Scooting is the term used to describe when a dog drags their bum along the ground, and is usually a sign that something is irritating or itching your dog’s anal region. This can be due to a variety of causes e.g. inflammation, infection or parasites.
If your dog is otherwise normal the first step is to make sure they are up to date on parasite control. For dogs in the Dublin region we usually recommend using Advocate monthly and a de-wormer such as Drontal every 3-6 months. This should help keep parasites such as tapeworms at bay!
If you have recently dewormed your dog, then the next step is to bring them to your Vet to have their anal sacs (also called anal glands) examined. These glands are two sacs located either side of your dog’s anus. They secrete a substance when your dog defecates that marks their territory like an invisible footprint! If these glands don’t empty regularly enough, the contents become thickened and build up causing discomfort and an annoying itch to your dog. If your dog can’t express their glands themselves, they can be manually expressed at Ark Vet clinic – one of the more glamorous parts of the job!
Occasionally, however, impacted anal glands can become infected causing further pain and creating a more serious issue, which requires medication to treat. So, if your dog is scooting or you notice any unusual discharge around your dog’s rear area, it is better to have them seen as soon as the clinical signs start before a minor inconvenience becomes a bigger problem!
Lastly, if your dog is having recurrent anal gland issues it can also be a sign of an underlying issue with their diet or a food allergy. So, if the issue is becoming more frequent then we are happy to discuss your dog’s diet with you, to try to get to the root of the problem!