Tail Amputation Surgery


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Tail Amputation Surgery

Hello All,

my 3yr old bully(kiko) will be having tail surgery within the next few weeks due to chronic infection in the tail fold area. Our vet who states to have worked with bulldog breeders back east, is titling it as more of a cosmetic surgery.
During the initial exam yesterday, as our vet was examining the infected folds around the tail, he stated that surgery is a must, due to it being badly infected, and he also indicated that my bully's tail pocket/fold area is one of the most deformed hes seen on bulldogs.
the surgery will be to remove skin folds around the tail pocket area, above and below the tail due to the deep folds. according to the vet, even if the tail was amputated the deep folds could still hold bacteria and cause infections in the area.
he drew blood from kiko, for a blood exam before the surgery. the total estimate came out to 1600.00.
heres a picture of the tail area:
Photobucket


everything sounds good, and the vet sounds very knowledgeable in regards to surgery procedures.
the only thing is i am dying of how nervous i am about the surgery. ive read that bulldogs are a huge risk under anesthesia, and i surely wouldnt like my bully to have any trouble while under anesthesia, kiko is about 70lbs, i dont want him to have trouble breathing. is there a way to sedate the dog, and then just put local anesthesia in the area the sugery will happen?
also, do you guys think this surgery will work by the way it sounds? or is a complete tail amputation the best way to go?

Post surgery, the vet said i will need to watch kiko for about 10days, and make sure he does not bite/chew the tail area.

Please let me know what you think, or your experiences with this type of surgery, anesthesia, etc. im very nervous, thinking twice about the surgery as i dont want anything bad to happen to my bully.

AmyandSophia's picture

Good advice Kathy. Especially the anesthesia.....

Make certain the vet uses NO ACE. None. Only have him use Isoflurane or Sevoflurane. Those are the only two anesthesia a Bully should ever get.

Amy, Sophia and Isabella

AmyandSophia's picture

Good advice Kathy. Especially the anesthesia.....

Make certain the vet uses NO ACE. None. Only have him use Isoflurane or Sevoflurane. Those are the only two anesthesia a Bully should ever get.

Amy, Sophia and Isabella

Sorry you had such a problem with your dog's surgery.

I do think this was a bit of bad luck on the infection, and unfortunately not all vets have a good 'bedside manner' much the same as with human doctors, but when it comes to actually doing the procedures we want hands-on experience over a young and enthusiastic but 'green' vet. The tail is an extension of the spinal cord. That alone is reason enough for using general anesthesia...a dog not fully immobilized and anesthetized could jeopardize the operation and worse-case-scenario could cause paralysis of he moved around during this amputation!

One should feel that they can phone and speak with a senior technician if the vet is not available anytime the office is open, if they have questions about how the dog is healing post-op. If anything looks redder than when you came home, if anything is oozing more than a drop or two, if anything smells stinky or odd...CALL THE VET and take the dog in for recheck. Most vets will discharge the dog with antibiotics just because of the depth of the surgery and exposure but if you have concerns or the medication is completed but you still don't feel its healing well, let the vet know! happy.gif

Sorry you had such a problem with your dog's surgery.

I do think this was a bit of bad luck on the infection, and unfortunately not all vets have a good 'bedside manner' much the same as with human doctors, but when it comes to actually doing the procedures we want hands-on experience over a young and enthusiastic but 'green' vet. The tail is an extension of the spinal cord. That alone is reason enough for using general anesthesia...a dog not fully immobilized and anesthetized could jeopardize the operation and worse-case-scenario could cause paralysis of he moved around during this amputation!

One should feel that they can phone and speak with a senior technician if the vet is not available anytime the office is open, if they have questions about how the dog is healing post-op. If anything looks redder than when you came home, if anything is oozing more than a drop or two, if anything smells stinky or odd...CALL THE VET and take the dog in for recheck. Most vets will discharge the dog with antibiotics just because of the depth of the surgery and exposure but if you have concerns or the medication is completed but you still don't feel its healing well, let the vet know! happy.gif

Stacie-Hercules's picture

Hercules had the surgery

We debated a bit about whether or not do have it done, but we were having regular issues with the tail pocket and the tail was also starting to get ingrown, causing some pain. I am of the school that the vet does not need to be a "bulldog vet," but he should be knowledgeable about the issues concerning bulldogs and anesthesia as well as the procedure to be performed. We took Hercules to a well-known bulldog vet for the tail surgery, and I will never take him there again -- the vet was very dismissive when talking to me and did not take the time to explain the surgery to me thoroughly. I was shocked when I picked Hercules up and saw how big the incision area was -- basically they cut a flap of skin around his rear, and went in and took off about 4" of tail. We did have some post-surgery issues with infection, so once you bring your pup home you should make sure to watch for excessive draining from the incision area. Most people don't have these issues, though.

Hercules is much happier without his tail and we are glad we had the procedure done.

Feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions, and good luck!
Stacie

Stacie-Hercules's picture

Hercules had the surgery

We debated a bit about whether or not do have it done, but we were having regular issues with the tail pocket and the tail was also starting to get ingrown, causing some pain. I am of the school that the vet does not need to be a "bulldog vet," but he should be knowledgeable about the issues concerning bulldogs and anesthesia as well as the procedure to be performed. We took Hercules to a well-known bulldog vet for the tail surgery, and I will never take him there again -- the vet was very dismissive when talking to me and did not take the time to explain the surgery to me thoroughly. I was shocked when I picked Hercules up and saw how big the incision area was -- basically they cut a flap of skin around his rear, and went in and took off about 4" of tail. We did have some post-surgery issues with infection, so once you bring your pup home you should make sure to watch for excessive draining from the incision area. Most people don't have these issues, though.

Hercules is much happier without his tail and we are glad we had the procedure done.

Feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions, and good luck!
Stacie

Kathy Ollie Chester and Newman's picture

We've dealt with some bad tail pockets over the years...

and I wish we had of done an amputation with our girl Oreo, hers was always smelly and infected, but she was a rescue and over 5 when we got her. Just make sure the surgeon is knowledgable about tail removal since it basically is an extension of the spine. Isoflurane for anesthesia or sevoflurane, don't feed him for a minimum of 12 hours before surgery, no food or water, to prevent vomiting and aspiration. We usually don't feed our guys for 18 hours ahead just to be safe. Make sure that they will keep the breathing tube in until he is awake and that someone is with him at all times until that's done. I'm sure he'll be a lot more comfortable without the tail pocket. Sending good thoughts.

Kathy, Ollie and Chester

Kathy Ollie Chester and Newman's picture

We've dealt with some bad tail pockets over the years...

and I wish we had of done an amputation with our girl Oreo, hers was always smelly and infected, but she was a rescue and over 5 when we got her. Just make sure the surgeon is knowledgable about tail removal since it basically is an extension of the spine. Isoflurane for anesthesia or sevoflurane, don't feed him for a minimum of 12 hours before surgery, no food or water, to prevent vomiting and aspiration. We usually don't feed our guys for 18 hours ahead just to be safe. Make sure that they will keep the breathing tube in until he is awake and that someone is with him at all times until that's done. I'm sure he'll be a lot more comfortable without the tail pocket. Sending good thoughts.

Kathy, Ollie and Chester

Matilda's experience

Jay

Our bully Matilda, had a similiar situation with her tail being in a deep pocket and constantly infected, regardless of the twice a day cleaning were performed on her.

Our vet recommended removing her tail and since we were going to have her spade, we decided to have her tail removed at the same time. She did not experience any problems related to the procedure and he did a very nice job, including the removal of a bit of excess skin in the tail area, leaving an almost invisible scar. Most people fail to notice that she is missing her tail. The total cost of both the spaying and the tail removal was no more than 500 dollars (although it was about four years ago).

Hope this helps

Alison

Matilda's experience

Jay

Our bully Matilda, had a similiar situation with her tail being in a deep pocket and constantly infected, regardless of the twice a day cleaning were performed on her.

Our vet recommended removing her tail and since we were going to have her spade, we decided to have her tail removed at the same time. She did not experience any problems related to the procedure and he did a very nice job, including the removal of a bit of excess skin in the tail area, leaving an almost invisible scar. Most people fail to notice that she is missing her tail. The total cost of both the spaying and the tail removal was no more than 500 dollars (although it was about four years ago).

Hope this helps

Alison

Re: No experience with this type of surgery but,

well he meant more like badly shaped because of the skin that is pushing against the tail pocket, then also the deep folds.

thats one of my problems regarding a bulldog experienced vet, i live in santa barbara california, and i cannot find an experienced bulldog vet around this area. the closest vet would be in pasadena which is almost 3 hours away.
and the vet that will be doing the surgery is the best i could find in town. he did mention he worked with bulldog breeders back east, and he seems really knowleadgeble about the breed from the visits we've had with him.

Thanks for the advice about the anesthesia.

Re: No experience with this type of surgery but,

well he meant more like badly shaped because of the skin that is pushing against the tail pocket, then also the deep folds.

thats one of my problems regarding a bulldog experienced vet, i live in santa barbara california, and i cannot find an experienced bulldog vet around this area. the closest vet would be in pasadena which is almost 3 hours away.
and the vet that will be doing the surgery is the best i could find in town. he did mention he worked with bulldog breeders back east, and he seems really knowleadgeble about the breed from the visits we've had with him.

Thanks for the advice about the anesthesia.

Jacinda and the bullies's picture

No experience with this type of surgery but,

I don't think the area looks deformed.

If you decide to have the surgery, make sure your Vet is very experienced with Bulldogs. Also, make sure the Vet uses either Isoflurane or sevoflurane for anesthesia and no ACE. Bulldogs usually do ok with anesthesia as long as it's the right kind.

Myspace Comments, Glitter Graphics at GlitterYourWay.com

Jacinda and the bullies's picture

No experience with this type of surgery but,

I don't think the area looks deformed.

If you decide to have the surgery, make sure your Vet is very experienced with Bulldogs. Also, make sure the Vet uses either Isoflurane or sevoflurane for anesthesia and no ACE. Bulldogs usually do ok with anesthesia as long as it's the right kind.

Myspace Comments, Glitter Graphics at GlitterYourWay.com

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