Dog Scooting: Why Was Benji Dragging His Bum along the Ground?

Does your dog rub their bum on the floor, scooting around the house?

What does it mean when dogs do that? There are a few potential causes:

  • anal gland issues (impaction, infection, abscess, cancer)
  • perianal fistula
  • rectal prolapse
  • worms
  • skin allergies

Anal gland issues, however, are the most likely cause of scooting in dogs. Other symptoms might include:

  • reluctance to sit
  • licking, biting, or chewing the area
  • difficulty defecating
  • redness or swelling around the anus
  • foul odor

Further reading: Dog Scooting: Why It Happens and What to Do About It

Dog Scooting: Why Was Benji Dragging His Bum along the Ground?

Benji’s story

Benji was a vibrant, happy-go-lucky male Shih Tzu. He’s always been quite a healthy and well-behaved boy. When Benji started dragging his bum along the ground, his family was puzzled. Why was Benji doing that?

At first, Benji only did that outside, in the grassy areas. His family figured it was one of those strange things dogs. Then, Benji’s scooting behavior became more frequent, and he started doing it indoors too. That’s when his family decided to seek veterinary insight.

At the vet clinic

As the veterinarian heard the description of the problem, he immediately had his suspect issue. Scooting is a fairly common problem in dogs. Dog parents usually believe that worm infestation is behind the problem–and sometimes that is the case. However, the most common cause of scooting is anal sac disease.

A healthy anal sac secretes some of its content with each defecation. When the sacs don’t empty sufficiently, they fill up, become swollen and start itching. That, in turn, leads to scooting. Sometimes, the act of scooting alone helps remedy the situation. However, most dogs need help getting them emptied. Often, the procedure might need to be done just once.

The sacs can become infected, abscess, and even rupture without treatment. That is a much bigger, painful problem.

Benji’s diagnosis

The veterinarian examined Benji and determined that his anal sacs were indeed the problem.

Despite Benji’s objection, the veterinarian emptied his anal sacs and instructed Benji’s family to add more fiber to his daily diet. However, Benji did enjoy his anal glands no longer bothering him.

Source story:
Benji: Why was he “scooting” along the ground?

Related articles:
Scooting in Dogs: Why Is My Dog Dragging Their Bum On The Ground?
Canine Anal Sac Infection: The Always-At-Hand Diagnostic Tool—Whoa, Girl Dogs Have Anal Glands Too!
Difficulty Defecating in Dogs: Why Is My Dog Straining to Poop?

Further reading:
Why Your Dog Is Scooting Across the Floor

Categories: Dog health advocacy

Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

Share your thoughts