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Stud Tail In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Stud Tail In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Stud Tail In Dogs

Stud tail or tail gland hyperplasia is a common condition in dogs. In the upper to the middle part of the dog’s tail, there is a supracaudal gland, also known as the violet gland.

This gland secretes lipids, oil, and protein. However, when the supracaudal gland secretes too much androgen, this causes the occurrence of greasy or oily bare spots. We call these spots stud tail.

What Causes A Stud Tail In Dogs?

Generally, there are two main causes of a stud tail in dogs. The first cause is elevated androgen levels in the dog’s body over an extended period. The second cause is parasites such as fleas that attach themselves to the gland and start sucking blood causing inflammation.

What Are The Symptoms Of Supracaudal Gland Hyperplasia?

The symptoms of stud tail can vary based on the amount of androgen in the dog’s body, dog’s age, and breed.

These are the most common symptoms:

  • Bare, greasy, or oily dark spots on the tail
  • Matted hair close to the base of the tail
  • Inflammation of the affected area
  • Blackheads at the base of the tail
  • A foul odor

Diagnosis Of Supracaudal Gland Hyperplasia

When you notice black, bear, and greasy patches on your dog’s tail, you should take your dog to the vet. The veterinarian will perform a full physical examination of the dog. This will include palpation, determining the health of skin and coat, auscultation, and vital signs assessment. Also, the vet will perform a urinalysis, blood tests, bacterial and fungal tests, fecal examination, and tests to determine your dog’s sensitivity to antibiotics. The vet may also scrape skin samples to do a cytological analysis or do a biopsy by taking a small tissue sample of the affected area.

Treatment Of Stud Tail In Dogs

The treatment depends on the severity of the condition. If your dog has an infection, the vet will prescribe antibiotic treatment. On the other hand, if your dog doesn’t have an infection, the vet will prescribe antibacterial shampoo and topical ointment.

In severe cases, surgery will be needed to remove the supracaudal gland.

Generally, stud tail is not a serious condition. However, if left untreated, secondary infection may develop. In severe cases, this infection will penetrate deeper into the skin and reach the blood causing septicemia, a life-threatening health issue.

An affected dog will usually recover fast if you treat the issue right away. However, if you neglect the infection and it spreads deeper into the dog’s skin and causes septicemia. Even if this happens, your dog should be fine if you provide proper treatment immediately. Yes, the recovery may last longer, but your dog will stay alive.


Stud tail or supracaudal gland hyperplasia is simply a bare, greasy, black patch on the dog tail. This black patch is the result of supracaudal gland (violet gland) dysfunction. When the supracaudal gland secretes higher androgen levels, the black patches start to form on the dog’s tail. Another reason for the occurrence of a stud tail in dogs are parasites that attach to the supracaudal gland and suck the blood out of it. This causes inflammation and dysfunction of the gland.

People Also Ask

Is stud tail contagious?

No, no need to worry. Your dog can’t get infected by coming into contact with an affected dog.

Why is it called stud tail?

Well, the reason is quite simple. It’s called stud tail because it mostly affects male dogs. However, this is not a male-exclusive disease, female dogs can also suffer from a stud tail.

Can stud tail go away on its own?

Yes, stud tail can go away as long as there is no infection. If you notice signs of infection or irritation, you should visit your vet.

Is stud tail painful for dogs?

Yes, stud tail is a very painful condition. It hurts your dog and smells awful. Therefore, it’s crucial that you treat this condition as soon as you notice the first symptoms. 

Is stud tail itchy?

Yes, stud tail can become itchy and painful.

How much will treating the stud tail cost me?

Well, the price of the treatment will depend on the severity of the case, and the presence of infection. Generally, you can treat simple cases with a benzoyl peroxidase shampoo which you can find in local pet shops. On the other hand, expect to pay up to $500 for vet treatment.