A bulldog has a very different body structure compared to other breeds of dogs, having multiple folds throughout the body. Out of all the characteristics of this breed of canines, one that stands out a lot is the tail pocket to hold the bull dog tail. It’s a hollow spot right below the tail of the dog, where the tail curls into the chamber. If proper hygiene is not maintained very often bacterial infections can occur around the tail causing minor to major complications to your pooch.
What exactly is a Tail Pocket?
A tail pocket is a hollowed-out area on an English bulldog. The location of the Tail Pocket is right below the hardtail of the pooch. Even though the wrinkles on the face of the bulldog and its body is clearly visible it might be hard to spot the tail pocket itself by some dog owners. It looks like a dimple right below the tail, which might become a breeding ground for bacteria as dust and other impurities collect there if not cleaned regularly. Some dog owners do not spot the tail pocket until it gets really smelly and the infection spreads around making it more visible.
Types of tails that Bulldogs tend to have?
Even if the tail of a Bulldog might not worry you a lot, an English bulldog comes in different variants. Three more common types are a short straight tail, a corkscrew tail, and the long tail variant.
- Short-tailed bulldog:Being one of the two desirable variants, most bulldogs grow a short straight tail as a puppy. It is very soft and usually thicker at the base and gets a triangular tip on the other end. The second most desirable variant being the corkscrew tail.
- Corkscrew-tail bulldog: For some bulldogs, the tail starts bending downwards and then forms a corkscrew shape as they grow up. They tend to be soft as well initially but with time they harden up and stay fixed on the back of your dog looking like small cinnamon rolls. Both Corkscrew and short-tailed bulldogs are very common.
- Long-tailed bulldog: It is often believed that long tails are defects that a bulldog has. Though it isn’t something bad it is not related to other aspects of your bulldog including their personality. Bulldogs with long tails are still very cute and make awesome best friends just like the other types of the breed.
A french bulldog tail would resemble something similar to the first two variants but an English bulldog might have all 3 types. The tails have nothing to do with the personality of a bulldog but they do determine how hard it can be for an owner to clean the tail pocket. A bulldog with a corkscrew tail makes it harder for the owner to cleanse the tail pocket which is right below the tail.
How to know where the tail pocket is located?
The tail pocket of a bulldog can be found right below the tail of your dog. You’d need to pick up your pooch’s tail gently and stick a finger in if a shallow hollow isn’t visible by the clear eye. Normally a tail pocket should be visible to you and it’d resemble a dimple that humans have on their cheeks. A tail pocket can be sensitive so it is very important you act with care when you’re trying to touch it as it may tickle your dog causing it to squirm.
Tail Pocket Infections?
The tail pocket of a bulldog is located in such a spot that it makes it very hard for owners to clean it every day. This results in debris and dirt accumulating there for days. The dirt and debris then mix up with the moisture around the tail creating a gooey sticky liquid that gives off a very bad stench as well. The tail pocket has now turned into a breeding spot for bacteria and other germs which can result in your pooch having a tail pocket infection.
How to spot a tail pocket infection?
Before proceeding to a full-fledged infection the tail pocket would have really dry and flaky skin. With time it gives off a very foul smell and can cause inflammation and irritation to your pooch. In the end, the tail pocket gets infected and gives out pus. You can easily spot the dry and flaky skin to know if there’s something wrong with your best friend’s tail pocket before the infection. The foul smell that is given off is a good way to know about the infection as well. A lot of owners believe it is the bulldog’s butthole that gives off the stench and chooses to ignore it. It is wise to check the pooch’s tail pocket from time to time to make sure that it is clean and free from any dirt and moisture which might cause trouble for your dog.
Keeping the tail pocket of your bulldog clean?
Once you have identified your bulldog’s tail pocket it is a good hygiene habit for you to keep it clean. Your furry pet might be playing in the dust all day and it is normal for dust and debris to accumulate in the hollow spot below his tail. It is very easy to clean the tail pocket regularly and you can follow the steps below to do so.
- Cleaning the tail pocket removing all impurities: Proceed by gently lifting the dog’s tail so that the tail pocket is more accessible for you. You may use baby wipes or a cloth dampened with warm water to carefully wipe the hollowing clean of any dirt or debris that might have built up there. Please be very gentle as the skin on the tail pocket of a bulldog is very sensitive and it may tickle them as well. For bulldogs with corkscrew tails, it can be harder to clean as the tail is stiffer and in place right above the tail pocket.
- Drying up the tail pocket: After cleansing the tail pocket with wipes it is important for you to dry up the tail pocket of your pooch so that no moisture is left-back as it might make it easier for dust and debris to collect there again. You may use cotton for this to gently wipe the tail pocket dry again. Some talcum powder can be useful to keep the area dry too. Please be gentle while doing this, if your dog has inflamed skin on their tail pocket it may cause them to get more irritated when you rub a cotton ball there.
- Use an antifungal or anti-inflammation balm on the spot: The tail pocket of your dog is prone to infection so it is important that you keep it clear of any bacteria or fungus that can cause bacterial infections or fungal infections. After finishing up the two steps above, you can apply an anti-fungal cream to the tail pocket. This will keep off any future infections and stop the area from getting irritated. If you feel like your dog has inflamed skin that is irritating them you can choose to apply any anti-inflammation balm that you can buy from the market.
How to treat your bulldog’s tail pocket infections by yourself?
If you’ve detected a tail pocket infection on your bulldog very early on, you can choose to treat it at home using some very simple steps. Do take note that these methods are for mild infections only, for anything severe you should take them to the vet.
- Fur removal from around the tail: The fur around the tail pocket or the tail can become a bacteria hotspot causing the infection to spread as well. Even if you have treated the infection without clipping the fur, do be sure that the infection will come back thanks to all the bacteria that is still present in it. Start by removing all the hair around the infected area, be gentle and make sure you do not hit the infection accidentally which might cause pain to your little buddy.
- Cleansing the infected area to remove all Bacteria: You may use any antibacterial or antiseptic soap for this. Just gently cleanse the area and tap it dry with a clean cloth. You can also use sanitizers after washing with soap to make sure that all bacteria have been removed from the affected area.
- If your dog has an open wound around his tail pocket: If the infection wound has opened up and you see pus draining out, then you would need to help drain out more pus from the wound so that it can start to heal. Use a clean cloth and gently press it against the wound. As the pus drains out, it will get absorbed by the piece of cloth. If there are no open wounds, do not try to create one by yourself as that might cause severe complications to your dog.
- In case of swelling around the Infection: If the wound around the tail pocket hasn’t opened up, and all you see is minor swelling with redness around it. Then it is a good time to treat it before it expands and causes more infection to your bulldog. Start by using a warm cloth and gently placing it on the swollen area. The warmth would help relax the nerves there causing lesser pain, while at the same time it will attract all antibodies and white blood cells to the infected area to heal it. You can also choose to apply anti-bacterial lotion on the swollen area to make sure that there is no spread of bacteria from there causing more problems for your dog.
If you see that the infection keeps on repeating and won’t stop from spreading, then it is a good idea to take your dog to the vet immediately for extra care. Regular maintenance of the tail pocket will protect your dog from any infections as you keep it clean. It is also very important that you keep the surroundings of your dog clean as well. An unclean home can have a lot of bacteria and germs lying around.