Happy tail syndrome

I’m dog sitting Reya, a mutt with most likely some Doberman in her. She’s bigger than Tucker the Beagle, about the same age (around 3, 4) and a rescue.

The family who rescued her has three kids around the same age as my two. The oldest is a boy a year younger than my boy, and one of the girls is Sonja’s friend. They’re in grade 10 (15).

When Reya was adopted the family said she was very fearful around men. It took the dad and the boy a long time to get her to trust them. During her transition period into that family, Sonja spent a lot of time at their house, often having sleepovers. At one point we considered sending them adoption papers, Sonja spent so much time over there… πŸ˜‰

Which is why Reya considers Sonja almost like a family member, or at least an extended one. πŸ˜€

So, when they asked us to look after Reya last October, I said yes. Which is why she’s back with me again this March. She’s already used to us.

One of the things Reya does well is wag her tail. She’s is a very happy tail wagger, gets into it by engaging half her body! Because she’s big, she has long legs and an equally long tail. She’s also very attached to Sonja and I, and a little bit jealous when someone says or does something to Tucker. He, of course, is equally jealous and needs reassurance immediately when someone says or does something to Reya.

Meaning, I often have two hounds on me, or attached to me at any given time. 😎

They get along wonderfully, and love to walk and play together.

But the tail wagging has now reached a point of injury. We noticed splatters of blood along the walls all though this tiny house. So we read up on it and discovered that larger dogs with long tails sometimes get Happy Tail Syndrome. It means that the tip of the tail splits open. Hence the blood.


Watching her closely I noticed she doesn’t appear to be in any pain. She continues to wag as hard as she always does, and isn’t licking any part of her tail. Dogs lick when something hurts, right? She seems oblivious to her tail.

Tucker meanwhile is sniffing her tip constantly. He has very acute sense receptors, and the smell of blood is interesting to him. For us humans, it’s more difficult to see what the injury looks like because of the fur – I can’t even hold her still long enough to inspect her tail (although it works when Sonja holds her and talks to her to keep her calm).

Anyway we tried wrapping it which slid off, tape and all, seconds after she began to wag her tail again. Next, I put a sock around her tail using medical tape which stayed on longer, but it’s kind of futile too. Mostly I tell her to sit or stay in one place, which both dogs find difficult when there’s so much commotion in and out of the house. (It’s March Break, kids are home but constantly coming and going.)

This morning, while she was nice and quiet on the sofa next to me, I wrapped a sock around her tail. I secured it with medical tape and used green painters tape to hold the bottom part of the sock in place, giving her tip a bit of extra padding.

Not sure if it will remain in place… πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Perhaps a vet visit is due for her today? I’m kind of ambivalent, but they might know a way to wrap her tail that will prevent her from injuring herself more…(although I think the sock idea is pretty resourceful). I’m trying to reach the family, find out what they want us to do. I’d feel better talking to them first.

Poor poochie.

Meanwhile, the polar vortex has moved on and the big thaw is underway. Ugh! Mud is on its way into the house.

If I told you the walls are closing in on me a bit, would you believe me? 😬

But I will survive. I always do.


12 thoughts on “Happy tail syndrome

  1. I guess it’s good that Dogzilla has a curve at the end of his Tail Of Destruction. He’s part shepherd too, so he’s got lots of fur. His tail has a mind of its own, and he often chases itπŸ™„ Big Dumb Dog!
    The sock idea is excellent. I thought maybe a piece of foam… like a pool noodle?
    I guess in the meantime, quit making her so happy😝

    Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.