Springer Spaniel damaging his tail by wagging

by David

Archie is 6mnths old from a field line but with a full length tail which we do NOT want to dock. He has started wagging it so much he is making it bled on the tip any suggestions?

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May 04, 2014
tail damage NEW
by: dani mccarron

I put a strip of gorilla tape on the end of my sprockrs tail stays on even in water takes a few days for him to get used to now he's a. Happy we dog no stopping every minute to check tail

Feb 20, 2013
To Dock or Not to Dock, that is the question!!! NEW
by: Anonymous

I know you will have resolved your original issue, but I came accross this thread while looking for help with another tail related problem, and for the benefit of others I thought I would share my experience.
We have an English Springer Spaniel bitch which came from a working line and who was docked as a pup before we went to look at the litter. This was done for the dog's health as working dogs can often get tail injuries which can lead to infections.

Our bitch later had 2 pups and we did not dock their tails as they were not likely to be working dogs and this would not normally be acceptable for house dogs.
We re-homed one of the pups and kept one, and at about 10 months to a year old the one we kept caught his tail on a bramble and cut the tip. We tried to bandage it, but each time we did he just chewed at the dressing and removed it and continued to hit everything with his wagging tail and make the injury worse. We took him to the vet, who dressed the wound appropriately and put a 'lampshade' collar on him to prevent the chewing of the dressing. He still wagged his tail, and still banged into things with it. After several weeks, when all seemed fine and the vet was happy that the wound was healed as good as it could be, our dog was given his full freedom again.
A few days later we awoke to blood splatters on the fridge, washing machine, kitchen cupboards and accross the floor and walls! He had banged his tail on something again and re-opened the wound. On our return to the vets it was explained that in many dogs, and particularly spaniels with such 'waggly' tails, this was always a risk and one of the reasons why their tails used to be docked. The only permanent solution, and to ensure the best health of the dog in the future (avoiding infection in the tail wound) was to dock his tail to a degree that would avoid further injury. In the best interests of our dogs health we followed this advice and the vet performed the operation.

Maybe a year later we met the owners who homed our other pup, only to find that their dog had suffered in an identical way with the same eventual outcome.
Both dogs are very happy dogs and have never suffered any ill effects of the process nor have they suffered any further tail injuries.

I think docking should be considered, like all medical procedures, on the basis of what is best for the dog on a case by case basis, and that a blanket ban on docking would certainly not be in the best interests of all breeds.

Apr 25, 2012
The docking dilema NEW
by: Anonymous

Unfortunately this is the downside of not docking the tail as a puppy.
You could try bandaging the tip of the tail to protect it from damage whilst out on walks etc. If he's damaging it by catching it on anything in particular eg a radiator, you could try covering it with a towel or old blanket to cushion it.

Sadly most Springers who damage their tails do so repeatedly and end up with open wounds and infections. Try to keep wounds clean and dry as much as possible to prevent this.

If this becomes a recurring problem then you may have to get the tail docked to prevent discomfort to the dog. For some dogs removing as little as a quarter of the tail makes a massive difference. If your dog isnt already neutered/spayed perhaps you could get them both done at once to minimise the stress to your dog.

Best of luck x

Feb 03, 2011
by: Michele

Wow, I've never heard of that! You might check with your vet and see what he / she has to say.

I will tell you that at 6 months of age your pup is too old to have his tail docked now.

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