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Well, I just made a sickening discovery

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Some of you may know that my dog, Bear, has had his tail docked (something I believe is as barbaric as declawing, debarking and other pointless animal mutilations).

I never really paid any attention to his nub beyond the fact that the hair is cowlicked and comes to a pointed tip.

While brushing him today, I moved the hair aside and actually looked closely at it.
This was not a professional job!
His tail has the look of a tail that was docked at home using a rubberband to rot it away.
A professionally docked tail has a neat, almost invisible scar.
Bear's scar comes to a point, like you'd see if the bone had been protruding before skin finally formed over it.
I cannot begin to imagine the pain he must've gone through as a pup with his tail in that shape, let alone the pain of the slow process of a necrotic dock, or any of the infection associated with it.

It just makes me sick.
post #2 of 29
awww the poor thing
post #3 of 29
aww poor baby.
At least he will never have to know thart kind of treatment again, since he is with you!
post #4 of 29
Poor baby

Jake's tail's supposed to be docked too but I wouldn't have it!


My RB Boxer Autumn had her tail docked when we adopted her but not her ears.
People kept asking why I didn't crop her ears.. I told them "How would you like your ears cut and taped up?.. Besides, I think she's cuter with floppy ears!"
post #5 of 29
Actually, it doesn't hurt when they use the rubber band technique, according to my teacher (I go to the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology). She told us that it hurts only for a few moments, then it just goes numb, just like it does when you tighten a rubber band around your finger, except that you keep the band on until the limb actually falls off. That's also how they castrate bulls and stallions and de-tail sheep (also a necessity). And in a way, it's safer than a surgical procedure, because in the way the band necroses the tail, it closes off any blood vessels in the process, leaving VERY little to no chance of a bleeding wound. No chance of infection, either.

And docking does serve -some- purpose, but I don't think it serves a purpose until the dog -does- actually have a problem with Happy Tail syndrome. I agree, though, that declawing is horrible, and ear trimming is unnecessary.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
My dad never used bands for any of the things you've mentioned including docking lambs' tails and wethering young bucks, although yes, I know this method is used at factory farms where you have multitudes of animals to do.
And I've seen in person the reaction of a puppy with a banded tail, they scream, they howl in pain when they sit (litterally for days before the tail dies) and they sulk about.
Granted, the possibility is that the band was not properly placed, and when you see a scar that you can tell by looking at it that the bone had been exposed by necrotic tissue that had peeled away, you know it was not properly done.
post #7 of 29
Yeah, you know...I can't find any proof to support my claim, other than "My teacher said so", so...I don't know.

However, what I did find was a cocker spaniel breeder who uses the rubber band method, but he uses it VERY early, like 3-5 days after birth. And there was another breeder who uses clamps at the same age, and she claims that the puppy squeaks once or twice, then goes back to nursing, so...*shrugs*

I know that the older the docking is done, the more painful, because the nerves in the tail are more developed as they get older.

And Arlyn, maybe we just do things weird out here in CO. =P My teacher has been doing this docking of what I mentioned for years and years.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Could be, could also be that my dad has so few animals and he's squeamish, so he prefers his stock to be sedated and have actual surgies

Bear was 9 months when I got him, and his tail had been gone long before then, but I have no idea when it was done, just that the scarring shows it to be botched.

The pup I witnessed that was banded was already about 5 weeks old.
post #9 of 29
Yeah, if I were him, I'd have the whole surgical process going on, too. From what Tammy (teacher) said, when farmers with large flocks of sheep have the tails docked on the lambs, they leave the bands on and in a few days, there's little lamb tails laying on the ground everywhere...I'd not want to wake up and see that. o_o'

But she says it's painless, and I'm inclined to believe her, since I know her pretty well, but...I've never experienced it, nor do I plan to, so... =/

What breed of dog is Bear?
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
He's lab and some bully breed, I'm inclined to think Am. Bulldog given his size.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie_Darlin View Post
My RB Boxer Autumn had her tail docked when we adopted her but not her ears.taped up?..
It is my understanding they crop the tail because it eventually gets so long it whacks them in the face. . . I dont like cropped ears they look un natural and not attractive IMO. Floppy ears for the win!
post #12 of 29
Arlyn...That really is horrible. He's not pure bred, so they shouldn't have docked it, unless he's HAPPY dog, if you know what I mean, but even then, they shouldn't have used the rubber band method. He would have had to been much older than they should be when using that method...Unless the...could you call it a "breeder"? was stupid and felt that even mixed breeds need to be docked...

