We’ve all been there. You have company visiting for a nice dinner and the evening is going well. Then, out of the corner of your eye, you see it. Your dog dragging his bottom on the floor. Embarrassed laughter fills the room. You ask yourself: “Why is my dog dragging his bottom and how do I stop it?!”
What may seem funny (or embarrassing) at first is rooted in an irritation of your dog’s bottom with a wide range of medical or anatomical problems causing the irritation. Let’s explore these causes to better understand how to FIX the problem!
- The most common cause is an anal sac problem. Anal sacs exist in many species of animals including dogs, cats, bears, and even sea otters to aid in communicating with each other! Strange right!? The sacs, located just inside both sides of their anus, contain VERY smelly, liquid material. The smell can be a strong musk-like or even a fishy odor. The sacs, due to their location within a bacteria laden rectum, can become infected (abscessed) or plugged. Dogs may lick or scoot seeking relieve from the pain and discomfort.
If a sac becomes infected, it fills with pus or blood and becomes very tender. Surgery, anal sac flushing or antibiotics are indicated. Your veterinarian will be able to treat your pet appropriately. The best way to avoid an anal sac infection is to have the sacs routinely expressed either by your veterinarian or your groomer.
- Anal inflammation is another common cause of irritation. What often shocks our clients is finding out what causes the inflammation! Food allergies – yes – your dog could be allergic to his food and the only symptom can be scooting or licking! Your veterinarian can help guide you through the various dietary options to best treat your bum licker!
- Parasites can also cause scooting. As the parasite comes out of the anus, it may stick to the fur or skin around your dog’s anus causes significant irritation. Your veterinarian may recommend performing a fecal analysis to look for parasites.
- In some dogs, the anal sac duct (the tube between the sac and the anus) curves in an abnormal fashion and does not exit onto the anus as it should. This prevents the sac from emptying properly and thereby engorges causing significant pain and irritation. Your veterinarian can perform a thorough expression of the sac to help alleviate the pressure.
- Tumors around the anus, even benign ones, are a source of significant irritation and should be removed at your earliest convenience. We recommend removal of the mass and submitting it for analysis.
- Finally, some furry dogs may have a problem with feces sticking to the fur after defecation. Careful trimming of the fur by a qualified person, and regular bathing may help this situation.
So, how do you create the perfect dining experience next time for your guests? COME SEE US! Our veterinarians can thoroughly evaluate your pet’s anal sacs and help bring your pet some comfort!