How Can I Stop My Dog from Scooting / Dragging Its Butt?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

You don’t want your dog dragging its butt all over the floor. And this might even be funny to look at, but this might be a matter to worry about. Because this can relate to your dog having some medical issues.

I have collected everything you need to know about dog scooting to help you out.

So why does your dog scoots his butt? Here is your answer:

Something is irritating your dog because of which it is dragging its butt to relieve itself from the irritation. The reasons range from infection and anal sack problems to worms and diarrhea. Dog scooting can be stopped through treatment of the cause.

But what are the treatments for the problems? And can you treat it at home or do you have to go to the vet?

Watch this video to learn more about dog scooting:

Keep reading to find out more.

Reasons of Dog Scooting

1. Anal Sack Problems

There are two glands beside the dog’s rectum which have got a very smelly and fatty substance. Dogs use this to communicate.

These sacks can sometimes become blocked or inflamed which can cause discomfort to your dog. And so it scoots its butt to relieve the pain. There are more symptoms of an anal gland problem:

  • Swelling around the anus
  • Chewing or licking around the area
  • Trouble defecating

2. Skin Infections & Allergies

Your dog can get fungal or bacterial skin infections in its butt area.

These infections can cause itching and burning in the hindquarters.

Skin allergies are too a cause of dog scooting. These allergies are caused by flea and insect bite reactions, food sensitivities and seasonal allergies.

3. Worms

Tapeworms can also mess with your dog’s butt. This begins when your dog swallows worm-infested fleas.

To find if this is the cause of your dog dragging its butt, look for the tiny tapeworm segments around your dog’s anus.

4. Diarrhea

Intense diarrhea can leave your dog weak, dehydrated and with a matted, messy bottom. A dog’s anal sack is automatically squeezed when it poops.

But the runny stool (which is the cause of diarrhea) does not allow the anal sack to be squeezed properly. This leads to the build-up of the secretion that causes irritation and discomfort.

Diarrhea leads to fecal contamination and your dog could be trying to clean the area under its tail.

5. Itching And Neurological Problems

Your dog might just be dragging its butt because of itching, so it’s nothing to worry about if it scoots occasionally.

Some dogs scoot their butts without any reason. This might be the cause of behavioral or neurological problems. Dogs who had been through surgeries, especially spinal, may develop problems of nerve damage, which leads to them scooting their butts.

6. Rectal Prolapse

This is the least possible one, but your dog’s rectum (which is the end of its large intestine) can stick out of its anus. You will see something sticking out of your dog’s bottom.

Consult a vet if this is the case.

Now you know the reason why your dog scoots its butt. But how can these problems be treated?

Read the next section to find out!

Treatments

Here’s the deal:

Mostly while handling these kinds of problems, you have to consult a vet. But if you want to save your money and do it at home, then you can do so by following these methods:

For treating anal sack problem:

I personally would recommend to leave this matter to the vet. But if you are brave enough (because the fatty substance in the anal sack smells really bad) then follow these steps to remove the blockage of the anal sack:

  1. Wear gloves and cover your nose with anything that will lessen the smell (nose clip).
  2. Keep a box of tissues and a bowl of water to moisten them.
  3. Take your dog to a room that is mostly not used much.
  4. Put your dog on a table and place it under your arm.
  5. Aim its rear end towards you.
  6. Take about 4 to 6 tissues in your hand, lift your dog’s tail, and cover its anus with the hands in which you are holding the tissues.
  7. Now fell the glands on either side of the anus with two of your fingers. There should be two soft lumps on both sides.
  8. Place your fingers on the glands and push them inwards slowly.
  9. You will now witness the blessed spray of yellow or brown color.
  10. Now gently, keep doing the pressing until you feel that there is not much left in the glands.
  11. Wipe the dog’s butt and completely destroy the tissue paper afterwards (flush them away).
  12. Wash your hands with a lot of soap and holy water.
  13. Good luck if you have two dogs with the same problem! (I promise you need it)

Watch this video to get the idea of what it will be like:

Remember that only about 10% of dogs require assistance in squeezing of their anal glands.

For treating allergies

You can buy medicines to treat allergies of your pet.

Corticosteroids is an example of such type of cheap drug that can make your dog’s allergies go away. But it has got some side effects like the risk of developing Cushing disease and increased thirst.

Atopica and Apoquel are some other drugs that you can give your dog for treatment of allergies and they can also reduce inflammation. But they too come with some side effects.

Treatment of worms

To prevent tapeworms, make sure you’re treating your dog for fleas routinely.

Tapeworms will require oral or injectable medication that your veterinarian can prescribe.

Treatment for fecal contamination (caused by diarrhea)

Giving a bath to your pet is a good way of removing any soiled fur. Or you can just trim the dirty hair but be careful not to cut the skin.

Check the dog’s back on a daily basis to make sure it’s clean.

Treatment for rectal prolapse

Call your vet immediately! The vet will need to replace the prolapse and may need to stitch the area.

The worst-case scenario is that surgery would have to be performed.

Watch this video to know what rectal prolapse looks like:

Further Remedies to Avoid Dog Scooting

Now:

Remember how I told that runny stool can be a cause for your dog’s anal sack to get blocked. Well, there are some things you can do to avoid this:

  • Keeping your dog’s diet balanced is a good way to avoid anal sack blockage. The reason is that when your dog’s diet will be good, then its poop will be solid, which will help squeeze the anal glands while your dog is pooping.
  • Runny stool is a cause of diarrhea. And if this diarrhea is not fixed in 1 to 2 days, then you need an appointment with a vet.
  • Increase the amount of fiber in your dog’s diet. Fiber is very good for a healthy stomach and it will cause your dog to poop goof sized chunks which will help to squeeze the anal sacs.

Other than that, your dog might be scooting its butt to just gain your attention. In this case, you must neither laugh, nor shout at your dog.

Because then it will know that scooting its butt is a good way to get your attention.

So if your dog is just trying to get your attention, without having any medical problems, then correct your pet behavior.

Related Questions

Why is my dog still scooting after glands expressed?

Some dogs need it done every 6-8 weeks. Some will continue to scoot for 2-3 days after having their glands expressed, simply due to irritation. If a pet continues to show signs of full anal glands beyond 3 days post-expression, there may be another cause, such as parasites, food allergies, or back pain.

How do you know if your dog’s glands are full?

The most noticeable signs include a dog who’s rubbing it’s butt on the carpet (scooting), a dog who’s licking its bottom area obsessively, a pungent odor coming from your dog’s anus, and/or brownish residue left where your dog was sitting.

What dog breeds need their glands expressed?

Certain breeds (usually on the small side) are more likely to need monthly, manual expression of their glands. Chihuahuas, Toy and Miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, Basset Hounds, and Beagles top the list.

Should groomers express glands?

Almost all groomers will express a dog’s anal glands during the grooming process. If the groomer is pressing too hard, they could be doing more harm than good. When anal glands are recurrently expressed, they lose muscle tone, and over time, become incapable of expressing naturally.

Conclusion

If you read through all of the article, then there might be nothing you need to know more. The information in this article is enough to help you out thoroughly.

I hope you have money to get your dog treated with the anal sack problem. Or else, good luck with expressing your dog’s gland yourself!

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