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Interesting & Unusual Case: A Short Tail

An 8 year old Quarter Horse gelding presented with a sensitive, swollen tail that was not responding to at-home herbal topical remedies. On exam, Dr. Galen found that there was a ball of tissue present towards the tip of his tail and, after sedating the patient and cleaning the area, she discovered that there was a large ball of granulation tissue and an approximately 2.5 inch section of his tail was narrowed, stiff, and had no sensation. Radiographs were taken to evaluate the condition of the bone in the tail. Following the exam and review of the x-rays, Dr. Galen determined that he had a necrotic section of tail, likely caused by some sort of trauma, and that he would need the dying portion of his tail amputated.

The surgery was performed at our clinic by Drs. Hagerman & Galen a couple of weeks later. Following application of a local anesthetic and tourniquet, the tail was clipped, cleaned and prepared for removal. Once Dr. Hagerman removed the necrotic tail section, she sutured up the bottom of the healthy tail and bandaged it. The gelding recovered with no complications and headed home on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. The owner reported the next day that the patient seemed to be comfortable and in a better mood than prior to the surgery.

At his follow-up visit, the surgery site was healing well and he was not sensitive to palpation of his tail.

**Warning: these photos may be considered graphic**

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