Sometimes your pet dog may drag itself around with its front legs to scratch its fretful and itchy butt. This unexpected act of dragging or rubbing their butt along the floor is termed ‘Scooting’.
WHY DOGS DRAG THEIR BUTTS: COMMON CAUSES AND TREATMENTS
Dogs rub their fretful and itchy butt and scoot along the floor as this is the easiest way of scratching that itch, as a temporary relief. Scooting is one of the more common reasons for visiting a veterinarian.
The reason behind their fretful and itchy butts may be due to worm infection or inflammation. Some of the most common reasons dogs drag their butts are:
- Anal gland problems
- Excess fecal matter
CAUSES FOR SCOOTING
Identifying the cause for the irritation can be tricky, but once you do you’ll be able to relieve them from their discomfort and prevent them from scooting.
Anal Gland Problems
Anal gland problems are fairly common and affect many pets. Anal glands or anal sacs becoming full is the most common reason for dogs scooting their butts on the floor.
Anal glands are a pair of sacs located internally near the dog’s anus. When infected, these sacs secrete pungent fatty substance that they are unable to excrete. When these anal glands are blocked or inflamed and infected, the dogs may start scooting their butt on the floor to relieve the pain and irritation.
In case of an infected anal glands, you should take your pet to a veterinarian. The infected anal glands can be treated by expressing and emptying the anal sacs. The veterinarian might prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. You can increase dietary fiber in your pets’ food and apply warm compresses and anti-inflammatories to reduce the pain.
Another common problem that lead the dogs to drag their butts on the floor is tapeworms. Tapeworms are acquired by ingesting worm-infected fleas.
Apart from scooting, the most common sign is the appearance of white or golden colored rice-like tapeworm segments around your dog’s anus.
If you suspect or observe your dog has tapeworms, consult a veterinarian, who would be able to perform a complete diagnosis and prescribe a de-worming treatment, if necessary.
Excess Fecal Matter / Fecal Contamination
Excess fecal matter sticking around your dog’s anus is yet another reason for your pet dragging its butt on the floor. The fecal matter and the hair around your pet’s anus should be cleaned often, else the fecal matter become matted or hangs from the hair (Pseudocoprostasis) and eventually the rectal area is obstructed by the entangled mass of hair and feces.
Especially in longer haired dogs, it’s important to keep the rectum and anal areas clean by trimming up the hair around it and cleaning the area with warm water. If the matted fecal matter is left untreated, it may be harder for your pet while defecating as the feces may obstruct the anus.
Allergies and Other Causes That Leads to Scooting
The irritation caused by wounds or tumors may cause your dog to scoot. Allergy due to various reasons such as food, fleas or other environmental substances can cause a lot of irritation and may lead your pet to scoot
Allergies due to diet change and flea infestation are easy to identify. Whereas allergies due to environmental substances like dust, smoke, pollens, etc. are not so easy to identify.
If you aren’t sure what causes your dog to scoot, check with your veterinarian for help to diagnose the reason for allergy and to treat them accordingly in time.
Though scooting itself is not a medical emergency, it is a behavior that deserves diagnosis. If you were not able to identify the cause of your dogs’ scooting, it’s time to consult your veterinarian. Identifying and managing the underlying issue will prevent your dog from scooting. Unless you address the cause, your pet dog will continue to scoot to alleviate and relieve their discomfort.