Tuesday 22nd Jan, 2019

Successful 'Screw Tail' Surgery: Both smelling and feeling better!

Tail fold intertrigo, or ‘Screw Tail’, is due to the deep folds of skin around the tail in some breeds, notably Bulldogs and ‘Frenchies’. It can be further exacerbated in some dogs by the tail tip folding inwards, resulting in the skin furrow being a deep crevice: the perfect environment for persistent dermatitis.

Pre-surgery the groove was found to be around 8cm deep on probing, while on X-ray the tail was deviated ventrally. Both were important to plan the dissection required to reach the point at which coccygeal vertebral deviation occurs: the site where the osteotomy must be performed.

There are various factors to consider when performing ‘Screw Tail’ surgery, notably the risk of damage to the dorsal rectum (often adhered to the underside of the vertebrae), infection risk (adjacent to anus) and the challenging dissection, with the dorsal surface of the skin often being adhered onto the ventral deviated coccygeal vertebrae.

In this patient, the deviation was dissected free of the dorsal rectum, before the coccygeal vertebral deviation was identified and cut with bone cutters. The area was then thoroughly lavaged and closed routinely.

Lola made a good recovery, with no post-operative wound breakdown occurring, and her owners noting that she was brighter and happier than she had been for many months.  

‘Screw Tail’ (Tail Fold Intertrigo) was a surgical condition for this patient and the surgery, while bold, did transform this patients welfare… and remove the smell! 

If you encounter a Bulldog with this…. or more something more common…. and would like our help, please get in touch!

Next Post: ‘Kneed’ help with an unusual case, get in touch!

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