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Old 09-28-2010, 11:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tail Docking

What's up guys,Sorry haven't been on for a while and I will update you guys on Kobu and Roxy.Back to topic,When I took kobu home he wasn't docked so we went to that and did the procedure.It was all done by a certified vet so it was done with his safety in mind.I know he didn't feel anything and afterwards he might have felt some uncomfort due to the stitches but all in all a good experiance.A month later we got Roxy but she already was docked.Now for the question in hand,I have heard of a lot of people saying that a puppies can be docked as a puppy from 3 to 5 days of bieng born without feeling any pain.Is this true?do they not feel pain?I've heard stories that their nerve system isn't fully developed and its ok to do so without anestisia
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the only ones who would truly know if there is pain or not, would be the pups. I have been witnessed tail docking/dewclaw removal, and they sure do fuss about it, so I'm sure as heck it can't feel good, but as far as the after-affects of it, I think that the residual pain, if any, is minor and probably subsides pretty quickly, due to the fact that they are only 3-5 days, and that either what you were saying, regarding their nervous system not being fully developed to the point where pain may not be remembered or associated at that point. If you really wanted to know the best answer to this question, I would ask your vet, or an experienced vet who has done some research or has documentation of any studies done on this sort of thing.

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Old 09-28-2010, 11:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am thinking of asking our vet,but here is the thing I read an article that some vets thinks its not true that its a story made up by breeders to justify the docking without anastetic.Others say its true that they won't feel it because they are young
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When a 3-5 day old puppy is docked they do feel pain. I don't think they would cry and scream if they didn't.. I have witnessed the procedure being done in a home setting many years ago when my dad raised Brittney Spaniels. They usually quite down after a minute of so..and i'm not sure how much pain they experience afterwards, but some of them seem pretty fussy afterwards.. I have also heard that it is best to dock @ 3-5 days old due to all the nerves not being fully developed.

IMO it is better to have them done at a vet as long as the vet docks at the length you ask. Sterile environment and less risk of infection. I know docking is illegal in many states now...

There is also the banding method.. I hear the pups do not have pain and the tail falls off after a few days.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No matter what age I would bet they feel something. But being only a few days old compared to several weeks would be quite a difference.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mom2Rocky View Post
When a 3-5 day old puppy is docked they do feel pain. I don't think they would cry and scream if they didn't.. I have also heard that it is best to dock @ 3-5 days old due to all the nerves not being fully developed.
I too have witnessed the procedure being done, several times in fact. I use to work in a vet clinic as a receptionist a few years back and we were allowed to be present during procedures as long as it did not interfere with our work. (I had to quit shortly after having to put down our Golden Retriever, Jadie, who was my very first dog because it became just too hard...)

Anyways, the vets always told us that the pups do feel pain (hence why they squeal during the procedure) but it's very minimal. As far as afterwards, they explained it as a burning type of sensation that eventually becomes almost "numb" due to the stitches. I don't know about other vet clinics, but at the place where I use to work they would not dock tails unless they were puppies between 3-5 days old. They believed it was far too painful of a procedure to put a grown dog through since by this time their nerves would be fully developed.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah I would never do it myself,I can't even cut my dogs nails for the fear of cutting to short or hurting them lol.I wanted to know because a lot of vets here in miami offer that dock procedure for puppies,some even offer it for free aslong as they are within the 5 day period.
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Veterinary (and medical) research informs that a pup's nervous system is fully developed when born, the nerve pathways appear fully open and it isn't until later that they develop the inhibitory pathways

Thus, neonates are HYPERsensitive to pain, rather than hyposensitive in comparison to an adult animal.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The studies the Anti-Docking Alliance uses were not performed on canines, but on rats, mice and humans, which develop differently from and so cannot be easily extrapolated to dogs.

In puppies, the nerves are present at birth but lack the ability to communicate with the brain (the brain is not myelinized and the only nerves that have myelin sheathing are associated with taste and suckling). Does a puppy feel pain when docked? No one knows--not even the puppy, since the nerves cannot transmit pain signals to the brain yet.

In my own experience, puppies that were surgically docked started crying as soon as they were removed from their mom and littermates, and stopped crying as soon as they were returned. That may have much to do with the vet doing the docking--a less-skilled vet might get more of a reaction during the actual tail dock. Puppies that were banded while away from their mom and littermates fussed for a few seconds when the band was put on, and stopped when they were returned to the nest. Puppies that were banded while nursing did not show any reaction to the bands.

In all cases, dewclaw removal seemed to lead to more of a fuss; though, again, any fussing ended when the puppy was returned to the nest.

When properly docked and dewclawed, I have never seen a dog show any signs of "phantom pain" or discomfort at the removal site. (Dogs that were improperly docked may have discomfort or pain if a portion of the bone is left exposed or close to the end of the tail.) Some adult dogs who have had their tails docked after injury do seem to have phantom pain, but not all do.
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