Once again we did a thorough check of Belle and sure enough there it was. On the very tip of her tail we found the source of the mysterious blood. We didn't know how she hurt her tail, at first we were a bit worried that she had done it intentionally out of anger for being left at home in her kennel while we were out. But that didn't really make any sense to us considering she has always been in her kennel and it has never been a problem. She is not neglected and definitely is not lacking in quality time with us. She is with us a lot of the time. We finally came to the conclusion that regardless of HOW she hurt it, that when we got home she was reopening the wound when she would wag her tail and hit it hard against her kennel and then the walls once we let her out. You see, Belle does not have a lot of hair, she is a very short-haired dog and so when she wags her tail it is like a little whip. And she wags it fast and very forcefully. So there she would be, wagging with all her might in her joy and happiness not realizing she was just hurting herself and in the process painting our walls with blood. I swear at the time it looked like a murder scene with blood streaks all over the place. Amazing a tiny little wound could make so much blood.
It was like CSI at our house. There was Chris and myself kneeling and looking at the blood streaks on the walls, talking and trying to figure out what it could possibly be from. Perhaps if they are looking for another new CSI show they should give us a call. Can’t you see it now? CSI: Hyde Park, starring Chris and Evey McClees. Now that we had found the wound we decided a plan of action to try and have it heal properly and quickly. We got out the peroxide and cleaned it off nice and good. We had some gauze and bandages and medical tape, so we decided to try and jimmy rig our own bandage. This was a difficult thing to do because it was on the very tip of her tail, but we gave it a shot anyways. The next time we went out we came home to find our idea had not worked at all. The bandage was off and once again her tail was bleeding. I was getting frustrated thinking she was doing it on purpose (making her tail bleed that is), and concerned for how the heck we were supposed to get this fixed. We made an appointment for her the next day to go and see the vet. He was quick to assure me that she was probably not chewing on her own tail and that it was more likely what we thought all along--that she was reopening the wound with each whip of her tail. He also pointed out that if you put a bandage on a dog and they can reach it they will bite it off. Go figure! He took the time and cleaned her wound very well, put some ointment on it and bandaged it up again pretty good. He told us to leave the bandage on for a few days but after that we would need to remove it so that the wound could breathe and heal. And then came what I just knew Belle was going to hate. The cone for her head. Let me tell you, she was NOT impressed. It was funny too, because she had no perception of how much room she had to walk through doorways, etc and she was constantly walking into things. We started out by only putting the cone on when we went out and left her at home only to quickly realize we needed it on her a night as well. Otherwise she would get at the bandage while we were sleeping. Considering Belle sleeps in our bed with us and most of the time UNDER the covers, it was an interesting challenge. We very quickly learned that the cone was useless. Her tail is so long, and she is so very flexible that she could still reach her tail. Here is where Chris got creative…..
Finding one of those plastic file folders he cut it up and duct taped it together in the shape of the cone. He then duct taped that to the cone itself and basically extended it by 3 inches. It was hilarious. There was my poor dog with a clear cone on her head, duct tape all over it and an extension made with a plastic blue file folder. I am sure she was the talk of the town. And never mind the fact that with the addition it made it heavy and she had a hard time holding her head all the way up and walked into things even more. Poor thing!
The good news however is that it kept her away from her tail and that eventually after a few weeks it started to heal enough we were able to leave her alone without her cone on her head. I am certain Belle smiled the day the cone went in the garbage and we no longer needed to bandage her tail. I was glad for her that her tail had healed and I was glad for me that I didn’t have to scrub anymore blood of my walls. I was also extremely to happy to learn that my dog is not a "cutter!"She still does have a little rough spot on her tail and the hair never grew back. But a tiny bald spot that is hard to notice is a better option than bleeding everywhere everyday. She is a happy girl now......
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