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Tail injury, insect bite? Or something else?

Discussion in 'Doberman Health Issues and Questions' started by jazzies mum, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    Well I have decided to post this in the health section as it could be of interest for those whose Dobes have their tails.


    Backstory. As mentioned in my other thread Jazz has a problem with her tail. It showed up about 10 days ago as a small hairless mark two thirds of the way to the end of her tail, much the same as other marks she has had on her body that appear, then heal and I assume they are insect bites. A few days later we had a schedules vet visit and by then that tail looked quite nasty and inflamed. A conclusion that it was an infected bite and Jazz is on two weeks of antibiotics, plus keeping the injured area covered with neocort cream. And a cone of shame!

    Used the cone a few times but it causes her to overheat and vomit in our heat and humidity. No aircon! So I watch her closely and have her at my side at all times. There was only one licking incident which didn't cause any further damage, so I just upped my attention. IMG_20200210_092058x2.jpg
    Now it is a full week of antibiotics and really keeping the cream up to it. The area looks more swollen and is a hard swelling, not a soft fleshy feel. Doesn't seem to have much heat and also doesn't seem to be really painful. She hasn't been overly intent on licking the area, but was showing interest this morning. Just looking and putting her nose on it. jazz0430x2.jpg
    I have sent a pic to the vets and made an appointment for tomorrow morning. If it is an injury from bashing her tail on a hard edge, which she does fairly often, then it will slowly settle down, but it doesn't feel right to me. She did have a spectacular wreck out in the paddock before I noticed any trouble so she might have got that tail wrong in the tangle. (Tripped over a log while going sideways fast looking at the ball. Arms and legs going everywhere and landed basically on her back. Got up and looked around with a stunned look on her face, then after that ball again!)

    She is only a young dog, but my main reason for being overly concerned is that it may be some sort of cancer. It really looks "wrong" and the fact that she is aware of it as something to take notice of worries me too. I'm not sure a cancer would be that quick growing,but yes, I am a worrywart if things aren't right with my girl! :(
     
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 9
  2. Lizbeli

    Lizbeli Hot Topics Subscriber

    Poor girl. I know its hard not to worry, but try not to stress over the idea of cancer. If it it swelling up within a 10 day time frame it sounds more like an infection. But I am not a vet so I could be wrong. The hair loss in that one circular area is interesting.

    Keep us updated.
     
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  3. Ravenbird

    Ravenbird Notable member

    I don't know what it is, but almost all creatures, including humans, look at or touch whatever part of their body is hurting. If I have a stomach ache or a headache I find my hand over that area. So it is perfectly natural for Jazz to look at or lick something that hurts or injured. I can't imagine cancer starting at that point on the body - not to dismiss, just saying. I do think that long skinny tails incur way more injuries than big 'ol fat hairy tails. Like hitting your shin against something compared to your calf. There's no padding on the shin and it hurts like hell and goes (literally) right to the bone. Hopefully the vet will give you good news and a fast recovery will be on the way. Keep us posted, we love Jazz!!!
     
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  4. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber



    Deep breath. I understand your concern, it's scary not knowing. I'm not Vet but I have seen skin cancer on my fawn girl. The main reason you always see me harping about sunscreen. I also watched a very persistent mast cell tumor take my Sweet G. Jazzies looks nothing like either of them. You're doing what you should, now we pray the Vet has some answers tomorrow.
     
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  5. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    In

    Hope she gets well soon.
     
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  6. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Aww, Jazz. Well, of course if it is cancer (which I doubt) it couldn't be in a more fortuitous place.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I forget if it was asked in the last thread, Did the vet think that anything was broken in the tail? It's a little concerning that it seems a bit worst. We will all be anxiously waiting to see what the vet says. I haven't had a large dog with a long tail in years. It's amazing how those tails can get hurt. It looks painful. :(
     
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  8. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    Thank you all so much for your good wishes, it is much appreciated! :love: I think only fellow obsessive dog/pet owners can understand the road we travel with not knowing what is wrong. Others just sort of shrug and say it's only an animal, and those people miss out on so much! (and I don't mean worry! :rofl:)

    I did a little internet search on the symptoms. A thing I usually avoid as it can be more confusing than helpful often, but this time it did ease my mind. Apparently a skin infection, especially from an insect bite, can turn into a deeper infection that is hard, raised and lumpy, just like Jazz has. So when I arrived at the vets this morning I had a head start on info, such as it could take 3 to 6 weeks of oral antibiotics to clear it up. It's potentially serious if not treated as it can lead to septicemia, blood poisoning! :shock:

    The down side is that sometimes treatment just doesn't take well with such deep infection of the tail and we had the amputation discussion. I had already thought that one through and wasn't shocked but if it has to happen then there is no point in leaving her with half a tail. I'm old enough and ugly enough to embarrass anyone who got in my face about docking!

