Surgical correction of an ingrown tail is indicated to relieve clinical signs of intertriginous dermatitis. The objective of this retrospective study was to identify the type and frequency of complications following caudectomy in dogs with ingrown tails. Medical records of dogs with ingrown tails treated with caudectomy from 2000 to 2010 at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital were reviewed. Data collected included signalment, preoperative infection status, surgical procedures performed, prophylactic antibiotic use, complications noted both during hospitalization and at suture removal, treatments instituted, and owner satisfaction. Seventeen dogs were identified for inclusion. At presentation, 4 of the 17 dogs (23.5%) were receiving antibiotics. Infection was present in 7 of the 17 dogs (41%), and 6 of the 7 cases resolved immediately postoperatively. All dogs received perioperative antimicrobial therapy, and 13 of the 17 dogs (76%) received antibiotics after surgery for an average of 13.5 days ± 5.2 days. Complications occurred in 2 of the 17 cases (12%) immediately after surgery, including decreased rectal sensation with adequate anal tone, failure to posture to defecate, and postoperative draining tracts. Complications were reported in 2 of 15 dogs (13%) at suture removal, including delayed wound healing and wound inflammation, persistent tail chasing behavior, and temporary changes in defecation habits. Caudectomy provided resolution of clinical signs with no long-term complications.

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