Tail Rot

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Tail Rot

Postby BeardedLupa » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:43 pm

Hello. I bought my dragon Daisy this September. She was about 3 months old. I noticed a little dent in her tail but I thought nothing of it. Now, her being about 9ish months old, this is her tail now. Any tips on treating this? [Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Tail Rot

Postby EllenD » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:12 pm

Welcome to the forums!

It looks like she had an injury or a bite by a sibling towards the end of her tail, that's what has resulted in the "kink" at the end of the tail, which actually doesn't look bad, it will either stay that way for the rest of his life or it will eventually fall off. The open wound that is up further on the tail is the worry, though no, it's not "Tail Rot", as of right now it's just an open area that looks like it was due to a bad shed...just as an FYI, and I'm not saying you did this at all, just in case, don't every try to help him shed by pulling the skin off, if it's not quite ready to go you can end up peeling up the new skin too...

So what you need to do is keep the open area very clean, I'd use an antiseptic like either Betadine or Hibiclens from the drug store or Walmart and clean it out daily, pat it dry, then you can either put a Triple Antibiotic Ointment on it or you can also use a raw, unpasteurized honey (it's a very strong, natural antimicrobial), it has to be raw and unpasteurized/unfiltered, or Makuna Honey, you can apply that just like you would the Triple Antibiotic Cream, then I'd keep it covered with some gauze wrap, and do this at least once a day until new scales form and it closes up.

He may lose that portion of his tail, sometimes they dry up and just fall off, that's okay, but if it starts turning black below where the open area is, then this means an infection has developed. That's what you've got to keep an eye on, hopefully it won't be a problem, but if you see the tissue below the wound towards the end of the tail turn black, and you see the black tissue spreading up towards his body, that's what is typically called "Tail Rot", which is an infection that spreads up the tail towards the body, and if not treated by a Reptile Vet with antibiotics it will eventually spread to his bloodstream. I don't think you'll have that problem as long as you keep that wound cleaned out and put the topical antibiotic cream or the raw honey on it daily. It looks pretty clean and I don't see any dead tissue yet, so that's a good sign.

Just in case you have any "loose substrate" in his tank, like sand, wood chips, bark, rodent bedding, etc., you need to dump it out immediately, disinfect the inside of the tank, and then put down clean paper towels that can be thrown away as they get dirty. Loose substrates harbor and breed bacteria, fungi, etc. so you can't have any of that around his tail....
"Dance like nobody's watching..."
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Re: Tail Rot

Postby AHBD » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:06 pm

That actually looks like it is tail rot. It's become brittle + dead and if it started a while ago then it is actually dead. It will probably fall off like Ellen said, and I agree with the treatment plan. Hopefully it will not continue to spread upwards so keep a close eye on it. It may end up needing vet attention and possible amputation at some point. Keep posting here with any updates.
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Re: Tail Rot

Postby BeardedLupa » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:41 am

I have started treating her tail with betadine and neosporin. The tip of her tail feels like it will fall off. I may bring her to the vet for them to check this out. Thanks for the help!
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Re: Tail Rot

Postby EllenD » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:44 pm

Just be sure to keep it very clean. I'm assuming that the end below the open part is going to fall off soon, I apologize as I thought there were 2 different injuries going on here, I thought you got her with the "kink" in the end of the tail (really very common) and then the open wound was a second injury, I didn't realize that the wound is what has caused the end of the tail to dry/kink up, if that's the case then yes, that's "Tail Rot" as AHBD has said. So what you need to watch for is the tissue around the wound turning black and moving up her tail.

I recommend an experienced reptile vet too in this case, he's probably going to want to amputate a portion of his tail, probably from a bit above the wound, and I'd agree with that procedure being done, it's just safer to get rid of the infection totally and not have to worry about it.
"Dance like nobody's watching..."
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