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Tail Injury in Dogs and its Association with Docking of Tails in the UK - AW1403

Description
The docking of dogs’ tails remains controversial and centres on whether non-therapeutic docking reduces the risk of tail injury sufficiently to justify the ethical concerns of a prophylactic intervention. Current evidence is limited; hence the aim of the study is to evaluate tail injuries and the role of docking, in dogs in the UK. We hypothesise that docking does not reduce the risk of injury and we will quantify the risk of tail injury, evaluate whether docking reduces the risk of tail injury and identify other major risk factors.

We will undertake an epidemiological study to evaluate risk factors for tail injury in dogs in the UK. We will recruit approximately 30 veterinary practices along the Welsh and Scottish borders. Cases of tail injury will be defined as dogs sustaining a tail injury and requiring veterinary treatment within the preceding year and will be identified from the practice computer databases. Controls will be dogs not treated for a tail injury within the year and will be randomly selected. Data pertaining to the animal characteristics and management, home environment and nature of tail injuries will be recorded for all cases and controls. Comparison of cases and controls will allow identification of factors associated with tail injury.
Objective
The aim of this study is to evaluate the risk of tail injury to dogs in the UK. We hypothesise that tail injuries are rare and that docking of tails does not reduce the risk of tail injury.
The objectives of the proposed study are:
1. To document the risks of tail injuries in dogs in the UK
2. To evaluate whether docking of tails reduces the risk of tail injury
3. To identify other major risk factors for tail injury
Project Documents
• Final Report : Tail Injury in Dogs and its Association with Docking of Tails in the UK   (627k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2009

Cost: £39,999
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Royal Veterinary College
Keywords
Animal Welfare              
Companion Animals              
Dog              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare