Have you ever noticed your dog scooting their butt on the ground?
Scooting is a very common problem, and it’s one that can occur in any breed. However, even though scooting is a common problem, it’s still a problem. And in order to solve this problem that your dog is experiencing, you need to first identify what is causing the irritation. There are many things that could trigger your dog to start scooting, but the most common is a problem with their anal sacs.
What are anal sacs?
Regardless of how undignified it may seem to us, dogs often communicate with their back ends, and they do this through the anal sacs. The anal sacs secrete an oily substance that was once essential for canine survival and is unique to every dog. It is thought that the substance secreted by the anal glands was used to mark and defend boundaries, and the remnants of that can still be seen today when dogs sniff each other’s butts.
Although the anal sacs may have been important from an evolutionary standpoint, they can become clogged and impacted with that fatty substance they secrete. This can lead to a lot of itching and discomfort for your dog, and to ease it, they will scoot their butt on the ground. A few other signs that your dog may have an impacted anal sac include licking or chewing the area, trouble defecating and swelling around the area.
What should you do if you think your dog may have an anal sac problem?
In order to relieve the obstruction, the anal sac needs to be expressed. This can be done by your veterinarian or groomer, or if you know how, you can do it yourself. But most dog moms and dads prefer to leave this up to the professionals, and we don’t blame you.
Here are a few other things your veterinarian might suggest:
- Increasing fiber in diet
- Hot compress
- Flushing or lancing the anal sac under anesthetic
If you leave the problem untreated for too long, the impacted sacs could eventually burst open, which can be very painful for your dog and not at all fun for you to clean up. Also, if it seems like your dog is always scooting due to an impacted anal sac, then you should talk to your veterinarian about your options. In extreme cases, it might be necessary to surgically remove anal sacs that become chronically impacted.
Anal sac problems aren’t the only thing that causes scooting.
Although an anal sac problem is the most likely reason your dog is scooting, it’s not the only possible reason. In our next blog, we’ll be going over a few other things that can cause your dog to scoot, so please make sure to stay tuned to learn more.
In the meantime, if your dog is scooting, don’t put off getting the treatment they need. Help them find relief by scheduling your appointment with our veterinarian at East Meadow Veterinary Center. We proudly serve South Bellmore and the surrounding areas.