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Bulldog Tail Pocket: What They Are & How to Treat Them

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

top view of french bulldog

If you are an experienced Bulldog owner, you probably already know all about the tail pocket, but for those that are new to the Bulldog world, we’re here to give you the information you need. We’ll look at what a tail pocket is and where to find it. We’ll also discuss how to clean it and how to spot infection.

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What is a Tail Pocket?

The tail pocket is essentially a small wrinkle found under your Bulldog’s tail, similar to the wrinkles found all over his face. It is commonly found hiding under your dog’s tail, but on occasion, it could be on top of the tail. It is a small hollow area or a type of indentation that can collect all kinds of dirt throughout your Bulldog’s day.

The tail pocket tends to develop when your puppy is about 6 months old. Not every Bulldog actually has a tail pocket, but if you’re one of the lucky owners that happen to have a Bulldog with one, then you’ll need to learn how to take care of it.

What Other Dogs Have a Tail Pocket?

It’s not only Bulldogs that have a little pocket under their tails. Pretty much every breed of Bulldog is prone to tail pockets – English, American, and French Bulldogs can all potentially develop one.

As a general rule, dogs with tight curly/corkscrew style tails are more likely to develop a tail pocket over dogs with straight tails. Some Pugs are also susceptible to developing the tail pocket, so it’s important if you have a wrinkled-faced dog to double-check for a tail pocket.

How to Find the Tail Pocket

This is the easy part. You just need to run your hand around your dog’s tail gently. While the tail pocket is usually under the tail, it can sometimes be found somewhere around the tail, including the top. This means if you don’t feel an indentation under the tail, keep checking.

It can be a ticklish/sensitive area for your dog, so he might do a little squiggling and dancing while you check. If you see and feel what looks like a small dimple near the tail, chances are he has a tail pocket.

Why You Need to Keep the Tail Pocket Clean

For the same reasons you keep your Bulldog’s facial wrinkle folds clean, you also need to take care of this extra one on their butt. If you don’t keep it clean, it can cause a number of problems, such as:

  • Infection
  • Irritation and swelling
  • Sensitivity around the area
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Stinky smell
  • Overall discomfort for your dog

All of these issues are reason enough to keep your dog’s tail pocket clean. Sometimes there may be a bulldog tail pocket brown discharge so now we’ll go over the methods on how to clean it.

How to Clean a Bulldog Tail Pocket

In most cases, you should clean the tail pocket every day, or at least several times a week. You could get into the habit of cleaning the tail pocket every time you clean his facial wrinkles. However, the tail pocket needs more attention than just giving it a quick wash during regular bath time.

  • You can use wipes designed for dogs, baby wipes, or a soft cloth that is soaked in lukewarm water with a gentle detergent (a hypoallergenic shampoo like this one would work well). Gently wipe around and inside the pocket to remove any debris and dirt. Continue removing the dirt by rinsing the cloth or using fresh wipes until the pocket is clean. Thoroughly rinse the pocket with water to ensure all traces of the soap are
  • Dry the area carefully with a soft and dry towel or cloth (microfiber would be perfect) – outside and inside the tail pocket. You can also consider using a blow dryer on a low, warm setting as you don’t want any dampness left behind.
  • Many Bulldog owners use a wrinkle paste cream or wrinkle wax, which are designed to protect the folds on your Bulldog’s face and butt against bacteria, fungus, and excessive moisture. It can also soothe the area if it’s irritated.

Remember, this area is very sensitive for your Bulldog, so try to clean and wipe as gently as possible.

Signs That There’s a Problem with the Tail Pocket

These are some of the symptoms and signs that your Bulldog is experiencing issues with his tail pocket:
  • Brown, stinky fluid emanating from your dog’s butt (could be anal glands, but it’s best to double-check that it isn’t coming from the tail pocket).
  • Excessive scratching and biting near the tail pocket – your Bulldog might start scooting (again, maybe anal glands, but it’s good to be sure).
  • A stinkier than usual butt.
  • Extra-sensitive and swelling in the area.
  • Unusual colors in the area (such as green or dark red).

The more serious the infection seems to be, the sooner you should take your Bulldog to your vet.

Bulldog Tail Infection

So, you suspect your Bulldog has an infection in his tail pocket, and you’re wondering what to expect from the veterinarian? The vet will clean the area and most likely send you home with topical medication and an oral antibiotic.

If there’s any yeast in the tail pocket, your vet might also prescribe antifungal medication for your Bulldog. It’s essential to remember to follow your vet’s instructions and give your dog all of the antibiotic and antifungal medications, even if your dog seems to be better. This will help to prevent the chance that an antibiotic-resistant infection might occur.

Preventing Tail Pocket Infections

Taking care of your Bulldog’s skin folds is the first and best step to prevent tail pocket infections. Keeping the area clean and dry should stop any infection from occurring. However, if it seems to be an ongoing issue, you might need to take a more drastic step.

Some tail pockets are just too tight and are difficult to access because of the tail, so your veterinarian might recommend removing your Bulldog’s tail through surgery. This is a relatively common procedure amongst Bulldog owners and should prove helpful when cleaning the tail pocket in the future. This rather drastic step should only be taken if your Bulldog has frequent and severe infections.

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Conclusion: Bulldog Tail Pocket

Okay, you’re now an expert in the tail pocket. Just another unique feature included with your unique Bulldog. If you’re at all concerned about your Bulldog’s tail pocket, always consult with your vet for advice or treatment.

Be sure to check for a tail pocket if your Bulldog has just grown into an adult, and be prepared for a rather peculiar cleaning and grooming regimen. But doesn’t your Bulldog deserve the best treatment, anyway?

Featured Image Credit: eva_blanco, Shutterstock

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