Some of you know that recently we adopted a big black 2-year-old Greyhound named “Mickey Mouse”, Mickey is a happy boy who fits right in with Olivia and Bailey. His first few days with us were quiet and uneventful. On Mickey’s 3rd day with us he started to cry when trying to stand up or lay down. Thinking either Mickey had a leg or God forbid a back injury, I made a call to Hemopet’s Dr. Woods. Even though it was near closing, we were told “get him here as fast as you can!”(We love Dr. Woods and his staff!) .
Dr. Woods quickly discovered that Mickey had what the Greyhound world calls “Happy Tail”. Being a volunteer at Hemopet I’ve observed Happy Tail more than a few times. Usually, it comes with a lot of blood but Mickey never bled.
So what is Happy Tail?
One of the amusing characteristics of Greyhounds is they usually have lengthy and somewhat fragile tails. Their happy nature usually shows in joyful wagging of their tails. Skin and hair on Greyhounds are thinner than most other breeds and is prone to skin cuts. When a Greyhound wags their tail quickly against something hard (a corner of a wall, door, cabinet, furniture), it can easily break the skin or fracture a bone. If not prepared, this can be a scary moment and requires swift first-aid action before your home looks like a CSI crime scene.
Some injuries are severe enough to cause amputation of the tail. Mickey’s tail was fractured at the base, and his skin was not punctured.
Dr. Woods prescribed medication to lessen the pain and swelling. Mickey is a happy boy again and his tail wags as hard as ever. We have done our best to “tail proof” our home and watch for Mickey wagging his tail against sharp corners. Many Greyhound owners keep their dogs tails wrapped with bandages. We are trying to construct a different solution. Mickey came to us with his long, beautiful tail, and we plan to keep it that way.