First printed in the UK Boxer Quarterly Magazine March 2006.
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By Walker G Miller BVMS DBR MRCVS (Walkon Boxers)
It looks to me as if we, as boxer breeders, have a real fight on our hands this time for the right to continue docking. I as a veterinary surgeon do not mind if some of my professional colleagues do not agree with the procedure but please let those of us who have first hand knowledge of the advantages of it be allowed to continue to do so. It is my belief that no respected and caring breeder would ever allow new born puppies to be docked if they thought it painful or cruel. If this procedure was carried out by their own veterinary surgeon as early as possible in life then future tail damage would not occur. My wife has now been breeding for nearly 30 years and as long as the pups are fit and thriving then she gets them docked at 48 hours old and they never feel it and go back to the bitch immediately for a suck. It is my experience of treating animals of many species that if a young animal is in pain it will not drink or eat. I have never seen a recently docked puppy refuse to suck as long as it is fit and healthy when the procedure is carried out. It is also my view that the earlier in life docking is carried out the less distressing to mum and pup it is.
I am of the view that prevention is better than
cure so surely the above facts speak for themselves. I always remember speaking
to a prospective puppy purchaser and she asked if my wife would keep a puppy
for her out of the next litter with a tail as she thought a boxer would look
good with a tail. As would be expected this was refused but a long explanation
of why the tail should be docked in the boxer was given. The reason given was
of course to prevent future tail injury and hence suffering. The lady did not
agree with this and purchased a puppy from
Having had to amputate tails in my own practice on
normally docked breeds I would 100% agree with the above boxer owner. It is a
nightmare to get these tails to heal post surgery and in this case unlike
The final plea from me is for you all to go along to your local MP and discus politely the implications a ban on docking will have to the breed. State that in other countries where docking has been stopped how there is a high percentage of tail injuries and also about the painful operation and long agonising recovery needed to rectify the situation. Adopt a new saying to everyone in that -----
PAINLESS PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN A PAINFUL CURE.
This is the end of my tail for this edition and hope by the time I write my next article that the boxer is still able to be docked by caring veterinary surgeons who agree with the cause. If you have any other stories or facts and figures about docking then please send them to me but even better photographs will labour the point more strongly. Until the summer just keep on visiting your MP and remember if you state your case strongly and politely then they should take the case onboard-HOPEFULLY
PS: foto=Ch. Walkon Crocodile Dundee
Website WALKON BOXERS (UK): http://www.walkonboxers.co.uk