Not such a happy tail

Not such a happy tail

When you first hear of the canine condition, “happy tail,” you’ll be forgiven if you think it’s something good. I apologize in advance for bursting your bubble.

Happy tail begins when a dog wags its tail — and that’s the only “happy” part about it. Some dogs — usually labs or Golden retrievers — wag so vigorously that the end of their tail gets bruised and bloodied when it hits hard surfaces. And that’s just the beginning.

Bandages rarely stay in place on a tail tip — where it’s even tougher to find skin to surgically close a wound. Even cautery doesn’t help, because the scab will open up during the next wag. The only option may be to amputate part of the tail, back where there’s sufficient skin to close. A shorter tail also creates a less forceful wag.

You can try teaching your dog to get less excited, but that has its own challenges.

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