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Question

Asked 12/1/2007

Scratching butts

If dogs scratch their butts on the floor, what does that mean?

 
 
 
 
 
Answers

Answer 1/6 - Submitted 12/2/2007

I would think itchy butt or maybe worms

 
 

Answer 2/6 - Submitted 12/2/2007

This is only rarely caused by worms. Most dogs who have worms do NOT scoot. (ETA: Dogs absolutely can NOT get pinworms. Not possible. That's a human parasite which does not have the ability to infect dogs or cats. If any worms are going to cause anal itching it will likely be tapeworms, which are caused from swallowing fleas that contain part of the tapeworm lifecycle.)

99% of the time, scooting is caused by the anal SACS (they are NOT glands, even though that's what most people call them!!!! <---one of my pet peeves, LOL) being too full. It does not necessarily mean they are impacted or abscessed, and there is nothing 'poisonous' in them.

What are anal sacs? They are very much like the scent glands that skunks have. Nature designed them to fill up with a disgusting-smelling fluid, and to be emptied each time a dog has a bowel movement, thereby 'marking' its territory. Dogs can also forcibly evacuate them when startled by a predator, in order to scare them away. (Again, similar to skunks.) Although the anal-sac 'smell' is one which is quite familiar to anyone who has worked with dogs, each dog has its own individual scent, whether we can pick up on it or not.

The problem is....

That is how nature *intended* it to work for dogs who roamed the wild. Nature did not intend for poodles, Yorkies, Schnauzers, chihuahuas, etc, etc. to roam the wild, however. We humans created all the different breeds, and in selecting the traits for all of them, no one cared/paid any attention to where the anal sacs were located. As a result, in many dogs (especially the smaller breeds), they are not always located in 'exactly' the right place or have the muscles around them developed enough for the dog to do what nature intended. They can't empty them out by having a bowel movement, but the sacs continue to fill up with the disgusting (bacteria-filled) fluid. It's not painful (unless a blockage in the duct occurs, leading to an abscess), but it is uncomfortable to have full anal sacs.

So......

The dog has only 2 other options to try to empty them out. One is by 'scooting' their butt across the floor. The other is by licking. (Which is, btw, the most common cause for coughing/gagging/hacking up phlegm that looks like egg whites in dogs who are not sick. That's because the nasty fluid trickles down the throat, causing chronic tracheitis and tonsilitis. <---a fact not taught by most veterinary colleges. I learned it from an older DVM shortly after I graduated almost 20 years ago, and have 'magically' cured many dogs whose owners had been told by other doctors that they just had 'sore throats'....simply by teaching them proper anal sac care.) This is also a common contributor to bad breath, btw.

Since neither of those 2 solutions is very effective, it is necessary for us humans to help these dogs out by emptying those sacs for them periodically. Some dogs need to have it done every couple of weeks, some every month, some every 6-8 weeks. Each dog is different. Larger breeds seem to have fewer problems, but it can happen in them, too. Cats usually take care of theirs quite well by the licking, but sometimes we have to help them out as well.

 
 

Answer 3/6 - Submitted 12/2/2007

Scooting, licking and smelling could be signs of an anal gland ailment. The anal sacs are located on each side of the anus, just under the skin. They open to the outside by tiny passageways or ducts. Glands within the anal sacs produce a dark, foul-smelling substance. The sacs normally empty as the animal has a bowel movement. Their purpose is unknown although one theory suggests that they were once used to mark territory. Today, however your pet can do well without them.

Diseases of the anal sacs fall into 3 categories:

1. Impaction: The anal sac fluid is abnormally thick and cannot escape.

2. Infection: Bacteria produce a yellow or bloody pus. Infection may also exist in other areas, such as the eyes, ears, tonsils and/or skin.

3. Abscessation: As a result of infection, a hot, tender swelling near the anus may rupture and discharge pus and blood.

Signs of anal sac disease include "scooting" (dragging the anus on the floor), excessive licking under the tail, tenderness near the tail or anus, and/or bloody or sticky drainage from the anal area.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Treatment for anal sac disease may include the following:

* Manual expression (squeezing) of the sac contents.(temporary relief)

* Flushing the sacs and instilling antibiotics into them.(longer remedy to symptoms)

* Surgical drainage or removal of the sacs.(This treatment is usually performed if the patient has a chronic history or the sacs have ruptured. Healing can be slow though because of the location.)

2. Medication must be given as directed.

3. Diet: A higher fiber diet can in some cases help slow impaction but check with your vet for your specific pet's nutritional needs.

Notify your Veterinarian if Any of the Following Occur:

* Your pet is reluctant to eat.

* Your pet is depressed or listless.

* There is a sudden swelling or drainage near the anus.

* Your pet constantly licks its anus.

* Your pet vomits.

Remember, squeezing the anal gland regularly will help minimize build-up and irritation but some material will undoubtably still remain in the sacs causing the process to begin again. If you find your pet is always building up matter then you should talk to your vet about one of the other treatments for a longer remedy to the symptoms.

 
 

Answer 4/6 - Submitted 10/26/2008

Your dogs got worms ! you can get all wormers from iga,supermarkets or vets . Vets are dearer but better !

Peaceb4u2

 
 

Answer 5/6 - Submitted 10/27/2009

I've had this problem with my dogs. Just add about a table spoon of canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) to their food each day for about a week. It will firm up their poop and that will express the glands that are bothering the poor pup.

 
 

Answer 6/6 - Submitted 6/9/2012

Most likely the answer is the obvious one, your dogs butt is itchy, perhaps there is some left over waste stuck to the dogs rear. Your pet may also be in need of a trip to the great out doors! In rare circumstances if the behavior is obsessive, it could indicate that something is wrong, and you may wish to take your dog to the vet.

 
 
 
 
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