newtoenglishbulldogs avatar image

Tail question...and picture

Hi everyone..I really do try to look up all my questions before I post them on here but this I thought this needed a picture. I hate to only post a picture of my sweet Gemma's backside!!

Tail opinions please...We used to be able to see more of her tail but it has disappeared. I have posted before about thinking it was infected. I haven't noticed much of a problem lately but after I clean it she seemed to be bothered by it more. I don't know what to call this type of a tail? I can reach into the pocket a good 2 inches. After a bulldog reaches a year old will the tail continue to grow inward? I just don't know if theis is normal or it looks this way because she is too fat. I'm just wondering if this is going to cause issues later on.

I've really been trying to read up on all bulldog material lately and most tails I see look like a stub, not like this.


blondiek237's picture

This is Ozzy's tail.  It is a

This is Ozzy's tail.  It is a corkscrew tail and he also has a very deep pocket under it about 3 inches.  I clean it a few days and you are right it does seem like it is more itchy after I clean it--I think its because we distrub the direction of the fur.  The vet has said that if he ever gets arthitis in his tail bone then it will have to be amputated (we will have to wait and see--I hope we don't).  After I clean his pocket, usually with a baby wipe, I dry it really well then I put some Gold Bond powder in the pocket and around the corkscrew (I put the powder in a hair color bottle with a needle point tip that I got at the beauty supply store).  The other thing that is in the same area is anal sacs.  We always thought that it was his tail pocket that was bothereing him, until we took him to the vet and his anal sacs were very full.  He now goes to the vet once a month to have them done (about 10-20 dollars).



newtoenglishbulldogs's picture

Thanks Lyn!

I'd love to see of close up of Ozzy, he looks a lot like Gemma!! You are right, the tails look similiar, how much does he weigh? Maybe hers is a corkscrew too..I live in China so its hard to get a straight (or an an answer in English!) from my vet here. Someone else on here told me to have her anal glands drained and I did that about a week ago, it was gross and they were full. I usually get her groomed once a week and the vet there does the draining for free. Last time after she seemed much better. I have been putting in the gold bond powder also, I do need to try it with the bottle, it would be easier. Thanks!

blondiek237's picture


weighs between57-62 lbs.  You can tell if the tail is corkscrew--run your finger around his tail--with Ozzy's its actually very pronounced.  Ozzy is now 3 and we always thought his butt bitting running around in circles was his tail pocket, we never even thought anal glands until the vet empyed them.  Now he has it done once a month.

newtoenglishbulldogs's picture

Gemma is one year and about

Gemma is one year and about 55 lbs. After getting her spayed the lbs are packing on! Her dad was really big so we expected her to be as well. They do look similar...especially their backsides !! ;)

bullylvr's picture

Her tail does look very

Her tail does look very inverted.  I am a new bully owner too and the tail issue has been an interesting one.  My Bentley has a corkscrew but a very deep pocket underneath that I have to clean every day or he will really start to stink.  I also have to dig my fingers in there and pull out dead hair and what not.  It doesn't seem as though it bothers him though, he just licks the air.  If it bothers her or you can't get in there, I am not sure what you could do.  I've done a lot of research - I was calling it his "butt button" to find out it's an inverted tail and read to avoid amputation but sometimes it's the only way.  That's really interesting...I'll see if I can find any other info...


Kellie - Bentley's Mom

AmyandSophia's picture

My Sophie's tail is very inverted like that as well.

Hers screws in tight. Thankfully she doesn't have one that is twisted up into itself too much. I had thought about getting it removed, but just haven't gone that step yet.


Amy and Sophia

newtoenglishbulldogs's picture

I can't really tell if

I can't really tell if Gemma's screws or not. When I put my finger in the pocket it just feels like a hole. Hopefully I don't have a problem...lately I just feel doomed with bad luck when it comes to her :(

AmyandSophia's picture

I bet it is fine:-)

The vet I visited today said Sophie's little tail is fine:-) I was worried I would have to have it removed, but no, that isn't a problem! 


Amy and Sophia

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture


Her tail may get worse as she ages, and more then likely will. It is what I would call inverted. There is also a slim possibility that there could be spine problems later if she is lacking some of the vertebra or her vertebra is fused.  I believe she is a puppy right?  The tail pocket could be a big concern if it is already 2 inches, that is huge IMO. It will be difficult to clean.  I know someone who had a bitch with a 4in pocket and it was a nightmare to clean. It will be important not to get her over weight.  Unfortunately some breeders do not pay enough attention to the the breed standard when breeding and the topline w/correct tail set and tail is just another part of that standard.