    So Jazz had an hour in the vets kennels, in air conditioning and with her cone of shame on while I got my chores done in town. Now she is sleeping beside me while a thunderstorm goes on, without even a twitch! :)
     
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  9. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Oh, man, poor Jazz! I would never imagine that a bite could end like that. :( But whatever it takes to get her well and happy again!! So glad you went to the Vets! Hugs to both of you!!
     
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  10. Ravenbird

    Ravenbird Notable member

    Hopefully it will heal as it should. You guys take care!
     
  11. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Update?
     
    • I was wondering about that too! I was wondering about that too! x 1
  12. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    I have been waiting for some conclusive news to report, but I do think we have saved that tail. The hard, raised area grew to half the circumference of her tail and that worried me a lot as infection in the bone would mean amputation for sure. Now it has subsided to almost normal, stopped growing and mostly lost that reddish purple look. The problem is that we aren't to the stage yet where I can safely take my eyes off her, or she will have a good lick. Tried finishing off a painting this morning that is due for delivery, (overdue!), and went into that painting zone. Jazz washed that tail but good! At least she isn't chewing it, but over licking irritates it and I don't know if the neocort is safe to be ingested.

    I was looking at her tail and working out where the cut would be best. Not the short nub but probably a bit longer where her tail naturally bends. And it turns out that I am really attached to her silly tail and would much rather her keep it! It's such a good indicator of what she is up to at a distance, and I would miss the happy dreams tail thumping.
    :love::love::love:
     
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  13. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    That's good news! I know we are used to no tail, but when a long tail is all you've known, I certainly understand the attachment! I hope she leaves it alone and it gets the chance to completely heal!

    What are these paintings you speak of??
     
  14. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    I have an arrangement with a local charity where I donate paintings for them to use however they see fit. They are happy with whatever I send them so I can be as free creatively as I like so it gives me satisfaction as well as complying with a voluntary work requirement. I will post a couple of recent samples in the artists thread to give you an idea. :)
     
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  15. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    How wonderful!!
     
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  16. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Sounds like you are doing just that :thumbsup2: I agree to not go with a nub because when puppy tails are docked, they say the nerve endings haven’t developed, and this won’t be the case with Jazz. Leaving it as long as possible would be my choice. I’m sure the vet has his own ideas based on eliminating the infected region. Hoping it does not come to that! :fingersx:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    I asked the vet that exact question, and about the chance of phantom pain. Apparently the spinal chord ends above the root of the tail and they can inject anesthetic into the tail nerve to largely overcome the chance of phantom pain. As you can tell I need to know everything! :rofl: My reasons against leaving half the tail is that it leaves that "accident prone" area still in the firing line. A longer type of nub would suit her long back and low set tail better than the typical Doberman dock. Hopefully now I have all that sorted in my mind we will not need to go there!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    That's me! People may wonder when I sound pessimistic. But I always Hope for the BEST. I just like to Plan for the Worse so it doesn't catch me off guard and surprised! And I have a plan in place. :D

    I think Jazz's tail is getting better so I have high hope for her!! :thumbsup2:
     
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  19. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    Yes, getting better every day! :thumbsup: Will keep the antibiotics going for at least another week to be sure, but the corner is turned now. Phew!

    So now I have another question. After all the heavy antibiotics I will be helping her get her gut flora back to a good balance by feeding natural yoghurt for a week or so. Is there any point in starting this while she is still on antibiotics? She isn't seeming too bad. A bit loose poop sometimes, and sometimes stinky gas! :green:
     
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  20. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I'm so glad she's getting better!
    I think it's a good idea to get a head start on it and some doctors have even recommended it when you start to keep things in balance.
     
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