Why Does Your Dog Scoot and What Can You Do About It?

By November 18 | See Comments

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If you are a pet owner, we are sure you are familiar with that awkward and embarrassing moment when your dog drags or scoots his bottom across the carpet. They usually tend to perform this in front of as many people as possible and leave their mark on the carpet. But you need to realize that they don't scoot just to relieve an itch – it is quite often an indication of a more serious medical condition that needs immediate attention. In reality, they are sending you a signal.

What are the possible causes?

There are a number of reasons why dogs scoot. Some are more common and some are easier to cure:

  • Anal sac – Anal sac inflammation is usually the prime cause. This is accompanied by a nasty odor and possible discharge. Emptying the sacs is quite easy and can be done by a trained groomer, who will also teach you how to do it by yourself. Once our dog is treated, you need to take him to the vet to find out the underlying cause. If he has an infection, then he would need antibiotics.
  • Worms – Some dogs can experience sever itching because of a worm infestation, which would cause them to scoot. The best way to detect tapeworms in Fido is to check his anus. You will see rice grain shaped worm larvae near the opening. Tapeworms can be treated with an anthelmintic. However, they also go hand in hand with fleas. So, you need to be careful, especially during the summer months. Use a good quality flea preventative to avoid this problem.
  • Rectal prolapse – This is a serious condition that needs immediate veterinary attention. Rectal prolapse is usually preceded by severe bouts of constipation or diarrhea. This can cause a part of your dog's large intestine to protrude through the anal opening. If you see an elongated mass coming out from the bottom, then take him to the vet right away.
  • Fecal contamination – This is one of the causes of scooting that has a very easy cure. If your dog is scooting because he has fecal matter around his bottom, just give him a bath with warm and soapy water. If there is any kind of contamination down there, it can cause immense burning and itching. So your dog has no choice but to scoot and relieve the discomfort.
  • Tumors and growths – Luckily, this is not that common, but if it is the cause, it is quite serious and cannot be overlooked. Tumors can grow around your dog's anal glands. So, you need to be careful and watch out for any discharge or swelling. If there is, then you need to contact the vet immediately as tumors can be quite aggressive in dogs.
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