A vet at a top Midlands animal hospital has warned of the dangers of chronic pain and infection caused by ‘screw tail’, a condition which commonly affects English and French Bulldogs and Pugs.

Bart Hendrickx, a senior veterinary surgeon at West Midlands Veterinary Referrals (WMR), near Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, spoke out after having to amputate a French bulldog’s tail.

The dog, called Pippi, was referred to WMR for surgery as she was suffering from a screw tail malformation with secondary pyoderma, which is a generic, congenital complaint for the breed.

Bart said: “Screw tail is a developmental issue where the dog’s tail is formed into a corkscrew that twists the overlying skin into pockets and recesses.

“This moist, warm area is then a perfect environment for growth of microbes, which then lead to chronic infection causing significant discomfort.

“The only way to deal with this is to remove the warm damp recesses and that means the amputation of the cork-screw tail and with it the infected skin folds.

“There is no other way to solve the problem but, fortunately, there are no adverse consequences of removing the tail, which in these breeds is stumpy and essentially immobile anyway.

“Unfortunately, though, ‘screw tail’ is an issue that is common in these breeds and we are seeing an increase in these congenital tail malformations and deformities.”

The operation to remove Pippi’s tail took just half-an-hour and she has since made a full recovery and is pain-free once again.

Linnaeus-owned West Midlands Veterinary Referrals provides a wide range of high standard veterinary services delivered by experienced consultants working within state-of-the-art facilities.

WMR specialises in providing expert treatment in cases requiring orthopaedic surgery, spinal surgery, soft tissue and general surgery as well as medical and ultrasonography cases.

For more information, visit www.wm-referrals.com or search for West Midlands Referrals on social media.

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