WaggyTail : Unhappy vet?

Waggy Tail is just one of the many names given to a frustrating, non-healing tail tip wound in dogs. Any small scratch or wound can start it off, and left alone, these wounds would normally heal without treatment. The average Labrador however, tends to continue to wag its tail enthusiastically and so the wound does not heal.

These injuries tend to start off as small granulating wounds and then, if left untreated, can progress to more advanced stages including tissue necrosis and even bone exposure.  The dog will leave a wide blood spray wherever it goes and many wounds will bleed for months if left.  Wound contamination or infection is a common complication.  Various treatment options are attempted in practice, normally consisting of antibiotic treatment (ideally following culture and sensitivity testing), plus bandaging and frequently surgical amputation of the affected portion of tail.  In many cases the amputation still leaves a long portion of tail, which is then injured in turn as the tail wags.

This needs to be thought of as an impact injury.  Conventional treatment options try to apply padding using foam tubes or cut down syringes or syringe cases.  These do not transfer impact force away from the tail tip and in many cases, they only succeed in weighing the tail tip down.  This gives even more momentum to the tail, which makes the problem worse.  Also, any thick bandaging will create a warm sweaty environment, perfect for tissue maceration and bacterial growth.

Dog Ends were designed from a special impact absorbing mesh tube to aid in the healing of this injury.  They are extremely lightweight and are taped in position overhanging the end of the tail.  The mesh will flex just enough to absorb impact without transmitting it to the wound.  The mesh tube stretches to accommodate all breed sizes and allows perfect wound ventilation for rapid healing.  Dog Ends can be used with or without primary dressings and/or wound ointments and the high grade material does not support bacterial growth. 

Haemorrhage normally stops within 1-2 days of use and wound healing generally occurs within 10-14 days, although they sometimes have to be used until all the hair has grown back.  As the coat provides extra impact protection, it is wise to clip as little hair as possible during treatment.  Dog Ends are best used in the early stages of wound development as surgery is vital if bone is exposed.  Dog Ends have also been successfully used following partial tail amputation.

Dog Ends come in a pack containing 10 mesh tubes, professional grade tape and a specially designed applicator, to stretch the tube over the wound, dressings and loose hair.  They can be used by informed owners or veterinary professionals as needed and come with full instructions.  It is important to make sure that the dog does not chew or lick the Dog Ends or the wound, so the application of an Elizabethan type collar, such as the specially designed Hound Surround, will help to prevent this happening.

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