Ask The Vet
Ask The Vet: Bulldog Tail
Q: My dog is a male English Bulldog. His name is Tank, and he is six years old. His corkscrew tail was cut too short which has caused it to sink in and get infected constantly over the past 3 years. He has been on antibiotics, and he had surgery about 8 months ago, but his tail is still sunken and causing infections. The vet wants to do another surgery – an exploratory surgery –, but he has said he has never seen a tail that sinks in quite like Tank’s does. What is your advice?
A: The problem you describe is not uncommon in English Bulldogs. Basically, in some English Bulldogs, the tail twists so severely that it creates a deep crevice – called a tail fold – that holds moisture, bacteria and yeast leading to chronic infections. These infections are hard to resolve with medication alone and can be so painful, so surgery can sometimes be the recommended option. the surgery is generally aimed at seeing if the tail can be reconstructed and if the skin fold can be removed. If you do not feel comfortable having your current vet perform this surgery, you can investigate the possibility of having a boarded veterinary surgeon perform the surgery. A veterinary surgeon is a licensed veterinarian with special knowledge, training and accreditation in the area of surgery. A veterinary surgeon will have the initials Dipl. ACVS (American College of Veterinary Surgeons) after his or her name. Your regular vet can probably guide you in finding a veterinary surgeon near where you live. Alternatively, you might want to check with your local English Bulldog club as they may be able to point you in the right direction regarding a local vet who has had experience with this surgery.
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