Happy Tail Solution




Introduction: Happy Tail Solution

*** Please note that this Instructable in no way replaces actual Veterinary care. ***

Happy Tail is when your dog is so excited that while wagging their tail the tip is slamming into things (walls, kitchen cabinets, table Legs, etc). This can cause the tip to become damaged and even start bleeding. Being at the end of the tail, it is nearly impossible to stitch, and because you have such a happy dog, their tail is bound to start bleeding again once it hits something else.

Happy Tail can be an awful thing if not taken care of properly. It could lead to possibly having your dogs tail being amputated.

Now what's a dog without a wagging tail? :)

One of my dogs recently cut his tail open and while what I am treating is not on the tip of his tail, like traditional Happy Tail, this method seems to be working at padding his tail enough for it to heal properly. This lead me to believe that it could possibly be a solution for real happy tail (which he has had before). 

Things You'll Need:

- Medicated Wipes/Ointments (if your dog needs any)
- Gauze
- Vet Wrap
- Sports Tape
- Foam Pipe Insulation
   -Go to a hardware store, it shouldn't cost anymore than $2.
- Scissors 

Step 1: Clean & Apply Ointments

First things first!

After any bleeding that may have occurred has stopped, make sure that the cut is clean and clear of any debris. I'm using medicated wipes that were recommended to me by my vet. If you do not have any, don't fret! A dry/damp paper towel will work fine.

Allow to dry.

Next, apply vet recommended ointment if needed.

Step 2: Wrap With Gauze and Vet Wrap

The next thing to do is cut off a length of gauze depending on the size of your dogs injury and tail. Any type will do, this is what I had available. I then folded my length in half twice lengthwise and placed it around my dog's tail.

After this use Vet Wrap to secure the gauze to your dogs tail. Be sure not to pull the Vet Wrap too tight. If applied in that fashion it will be too tight on your dog's tail and could cut off circulation. 

Once you have completely wrapped over the Gauze, cut the Vet Wrap off the roll and press the end firmly onto the wrapped section making sure it sticks.

Step 3: Foam Pipe Insulation

For my dog I'm using 3/4" Foam Pipe Insulation (FPI), this may vary depending on your dog's tail thickness.

Cut a Length of FPI long enough to cover the Vet Wrapped Section of Tail. 

Place the FPI on the tail with the wound focused away from the opening, if  there is any. This way the wound is constantly protected.

Step 4: Taping

Cut lengths of sport tape and wrap around the FPI section to secure. Wrap the tape past both ends of the FPI and onto the tail directly. This will secure it to the tail and (hopefully) not let it fall off.  Putting tape at the tip helps hold it, as does putting a little extra at the top.

I know some people may think I'm horrible for suggesting putting tape on a dog's tail, but trust me it's fine. When removing the bandage the tape will pull out some hair with it, but not enough to damage the dog.

As a side note, the tape I used was wider than what I had used previous times, so it ended up covering the entire end of his tail. You do not need to do this. A small (as in wide) strip at the top, bottom and middle of the FPI will be sufficient. If there is some FPI visable that is fine, this will allow air flow and will let the wound breath.

Step 5: Good Dog!

Once your finished don't forget to give your dog a treat for being so good while you bandaged his/her tail.

I hope this helps you, though I hope you never have to use it.

*** Remember, this Instrcutable was not meant to be used as a substitute for actual Veterinary care. *** 

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    3 years ago on Step 5

    I have a half Great Dane half Boarder Collie. He is the definition of happy tail syndrome. He has knock the crap out of the end of his tail several times in the last few months. He's almost 2 years old but still thinks he's a little tiny puppy.
    Your instructions were just what he needed. I have quite a bit of Medical Training, but would have never thought about the pipe insulator. I did a standard medical treatment rap and he was still beating the crap out of it. I did however have to add to it purchasing chew deterrent spray and spraying some coach tape with it thoroughly and then rapping the outside. He loves to chew and his wrapped tail was too great a target. So far so good 24hours +


    5 years ago

    There is a new product to help with Happy Tail. I don't know if I can post links here but you can find it by searching for "Tail-Bandit".


    5 years ago

    Thanks for this nice tutorial,I will do this to my German Shepherd dog Amy is her name I think this is the best way to protect her tail I got your instructions and I will do this step by step as you did in your loved dog!!!