A dog scooting his butts on the floor or grass is a comical sight as long as you are not the owner of the poor baby. It is not only embarrassing but also cringing sometimes to see your pet dragging his butts across the floor.
Many pet parents think that the canine companions scoot their bottoms for pleasure. Well, that is not the truth as the scooting the butts on the floor do not amuse the dogs.
Rather, it is an indication that something is wrong at the “back”; it means he has itchy or irritated bums. Scooting soothes the irritation and relieves the discomfort.
Why Dogs Scoot?
It is important to understand why your dog is exhibiting such behavior instead of feeling embarrassed. You need not have the same investigative skills as James Bond to find the “culprit.” All you have to do is sharply observe what is compelling your fur baby to drag on the carpet or floor.
While there are many possibilities, anal sac impaction is the main reason behind itchy bottoms in dogs. Before we delve into the details of inflamed anal sacs, let’s discuss the minor culprits that may cause your furry friend to drag across the floor.
- Skin Allergies
Skin conditions, such as allergies, make the dogs uncomfortable. The pets may drag the bottom across the floor to relieve the discomfort and itching. Dogs may also develop allergies due to insect bites and growth.
Dried old patches of the defecate left due to poor hygiene may also cause itchy or irritated skin. Make sure to consult a vet when you observe the symptoms of allergies around your dog’s anus.
- Matted Hair
Matted hair around the dog’s rectum, particularly in breeds with long hair, is another cause of scooting. When the longhaired dogs don’t receive regular cleaning or grooming, the stools start accumulating in the hair. However, properly cleaning your dog’s butt every time he poops can help to avoid and cure this problem.
Many pet parents think that dogs also suffer from pinworms. Well, canine companions are not susceptible to pinworms, but they do suffer from tapeworms. The dogs can catch the worms when eating infected fleas. The worms pass into your pet’s digestive system causing irritability and itching on the butts.
Scooting is one of the many symptoms associated with the presence of tapeworms in dogs. You may also check your pups’ stool and examine their anus for white, rice-like worm segments. If you spot tapeworms around your dogs’ anus, head straight to the vet.
Anal Sac Impaction/Inflamed Anal Sacs
The abovementioned reasons are not common to all dogs dragging on the floor, carpet, or grass. However, almost breeds, particularly dogs suffering from diarrhea, are prone to anal sac impaction. However, it is yet unknown why and how inflamed anal sacs occur.
Anal sacs, often confused with anal glands, are small sacs present on both sides of the dog’s anus. In healthy dogs, the anal sacs contain smelly liquid that a dog excretes every time he poops. It helps the dog in marking territory. Thus, the sacs become empty when a dog has a bowel moment.
When a dog fails to empty properly, the liquid accumulates inside the sacs, thereby turning into a thick paste. As a result, the anal sacs become full, causing inflammation and impaction. Scooting or dragging their bottoms helps dogs to empty these sacs and relieve the inflammation. If the dog does not receive treatment, anal sac impaction may lead to infection; in worse cases, your dog’s glands can even rupture.
Some other behavioral symptoms that a dog with anal sac impaction may exhibit include:
- Frequently licking the backside
- Taking a longer time to excrete
- Swelling near the anus
How To Sooth Your Dog’s Itchy Butts?
If your dog embarrasses you with his scooting tricks once or twice only, you may not need to take him to a vet immediately. It is likely that your dog just has an itch, and there is nothing serious.
In such cases, gently cleaning the area with shampoo and a soft washcloth is enough to relieve the inflammation. Make sure to rinse away the soap and properly dry the area with a clean towel.
However, if your dog demonstrates his “scooting stunts” more frequently and it goes on for days, then rush to the vet.
What to Expect From the Visit to the Vet
- Rectal Examination
Firstly, the vet performs a rectal exam on your dog to see the state of the anal glands. He also looks for any signs of infection or inflammation around the glands.
For an accurate diagnosis, the vet is likely to conduct a fecal exam as well to check for any signs of intestinal parasites. If the test comes positive, the doctor may prescribe deworming medication formulas to put an end to your dog’s anal distress.
- Expression or Removal of Glands
In the case of full or impacted anal glands, the vet attempts to express the glands. However, it is difficult to express the severely inflamed glands. In such cases, the vet sedates the dog and administers medicines into the anal glands for emptying them.
Dogs with chronically inflamed anal glands may not find this method helpful in relieving the discomfort. The vet might refer you to a specialist for the removal of your dog’s anal glands as a last resort. The surgery can be complex, but it can help to put an end to your dog's scooting.
Prevention is better than cure. Why let your dog go through such painful procedures when you can lower the risk of an inflamed anal sac in the first place?
- Feed your dogs with a healthy and balanced diet
- A fiber-rich diet helps to promote consistency in defecate
- Make sure to keep your canine companion up-to-date with a flea prevention program. This helps to prevent your dogs from contracting fleas.
- Not to mention, give your dog a gentle bath if you find dirty hair or dried defecate on your dog’s scoot.