puppy loveHave you ever witnessed your dog or cat dragging his bottom across the grass or worse, yet, your rug? Butt scooting is a common problem, but if your precious pet is doing this more than once in a while, it could be a sign of a serious problem.

What Causes Pet Butt Scooting?

There are several reasons a pet may be dragging his or her behind. Anything that causes irritation to the rectal area can certainly cause pet butt dragging.

If you notice your pet scooting, it is important to take a good look under his or her tail. Is there evidence of feces or moisture being trapped around the rectal area? Is your pet’s hair matted or otherwise interfering with defecation? Do you see evidence of parasites such as fleas or tapeworms?

Other less obvious things that can lead to scooting include food allergies and vaginitis in female pets. The most common cause of pet butt dragging, however, is the dreaded anal gland.

What are Anal Glands?

Anal glands, also called anal sacs, are two small pockets that reside just inside the rectum of dogs and cats. These little pouches are lined with glands that secrete a stinky fluid that only another dog or cat could love.

Normally these anal gland secretions are expressed as your pet has a bowel movement, leaving a unique, personal scent on the feces. This acts as a kind of communication tactic in the animal world.

Sometimes, though, the anal glands don’t always work the way that they are supposed to.

Anal Sac Problems in Pets

Sometimes a pet’s anal sacs do not express themselves. This can be because the secretions are too thick to easily leave the sac or because the opening to the anal sac will not allow them to be expressed.

When an anal gland cannot be expressed, it is referred to as “impacted”. This results in an uncomfortable pressure due to the accumulation of secretions inside the pouch. Oftentimes, this is when butt scooting begins.

If the impaction is not resolved, the anal glands may become infected or even rupture, much like a pimple. As you can imagine this can be a painful problem. An impacted anal gland may simply need expressed manually. An infected or ruptured anal gland likely will need more aggressive treatment.

If your pet has been scooting more than his or her fair share lately, there is likely a problem. Some, such as hygiene or parasite issues, have relatively simple solutions. Others, like allergies or anal gland ruptures need more attention.

Whatever the underlying issue is, though, problems that cause pet butt scooting are no fun. Don’t let your furry friend be uncomfortable. Please make an appointment so we can get to the bottom (pun intended) of your pet’s problems.