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Hello!
I have a wonderful boy named Remington who has been having issues with his tail.
I will post photos and a list of things I have tried.
I have contacted my vet on more than one occasion and have been told to leave it if it's not bugging him but this is the worst it has ever been.
I called a week ago with no call back and will be calling first thing in the AM but looking for opinions. I thought it was stud tail but could it get this bad with that red circular hard bump.

I've tried:
  • Weekly warm water tail soaking
  • Stridex
  • antibacterial shampoo
  • Chlorhexidine shampoo
Nothing helped.

I've attached a picture. The first row of pictures is from June. The 2nd row is from tonight.

Thank you.
470843
 

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Oh, poor Remington. That area looks like it is turning into an icky hot spot. My childhood poodle cross used to get them on his tail. They could be really difficult to treat, especially if the vet was like ours and not inclined to take them seriously.

What used to happen is that something - a bug bite, allergies, whatever - would irritate the skin. Then our dog would lick the spot, because it itched. He would lick it so much that all the hair came off. Now he had a bald spot that felt really weird, because it had little spiky hair stubs tickling him. So he's lick it some more until the top layer of skin came off. Yeast and bacteria would get in and cause an infection. Now he had an oozing weeping spot that still itched. He would lick some more, spreading the infection. This cycle repeated a few times over the years until he finally destroyed the hair follicles and ended up with a permanent bald spot on his tail.

Our original vet would just prescribe steroid cream and an Elizabethan collar to keep our dog from licking the wound. Eventually we switched another vet, who prescribed antibiotics and an antifungal.
 

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I would give him vitamin C. Thompson's makes a buffered granulated/powder that I use on the dogs. You didn't say how big he is. Probably 1/8 teaspoon would not be too much. If he is a standard I would go with 1/4 tsp. They like the taste, so just put it on his food. Vit C is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and reduces inflammation.
 

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Another lady I know had a poodle who had a similar tail issue. It had gone on for months with antibiotic treatment from the vet and no good results. Vet said it was cellulitis. It reached the point where the vet was ready to amputate the tail. At my suggestion the poodle’s Mom applied Manuka Honey to the tail and bandaged it. She applied the MANUKA each day and changed bandages. This healed the tail and she did not require amputation. She has a bit of a bald spot on the tail but it is no longer inflamed and crusted with scabs. I live inFort Collins Colorado. We have a University Veterinary Teaching Hospital here. Many vets in town have used Manuka Honey to heal burns and stubborn necrotic wounds. I helped a friend treat his hound who had sustained a huge wound which became necrotic. The vets at the emergency clinic had us treat it with Manuka Honey. In10 days the wound, which was 10” long and in inch wide, open and could not be sutured, was completely healed. Maybe run this by your vet and consider trying it. We got our Manuka Honey at Trader Joe’s and the Vet Clinic got theirs at Whole Foods. My personal vet treated a little dog who was burned in a forest fire. He used Manuka Honey on her feet, face and ears, all of which were burned. She healed fast and was back bouncing around pretty quickly. Seems like this would be worth a try for your kiddo. Best of luck.
 

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I would get an inflatable donut neck collar for your dog to wear starting ASAP. Full stop this is probably the best advice I am giving you. If the dog continues to lick it, it is unlikely to heal on its own.

Try shampooing your dog with CC Peace and Kindness shampoo, which has colloidal silver. I would wash the dog with this shampoo once a week. Keep him in a short clip while you get this sorted. If your dog shows any sensitivity to this shampoo (or any shampoo) then of course stop using it.

With a clean dog and a donut collar in place, you are ready to do daily wound care. The Manuka honey has an enzymatic effect which helps clean off the wound so the new skin cells can proliferate. You could use this for a week or so. It will be sticky. Are you able to cover the wound with a gauze dressing? Be careful about wrapping around the tail- if the tail swells then circulation could be cut off to the rest of his tail. Keeping the wound covered is tricky and requires careful monitoring and perhaps reapplying more than once a day. Can your dog be confined to an x-pen? Monitor for signs of allergic reaction to the honey.

After a week or so with the honey, stop using it. At this point if it still looks really tender try a wound gel or antibiotic ointment and continue to cover for a few days (keep up with the donut collar, weekly baths and x-pen). Things that might impede healing: yeast or bacterial infections. The vet can help with these.

None of this is meant to circumvent veterinary care. However, vets like many doctors do not always know a ton about wound care. It would be sad if this level/type of wound led to a tail amputation.
 
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