Okay, I agree now. This was a horrible discovery. o_o
post #13 of 29
A professional docking (done by a good vet) is far better. I've seen picture of tails on dogs where the breed was not docked. And the damage that can be done to the tail when running in the field/brush when hunting.

Some of the tails have gotten caught in brush and really ripped up. So the docking had to be done.

Some breeds should be docked.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Oh he's a happy boy alright, but I doubt it was a case of happy tail, he's got a lab's otter tail, haven't heard of any fat tailed dogs suffering from happy tail, just whip tailed dogs. I actually think his previous owners did it themselves, I mean, they were dumb enough to tie him out using rope, which is how animal control got him (choke chain, chewed rope, no ID and all).
Actually, I had a coonhound/doberman mix that had to be docked (before I got him) because of happy tail.

And yes, I agree with docking a dog if it's working breed and the dog has a risk to itself by having a tail, I just don't feel that dogs should be docked for cosmetic reasons.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
A professional docking (done by a good vet) is far better. I've seen picture of tails on dogs where the breed was not docked. And the damage that can be done to the tail when running in the field/brush when hunting.

Some of the tails have gotten caught in brush and really ripped up. So the docking had to be done.

Some breeds should be docked.
I agree, there are functional reasons for some tail docks but it should only be done by REAL breeders (not BYB's, etc.) that have the welfare of their puppies first since they take them to a trusted professional to make it as quick and painless as possible. It is done at a very young age before the entire central nervous system is developed. This is fine with me for the breeds that are normally docked.

I know a breeder that tail bands, I don't agree with it and I don't agree with people going it on their own and I don't agree with docking mixed breeds, and I don’t agree with getting a tail docked when the dog is not a young puppy unless there is an important reason.

Sorry for your discovery, lovely dog too!
post #16 of 29
he's a very handsome dog, and I'm sure you got sympathy pains when you saw that.

all this talk of docking tails and cropping ears got me to thinking about the reasons why or why not, etc...

and just think-we circumsize our baby boys all the time.

hmmm
post #17 of 29
Jake just cleared the coffee table with his "Happy Tail"

But I wouldn't want him to ever have to got through being docked I'd rather have a broken glass every once in awhile
post #18 of 29
Where I live most people have thier dogs tails docked because it is the breed standard. Not because the dog will be a hunting dog or anything like that. (How much hunting can you do in florida?) Its just for the "look"

I have refused to help with tail dockings at work. I have told all the Vets that I do not agree with it and will not assist them with it. And they are all fine with that fact. I think its inhumane.

For those of you who dont know how a "professional" tail docking is done... Let me just tell you. They have the owner bring the puppies in when they are 2-3 days old. Then, they take 2 pairs of hemostats and place one where they plan to dock the tail and the other slightly lower. While holding onto the pair that is further up, they take the lower pair and twist and pull until they rip the tail off. Then they put in one or two sutures to hold the skin shut. All this while the puppy is awake and screaming. The vets try to tell me that they dont feel it. I think they have to with how much screaming they do during and after its done. I hate it.... Their little cries are aweful.
post #19 of 29
Yeah, but Dixie Darlin, you're lucky he only clears the table and maybe breaks a few glasses. I've seen dogs who had broken their tails repeatedly due to whacking it over and over and over, and IMO, not having a tail is WAY less painful that continuously breaking it.

But I agree, it shouldn't be done unless it's absolutely necessary, like with the working (the ACTUALLY WORKING dogs!) and the extreme Happy Tails.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
That's also how they castrate bulls and stallions and de-tail sheep (also a necessity)
I don't know about the rest but that is considered a very inhumane way to geld a horse. I know no vet that would condone it and I know some pretty crappy vets that do some stupid things. The most knowledgeable horse vet I know would probably castrate anyone he found trying it.

I've always been told the tail is docked on some working breeds to prevent it getting caught or damaged and mutilated or violently docked later. Similar to docking draft horses tails so they don't get caught in the carts. Which still isn't really necessary since you can tie the tails up or bag them. It just saves the humans some time. I don't think it holds any point for most dogs in current society except for looks and I don't do things for looks. My akita still has 1 ear up and 1 ear down because I refused to tape her floppy ear. It does not impact her life at all except to get me more comments on how cute she is.
post #21 of 29
poor boy. He's gorgeous. why wouldn't the rubberband or any form of docking hurt, Katzyn I would think it would hurt. give sweet Bear a kiss for me. I have always seen where I work with mixes with docked tails. God gave them tails and ears for a reason just like God gave cats claws for a reason!
post #22 of 29
Well, if you think about it...The band would pinch off the nerves (and if the animal is very young, as it should be! the nerves aren't very sensitive anyway..) as the band slowly necrosed the tissue, making the nerves dead and numb. So it makes sense that the tail would feel pain for a few minutes, then would go numb as the nerve was pinched off, and the tail would eventually fall off, closing the wound as it necroses, which would prevent at least most, if not all, bleeding and chance of infection. And I'm sure the pressure on the tail probably doesn't comfortable, but I don't think it -hurts-, either. If it's anything like a rubber band around the finger, as my teacher said, then it only hurts for a little while, until the nerve becomes numb.

