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
- 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
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.
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.
Benji: Why was he “scooting” along the ground?
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?
Why Your Dog Is Scooting Across the Floor