Most dog owners are familiar with the phenomenon of our beloved pooch dragging their bottom along the grass, ground, or carpet. This behaviour is also knows as scooting and is rarely an indication of anything serious. However, it does indicate your dog is in discomfort and something is irritating them. It is commonly an anal sac issue which could either be clogged or may have been injured. It may also be caused by worms or an allergy or as simple as something being stuck around their bottom.
Issues that can cause scooting are:
Anal sac - The most common cause of scooting in dogs is having a full anal sac. The anal sacs are two small glands located around the anus; these glands secrete a dog’s unique identifying aroma. This can be very uncomfortable for your dog if the anal sac is too full. They will try and relieve this pressure and pain by dragging or rubbing their bottoms along a surface. If you see them scooting always look for bleeding, bruising or swelling.
A bout of diarrhoea - This can leave a dog with a messy, matted bottom and can eventually cause enough discomfort that your pooch begins scooting to find relief. As long as this has not led to an infection, treatment can be as easy as trimming away dirty hair and cleaning the area with warm water.
Allergies - This can range from seasonal allergies to flea and insect bites and, in some instances; it could be a reaction to their food.
Worms – There are approximately four types of worms that can be found in dogs. The symptoms vary as does the way they become infected. The most common ways they contract worms are when they are puppies drinking contaminated milk from their mothers, rolling in or sniffing contaminated soil as well as eating or licking contaminated soil. They can also get worms from eating birds or reptiles. Tapeworms, however, are a result of your dog inadvertently swallowing a worm-infested flea whilst grooming itself. As the flea is digested in the dog's intestine, the tapeworm egg is released, it hatches and attaches to the intestinal lining thereby completing the life cycle. The most common sign is the appearance of tiny, rice-like tapeworms around your dog's anus. You can treat tapeworms with a simple dose of oral or injectable medication and to prevent tapeworms from coming back you will need to control fleas.
Skin infections - Bacterial and fungal skin infections can also cause itching and burning around your pets bottoms. Bladder and urinary tract infections (UTI’s) can also cause scooting, which can usually be treated by a combination of antibiotics and supplements.
A visit to the vet may reveal other causes for the dog’s scooting behaviour and the treatment will be determined by the diagnosis. They may also suggest preventive actions that can be taken.
If your dog has dragged its bottom on the ground and it has been for a different reason other than mentioned above please share your story with us in the comments below.