Y’all have probably seen some critter doin’ it – scootin’ around draggin’ its butt on the ground lookin’ all crazy like. Well, I’m here to tell ya, it might look funny but it ain’t nothin’ to laugh about. It don’t feel good and it ain’t healthy to let it go on too long. If’n your pet is doin’ it, it means soemthin’ might be wrong down there and ya better get your furry friend to the lady in the white coat to get it fixed! My Lady knows all the high falutin’ fancy words, so I’ll let her talk to ya some more ‘bout what causes scooting.
Here’s my Lady to tell ya ’bout What Causes Scooting:
“Scooting” is when an animal drags it’s anus on the ground with 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 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 on 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 them 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 expressed, it needs to be taken care of before other problems such as infection can set in.
Flea bites are another common reason. This can cause the animal to dig or bite at the anus, which can in turn cause the 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 relive 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 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 owner, 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 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.