I'd try it on my finger if I didn't care about losing it, but since I do, I guess we can't really know unless we want to potentially hurt an animal, if I'm wrong (which I may be, of course!).

And I'm having a memory laspe now about the gelding a stallion or bull...I can't remember if she was talking about using the rubber band or just doing it without anesthesia....
post #23 of 29
Some of the breed standards are changing. In Europe, for instance, you can't show a docked tail on several breeds - including Old English Sheepdogs. They are cute no matter what, but they certainly look different with a tail.


And having lots of experience keeping up with their coats when they are just pets, I can only imagine a working Sheepie with a tail.
post #24 of 29
I don't agree with it at all, dogs are born with ears and tails they way they are for a reason.

As to why a mix breed would have that done, a) to look tougher - as was said, and b) depending on the mix, hog or coyote hunting. Bully mixes get used for bringing down hogs around here.

What's even more messed up is hearing about people tying string around kittens tails....
post #25 of 29
Your dog is gorgeous, and lucky to have found an owner like you . Give me the natural look any day. I have owned 2 Boxers, both of which had docked tails ~ they were both rescues so their tails had already been docked as pups. Were I ever to get another pup I would insist there be NO docking or cropping... I am dead against it. BTW, the dog in my signature is my Frenchie and she is all natural... bat ears and corkscrew tail . I get really upset when we are out walking and people comment on her docked tail... couldn't be further from the truth!!
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I don't agree with it at all, dogs are born with ears and tails they way they are for a reason.
Um, natural dogs (wolves) aren't born with long floppy ears either. In the wild this would not be a good thing, it would not serve a good reason and floppy ears are more prone to ear infections. They are not born with smooshed faces that cause breathing problems. Or lots of wrinkles. Or a short body with short legs, or a long body and short legs, or 6 lbs. or under when full grown, or with long flowing hair, or not to be able to give birth without c-sections (like many French Bulldogs), or to stand 31 inches and over a hundred pounds, etc. I think you get the idea.

My point is there is no reason at all to a lot of MAN MADE domestic dog breeds. The reason may not be a reason at all, or it may be a certain function. Many of the dogs of the past were only bred for certain functions. Sometimes I think people forget this.
Some people say but that is the way God made them! No, not really. People play God every time they breed two together. It is the way people have made them. Look at all the different dog breeds, all the different functions, all the different types, and so forth. Most are far from "natural".
post #27 of 29
I wasn't referring to the mutations we've caused in the name of cuteness, not at all. I was referring to dogs not usually being born with half or more of their ears missing (ever see a really bad home job on those?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
Some people say but that is the way God made them! No, not really.
I'd be the last person to ever claim that...
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
Um, natural dogs (wolves) aren't born with long floppy ears either. In the wild this would not be a good thing, it would not serve a good reason and floppy ears are more prone to ear infections. They are not born with smooshed faces that cause breathing problems. Or lots of wrinkles. Or a short body with short legs, or a long body and short legs, or 6 lbs. or under when full grown, or with long flowing hair, or not to be able to give birth without c-sections (like many French Bulldogs), or to stand 31 inches and over a hundred pounds, etc. I think you get the idea.

My point is there is no reason at all to a lot of MAN MADE domestic dog breeds. The reason may not be a reason at all, or it may be a certain function. Many of the dogs of the past were only bred for certain functions. Sometimes I think people forget this.
Some people say but that is the way God made them! No, not really. People play God every time they breed two together. It is the way people have made them. Look at all the different dog breeds, all the different functions, all the different types, and so forth. Most are far from "natural".

Not to get into an argument, because I see that we both have and love Sphynx cats.... but same could be said for a couple of cat breeds as well . Many of the brachycephalic breeds do indeed have issues, but many responsible breeders are trying to breed less extreme dogs and I am all for that... just pointing out that docking and cropping goes against the grain... my opinion.
post #29 of 29
Poor baby, I'm guessing the same as you. That they used the rubber band trick poor poor baby.
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