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What Causes Scooting?

Y’all have probably seen some critter doing it – scooting around dragging its butt on the ground looking like they trying to ski. Well, I’m here to tell you, it might look funny but it ain’t nothing to laugh about. It doesn’t feel good and it ain’t healthy to let scooting go on too long. But, what causes dogs to scoot?

My Lady knows all the right words, so I’ll let her talk to you some more about what causes dogs to scoot.

What Causes Scooting?

Here’s my Lady to tell ya ’bout What Causes Scooting:

“Scooting” is when an animal drags its anus on the ground with its hind legs extended.

Basically, what they are trying to do is scratch an itch or try to dislodge something that’s bothering it.

It’s very often a parasite that causes irritation in the anal region, but there are other factors.


If there is an infection in the glands, a tumor, or an injury in the anal region, these can all cause swelling or discomfort that will cause scooting.

Sometimes the glands can become impacted.

I have had this happen to a couple of dogs.

Apparently, it is not an uncommon problem, especially in small breeds like my chihuahua.

The vet can help express the anal glands by simply pressing.

You can also do it yourself, but let’s just say – it is not something you are going to like doing.

It is a smell you will wish you have never smelled! Take my word for it!

However, if they are stopped up and need to be expressed, it needs to be taken care of before other problems such as infection can set in.

Flea Bites

Flea bites are another common reason.

This can cause the animal to dig or bite at the anus, which can in turn cause problems that will lead to scooting.


Very often the cause is a tapeworm.

When passing stool, tapeworm segments can break off in the bowels and near the anus, leading to severe itching.

Dragging the anus on the ground can temporarily relieve this discomfort – hence the reason you see them scooting.

Egg packets can be found in fecal samples under a microscope if you know what to look for, but techniques used to look for the packets can also cause them to burst, making the diagnosis a challenge.

If you see your dog scooting, your first action should be to look for tapeworm segments, which will look like pieces of rice that will be white in color and turn yellow when removed from the body.

You may also see tapeworms moving in or near the anus after defecation.

If you are a pet owner, you probably already look at their poop 🙂 Yea, I know, kind of gross.

But, as a pet parents, we know their poop can tell us a lot of things!

Back to what I was saying about the tapeworms.

If your pet has a tapeworm, you may also see the tapeworm segments in their poop.

If you have a pet that is scooting, make sure to look as soon as they go.

We just went through this with one of ours.

They never scooted, but I caught the tapeworm segments in the poop when they did their business.

A simple medication cleared it right up.

Maybe It’s Just an Itch?

Finally, maybe they just have an itch that needs to be scratched.

A scoot here and there with months in between is not a cause for alarm.

I would be concerned if it is happening often or on a daily basis.

If you suspect an infection or if your dog scoots for a while, you will need to take them to a vet for treatment.

Unchecked parasitic infections can lead to serious complications and you will need to make sure there is nothing serious going on, so it’s best to not wait too long.

ellen beck

Friday 19th of January 2018

Great info! Scooting is always a cause to take a looksie as to whats happening be i parasites or whatever. One other cause I have seen is with long haired dogs, a piece gets stuck and they cant shake it. Gross yes, but true. If it keeps happening you may consider trimming back.


Thursday 21st of December 2017

Interesting, I rarely see my cat do this but one time he did I think


Thursday 24th of November 2016

I've seen other dogs do this, but mine never has scooted. Thanks for this informative post.


Sunday 30th of October 2016

I have been fortunate to not have had this problem with any of my pets but have seen dogs doing this in the past. I always wondered why and now I know that it is something to be taken seriously.


Sunday 30th of October 2016

My cat used to scoot, very informative article

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