The tale of Rosco's tail
Meet Rosco, a Great Dane x Greyhound who was rescued earlier this year from a shelter. Rosco worried his owners recently when he started yelping in pain for no apparent reason. A close inspection at home by his owners revealed a swelling on his tail.
Rosco came to see us to be thoroughly examined by our veterinarians. Whilst Rosco was otherwise well, his tail oedema (swelling) and tail vertebrae were abnormal, and it was strongly suspected that Rosco had endured a fracture to his tail. Pain relief was provided, and Rosco was admitted for x-rays to confirm his fracture.
X-rays revealed a straightforward fracture to one of Rosco's last tail vertebrae. This required orthopaedic surgical treatment to amputate the end of the tail. Surgery was performed and Rosco after recovering well was sent home with medications and an Elizabethan collar ('the cone of shame') to assist with the healing and pain. Rosco's owners were instructed to keep him as quiet as possible in order to minimise his wag and tail movement (a difficult task for the best of us!)
Rosco was seen back at the clinic a couple of days after the surgery for a post-operative check to assess his wound and change his bandaging.
More than a week after surgery, Rosco's owners noticed he had been chewing at his tail wound. A revisit to the clinic allowed our vets to identify that Rosco had self traumatised his wound, compromising his skin and subcutaneous sutures, thereby impairing healing. Rosco was admitted for repair of his tail wound under a general anaesthetic. The second time round Rosco’s recovery was smooth and uneventful - the wound healing fully without Rosco’s interference and he has since returned to his happy self… still wagging his (somewhat shorter) tail!
Fortunately for Rosco’s owners, they had taken out health insurance for Rosco which meant that much of the costs associated with Rosco's surgery was covered, easing the medical costs, allowing peace of mind and full diagnostic and treatment options to be implemented.