One of the most common questions people ask me is whether French bulldog tail is cropped. Well, despite it looks like it is, their tail is naturally short and comes in three shapes.
French bulldogs have short tails that come in 3 shapes: straight down and stumpy, screwed and stumpy, and thick root with a very fine tip.
Most people don’t know that Frenchies actually had longer tails in history. However, due to selectively breeding, these furry gremlins got short and thick tails. Since this breed was used for dog fights and bull baitings in history, people wanted to ‘produce’ a Frenchie with a short tail. In that way, there were fewer possibilities for a dog to get tail injuries. Luckily, dog fighting is today forbidden but this lovable and affectionate breed has kept its short tail.
To summarize, a French bulldog tail standard requires that it should cover the anus and should not be able to rise above the horizontal.
Unfortunately, dogs with short tails are prone to develop a health condition called Hemivertebrae. It is a congenital condition that affects the dog’s spine and leads to a number of problems. The word ‘vertebrae’ literally means a twisted spine and it can compress a Frenchie’s spinal cord. A dog that suffers from hemivertebrae can show weakness in his hind limbs, pains, and urinary or fecal incontinence.
Frenchies usually develop hemivertebrae by the 9th month of age. It’s the time when their spine gets a final shape. Hemivertebra can be determined as a mild case, where only one or two vertebrae have the deformity and the dog does not experience any clinical signs. In other cases, the condition can become severe and impact the dog’s ability to function.
Hemivertebrae in French bulldogs can be discovered by performing an X-ray and physical examination. Besides these two, there can be done the CT scan or MRI to discover this type of condition. When we talk about treatment, in most cases vets prescribe different anti-inflammation medicines, while dogs with severe pains need to go through a surgery.
Since Frenchies’ tails cover the anus, they can easily get an infection. That’s why you as an owner of this gorgeous and unique breed need to pay attention to a regular tail cleaning. I advise you to do that every time your pooch goes to potty. You can use a simple baby wet wipe or a wet cloth for cleaning.
A tail pocket infection is followed by red, swollen, and itchy skin as well as bad odor under the tail and should be treated by antibiotic creams in case of bacterial infection. Note that a French bulldog tail infection is a painful condition that may require surgery in severe cases.