When dogs drag their anus across the carpet or grass it is commonly referred to as “scooting”. There are several common causes for this behavior.
The first is a blockage of the anal gland. This is actually quite common in all breeds of dogs. When the gland becomes blocked it causes irritation in the form of itching. The dog then begins “scooting” across the floor or ground to sooth the area.
In most cases the blocked gland will clear up on it’s own. At times it may require a short visit to the vet. The vet will simply squeeze the blocked gland and remove the blockage. It is a completely painless procedure for the dog. Actually the dog will be quite grateful for the relief of the itching.
If you have a good relationship with your veterinarian, he’ll probably be willing to show you how to squeeze the gland yourself. It is very quick and easy to do, saving you the expense of a veterinary office call.
Another common cause of “scooting” behavior is the presence of worms. These may include tape and whip worms, which are the most likely to cause the “scooting” behavior.
When tapeworm segments are near the anal opening they can cause itching and irritation. If your dogs “scooting” behavior is due to tapeworms, you may see segments stuck on or around the anus. The tapeworm segments resemble grains of rice. They are white in color but turn slightly yellowed when out of the dogs body.
Whip worms are another possible cause for the behavior. Whip worms are tiny white worms that are constantly in motion, with a very rapid whipping motion. For whip worms to be the cause of your dogs “scooting” behavior, the infestation is very bad. You will actually see a mass of these wriggling worms at the anal opening.
For treatment you’ll need to first worm the dog. There are many over the counter wormers available. The veterinarian also can administer a pill that will take care of a wide range of worms in one shot. This is by far the best treatment.
Since these types of worms infestations can also cause irritation to the anal gland, you should have them squeezed to ensure there is no blockage. This should be done after the worms are gone.
Another common cause of the “scooting” behavior in dogs is flea bite allergies. Fleas will seek out the anal area for moisture, biting the dog which causes itching and irritation.
The only treatment for this cause is the elimination of the fleas. In my opinion there is nothing better for doing this than Frontline Plus.
It’s important to pay attention to your dogs behavior. If your dog is “scooting” it is an indication of an underlying issue. One that should be corrected for the health and wellbeing of your dog, as well as his general comfort.