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Linda Simon
Linda Simon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 717
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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I have an 8 month old rhodesian ridgeback. He has been

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Hi, I have an 8 month old rhodesian ridgeback. He has been bleeding on the tip of his tail due to repeated wagging against walls and furniture, I dressed the tail, but nothing seems to stay put, it falls off and the cut bleeds again, unless I do the bandage very tight. Also he suddenly seemed to limp which is improving now I took the very tight bandage off, I'm concerned the limp was due to bandaging the tail too tight... do you think the two are connected or am I worrying too much? Should I take him to a vet? Do you have any tips on how to protect his tail, he wags constantly with tremendous force?
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know what to do about this bleeding. I'll connect you ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the Rhodesian Ridgeback?
Customer: Not that I can think of...

Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Just a few moments as I type my response.

This is such a frustrating issue and one I have seen quite a few times (typically in large breeds with thick tails such as Ridgebacks, German Shepherds and Labradors). These dogs often come to me because they have had wounds and scabs on the tip of their tail for many months that never heal and bleed around the home. There is a risk of infection and I'm sure it is not too pleasant for the dog.

Can I confirm he never chews or licks the tail? If not, this makes our lives easier.

To protect the tail and allow it to heal, it is vital for it to be covered. This is notoriously one of the most difficult areas to bandage, as bandages naturally want to slip off. A tail wrap such as this one is advised: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roma-Padded-Tail-Wrap-Red/dp/B016Z07G8C/ref=asc_df_B016Z07G8C/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309816003315&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=*****************638&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1007210&hvtargid=pla-697801433185&psc=1

I would suggest it is taken off several times a day to allow the skin to breathe, though this should only be done when in a large open space e.g. a field to ensure there is no further trauma to the healing tail tip. Once the skin has healed, you will need to be vigilant to prevent a similar injury in future. If you notice him wagging the tail hard against furniture, bring him away to another place. Consider keeping him occupied with a nice chew or stuffed Kong and ensure his bed/resting area/play area is not somewhere that is small enough that his tail catches against walls or furniture when it wags.

Which leg his he limping on? I would think that it is unlikely that this is related to the tail injury or dressing., even if put on tight. At 8 months, he may well have overdone it or twisted while playing. Has the limping stopped? If not, consider resting him strictly for 5 days and he may benefit from a course of anti-inflammatories prescribed by the vet.

A trip to the vet is never a bad idea as they can double check there is no sign of infection at the end of the tail and perform an orthopaedic exam to determine why he was limping. They may prescribe a cream for the tail to speed up healing. However, it is also possible that you can manage this at home if the tail is not infected and the limping has stopped.

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Thank you for the kind accept and feel free to keep me updated on your pup's progress. Best of luck!