Keeping a bandage on the end of an 18-20 inch, fast-wagging tail can be a challenge to anyone.  The bandage has to be padded, light-weight, and stay on the end of the tail.  After living with 2 greys who had a few incidents, plus treating plenty of happy tail patients at work, the technique shown below has become my mainstay for bandaging, and it works better for me than anything else I've tried or seen suggested.


Bandage Materials:

* Piece of cotton or many

       cotton balls

* Non-stick telfa pad

* 1" soft adhesive tape roll


Pre-cut your pieces of tape

* 2 longer pieces (6-8")

* 5-6 shorter pieces (3-4")

* 1-2 narrow 1/2" pieces

Try to look at the wound so you have an idea of the size.  If it's typical - less than 1/2" long, and a fresh wound, DON'T cut the hair around it. The hair helps cushion the wound once you leave the bandage off.

Cut a piece of non-stick pad to just cover the wound, and secure it with the 1/2" strips of tape you just cut. 

Angle the narrow pieces of tape diagonally to avoid strangling the tip of the tail.

(Barber pole style)

Wrap the piece of cotton around the tail so the entire end is covered and cushioned. 

Gently mold the cotton over the end of the tail.

Take one of the longer strips of tape and place it lengthwise on the tail, and over the cotton.  It should start and end on the fur, with the middle of the tape draped over the tip of the tail.  This is your anchor.

You'll now begin to cover the cotton.  Take a 3-4" piece of tape and place it so it partially covers the anchor tape on one side.

Don't worry if the loose side seems too loose.  Just make sure you overlap the anchor tape and wrap the ends around.
Repeat with your next piece of tape on the other side of the anchor tape.  Overlap the anchor tape by 1/4 inch and wrap it around.  It'll feel loose but don't worry. Take a third piece of tape and lay it perpendicular to the anchor tape, overlapping the first two tapes you just placed.
Pull each end around the tail and tighten it just enough to hold the first pieces of tape in place. Add new pieces of tape, overlapping the previous piece and encircling the tail.
Continue until you get to the end of your cotton padding. Now you have to secure the bandage to the tail.  Place another overlapping tape so the near side of it is on the fur.
It should look like this. Pull a small bunch of hairs out from under the last piece of tape.
Pull out a 2nd, and maybe a 3rd bunch of hairs.  Lay these 2-3 clumps of hair flat on your bandage. Take a final piece of tape and place it over the hair now laying on the bandage.
This will hold the bandage on the tail.  The final appearance.
To remove the bandage, unwrap the last piece of tape you applied to release the hairs tufts.  Then carefully cut up the bandage or unwrap the tapes.  The bandage should be changed daily as long there is fresh blood.  Once the bleeding stops, the bandage can stay on for 3-5 days.  Remember that an infected wound won't heal, so if there's an odor or delayed healing, PLEASE SEE YOUR VET!!!



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