Inverted Tail in English Bulldog Gets Infected
February 28, 2008
Thanks for the email and I also ordered your book! I have a question about our 9-month-old bully, Mack. For the past 3-4 months he has started scooting across the carpet and spinning in circles while whining painfully. I have noticed his tail is very tightly screwed into his body which is apparently causing him a lot of pain. We clean and disinfect his tail daily, however it is still inflamed and sometimes has little sores. We have checked his anal glands and had them expressed a couple times, but it does not seem to give the poor little guy much relief. It has now gotten to the point where he is almost acting psychotic and won’t stop spinning/scooting even when coaxed with treats or his favorite toy. Fortunately, he has a very good breeder who breeds champion bulldogs and we called him when we were at a loss of what to do. We brought Mack over to see him and after throughly cleaning his tail and seeing his behavior, he suggested we might want to think about tail amputation. Our vet has also suggested this. It seems like such a drastic move and I don’t mind paying the money as long as it gives him some relief. Do you have any suggestions of what to do?? Please help!
Since you’ve ruled out impacted anal glands as the source of Mack’s butt scooting,
it sounds like he has an infection in his tail pocket. It can be quite painful and
life threatening if it cannot be cleared up. He may have a severe yeast infection
in the pocket – does it smell sour? The little sores could indicate a
bacterial infection such as staph. A chronic infection can become systemic
and spread through his body. This would be very dangerous.
All English Bulldogs have part of their tail still inside the body as an extention
of the tail bone. Some have straight tails and some have screw tails. An
inverted tail is a condition where part of a screw tail makes a loop inside
the body and then comes out.
This inverted tail is very tight and close to the body with a very tight tail pocket
and part of the tail constantly rubbing and festering in the pocket. This is
not a fault of breeding, it just happens sometimes.
Sometimes constant maintenance of the tail pocket will keep your bulldog
healthy. You need to clean out the tail pocket daily using warm water on
a washcloth in a circular motion and get deep into the pocket. Then the
area must be thoroughly dried and perhaps add some Gold Bond powder.
In your case it sounds like you have been very diligent in keeping Mack’s
tail clean and he still has chronic infections. So in this case it would
probably be best to amputate his tail.
This is a condition that happens on occasion with bulldogs, even from the
best lines. And he will be much happier and healthier if you do the
I hope this helps. Please keep me posted on Mack’s progress.
Your Bulldog Pal,