Wednesday, July 17, 2013

1031. Surgery: Tail docking of Poodles, Jack Russells and Schnauzers

Although animal lovers condemn tail docking as cruel acts, it is much more painful for puppies when breeders strangulate the tail with tight rubber bands to "dock" the tails in a do-it-yourself way. So, I offer this tail-docking service for home breeders who want the puppies' tail docked.

"Each vet has his or her own way to dock a less-than-4-day-old puppy's tail," I said to Dr Daniel. "You observe my method which is a fast and efficient process taking less than 1 minute/puppy docked and then do your own way. So, for 6 puppies, the whole process is completed in less than 5 minutes."  The Australian university professors will teach their methods or may not as Australia has an anti-tail-docking culture for all puppies.   

I asked him to stand beside me rather than opposite me and asked another person to position the poodle puppy for tail docking. He has to view from the point of the view of the operating vet rather than seeing from the opposite side.

1.  The assistant holds the puppy horizontally and firmly with his elbows resting on the op table. The puppy's head faces to the left of the operating vet.

2.  A narrow blunt-edge scissors is placed on the extended tail such that the upper blade is placed further backwards by 5 mm dorsally as compared to the lower blade. The upper blade grips the skin and is rotated cranially to the same plane as the lower blade.

3. The tail is cut in the same vertical plane. This results in the dorsal skin edge being 5 mm longer than the lower skin incision edge.

4. In this way, there will be no bone protrusion which may happen if the tail is docked just in one vertical plane by the two upper and lower bladder of the scissors.  The assistant needs to hold the puppy vertically to provide a good view.

5. The coccygeal bone may not be cut at its joint. So, I use the blunt ended scissor to undermine and cut the partial bone fragment away to reveal the shiny joint surface.
6. KMnO4 powder is pressed onto the bleeders. This is very effective when the puppy is less than 2 days old. There was no bleeding in the 6 poodles docked.
7. The owner is advised not to let the dam lick away the KMnO4 powder in the tail for 24 hours by ensuring the feeding is supervised. 

The above technique is not suitable for dogs over 4 days old as there will be too much bleeding post-op. Stitching the amputated ends will need to be done.

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