Is your dog constantly scooting on the floor? “Scooting” describes the action of a dog rubbing and dragging his bottom along the floor, with his hind legs extended forward.
Scooting in dogs is an indication of anal itching or irritation. A dog scoots to “scratch” his bottom.
It may be funny to look at, but scooting is a sign of great discomfort in a dog’s rear end. In addition, the act of scooting is highly non-hygienic and unhealthy for the dog because it can drive bacteria into the skin and into the anal sac ducts – it can lead to infections.
Below is a list of possible causes of dog scooting.
Causes of Dog Scooting
Problems of the Anal Sacs
Anal sac problems include impacted anal glands, anal sac infections and abscess.
Anal sac problems (especially impacted anal glands) are the most common cause of scooting in dogs. Besides scooting, a dog with anal sac impaction constantly licks his anus, and there is a strong, foul-smelling odor coming out from his rear end.
Impacted anal glands may be caused by constipation or infrequent bowel movement. Dogs with soft stools also develop impacted anal glands.
If your dog’s anal sacs are impacted, they need to be manually expressed. To prevent anal sac impaction, add more fiber to your dog’s diet.
These are chronic and progressive skin lesions that arise around a dog’s anus. These lesions are caused by inflammation of the sweat and sebaceous glands located in and around the dog’s anus. As the skin becomes infected, oozing lesions and abscesses occur.
One symptom of perianal fistulas is scooting across the floor.
Other symptoms associated with this condition include incessantly licking, biting, or chewing of the rear end. In addition, the dog may also have constipation, diarrhea, or bloody stool.
There may be an odorous discharge from lesions which are ulcerated.
Another possible cause of dog scooting is flea bites. Fleas tend to live around the base of a dog’s tail because it is an area that is more difficult for the dog to bite and chew at.
Fleas bites cause extreme itching especially if your dog is suffering from flea allergy dermatitis. Scooting is a way for dogs to relieve the itching.
Tapeworms cause a dog to scoot as well because as segments of the worm emerge from the anus, they cause irritation and itching to the area. Check for signs of tapeworms by looking for worm segments in your dog’s stools and his rear end.
One symptom of food allergies is intense itching, especially at the anal area, which may cause a dog to scoot along the floor to relieve the itch.
Dogs with food allergies also develop small red bumps on the ears, feet, belly, and backs of the legs.
Other less common reasons that may cause a dog to scoot include a back injury, diarrhea, and clipper burns.