Its time. After two and a half years of Moe's bloody tail, we finally decided it is time to just cut it off. I think its fair to say we have literally tried everything. When Moe's tail first started bleeding two and a half years ago, we still lived in our townhouse. The vet called it "Happy Dog Syndrome" and told us to keep him in the center of the room. So after Moe used his tail to decorate the townhouse much like an ax murderer would (huge splatters and brushes of blood), we decided we needed to move. Immediately.
So we bought a house with a big yard and it helped. Initially. But, especially in the winter months, his tail would bleed intermittently and I'd resign myself to going around the house with Lysol wipes every week or so, wiping down walls, doors, woodwork - pretty much everything Moe's tail touched. Which was pretty much everything. We learned that if we left him out of the kennel, it helped quite a bit, so for about a year we didn't have too much incident with the tail. Then we had to put the house on the market, which meant no more kennel-free getaways for Moe. His tail began bleeding again and by the time we moved downtown, it had gotten really bad.
We took him to a different vet who used "laser therapy" to help heal his tail, but also advised us to keep him out of the kennel. Well that was no problem in our big, industrial loft which was not only impossible for him to destroy but the concrete acted as a nice sound barrier, so he could bark as much as he wanted. Not so much here, in our teeny tiny and decorated entirely in white rowhouse, of which we only occupy the first floor. So not only does the woodwork on the windowsill take a beating whenever someone walks by (um every three minutes), but the family below us and the guy above us hear about it too, courtesy of Moe. As such, he has to be kenneled when we're not home, so when we do get home, it results in the now time-honored ritual of me chasing after his tail with a Lysol wipe, trying to remove the blood from the white couch, white comforter, and white carpet before it stains. Despite all this, however, I was unwilling to consider amputation - I'm unemployed (blissfully) and its not like it really puts me out to clean the blood - except when it gets on my clothes and I have to take them off immediately to rinse with cold water and wash - but the hardest part about that is finding a new outfit - really, my life is rough - unwilling, until this past weekend.
Joey and I have tried bandaging his tail in the past. Usually it stays on for all of three minutes, sometimes it might last for an hour and one time we tried duct tape and it lasted for a day (the poor dog looked like he had an antenna). We decided that since duct tape had been successful in the past, we'd try it again. So Joey bought black duct tape (so rather than the tin man styling he looked more dominatrix - and when that tail hit you it felt more dominatrix too), and we wrapped that sucker so tight it was going nowhere. Moe was not a big fan of the duct tape and steadily worked to get it off - and had kind of worked through the tip - but a few days later it was still holding steady. Then the crying started. Before, whenever Moe hit his tail on anything, he seemed pretty oblivious. A few days into the duct tape and he started crying when his tail hit things - which is a lot. He has happy dog syndrome, remember? So we tried to get the duct tape off but Moe wouldn't let us near his tail. We kept trying to unravel it and he was having nothing of it, so being the mean parents we are, after two days of Moe crying and not letting us help, we decided to take him outside (which he believes to be super scary), and cut it off (the duct tape, not the tail). So on Saturday when we got it off and found a very raw, swollen, tip of his tail. Of course he keeps licking it and his tail is so long its not like we could put a cone on him because he could still reach it (we learned this with Tina and his hotspot), so Tuesday I called the vet.
We went this morning and the really nice vet and I talked a little about how his tail has been pretty chronic and how we're leaving soon for Nigeria and pretty much decided that its time. So Monday morning my poor baby goes under the knife - they're cutting off like 6 inches! We'll pick him up Monday night and she said he should be doing pretty well. She also said that he'll be okay by that Friday, when we leave for New Orleans,
so lets keep our fingers crossed for that! (I have a whole diatribe on trying to find a kennel in this town but I'll save that for later).