When dogs scoot their butts on the floor or grass, people often consider it a comical or embarrassing behavior as though the dog is doing it for pleasure. In reality, when dogs scoot, it is a sign of one thing: their bottoms are irritated or uncomfortable and they are trying to soothe the irritation.
If your dog is scooting and you do not see tapeworm segments, its probably caused by anal sac inflammation. Having your veterinarian or your groomer empty these sacs regularly can prevent more severe problems.
How do I get my dog to stop scooting?
“Feeding your dog a good quality, well-balanced diet can help prevent scooting by ensuring their stools are firm enough to squeeze and empty the anal glands as they pass through the rectum,” says Strong. “A good diet will also help you prevent obesity, which increases the risk of anal gland problem in dogs.”
Why does my dog rub her bum on the floor?
By far the most common cause of scooting in dogs is full anal sacs. The anal sacs are two small scent glands located at 4 and 8 o’clock around the anus. … In an effort to express the anal sacs and relieve painful pressure, dogs may drag or rub their rear along the floor.
Butt-dragging. Carpet-surfing. Tail-scooting. These colorful terms all describe one of our canine companions more common unusual actions: dogs rubbing their butt along the floor.
Full anal sacs may be to blame if you notice a discolored trail or an excessively smelly fog following your dogs ground gyrations. Seasonal allergies (or atopy) top the list followed by flea and insect bite reactions and food sensitivities.
If I see a dog that constantly licks their rear and the anal sacs appear normal, Ill investigate pain as a possible culprit. If you have a German Shepherd that starts licking under their tail or scooting, dont delay seeking medical treatment. Female dogs may develop a yeast infection in the perivulvar area (their privates) that can mimic anal sac problems.
Bladder or urinary tract infections (UTIs) can also cause scooting, and cost dog parents $435 on average to deal with the issue, according to Petplan claim data.
Does your dog drag his butt on the floor? Youre not alone, its a fairly common behavior. Its called scooting, and chances are if you have a dog youve seen it at least once or twice. And who among us doesnt love it when our dog scoots across the floor when weve got company over.
And although watching your dog drag their butt across your carpet isnt desirable its important not to punish them theyre doing it because theyre uncomfortable. Some dogs are prone to getting impacted anal glands , often due to a thicker fluid thats unable to pass to the outside.
This can lead to the sac becoming infected and causing a lot of pain and irritation, and if left unattended can require surgery to fix. Technically you can empty your dogs anal glands yourself, but if youve never done it before have your veterinarian teach you how to perform the procedure. One of the symptoms of tape worms is scooting their butt across the floor due to the irritation that tapeworm segments cause to the area.
The segments are small, but upon close examination you may be able to spot them around your dogs rear end (they look like tiny little white or golden colored pieces of rice). If you find any segments, white or golden color, bring them to your veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis. When left untreated the matting can make it harder for your dog to poop, and complete obstruction of the anus can occur.
Many dog owners have experienced that awkward feeling somewhere between embarrassment and annoyance when their dog scoots or drags his bottom across the rug. Because, of course, dogs tend to perform this socially unacceptable behavior in front of as many people as possible and leave their mark behind on the carpet.
When marking and defending boundaries were crucial for canine survival, [anal glands] likely had a key role, adding a dogs unique and identifying scent to his excrement; today, salutatory butt-sniffing might very well be an evolutionary remnant of that territorial imperative, the article states. Dr. Jennifer Schissler, assistant professor of dermatology at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences in Fort Collins, explains that anal gland problems can affect any dog and any breed.
Anal sac issues
By far the most common cause of scooting in dogs is full anal sacs. The anal sacs are two small scent glands located at 4 and 8 o’clock around the anus. These glands secrete a dog’s unique identifying aroma – which is why dogs sniff each other’s hinterlands when greeting! But they can be uncomfortable if they’re too full.In an effort to express the anal sacs and relieve painful pressure, dogs may drag or rub their rear along the floor. Full anal sacs may be to blame if you notice a discolored trail or an excessively smelly fog following your dog’s ground gyrations. If you observe your pooch scooting several times within a couple of days, ask your vet to look under the tail.It can be difficult to tell between overly-full anal sacs and a more serious infection or tumor. Lift your dog’s tail and check for any bleeding, bruising, pus or swelling. If you notice anything unusual, take your dog to your vet right away. While most dog insurance policies do not cover anal sac expression, should the issue be related to an injury or illness, the treatment and exam costs can be covered.Anal sac infections are not only insanely painful, they can really get worse in just a few hours. Treated early, a round of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories may be all that’s needed. Catch it even a little late, and surgery is often required.Anal sac tumors can be serious. Any swelling, protrusion or distortion of the anal region should be reported to your vet. If the tumor is confined to the anal sac, surgical removal makes all the difference. If diagnosed late, the cancer may spread to adjacent tissues or throughout the body. When in doubt, have your vet check it out!
