Tail docking or “bobbing” refers to an elective surgery in which the whole or part of a dog’s tail is removed. It is usually performed in puppies aged between 2 and 5 days. Dog tail docking is banned in some countries such as Australia and remains highly controversial, but still practiced, in others. Here is a comprehensive discussion of tail docking in dogs.
Just how much does tail docking cost?
It is extremely recommended that you dock a pup’s tail before it turns 5 days old since the longer you wait, the stronger the tail can get due to the calcium accumulation. Typically, tail docking is going to cost anywhere from $15 to $35 per pup, however, the expenses might decrease per young puppy if the whole litter is done simultaneously. On top of this, a veterinarian will charge an office assessment cost, typically about $45 to $75.
If you wait past the very first 5 days, then a veterinarian might suggest surgery, which will be more expensive considering that anesthesia and a complex treatment will now be needed. Surgery can cost $450 to $1,100, depending upon the veterinarian.
According to a Rottweiler.net online forum thread, dog owners noted they had actually paid around $30.
Dr. DesChene Brochtrup on Just Answer mentioned the treatment is extremely inexpensive if properly done. Usually, the expenses will be around $15 to $30 per young puppy or $100 for the whole litter.
If the young puppy is less than 5 days old, the veterinarian will utilize the banding treatment, which utilizes a rubber ligature (orthodontic band) to cut off the pet dog’s blood circulation to the tail. This rubber ligature will be twisted around the tail several times till the circulation is cut off, like if you were to cover an elastic band around your finger. After 2 to 3 days, the tail will fall off as it loses its blood supply. If the pet dog is older than 5 days, any ethical veterinarian will not opt for this treatment; rather, they will strongly recommend surgery. Throughout this surgery, the pet dog will be put under basic anesthesia and surgical scissors will be utilized to cut off the tail to its wanted length.
This treatment, according to the RSPCA, is exceptionally unpleasant for the pet dog. As seen throughout the treatment, a young puppy will whimper or yelp, showing noticeable discomfort. Supporters of the treatment, nevertheless, note that it’s done at an early age when the pet’s nerve system isn’t totally established yet and it will not remember the discomfort.
General anesthesia can cost an extra $200 to $400 if surgical treatment is used.
Prescriptions and creams will be needed after the procedure. These can be bought at the veterinarian’s office or at a local drug store. They can also be bought online, however, you might need to pay a shipping fee.
Many trustworthy breeders will dock a tail before it is sold. Contact the breeder to see if the tail has actually been docked.
The American Veterinary Medical Association passed a resolution considering cropping unethical and recommends vets to carry out the treatment only if damage or trauma exists.
Getting rid of a dog’s tail due to injury isn’t seen as docking. Rather, it will be known as an amputation, a treatment performed if the tail is seriously affecting your pet dog’s function or increasing the threat of injury.
This treatment is prohibited in some parts of the world such as Australia.
Why do pet dog owners still dock tails? Throughout ancient times, it was thought docking a tail was able to prevent the pet from getting rabies; nevertheless, this claim was later on nullified. Other owners say that some hunting dogs might hurt their tails while hunting, going through a thick brush, leading to pain or even infection, and docking will be a way to get rid of these threats. Some might even say that it’s provided for health functions. For example, a sheepdog might gather particles around its behind because of its tail.
Dangers with the procedure are infection at the recovery site, swelling, the long-lasting danger of neuroma development, and interfering with the pet dog’s capability to communicate.
Popular pet dog breeds with docked tails are the Cocker Spaniel, Doberman Pinscher, Pitbull, Australian Terrier, Sheepdog, Lakeland Terrier, Box, Mini Poodle, Yorkie, and Boxer.
How much does tail docking cost?
It is highly recommended that you dock a puppy’s tail before it turns five days old because the longer you wait, the harder the tail can get due to the calcium buildup. On average, tail docking is going to cost anywhere from $15 to $35 per puppy, but the costs may go down per puppy if the entire litter is done at once. On top of this, a vet will charge an office examination fee, usually about $45 to $75.
If you wait past the first five days, then a vet may recommend a surgical procedure, which will be costlier since anesthesia and a complex procedure will now be involved. A surgical procedure can cost $450 to $1,100, depending on the vet.
According to this Rottweiler.net forum thread, dog owners claimed they had paid around $30.
Dr. DesChene Brochtrup on Just Answer stated the procedure is very cheap if done. On average, the costs will be about $15 to $30 per puppy or $100 for the entire litter.
Why Are Dogs’ Tails Docked?
With so much controversy, with veterinary professionals and associations arguing against the surgical practice, one is left to wonder, “Why do people dock dogs’ tails in the first place?”
In ancient times, dog tail docking was seen as a way to prevent rabies contraction but that claim was later nullified. The working dog with tails was at one point taxed in the UK and many dogs were docked to save on this tax. This tax was scrapped in the late 18th century.
Even then, tail docking continued to be rampant among dog breeders and owners and still persists in some countries today for several alleged reasons including:
The first argument advanced to justify dog tail docking is that hunting dogs and herding dogs may injure the tips of the tail from abrasion and other injury while running through dense underbrush and thickets. They may also in collect foxtail and burrs, leading to pain and even infections. Dog tail docking is proposed as a way to eliminate these risks.
Working dog breeds such as Terriers and Spaniels are docked for this reason. Terriers that are bred for hunting purposes e.g. fox control also have their tails docked to facilitate easy movement in the confined undergrowth.
Advocates of tail docking in dogs further argue that even non-working dogs that wag their tails a lot could be susceptible to tail injury, even at home.
Enthusiasts of dog tail docking also argue that working dog breeds with long hair and thick coats such as Yorkshire terrier, Old English sheepdog, etc. tend to get more soiled as the hair surrounding the base of the tail collect feces and debris.
Tail docking procedure is usually carried out without anesthesia. When performed by a vet, surgical scissors are commonly used to cut the tail off to the desired length. Stitching is generally not required but may occasionally be used, particularly for larger dog breeds.
When performed by dog breeders, a method referred to as “banding” is generally used to dock puppy’s tails. This makes use of a rubber ligature (an orthodontic band) to cut off blood supply to the tail, ultimately leading to its falling off. The tail typically falls off within 3 days after tying it. More and more veterinarian are using the banding method, especially in the UK, notes the UK Council of Docked Breeds.
The ideal length of the final docked tail varies depending on the breed. It is often indicated in the breed standard.
Can you dock a tail at 12 weeks?
What age do you dock a Yorkie’s tail?