Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dax's Tail

As usual, it has been way too long since my last post, but I have an excuse for at least some of the delay... Dax's tail.

So, like 2 weeks or so ago Dax got a case of "happy tail". As far as I can tell, he hit it on the brick wall outside in the back. I washed it with water and put some neosporin on it and we moved on. It seemed just fine. Life went on.

Well, Thursday before last, Tim came home early to what looked like a crime scene. Dax has knocked his tail open. We rinsed it and wrapped it. The next day, he got the wrap off while we were away and did it again. We re-wrapped it. At this point, it seemed a little tender, but we didn't think much of it, knowing he had hit it on something.

Saturday comes. We wrap it up before we head to New Orleans. My Mom came over to feed the hounds and Dax got the bandage off. Mom muzzles him and tries to re-wrap it with mild success and much attitude from him. It's obviously starting to hurt more. We give him some baby aspirin when we get home and wrap it again.

The next few days are just on and off wrapping, letting it dry out, and so on. Last Wednesday, we take him to the vet. We tell her what's going on and everything we had done. She said we were doing basically what she would have suggested, but it looks infected and obviously hurts him. She gives him some antibiotic and pain pills and tells us to try to let it dry out.

Over the next two days (Thursday and Friday) we talk to different people, including the vet again and start doing some wet to dry wraps where you mix up 8 parts water to 1 part vinegar and soak a gauze pad in the solution, put it on with a dry pad on the outside and wrap it up for a few hours. You also do a 10 minute "soak" where you put a washcloth in the solution and put it on the wound for that time period. These things lead to a change in the tail, but we aren't sure if it's better or worse.

Saturday morning we decide we need to see the vet again, so we do. She is mixed about it being better or worse. It is drier and not draining, but there was a fluid build-up above the wound. We also indicated the pain is still pretty good and she prescribed him more pain meds.

Saturday night was a disaster. Before bed, we gave Dax some Benedryl to calm him a little, as the vet said we could, and we did an Epsom Salts soak, also as suggested by the vet. This went okay. We decide to leave the wound open to let it dry some over night. This was fine until about 2 a.m. when Dax began to pace the room. He paced for about an hour. Tim took him out to see if he had to potty, and he did poo and pee. He came back in and still paced. I tried bringing him into the living room, we tried more dog beds in our bedroom, nothing worked. Finally, close to 4 a.m. we decide to try a wet to dry wrap again, as it seems to calm him some. That worked and within 30 minutes, he was asleep and slept until 8:30 a.m.

Once we got up, he went out, ate, got his meds and then just paced. When he finally laid down, we did another Epsom Salts soak, which was okay until the last 2 minutes when he started getting fussy about it. After that, he just paced and paced and paced and panted and whined (which he has done more and more and more). He finally laid down again after I gave him another dose of Benedryl. He licked it a little at that point and that was when the matted mess that was his tail was moved about to expose raw flesh. It's not pretty. I e-mailed the vet, and I think we are at the point where we will be amputating part of his tail. He is just in too much pain and the infection is not subsiding. The vet brought this up as a potential occurrence when we first brought him in, and we think we are there. We have sought the advice of all our greyhound "family" and everyone agrees it's the right thing to do now.

So, now we wait on the vet to contact us so we can set up a time to do the docking. I will miss his long tail, but I want him to feel better and in the end, it's just cosmetic. We are also going to have the vet do a culture of the wound to see what is going on with it really, partially just to be sure he is okay otherwise.

I apologize for not posting anything while this was going on, but no offense to anyone, but we were getting enough advice and this was a decision we needed to make and I didn't want too many people involved. Now that we are making a move, I am ready to talk about it. I just want my big blue boy to feel better and if this is what it takes, so be in.

I have some pictures of his tail, but I don't want to post them. They are kind of graphic.

I'll post again once we have a date and time. For now, I think he is finally a little settled again. There is no whining at the moment and I think he is napping. It's time to feed and for him to get more meds, Fingers crossed for a good evening.

Take care of your tails.

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