Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Dog Tail Injury DIY Treatment – Tip of Tail Got Stuck in a Door

Sometimes the unexpected happens – in this case your dog catches the tip of his/her tail between a closing door, and the door frame. If you are really lucky the ‘end result’ is a yelp – just a ‘close call’ with no injury. If you aren’t so lucky your dog may injure his/her tail. This article is for you if you are dealing with a 'just happened' dog tail injury in which the tip of your dog’s tail got stuck in a door, and your dog lost the little tip at the end of his/her tail… 

What To Do First…

Help Your Dog to Still

The first thing you need to do is get your dog under control. Don't allow your dog to run around (inside the house, or outside). Choose a dog-safe space such as a smaller room to confine your dog to while you gather a few items you will need. 

A small crate is not a good idea as your dog's already injured tail can get stuck between the metal bars of a crate - thereby causing pain, and even further injury. If you aren’t alone, have another person stay in the room with your dog. That person's task is to be calm, and keep your dog as still as possible, while he/she holds the tip of your dog’s tail up. This will help calm your dog, will help keep your dog from hitting his/her injured tail on walls and furniture, and will help to slow the blood flowing from your dog's injured tail-tip.

Your dog’s tail has a lot of blood vessels with a strong blood flow. If the little tip of your dog’s tail has been injured, or has come-off when the door closed, you are likely to see a lot of blood flow from the injury. If your dog happens to have an upright tail – such as my Husky x German Shepherd Sarah (photos above and below), the blood can end-up everywhere, including on the upper portion of walls, and ceilings.

If you don't have any available help, settle your dog in the room, and quickly gather the items you will need, and proceed through the steps provided below...

You will need the following items...
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Towel, and paper towel roll to clean-up, and wipe your hands
  • A styptic if you have one, i.e. Kwik Stop, Bentonite Clay, or one of the other examples below)
  • Elastic self-adhering bandage role
  • Optional:
    • Surgical tape (you may find it helpful to better secure the self-adhering bandage)
    • Elizabethan collar, or soft-e-collar 
    • Calming alternative medicine
Next step – Disinfect the Wound Site

Disinfect Simply, Naturally

Disinfect the tip of the tail ASAP – the following provides some simple solutions to disinfect quickly…
  •  Colloidal Silver Water
    • Apply colloidal silver to the tail-tip.
    • Colloidal silver is the best choice and it doesn't sting.
  • Use 3% hydrogen peroxide (a natural antiseptic)
    • Pour the hydrogen peroxide over the tip of tail, or;
    • Dunk the tip of the tail into a bowl/container containing hydrogen-peroxide. 
    • Hydrogen peroxide does not typically hurt or cause stinging.
  • If you do not have hydrogen peroxide you can make a simple saline solution -  
    • Combine the following:
      • ½ cup of warm water (distilled water if you have it on hand), with;
      • ½ tsp salt - full spectrum salt is preferred.
    • Stir.
    • Pour over tail or dip tail in the solution – this may sting a little.
  • As soon as you have disinfected the tip of tail, hold the tail in the ‘up’ position.
  • You can also use liquid bentonite clay to disinfect the wound – or powder form bentonite clay mixed with water.

Next – Slow Down Blood Flow, Stop Blood Flow

Apply a Natural Styptic – if you have one handy

If you have a styptic (topical herb, or other natural powder used to stop blood flow from wound) you can gently apply it to the tip of the tail. If you don't have a styptic - skip to the next step provided below - 'Bandage Your Dog's Tail'.

Examples of common styptics:

  • ‘Kwik Stop’ available at most pet supply stores (Kwik Stop is a pre-blended powder used to stop the flow of blood after accidently cutting into the quick of your dog’s nail bed)
  • Bentonite or Monmorillonite or Diatmaceous Earth (DE) Clay Powder – Food Grade Only
  • Septic herbs (powder form or salve, organic) for example - calendula, cayenne, geranium, Shepherd’s purse, St. John’s Wort, Witch Hazel, yarrow, and Yunnan Baiyao.

Next - Bandage Your Dog's Tail

Now, get the tail bandaged-up. Self-adhering wrap bandage is a perfect solution. Wrap well, and secure with a finish wrap of medical adhesive bandage tape. Don’t wrap too lose as the bandage will slip off – wrap firmly.

Next - No Chewing Please!

Your dog my want to remove his/her bandage. For the next 8 to 12 hours you are going to have to prevent that bandage from coming off. If you are not going to be available to monitor your dog, and/or if your dog is agitated, and will not listen to you when you tell him/her to ‘leave it’ (the bandage), then you will have to  use either an Elizabethan collar, or a soft-e-collar to ensure your dog does not remove his/her bandage. Most pet supply stores sell various types of these collars.

Next - Optional, Administer an Ingested, Calming Alternative Medicine
If your dog is very agitated you may want to consider giving your dog a calming, healing, anti-inflammatory alternative trauma medicine such as Traumel (not available anymore in Canada - shame on Health Canada, but is available in the USA, UK, Europe, etc.),  Arnica30.

Next - Monitor Healing
Check your dog's tail daily for the next week to ensure that the wound site is healing well, and is infection-free.

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld.