Going by the name, the happy tail may sound like something great experienced by a dog. This is not the case though; the happy tail syndrome is a condition that results in your dog’s tail getting hurt when it wags it in excitement. Left unchecked, the syndrome could result in the tail getting severely infected. In worse cases, it may get to a point where surgical amputation would be necessary. This resource explores details on dogs prone to the condition, treatment and how to fix it as well as how to prevent the condition.
- Happy Tail Syndrome
- Dogs Prone to Happy Tail Syndrome
- How to Prevent Happy Tail Syndrome
- Happy Tail Syndrome Treatment – How to Fix Happy Tail Syndrome
- 1. Assessing the Tail
- 2. Cleaning
- 3. Apply ointment
- 4. Bandaging
- 5. Cotton Wool Padding
- 6. Securing the Bandage
- 7. Changing the Bandage
- Happy Tail Syndrome Amputation
- Happy Tail Amputation cost
Happy Tail Syndrome
What is happy tail syndrome in dogs? Also referred to as splitting tail, kennel tail or bleeding tail, happy tail occurs when a dog gets so excited and wags their tail causing the tip to bang into things. When this is done too much, it could result in the tip of the tail getting damaged through a cut or split. The wounded area will then start bleeding and as the dog continues to get excited and as continuously the tail, blood gets splattered all around.
If not taken care of properly, the happy tail syndrome can be awful. The fact that it affects the tip of the tail makes it hard to stitch. Additionally, since it becomes a habit, any excitement is likely to see your dog bleeding.
Since it is positioned towards the body’s rear, the tail of a dog has five to twenty vertebrae. The tail also happens to contain numerous blood vessels. These anatomical details are what contribute to your pooch experiencing the happy tail syndrome.
While happy tail syndrome may not appear like a serious condition, the tail does not heal fast since the affected part is the tip. It is also hard to control the bleeding and it could recur any time the dog hits on a hard surface.
When the tail is banged on a hard surface for a number of times and within a long period, the thin-skinned tail is likely to suffer damage. There is abrasion which leads to bleeding. In addition, regular banging could see your dog develop a bleeding ulcer at the tail’s tip.
Dogs Prone to Happy Tail Syndrome
Although the condition can occur in any tail wagging dog, short-haired dogs are more prone to the condition. Additionally, dogs with a strong behind enabling them to wag the tail with force are prone to happy tail syndrome too. The following specific breeds are known to suffer happy tail syndrome.
- Labrador Retrievers
- Great Danes
- Pit Bulls
On the other hand, small dogs and dogs with furry or short tails have a reduced likelihood of tail injury.
How to Prevent Happy Tail Syndrome
- If you notice that your dog is the type that wags their tail excessively when excited, it is important to get them out of harm’s way. In moments he is likely to exhibit excitement, keep him away from table legs, stools, walls, and anything that’s solid enough to have his tail hurting. Where this is not possible, try keeping him calm so as to protect him from harm.
- You could as well keep him in areas where there are no solid objects and surfaces in moments he is likely to get excited. Whenever you think he is about to start wagging his tail, have him sit down. Lying down could do as well. Since when he wags his tail he will be moving it along the floor as opposed to hitting it on something, chances that he will suffer no harm are high.
- Saving exciting things and moments for areas outside the house and other places within the home where it is possible for your dog to wag the tail without any hard surface or item getting on his way could be another way of dealing with it.
Happy Tail Syndrome Treatment – How to Fix Happy Tail Syndrome
The happy tail syndrome treatment involves stopping the bleeding as well as preventing the injured part from getting infections. To treat and help your dog’s tail heal, cleaning, applying antibiotics and bandaging are necessary. Here are some steps to follow.
1. Assessing the Tail
To start off, it is important to analyze the extent of damage rendered on the tail. Check to see where the wound is and see the extent of bleeding your dog is experiencing. For mild wounds, you can wrap the tail at home to stop the bleeding, as well as help, prevent further damage. Severe abrasions require the attention of a veterinarian.
Have the area cleaned first before proceeding to offer further treatment. You can use some medicated wipes for this. In the absence of these, a damp towel will suffice. Ensure you clean out any blood and dirt around the wound to prevent infections.
3. Apply ointment
Once the area has been thoroughly cleaned, give it room to dry. When free of moisture, apply some antibiotic ointment to help prevent infections. The ointment also helps in aiding healing and should be applied every time there is a change in the gauze bandage.
After applying the ointment, cut a piece of gauze bandage and wrap it on the wound. This should be big enough to cover the whole wounded area. Wrap it all around the area and use some tape to secure its ends. The wrapping should not be too tight. It should be comfortable for the dog
5. Cotton Wool Padding
To protect the area from further injury, place some cotton wool wrapping above the bandage. This will act as padding and should efficiently cover the gauze. Press the cotton wool to align it with the shape of the tail. This, however, should be done gently so as not to cause further damage.
6. Securing the Bandage
Once this has been achieved, it is now time to secure the bandaging and padding. Place an appropriate length of tape over the cotton and let it be parallel to the tail. Follow this with a slightly shorter tape. This should be placed to cover the previous one slightly and should be angled. Add an extra piece to finish off the wrapping. The ends of the tape should end a little past the bandaging. For more stability, you could add some more tape to encircle the tail. Cut off any unnecessary lengths and leave it at that.
7. Changing the Bandage
To promote quick healing, you will be required to change the bandage daily until the tail heals. Also, give him a change in case the bandage becomes wet to avoid infections. Within two weeks of proper care, the tail should have healed.
Where, in the process of changing, you realize that some fur is stuck to the bandage, use a pair of scissors to cut them off. In case the fur gets stuck on the adhesive, soak in olive or vegetable oil for a while to help take it off painlessly.
Happy Tail Syndrome Amputation
In situations where the syndrome is severe or in case it leads to recurrent and uncontrollable infections or severe wounds, a dog happy tail amputation may be necessary. This is a step that may be recommended by your veterinarian.
The amputation involves removal of part or all of the tail. This is not to be confused with tail docking as amputation is done for health reasons. Once the tail has been amputated, a bandage is applied to the remaining part. This is, however, not necessary in cases where the whole tail has been amputated.
To prevent licking the area, your dog will be required to wear an E collar. You will also be offered antibiotics and pain medication to administer to your pooch as directed. If done properly, amputation of a tail in a dog suffering happy tail syndrome should improve their overall wellbeing.
Happy Tail Amputation cost
The cost of tail amputation varies from clinic to clinic. Other factors that will cause varying pricing include geographical location, cost of living and duration of stay. Basically, the cost may vary from $300 to $1000.
With the above home treatment and preventive measures for the happy tail syndrome, your dog should be okay. In case of severe infections, wounds that won’t heal or any other concern regarding the condition, consult your veterinarian.
- Petful.com: Tail Amputation in Dogs and Cats
- Instructables.com: Happy Tail Solution
- Wikihow.com: How to Wrap a Dog’s Tail