Screw tail is kind of a silly name, but it refers to a serious condition that affects some dogs. Also called an ingrown tail, or a corkscrew tail, this condition most commonly affects English and Australian Bulldogs. It is also known to affect French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Pugs. This condition can be very uncomfortable and put a lot of stress on the dog and their owner trying to manage the issues that come along with it. If you’re unfamiliar with screw tail, you’re not alone. Since it’s only found to affect a few specific breeds, it’s not an overly common condition to run into, but it can be a big problem when it does occur.
What Is It?
Screw tail is defined as an abnormal curvature of the spine at the tail. It typically presents as either a downward deviation or a spiral malformation. A spiral malformation causes a spiral tail and excess skin that creates folds above the tail, which need to be regularly cleaned to avoid buildup and infection. A downward deviation causes skin folds and an immobile tail to block the anus, creating a fold where feces will get caught when the dog defecates. Without constant cleaning, this will inevitably create a blockage and the buildup will cause skin agitation, a strong smell, and infection.
How Is It Treated?
Surgery is typically the best course of action for screw tail. While medical management is possible, it ultimately does not address the root of the problem and can be uncomfortable for both dog and owner in the long term due to recurring infections and waste buildup.
Downward deviation tails have the option of being partially amputated, leaving a mobile tail stub after surgery. The folds around the anus are still present, which will require regular cleaning, but it will be easier to manage without the immobile tail blocking the area.
Spiral malformation requires complete tail amputation, but this option removes the tail as well as the skin folds. This will often have an excellent result, requiring little to no medical management post-surgery.
Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companion’s Health
Your companion’s health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companion’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.