While it’s not the most pleasant thing to talk about, many pet owners find themselves asking the veterinarian why their dog scoots her bottom across the floor, and perhaps more importantly, what can be done about it.
If you have noticed your dog scooting her bottom across the living room floor, you’re not alone. There are several different reasons your dog may be exhibiting that behavior, and there are also different solutions that can help relieve your pup’s symptoms.
Why Do Dogs Scoot Their Bottom Across the Floor?
Anal Sac Dysfunction
This is the most common cause of scooting. Dogs, cats, and even skunks all have anal sacs. They are glands that rest on either side of a canine’s anus, and they collect oily secretions from the glandular tissue. During regular bowel movements, the sacs release the oily substance. Unfortunately, not all anal sacs release, or express, as they should. Diarrhea, loose stool, and an overweight pet may all contribute to the sacs not properly releasing.
When this happens, it can cause irritation, inflammation, infection, impaction, and in severe cases, the sac can rupture. The inflammation and irritation from an unexpressed anal sac is what causes pups to scoot their bottoms across the floor in most cases. Your pet’s behavior is her way of letting you know something is bothering her.
While tapeworms are less likely to be the cause of your dog’s scooting, they can still contribute to an uncomfortable feeling for your four-legged friend. Tapeworms look like little white pieces of rice that may be visible around your pet’s anus. Canines may get tapeworms by swallowing infected fleas. If you suspect your dog has tapeworms, the vet can prescribe medication or injections to help rid your pooch of the worms.
If your dog has suffered from a bout of diarrhea, any stool that remains on the hair under her tail can irritate her bottom. As a result, she may scoot across the floor to relieve the discomfort. If this is the case, the hair with remaining stool may be trimmed off. Clean the area with warm water after.
If the area becomes infected, however, you should contact your veterinarian to receive the proper help and medication.
While the treatment for both fecal contamination and tapeworms can involved medication, treating anal sacs involves a different form of symptom relief. First, you can investigate by lifting your dog’s tail and determining if the area looks swollen or irritated. If so, it is time to take your pooch to the vet.
Your veterinarian will be able to manually express the sacs and release the fluid. Additionally, your vet will be able to check for any potential tumors. If you’re comfortable, your vet can show you the correct technique so you can release your pet’s sacs at home if it occurs again.
If this continues to be a recurring problem for your pet, it is recommended that you take her back to the vet. In extreme cases, a surgeon may be able to completely remove the glands to stop any future problems.
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