Skin allergies are probably the second leading cause of tail-dragging. Seasonal allergies (or atopy) top the list followed by flea and insect bite reactions and food sensitivities. If your dog is scooting and scratching, your vet will treat both problems with appropriate allergy medications and supplements. I also recommend high-dose omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils or DHA and EPA) for my patients suffering from skin allergies.
One of the more disgusting causes of butt dragging is tapeworm infection. These foul flatworms cause intense itching around the anus. You can spot a tapeworm by their proglottids – tiny egg-carrying segments that look like rice – that are shed in the stool.You won’t spot signs of another parasite,
Referred pain, especially from the lower back and hips, can also cause butt-dragging in some canines. If I see a dog that constantly licks their rear and the anal sacs appear normal, I’ll investigate pain as a possible culprit.
A poorly understood and somewhat rare cause of scooting in dogs is perianal fistula. This condition is most common in German Shepherds but can occur in any breed. The condition creates draining tracts that respond poorly to traditional treatments. If you have a German Shepherd that starts licking under their tail or scooting, don’t delay seeking medical treatment.
In addition to infected anal sacs, bacterial and fungal (yeast) skin infections can cause itching and burning in the hindquarters.Female dogs may develop a yeast infection in the perivulvar area (their “privates”) that can mimic anal sac problems. If your dog has a skin infection involving the abdomen and also scoots, make sure your vet evaluates both.Bladder or urinary tract infections (UTIs) can also cause scooting, and cost dog parents $435 on average to deal with the issue, according to Petplan claim data. That’s why it pays to have pet insurance!
Behavioral or neurological problems
Finally, some dogs will develop behavioral or neurological problems that lead to excessive grooming, rubbing or scooting. Tail-chasing, anxiety, fear and neurological impairment that cause numbness or tingling should be considered in certain cases.I’ve also seen many obese dogs excessively scoot without a clearly identifiable cause (losing excess weight cures the condition). Dogs that have had certain surgeries, especially spinal procedures, may develop abnormal symptoms related to nerve damage.These are some of the more common causes of butt scooting in dogs. If your dog scoots more than a couple of times a day or for 48 hours, have them checked out by your vet (and bring out the vacuum and disinfectant!).
Why Do Dogs Scoot?
The underlying problems often stem from something no one likes to think about, much less investigate—the dog’s anal sacs. A type of gland, anal sacs are located on each side of a dog’s anus, with ducts emptying outside the dog’s body. A lot of dog owners are unaware these glands even exist, probably because many animals don’t have them. (For the record, cats have anal sacs, too.)“The Scooting Dog Decoded,” an article published in The Whole Dog Journal speculates that anal sacs once played an important role. “When marking and defending boundaries were crucial for canine survival, [anal glands] likely had a key role, adding a dog’s unique and identifying scent to his excrement; today, salutatory butt-sniffing might very well be an evolutionary remnant of that territorial imperative,” the article states.Unfortunately, the anal sac ducts can get clogged and impacted, leading to itchy discomfort. Hence, the scooting. Left untreated, impacted anal sacs can burst open, says Klein, a development no one wants to see, smell, clean up, or have their dog experience.
How to Help Dog Scooting
Scooting doesn’t signify an emergency but “it’s not a common dog behavior,” Klein says.To investigate, dog owners should start by lifting their dog’s tail to check for signs of irritation, Klein explains. Swelling or anything else that looks out of the ordinary should be checked out by a veterinarian, he says. A vet can manually express impacted anal glands and palpate the glands to check for tumors. Most dog owners prefer to leave this to the professionals.If impacted anal glands becomes chronic, a board-certified surgeon can correct the condition by removing the glands, although that tends to be a last resort, adds Klein.Dr. Jennifer Schissler, assistant professor of dermatology at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences in Fort Collins, explains that anal gland problems can affect any dog and any breed. “I think they’re all equally susceptible,” she says.