Jay Serion's picture

Cleaning An Inverted Tail

It has been my experience that cleaning an inverted tail often, especially with anything moist, will create more problems.  If you introduce moisture it will lead to yeast infections and it becomes a vicious cycle.  My advice is to clean it well once every 1-2 months and make sure it is DRY after cleaning.  I understand that not everyone has a forced air dryer and that most of the time these types of dogs will not tolerate air being blown under their tails, but this is what I've found to be the best solution.  Sometimes what's best for them is not what they want.  I know some hair dryers have a "cool" button so they don't blow warm or even hot air.  Most forced air dryers will not heat the air and make the dog even more uncomfortable.  The purchase price of a forced air dryer is worth it.  If you desire, go ahead and put anti-fungal powder in the pocket after is it clean and DRY.




Jay Serion

Validus Pacific Bulldogs

wrigley_2007's picture

I use peroxide......

with great success.



Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Jay ... Good to see you here :)

I agree...I rarely clean under tails, maybe every 3 or 4 weeks, but I don't have any pockets either. 


AmyandSophia's picture

I agree, I clean Sophie's much less often than most folks clean.

I clean her really well now about once every two weeks or so. She does get stuff stuck on the tip of her tail hair, so I have to do it that often, but I get it very, very dry and then leave it alone for a while again! When I cleaned daily, it was a mess...daily!

Jay, it is very good to see you here. Hope all is well with you? How are the pups?


Amy and Sophia

rbthibod's picture

Thankyou for your post

My Buddy Diesel has the same type of tail. pocket is about 2 inches deep. i have been cleaning it with Alcohol and then applying some A&D ointment lately. i thought he was dragging his but due to anal glands but we empty those regularly. then one day i noticed he want really dragging his butt he was itching his tail section. After further investigation we found he had this tail pouch. It was oozing some clear yellowish liquid so i thought infection. After bringing him to the vet once again we found he had indeed has a slight infection and the Doc put himon some antibiotics. but we now clean his tail pocket with a paper towel and some 91% alcohol. it cleans the pocket and dries the infection. we then use Q-tips and apply A&D ointment under his tail. It is so funny to watch him as we clean his tail pocket. he act like it is the best feeling in the he points his head straight up and starts licking the air. We usuall go through 6-8 towels during the cleaning session or until we no longer see the bloody puss stuff on the towels. Bull dogs are great Dog but i have found they take some maintainence to maintain healthy. Diesel is a stout 75lbs he loves to play tug of war, and i put his body harness on him and he will drag a car tire full of concrete around the yard like its not even there. Some may say our work out routines are a bit strange but he loves to do them and as long as it isnt too hot outside we usually run 2 miles aday.

I agree with Jay...

I too have a bully that had an inverted tail..she did fine with me wiping it with just a dry paper towel until I keep reading on here that everyone was using baby wipes, washing-using wet things and then drying. So being the good bully mama I am- I started using baby wipes and drying only to get infections and then we needed to get her tail amputated....If I had a dog with a tight tail I would definately invest in one of the forced air dryers-works great and really dries it out! Good luck

newtoenglishbulldogs's picture

Thanks everyone...It seems

Thanks everyone...It seems like every dog is different. Since it seems to bother her more when I clean it i'm going to stick with the once a week cleaning (since I also take her to the groomer once a week) I think in the beginning the anal glands were the problem and now i'm also getting those drained weekly. One of these days i'll get it all figured out! :)

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture


your groomer could be the problem.  Unless they are getting her tail dried really well.  Most groomers just dump them in a drying crate, which I hope your groomer isn't doing and bulldogs can easily die in a drying crate.  hopefully your groomer nows about this breed..but I would suggest you ask how they are doing their drying.

newtoenglishbulldogs's picture

Yes, I will ask about that. I

Yes, I will ask about that. I guess that is something that I have never thought about more thing to add to list of things to be nervous about!!! I have been having the glands drained weekly. If I give her a bath at home she seems to scoot a lot after but then a few hours later she is fine. Thanks for mentioning that.

Must agree with Jay.

My Olivia has about a 2 inch or so tail pocket.  When I bathe her I make sure to use a paper towel to really dry the pocket.  I simply check it every week or so to make sure it's not damp or musty smelling.  She's never had an infection.