Dog scooting

Some owners find it amusing that dog scoots, or drags his butt across the floor.

It is not funny. Dog scooting is a sign that something is wrong.

Why a dog scoots

There are a lot of reasons a  dog scoots but there is definitely itching or pain down there.

Jackie Brown in “Dog Scooting :Why It Happens and When to See and Vet” in listed  the possible reasons for scooting in dogs:

Blossom (left) used to scoot a lot. The scooting stopped when she was given  boiled veggies in her diet.  Pumpkin  is recommended for dogs as it is a great source of fiber. Henry (right), like Blossom, loves boiled pumpkin in their meals. 
1. Impacted or infected anal glands are the most common culprits.

Brown explained that dog anal glands are “two small internal sacs positioned on either side of a dog’s anus.”

“In normal dogs, they contain a smelly liquid that’s excreted every time the dog poops (this is likely a mechanism for marking territory. In some dogs, inflammation prevents this liquid from being expelled when the dog poops. Instead, it builds up inside the two sacs, where it can become very thick, more like a paste than a liquid. Full anal glands can be very uncomfortable for the dog and can even become infected, “ Brown said.

2. Intestinal parasites , specially tapeworms.

3. Injuries.

4. Tumors in or around the anus.

5. Rectal prolapse.

6. Allergies.

Brown said a dog who scoots usually licks his backend excessively.

What to do

1.  Bring your dog to the vet  if your pet is doing it often.  

2.  If he is not doing it often, he might just have an itch.

“You could try cleaning the area with a gentle shampoo and soft washcloth, making sure to rinse away all the soap completely and dry the area well with a clean towel,” Brown suggested.  Do not insert anything inside the anus.

When to see a vet

Bring the dog to the vet if the dog is scooting.

1. more than once a day, or  

2. if the behavior goes on for more than a day or two.

The vet will do a rectal examination to check the anal glands and to see if there are signs of infection or inflammation.

The vet might also do a fecal exam to check for intestinal parasites.

For parasites, the vet will prescribe a deworming medication to eliminate the worms.

For an impacted anal gland or glands that are full, the vet will try to aid the anal glands’ function of expressing or releasing.

But if the anal glands are too full and cannot be cleared by expressing, the vet will sedate the dog and clear out the anal glands.

If the problem becomes a chronic issue, the vet will suggest surgery to remove the anal glands. But a specialist will be needed.

What to do to prevent and stop scooting

1.  Add fiber to your dog’s diet to firm up the poop so that the anal glands can express.

2.  Add a few tablespoons of boiled, mashed pumpkin.

3.  Give commercial anal gland supplements  because these contain fiber. Ask your vet about this.

On Chronic Anal Gland Distress

It is best to have the anal gland expressed by a vet on a regular basis.

“Your vet can do this (or teach you how if you’re not too squeamish). However, not all dogs need to have this done. Some groomers routinely express anal glands while bathing, but it’s probably not necessary to express them if your dog is not having any issues — and it could possibly even cause harm,” Brown said.

If there is a problem, do not do anything to get out poop manually. You might cause more damage if you do it yourself. Bring the dog to your vet. 

Topics: Dog scooting
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