Tight deep, productive tail pocket- suggestions?

So I have a rescue bully, with an inverted tail. The second I sprung him out of the shelter I knew his tail pocket would be a problem. And it has been a battle for the last 2.5 years. Right now his pocket stink/ooze is quite bad and a culture revealed strep and enterococcus, so he's going on a 2 week course of antibiotics and a diet supplement to help regulate his gut bacteria. My vet says he is not a candidate for amputation as his anus is quite close to his tail and he's worried about complications during surgery- that said, I don't know that my vet has enough experience with this- he has a lot of bully clients, but how many could he really see with our type of tail issues? My female has a similar tail, but beyond puppyhood, it's been problem free. Aside from amputation and keeping it clean- we clean 2x a day- we've tried I feel like everything to keep it dry/not irritated, do you have suggestions? The pocket is tight and deep- I can get up to my second knuckle when cleaning- which he does not like and is starting not to tolerate. I know he's upset, itchy and irritated and it breaks my heart.

Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

Kathy Ollie Chester and Newman

I've found that a good grain free food can help with tail gunk. I have 2 with deep pockets. 

AmyandSophia's picture


Also, when I clean Sophia's tail pocket, I put her right up in the sink (a shower with extension sprayer head works, too). I spray out her tail pocket with warm water, then I use Palmolive anti bacterial dish soap and clean it really well, rinsing and repeating two or three times to make sure it is all clean and the soap is out. I dry her as much as is possible with paper towels, they absorb the moisture better than cloth. I will even blow dry it out if it is still damp. I use a dab of Desitin, just a dab. I smear it around in the pocket then wipe all the excess away. Then you can apply a little Gold Bond powder, regular not medicated. 

Over cleaning will cause more irritation than cleaning once a week or every few days. You are adding moisture and irritation to already sensitive skin each time you clean it. Try my suggestion and get it really, really clean. Dry as much as possible, apply the Desitin and then Gold Bond, and leave it alone a few days. See if that helps at all. 


Amy and Sophia


Your methods above are how I always dealt with my girl's pocket, but this one is something else! Every bed is smeared, the couch, my clothes as he is a lap dog...and of course on top of it, he likes to swim, so...back into the tub he goes. Thanks!

Grain Free- Kathy?

I haven't been on the board in about 8 years- my bulls have been on Fromm Adult Gold forever. What are considered some of the best brands of food these days? In your opinion. Fromm does have a grain free recipe.

Kathy Chester Newman and Jessa's picture

We feed natural balance duck potato to our guys...

they also make a salmon sweet potato that is good.  There are a lot of grain free brands out there, I would start with a common protein like fish or duck.  (there are weird sources like kangaroo that are really expensive for allergic dogs).  We had switched Chester to a diet food at one time on our vet's advice so he would lose a few pounds and within a week he had tail gunk, ear gunk and was itching.  Newman also had horrible tear stains when we got him and the grain free food along with filtered water had them gone in two weeks.  Chester and Newman both have inverted tails and along with the food, I basically take them in the shower once a week and clean them out with malaseb shampoo, then dry, and use gold bond powder if they seem itchy.  

IndyBulldog™'s picture

What we did

Brother had the same problem.  Our vet who is practiced at this "docked" a few inches off our dog Brother, who had an infection under there for over a year and we fought it everyday, with a shower under there every other day at least.

It went quite well, the do gis way better and the smell is gone, and we only clean under there some and use Neosporin ointment with pain killer......

Nothing worked, even raw food.  Docking did.

Our vet knows his stuff and the proper gas to use and it was only $250 out the door with pain and antibiotic meds.

We had some part of the tail docked, not an amputation where they go up into the dogs spinal area.

Good Luck



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