When your dog slides along a roughish surface – or does a ‘dog scoot’ it’s because it literally has an itchy bottom — and it is a dog health problem symptom you need to take care of. The cause is quite often because the dog’s anal glands are impacted.
These anal sacs sit just inside the internal muscles or the dogs anus. The potent smell comes from an oily excretion from inside the anal glands and is an important way for your dog to communicate with other dogs– when dogs sniff each other they are making contact and friendships. They also serve to mark territory. Skunks have the same kind of gland and use the secretion for defensive purposes.
The anal glands liquid can also sometimes be excreted when your dog gets stressed or held incorrectly. You’ll know when this happens because of the unbelievable stench that accompanies it.
It can happen however, that these anal glands can become impacted (clogged with a dense secretion), inflamed or infected and when they do they are very uncomfortable for your dog. It is natures way for dogs to try and cure themselves (like eating grass) and one of the ways dogs overcome this problem is by sliding their bottoms on a rough surface to release the buildup inside the glands. Dogs scooting is a sure sign of a dog health issue.
Unfortunately, if your dog decides your carpet is the best surface to relieve the itch, you could end up with a really unpleasant odor that is very hard to get rid of.
You can help your dog by releasing the liquid in the glands by manually squeezing them. It is, however, messy and you need to know what you are doing. If you’re like most dog owners, you would prefer it to be done for you.
If you do want to do it yourself, you will need to be shown the right technique so you can avoid creating a bigger problem as well as stressing your dog. Your vet or your dog groomer will show you how to do it effectively. By learning the technique yourself you can take control of this dog health problem and save yourself money if it happens again.
Many dogs do have this gland impaction occur on a regular basis. It is more common in some dogs than others and you may be able to help if you add more fibre to your dogs diet.
If your dog is unable to relieve himself of the pressure and buildup and you don’t act to help, the issue could become a much more problematic one and lead to abscesses and ruptures. There is also the possibility that the scooting may be caused by parasites, a tumor or diarrhea. If the glands become infected or inflamed it will become much more serious.
Your pet dog’s health is important. Act on it immediately and you will save your dog discomfort and yourself a really big vet bill.