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Why Does My Pet Scoot??

Posted by lhvs on May 18, 2015

Why Does My Pet Scoot??

Most of us have unfortunately experienced the shocking sight of a dog scooting his bottom across the ground. Many times the dog is then scolded for doing this. Perhaps because they just scooted across your freshly cleaned carpets, but have you every really wondered why they do this? Is there actually something wrong with my pet or are they just being silly. 

The mystery behind the infamous scoot ...Basically when a dog or cat is scooting it's bottom on the ground it means they have an itch or are trying to relieve a painful sensation. This pain usually comes from the anal glands, which are impossible for them to reach by any other means besides scooting themselves across the floor.

Where do dogs/cats scoot?

That's a funny question. You see, dogs and cats don't care where they scoot as long as they relieve themselves. They seem to scoot at all the wrong times, like when they are outside in the grass while you are having a conversation with your neighbor, or when you have guests over for a dinner party. They go ahead and drag their furry bottoms across the ground and aren't shy about it at all.

The 2 main reasons pets scoot:

1. Anal glandsAnal Glands or Anal Sacs: Anal sacs are located on each side of the rectum. Anal glands are normally emptied with regular bowel movements. If they do not empty on their own they may become impacted, infected, or even rupture. The sacs normally secrete a smelly thin oily substance. Despite what humans might feels about the matter, dogs communicate with their butts. This substance can be correlated with territorial marking or communication between other animals. The true purpose is not known for sure. Skunks have this type of gland that is used as a defense mechanism.

Some animals don't express their anal sacs on their own; this may be due to many factors such as obesity, illness, diet or breed. More dogs have anal gland issues than cats, particularly small breed dogs. When anal glands are not expressed they become extremely full and uncomfortable. The liquid becomes thick and harder to express so the pet may start scooting their bottom in response to the discomfort. Immediate veterinary care is recommended at this point. 

2. ParasitesParasites are another reason pets may scoot their bottoms. Tapeworms are the most common. One way animals become infected with tapeworms is by ingesting a flea carrying a tapeworm. Scooting can be a sign of tapeworms but a more obvious sign are small rice segments on your pet's back end. Tapeworms can be treated with an oral or injectable medication from your veterinarian.  

No Scoot™ Soft Chews for Dogs

(available at our clinic)

 Vet Classics No Scoot® Soft Chews help support healthy anal gland function by increasing your dog’s daily fiber intake. The fiber in our special proprietary blend of natural ingredients gently supports normal bowel function.

 • Helps support healthy anal sac and gland function by increasing your dog’s daily fiber intake

 • The fiber in our special proprietary blend of natural ingredients gently supports normal bowel function

 For use in dogs over 12 weeks of age.

Pictures from top to bottom: www.cartoonstock.com, www.emlabradors.com, www.drdvmd.com, www.reluctantcatowner,com, www.funnyvet.com, www.vetclassics.com

 
 

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