No Tail Left Behind

Sam Ratcliffe-D'Arrigo on Pet Life Radio

Jenny Lewis and her dog Pixel Blue Eyes share their message about the dangers of tail docking in dogs. No Tail Left Behind is an education and awareness campaign. Together Jenny and Pixel are spreading this important message, where their sole purpose is to help bring awareness to the suffering that dogs are enduring at the hands of tail docking.


Pixel, my little mini schnauzer, is the inspiration for this campaign and page. This is Pixel's story in her own words:

I am one of those breeds in which tail docking is the 'standard', so every little puppy has its tail removed when they are days old. Not many people realize it is the severing of the end of our spine, as well as the chopping off of nerve endings, tendons and muscle.

Some dogs do fine with this. I did not. Mommy did not realize that some of my behaviors were from tail pain at first...things like running from my BM's, very delayed potty training, biting at my tail, and constantly holding my tail nub down. Every time I would get excited, those raw nerve endings would stab in my tail so badly. I couldn't even say, "I am so happy you are home" properly, because once the pain started, I'd run away from Mommy and run all through the house, biting at my tail between running away from it.

For years we went to too many vet visits. I tried different arthritis medicine, steroids, creams & ointments, and even had one young vet tell us that maybe I had nervous 'tick' of biting my tail for no reason. It was so frustrating for both Mommy and me. At one point two years ago, the vet discussed surgery since part of the spine is poking at the skin. You see, a vet did not do it; the docking was done by the breeder. We decided against surgery at that time because there was not much tail left to work with.

Mommy and other members of my family have spent many a day or night holding me so I would not bite at it or run from it. I have even dashed off the bed at night over and over, while trying to fall asleep with my Mommy, because I felt like my tail was attacking me. I now am on wonderful nerve pain medicine which has removed the pain about 90% of the time, but I still have bouts of severe stabbing pain. We just trudge through those episodes until I am better and my tail pain stops, and then I am a happy little girl again. My last episode inspired this page.

I know tail docking is a touchy subject, but so is my tail pain, and the botched tail dockings of so many other puppies around the country. I don’t know if I can change the way anyone thinks, I just wish to share my experiences and perhaps help others deal with the terrible results of tail docking.