Why Puppies Drag Their Butts and What to Do – Dogster

The sight of a dog dragging its butt across the floor may make you laugh (or cringe, if it happens right in the middle of your elegant dinner), but scooting with a dog can be a sign that something is wrong. don’t go “there”. So why does dog scooting happen? And can you treat dog scooting at home or should you always consult your vet? Let’s learn more about dog scootering.

Why is my dog ​​dragging his butt on the ground?

Dog scooting can occur for a variety of reasons, but the problem is usually itching or pain. If your dog’s butt is bothering him, he may rub it on the carpet or grass to try to relieve the itching or discomfort. Many Things Make Dogs Itchy, But Are Affected or Infected anal glands are among the most common culprits.

If your dog trots regularly, your veterinarian will want to check for inflammation or infection. ©Greg King

Dog anal glands are two small internal sacs positioned on either side of a dog’s anus. In normal dogs, they contain a smelly fluid that is excreted every time the dog poops (this is likely a mechanism for territory marking). In some dogs, inflammation prevents this fluid from being expelled when the dog poops. Instead, it collects inside both bags, 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.

Other reasons for dog scooting include intestinal parasites (especially tapeworms), injury or tumors in or around the anus, rectal prolapse and allergies. In addition to your dog scooting, you may also notice him licking his back excessively.

What to do about scootering dogs

If you notice your dog scampering just once or just here and there, you may not need to rush to the vet. “It depends on the magnitude of the situation,” says Cynthia Karsten, DVM, a community veterinarian for the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Companion Animal Health. “Sometimes they can just be itchy. As with most things, it depends on how often it happens and how affected the animal seems to be.

You can try cleaning the area with a mild shampoo and a soft washcloth, making sure to completely rinse off all the soap and dry the area thoroughly with a clean towel.

A merle coated dog looking back, showing his butt.
Dog scooting occurs for several different reasons. Photography ©GlobalP | Thinkstock.

When to see a vet about scootering

If the dog’s behavior in question occurs more than once a day, or if the behavior lasts for more than a day or two, it’s time to go to the veterinarian. “The first thing the vet will do is a rectal exam, just to see what’s going on with the anal glands and check for any signs of inflammation or infection,” says Dr. Karsten. Your veterinarian will probably also want to perform a fecal exam to look for any signs of intestinal parasites. If the fecal test comes back positive for the presence of parasites, your veterinarian will prescribe a deworming medication to eliminate the worms and put an end to your dog’s wandering.

On the other hand, if the anal glands are full or seem included, the vet will attempt to express the glands. “If they are really affected, they might not express, and the vet might then need to sedate the dog and administer medication into the anal glands to flush them out so they stay that way,” says the Dr. Karsten. “If it really becomes a chronic problem, some dogs will need to have them removed.” Surgery to remove anal glands can be complex, so your regular veterinarian will be able to refer you to a specialist.

Can you stop dog anal gland problems and dog butt dragging in the first place?

Adding fiber to your dog’s diet can firm up the stool, making it more likely that the glands will be able to express themselves when your dog poops. One way to do this is to add a few tablespoons of plain canned pumpkin to your dog’s food or by giving Metamucil to your dog. Commercial anal gland supplements containing fiber are also available. Your veterinarian may suggest anal gland supplements before discussing surgical options.

What to do if you have chronic anal gland distress

Some dogs who frequently develop full or impacted anal glands might benefit from regular hand expression. Your vet can do this (or teach you how if you’re not too squeamish). However, not all dogs need anal gland expression. Some groomers regularly express their anal glands during bathing, but expressing them probably isn’t necessary if your dog has no problems – and it could even cause harm.

“I’ve heard from many veterinarians and dermatologists that you shouldn’t touch a dog’s anal glands unless there is a problem,” says Dr. Karsten. “In my experience, you should leave them alone unless there’s a problem, because if they’re healthy, they should speak up on their own. You can actually cause a problem if you’re not careful.

Featured Image Credit: Photography ©Fly_dragonfly | Thinkstock.


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