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Hi All,
I'm new to this forum, but thought some of you might have some good advice. I'm bringing a rescue into my home to join our family of two other dogs. We (my partner and I) have wanted a golden for some time now and when we saw this guy at the local shelter where we volunteer on weekends, we decided to adopt him. He is a gorgeous and sweet big lug of a dog (88 lbs.) We prepared to bring him home and had a plan in place for introducing him to our female lab and male aussie. The shelter staff told us someone had seen him on the website and called to inform them that he was their neighbors dog 'Brady' and that he was kept in an outside kennel all the time. Don't know how he wound up in the shelter, but apparently they don't want him. Good news for us! We do. The shelter called yesteday and told me they were going to have to amputate 4 inches of his tail due to 'happy tail' syndrome. This complicates things a bit. He will have a cone and medications and I don't think he is house trained, but he is crate trained. Any experience out there with 'happy tail'? What can I expect as far as a healing process? Hopefully my dogs will not pick on him as he has no recourse with that cone. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe cones all around would be the answer? Just kidding. Any feedback would be helpful. We are very excited to be bringing Brady home today with his 1/2 a tail. Thanks!

Sescobar
 

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Magica Goldens
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I've never heard of "Happy tail syndrome". There's "gay tail" where a tail is carried too high (or over the back) but that isn't a condition requiring amputation...
Erica
 

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Susan
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Apparently some dogs wag their tails so vigorously that their tails get injured, especially if they are in wire kennels. It is called "Happy Tail".
 

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where the tails wag
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My sister's GSD/greyhound mix had happy tail; it was amputated to about 5 inches long and she does just fine. It is enough of a tail remaining to communicate with the other dogs and it is now short enough so she is not constantly injuring it.

In Max's case, she was never kennelled but her tail was so long and she is so happy that it was literally like a whip, prone to serious injury with profuse bleeding .. they joke that it is a good thing their house was never luminalled (?? whatever that light is they use on cop shows to show blood) since they walked in more than once to a serious mess.

I do know that once her tail was amputated it finally healed; it was unable to heal for many months before that.
 

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My friend with Setters had that problem with a few of her dogs-they hit their tails on everything! They amputated part of the tails, and the dogs were fine. It can be a real problem, painful for the dog and very messy in the house (blood raining all over from the tip of the tail) and unfortunately in extreme cases amputation is the best solution.

He should be fine.

I hate cones on the dogs, so I'm not much help there. I have seen the ones that look like neck braces, and prevent the dog from bending around. I've always thought I would like to try one of those.
 

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Welcome and congratulations on your new pup. I havent heard of happy tail but it sounds like from what others have posted, he should be ok. Thank you for rescuing and helping at the shelter. He sounds like a wonderful boy and hope you will share pictures of him with us.
 

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Dog Lover
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Thank you!

thank you SO MUCH for saving this dog!

May you have a Blessed Christmas and you will with your rescue!!

He/she will LOVE YOU forever!!!!
 

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Momma to angel Cody
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The No Bite collar instead of a standard Elizabethan collar should enable all the dogs to do normal meet and greet behaviors without that big piece of plastic in the way. Check to see if your vet's office sells them and ask to try one for a day. I say this because that collar freaked my rescue boy out so much he was immobile, so I returned it and used an alternative way to prevent chewing his spinal surgery stitches (clothing, but that wouldn't work for an amputated tail). Thanks for taking in this fella, and I hope that the introductions went smoothly.
 

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Welcome to the forum, and thank you for bringing this wonderful guy into your life and home. He sounds wonderful, and we will be so anxious to hear stories about him and share pictures too! We all just love pictures!:)
My Lexi just had a toe amputated on her back foot. The same thing here, I needed something that would keep her from chewing the stitches out of her foot. She hates anything around her neck, so I knew from when she was spayed 6 months ago, that I had to find something else other than the hard plastic e-collar.
I ended up buying the newer inflatable e-collar. The Vet told me, that she had heard very good reviews on this collar, but had never used one yet herself. It has been a week tomorrow since her surgery. She has done well, and has not found a way to get to her foot, or get it off. It is much more comfortable, and she lays her head on it like a pillow.
 

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Thanks to everyone for the helpful info and words of encouragement. Brady is lying asleep at my feet right now. He has had a stressful two weeks which culminated in a castration and amputation (of about 1/3 of his tail) in one day. He's had to meet my two crazy dogs and he's yet to experience the adventure of my 5 cats. He is definitely a 'mama's boy'. I will send pics soon. He is gorgeous and HUGE. He dwarfs my lab and aussie at a whopping 88 lbs. Hope he's done growing. Thanks again. Apparently his tail was unusually long, so he won't miss those 4 inches.
sescobar03 (formerly sescobar)
 

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Dog Lover
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Sescobar

SESCOBAR

Bless you and your Family and BRADY!

CAN'T WAIT for pics.
Where do you live?
 

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Thanks for your suggestion. He has been able to reach around to his 3/4 tail and rip the bandage off twice now, so I'm thinking something else would work better.
sylvia
 

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Oh dear, it sounds as though a regular plastic Elizabethan collar might be your best bet after all. The dogs do get used to them, although they are kind of unwieldy but letting his tail heal has to be your #1 priority right now.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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I had a rescue Lab that had to get hers cut off because of HAPPY TAIL! $400 later she was fine, with a tail about the length of a Weim's. Never heard of it in a Golden, but I am not surprised. Happens a lot with Greyhounds too.
 

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Update on Brady, the rescue with the amputated tail. Poor guy had to have the whole thing taken off as he kept whacking it and it would not heal and started to smell really bad so we decided to go ahead and have it done. The healing process is taking much longer than expected and he is still in a cone and isolated from the household as his tail continues to leak 'red kool aid' as my vet calls it, so we have to keep him in a clean room with clean sheets covering the floor. His stitches come out on Friday and hopefully we can then integrate him into the family. But don't feel too sorry for him as he is spoiled and we spend time with just him, brushing and talking to him and giving him 'cone free' time while we monitor and let him chew on some bones. He is a great dog and not once have I regretted taking on this big bear of a dog. I will post pictures soon I promise. Holidays and all have kept us busy. Thanks again for all your support.
 

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It sounds like it was the best for him. Glad that he is doing so well in your home. I cant wait to see pictures of him. Give him a big kiss and hug for being so brave.
 

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Sescobar

Sescobar

Thank God you and your loving family are fostering Brady.

I KNOW how hard it is keeping the cone on-I felt SO BAD for my Smooch but in order to prevent infection, it was worth it.

Kisses to Brady!
 

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Pictures of Brady

Okay, I posted some pictures in an 'album' of Brady. I don't know if that was the right place for people to see them. I'm new to this forum, so someone can let me know if there's somewhere better to post them. Also, it would be nice to have his picture with my posts as many of you have. How do I do that? Thanks in advance,
sescobar and Brady
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Aw, poor guy. I have a client with a Golden whose tail had to be fully amputated for the same reason. He's got a little Aussie-style stump-tail now! Sending good thoughts for a smooth recovery. Have fun getting to know your new friend!
 
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