put your dog through this trauma. Please DON'T DO IT!
     
  5. BubbasmomSD

    BubbasmomSD Boxer Pal

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    thanks!

    So, why do some breeds of dog get their tales docked? Is it for health reasons or is it strictly cosmetic?

    His tail does not split open, but it is broken/crooked in the middle. It doesn't seem to bother him, nor does he notice so it is not a worry for us.

    we will NOT put him through the trauma of getting this surgery if it is so agonizing, I just wanted a bit more information.
    @Lilyarue - why is it that your pup had to get the tail amputated?
     
  6. x19er

    x19er Boxer Insane

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    Yes it is like getting a limb amputated and yes it will be very painful for your dog. Unless your dog has a severely injured tail then I can't understand a vet even entertaining the idea of amputation.

    Dogs also use their tail for communication with us and more importantly with other dogs so best they keep them.

    Our Charlie is undocked because here in the UK it is illegal to dock them now, I think that tells it's own tale.
     
  7. gmacleod

    gmacleod Elusive Moderator Staff Member

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    It is purely cosmetic. There is no benefit of any kind to the dog - a fact proven by lack of tail problems amongst dogs in the increasingly many countries that have made docking illegal.

    It is worth understanding that there is a big difference between docking and amputation. When a tail is docked, the puppy is less than 3 days old and it is believed by many (not sure we could say proven ;)) that the nerve pathways are not yet properly developed. Hopefully that's true, as docking is done without anasthetic. In any case, it seems that pain is brief, and there are rarely any ongoing problems (unless the dock is botched, cutting through rather than between vertebrae, for example). On any dog older than this though, the nerves most certainly are fully developed. It's a full amputation surgery, very painful and slow to heal, and just like human amputees, some dogs will have problems with things like phantom pains (and presumably itches - though that's less obvious to the eye) for the rest of their lives. The level of pain and risk of lifelong problems arising from amputation is why people advise you not to do it (not unless the tail is severely injured - the same level of problem that would have you consider amputation of any other limb).
     
  8. LILYLARUE

    LILYLARUE Boxer Insane

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    It was only for medical reasons. Buster came to me with severe anxiety, spent 9 months in shelters, would spin and spin in the kennels. His tip of his tail was raw to the bone and his 4 vertebra from the tip was broken and infected, so the blood wasn't flowing to the tip and it couldn't heal. The only option was to amputate. We started with just removing the section from the broken bone but every time he tried to sit down, he would hit it. So I had to hold him up, standing, so he could sleep. Second surgery they removed 3 more vertebra. Still, he couldn't sit down. He is a viszla mix and they have rounded backs, so their tail is always sat upon. The third surgery we removed all but one vertebra and he could finally sit without pain. It was 3 months of pure hell for him and me. Today, he is a happy boy, except the trauma of going to the vets only to have more pain from the visit has caused him extreme anxiety going to any vets now. We tried 3 offices and every time he was awfully anxious and needed to be sedated just to get out of the car.

    I now have two tailed and two tailess dogs. And yes, my shins take the brunt of the one boys tail, but have trained him to approach me back end first by turning and sitting for his cuddles! LOL
     
  9. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs Boxer Insane

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    Breeds that have docking (tails), cropping (ears) or dewclaw removal as part of the breed standard have it because retaining these body parts either posed a potential health risk to the dog in the line of work that it was originally bred for or interfered in the performance of that work.

    For example, some breeds of bird dogs are docked because hunters didn't want the game alerted to the dog's presence by a wagging tail held high. The breeds that were bred for boar hunting were traditionally cropped and sometimes docked because boar can really bite and might damage or sever a dog's ear in the fight. Dogs that were bred for protection work were often cropped and/or docked to prevent the criminal from grabbing or holding the ears or tail. Some terrier breeds were cropped so the vermin they chased couldn't shred their ears. Dew claws could be ripped off in the field or in a fight.

    Since the vast majority of dogs no longer actually engage in the work that their breeds were originally intended for, with the exception of dewclaw removal, these practices don't really make sense anymore and are IMO needless.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  10. kcttiger

    kcttiger Boxer Buddy

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    Been there, done that....

    Harley is almost 8 now, we got him at 10 weeks with the cutest little brown tail with the tip white, like it had been dipped in white paint. Vet said since it hadn't been docked by 2 weeks that it would be a surgery. After researching boxerworld, we decided to leave the tail intact.

    Boy did we make a mistake, between the ages of 3-5 yrs, he hit it on everything, you know a boxers happy tail, it is nonstop. Sometimes when he would hit it on something, door jams, table, whatever, he would yelp. It was sad, becasue he is such a happy guy. We were at the vet 4-6 times a year, antbx, wound care, making makeshift plastic tubes to protect it, then get it healed up to have it broke open again, we had blood splattered walls from it being flung all around. Nasty.

    Finally, the vet said he should remove the end of it so that it could heal since scar tissue had grown from being constantly beat up.........we decided to have him take it down to where it not be a problem again. It was a hard decision.
    The tail healed nicely, and Harley didn't have any problems, the tail is now about as long as a hot dog, not the best looking tail but he is so much happier now that he can wiggle and wag around without the pain.

    But, for cosmetic reasons, not worth it. You can google tail injuries to see pictures of boxers with similar problems. Harley's tail was a big pain in his rear, for sure.
     
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