Euphoria Photography - Isle of Skye Wedding Photography, in the Highlands and Islands and throughout Scotland

The Long Tale Of The Short Tale
21 December 2018

Isle of Skye Wedding Photographer Photo

One fine day, several months ago, I brought Macey, the Dobermann, back from his usual walk and unclipped his leash so that he could run free in the garden.  Suddenly, on the path, there was a mass of blood everywhere!  My first thought was a paw but all four were clear.  Then I realised that the tip of his tail was missing.  I kept holding the tail up to prevent further blood loss and made an emergency trip to the vet's.
This visit was to the nearest but not the usual vet's and really began the downward spiral for Macey's long, flowing tail.  We made the trip to our usual vet, Rhona, in Portree and the locum vet said that there would have to be an amputation.  Although I asked for the tail to be reduced to Pointer size (about 5-6 inches,) she did leave it longer.  Macey was really traumatised by this operation which was similar to the amputation of a limb.  He was extremely distressed and the entire family felt the same.  Mace was determined that nothing whatever would stop him reaching the shortened tail wound.  The vet suggested an inflatable ring and the correct size was ordered but, it was immediately evident that he could still reach the tail.  We tried two rings, large and small, and my husband, Sean, cut a piece of pipe to go over the bandage.  This worked fairly well but every so often, Macey got the pipe off.  We then tried the more standard plastic cone and this was the worst.  In a few minutes, he had got to the wound and chewed it. 
Another visit to Portree!  (Incidentally, on our walks, we had met a neighbour whose dog had the same operation.  She informed me of similar difficulties and that the dog had to have a second operation to further shorten the tail.)
This time, Macey had the second operation and further amputation which reduced his tail to the original length of a Dobermann's docked tail.  To prevent him chewing his tail, Rhona kept him with her and at the surgery for a number of days.  When he returned home, we used three inflatable rings to prevent hims reaching the wound and, with the shortness of the tail, this worked!  Two rings, large and small were placed around his neck and one large around his middle.  He did look rather like a plastic poodle and people had a wealth of comments to make.  However, the main thing is that he recovered.
On the issue of docking, there must be numerous views.  Mace was the first Dobermann, with a long tail, which I ever had and I thought it was nice to see.  However, having seen the trauma, suffering and distress, the need for two major operations with general anaesthetics on a mature dog, the horror of trying to stop him damaging the wound further and taking months to heal, not to mention the expense of around £1,000, I can now see why Dobermanns were docked as puppies.  I had heard of Great Danes having tail problems but never anticipated the problem nor its extent with the Dobermann.  The docking was not cosmetic it was preventative.
What had caused the original wound?  Tracing the blood drops, he had clipped his tail against the gate - nothing sharp - and this began the saga which has now finally ended.



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