screw tail

I have a 3 month old puppy with a screw tail...any suggestions what to do regarding surgery or not?   Help. Thanks.

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Screw Tail

Is one of the types of tails the breed has. Are you having problems with the tail? Is it growing back into the body of the puppy and causing pain? 

From the Breed Standard ~

Tail--The tail may be either straight or "screwed" (but never curved or curly), and in any case must be short, hung low, with decided downward carriage, thick root and fine tip. If straight, the tail should be cylindrical and of uniform taper. If "screwed," the bends or kinks should be well defined, and they may be abrupt and even knotty, but no portion of the member should be elevated above the base or root.

How would I know if it's

How would I know if it's causing pain or growing far no problem, doesn't seem to be painful...what are the signs?

Thanks, I feel so stupid about this.


Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

You will know

if she is in pain.  She will run around, scooting her bum and trying to get at her tail. There is no reason to have surgery on a dog that isn't having any trouble. Find a vet that is familiar with the breed and isn't ready to do surgery just because it's a bulldog.

Do you know what a tail pocket is?  Not all have tail pockets. None of mine have tail pockets... it is an indentation or hole under the tail at the base right above the anus. Sometimes these can be very deep and need to be cleaned so they don't get infected. I rarely have to clean under tails.

Can you touch her tail, clean under her tail, or is it so tight that you can't get a finger under it. If you can touch her tail then gently feel how the tail is put together, start at the base and feel down and around the tail until you find the end or tip. You want to make sure you can find the tip/end and that it isn't growing back into her body.

Is her breeder available to help you?

Thank u...very helpful.  the

Thank u...very helpful.  the breeder told me her body would "grow into it," so i haven't contacted him after that.  This is great info and

I appreciate your response.  I can get a finger under the tail, will look better when I have another pair of hands to help me.

Thanks again!!

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Gina -- A tail will get tighter

as the puppy grows into adulthood.

So, it gets tighter means a

So, it gets tighter means a worse situation or it will be more stable and less problematic?

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

It could get worse

if it's really tight now. Also important to not get her overweight. But if she isn't having any problems with it now I wouldn't worry about that.  Most bulldogs don't need tail amputations but there can be daily care required. If she is real uncomfortable with her tail then amputation is an option, but IMO it is the last option, unless she is in pain.

Joe's picture

our puppy had a cork screw

our puppy had a cork screw tail growing inward and very deep tail pocket. no matter how or what I used to try to keep the pocket clean nothing worked even daily deep cleaning.our bulldog vet advised to remove the inside cork screw section when she was spayed at 8 months.the deep pocket is gone along with the chance of the screw tail growing inward and pressing on muscle and causing an ulcer. she still has a tail on the outside. we live in N Caroline and have a great vet that owns, breeds, and has a large bulldog client base. I'm sure others here can give you more advice.

good luck, Joe and gracie



  Joe & the girls

Thanks for your response. 

Thanks for your response.  How old was she when problems started?  So far, I'm not aware of any problems, but I realize this is not a good thing for her to have. Is there anyway besides my vet to know if it's growing inward?


Joe's picture

When we took our bulldog for

When we took our bulldog for an initial visit to a bulldog vet, he warned us that she could have such a problem.  Several months after this, when she was about 7 months old, she developed an infection in her tail pocket.  Coincidentally, we had made a vet appt. for a consultation on whether it was time to spay her, which it was.  The vet told us her tail had corkscrewed, thus the infection, and suggested we let him operate on her tail simultaneously with her spaying, so that she would only need to be anesthetized once.


  Joe & the girls

Jacinda and the bullies's picture

My 8 year old has a screw tail

With a deep tail pocket. If you clean every day, there is a good chance the pocket will get irritated. What has worked for me, is to clean it a couple times a week with a DRY kleenex. Then, during baths I do a deep cleaning and then dry it well. The most important thing is to keep it dry. She has not had any problems with the tail growing into her body.

Thank you for your input.  It

Thank you for your input.  It looks like a cinnamon bun now.  Hoping we don't have problems.

Thanks again.