Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do-it-yourself (DIY) tail docking a Schnauzer X

"My puppy's tail is swollen and Vet 1 gave him an injection yesterday," the man with three 7-week-old puppies brought one to amputate the dead swollen tail. "I brought him to see Vet 1 yesterday and was told that tail docking is illegal in Singapore. But I see many dog breeders doing it."    

"Tail docking of puppies are not banned in Singapore," I asked what material he used to do tail docking of his Schnauzer X as the puppy was already 7 weeks old and he started tying the tail at the first week of age

"I read in the internet that dental floss strings are the best," he replied.
"Most breeders either dock the tails at day 3 or use a rubber band," I said. "The rubber band strangulates the tail. The tail becomes gangrenous as it gets no blood supply and drop off after around one week. It is very painful for the puppy."

For this man, the tail was still around for the past 6 weeks. One puppy's tail had just dropped off. The other had a tail that still has feelings. Only this Schnauzer's tail was dead and swollen at the strangulated area. He wanted tail amputation.

Miniature Schnauzer X, 7 weeks, 1.6 kg.
What safe anaesthesia to use? The puppy is still not mature.
I used Domitor and Ketamine at 50% of the usual formula and add an equivalent 0.15 ml of saline, totalling 0.3 ml given IV by Dr Daniel

"How will you amputate the tail?" I asked Dr Daniel. 
"V-shaped incision," he said as that was what his professors had lectured. I asked him to sketch his plan.

"There is a big septic dead area and the V-shaped incision will comprise some of the gangrenous area," I said. "Use my surgical approach which consisted of two horizontal skin incisions on the dorsal and ventral aspect of the tail. The dorsal incision is further away from the anal area than the ventral but as far from the gangrenous strangulated wound as possible." Then the dorsal area will flap downwards covering the whole tail, giving a good cosmetic appearance."

I have never used the "V-shaped incision" method in tail amputation but it can be one of the alternatives.    

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