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Old 05-05-2009, 12:53 PM
 
Location: North Florida
414 posts, read 1,074,549 times
Reputation: 323
Default Docking an adult dog's tail?

Would you do it? We have an approximately 2-year-old boxer that we adopted from our local animal shelter. He's the first one I've ever seen with a full tail. His tail knocks over everything and I'm starting to find drops of blood on walls and carpet, no doubt from his fierce tail. Has anyone ever docked an adult boxer's tail? Was it worth the expense and elective surgery? I'm definitely not doing this for cosmetic reasons, I'm concerned for my dog (and my home!) The vet says it's up to us but would cost about $1,000. Is this a reasonable price? Any info or advice would be appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Greater Los Angeles area (unfortunately)
177 posts, read 387,921 times
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I've read an article stating that boxers are one of the only breeds that really NEED a tail docking because of just what you're talking about: their weak tails break and bleed very easily. Now, I'm not entirely sure about the bias of the article, but take that opinion as you will.

I am completely against COSMETIC docking but it sounds like you're having a genuine medical issue with your boy. Still, I think $1000 seems high. Anesthesia is usually based on weight so it will cost more than if you had a smaller dog, but I would think what essentially is an amputation wouldn't cost THAT much. I'd expect to pay $500-750 or so. Has the vet given you a breakdown or estimate of the charges? I'd be curious to know what costs that much. Perhaps they'll need lots of meds afterwards? Some antibiotics are like $5 a pill.

Ask for that estimate, and I'll tell you if I think it's reasonable. (Worked in a vet for some time so I have a general idea of what costs should be.)
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:54 PM
Status: ":)" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: West Virginia
8,122 posts, read 16,517,981 times
Reputation: 4242
I had to dock an Adult Cockers tail. He kept trying to chew it off!! We tried Everything!! I would shop around on price tho. Has the dog been fixed yet?? I had the cocker done when he was nutered...saved some cost & stress I think.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
753 posts, read 1,409,241 times
Reputation: 727
If your boxer is causing his tail to bleed than I think you should have it done. They are known to break them, and rebrake them many times. Which is obviously painful, and if he can go through only one surgery it might be your best bet.

Just be aware that having it done now is going to be very painful. It is now not a tail docking but an amputation. When they do it as pups (at 2-3 days) their nervous system is not fully developed so they get over it faster.

Best wishes with your crazy boxer - gotta love em! I have a flashy fawn female I rescued from a pound. I can't even remember life without her.
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:32 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 3,739,983 times
Reputation: 1774
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1phwalls View Post
Just be aware that having it done now is going to be very painful. It is now not a tail docking but an amputation.
Excellent point!

Crucial to the success or failure on this one is going to be the vet's expertise. I'd disregard price because I don't think there's going to be a lot in it one way or the other, but I'd be looking for surgical competence.

I've had to amputate a cat's tail for medical reasons and it was a long, painful recovery. Now hers was quite severe - she barely has a nub left - so hopefully an "elective" (i.e. it can happen tomorrow or it can happen next week ) amputation will be less traumatic.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:07 PM
 
Location: at work!
1,603 posts, read 1,935,012 times
Reputation: 8426
We had a danes tail docked. He would constantly break it open. It was one infection after another. Blood would splatter on the walls, fridge, stove, where ever he hit it.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:02 PM
ZSP
 
Location: El Paso TX
1,152 posts, read 2,120,150 times
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I agree with Five Horses - money would not be my first concern, but rather surgical competence and technique. It's imperative the amputation be at exactly the right place in the tail structure - if not, there will be bigger problems down the road.

I wish you luck and I'm sure your dog will recover. Just be prepared for a long and probably, painful, recovery.

Last edited by ZSP; 05-05-2009 at 08:56 PM..
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
16,264 posts, read 29,836,920 times
Reputation: 12088
In people, a good surgeon will flood the nerve ending with analgesic. It seems to help avoid phantom pain. Maybe works for animals too?
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:32 PM
ZSP
 
Location: El Paso TX
1,152 posts, read 2,120,150 times
Reputation: 1665
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
In people, a good surgeon will flood the nerve ending with analgesic. It seems to help avoid phantom pain. Maybe works for animals too?
I agree - great post.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,192 posts, read 19,286,022 times
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I have an adult dog who needed an emergency partial amputation. The recovery period was just about 3 weeks and she did have quite a bit of pain.
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