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Q&A: My Dog's Tail Got Smashed and Won't Heal—What Do I Do?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

If a dog's tail has been too severely damaged, removing the tip of the tail may be the only option.

If a dog's tail has been too severely damaged, removing the tip of the tail may be the only option.

How Can I Take Care of My Dog's Wounded Tail?

"My 3-year-old son slammed a door and trapped the end of my dog's tail about two inches from the tip. He is a golden lab just turned five. There wasn't much blood from the wound.

I have been spraying antiseptic spray on it and putting a bandage on for two days now, but it's still an open wound and a little red. It's starting to smell and looks a bit fleshy, and he is looking sorry for himself. Every morning the bandage is off. I think he keeps removing scabs from the wound, and I'd just like a little bit of advice before I go to the vet." —Chris

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Read More From Pethelpful

How to Bandage a Dog's Tail

When the tip of the tail is injured, we bandage it to keep it from getting retraumatized and reinfected, but a lot of times, the dog just removes it. Here is an article from someone who found an alternative bandage method that worked.

Tail Tip Necrosis

My main concern from your description is that your dog has already chewed the tail enough to cause the tip to die. We see this a lot in big dogs that have an injury, start to heal, then wag their tail and reinjure it until the tip starts to necrose.

The only solution is to remove the tip of the tail. You will need to take him to your local vet to determine if that is going to be necessary.

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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