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Has your dog been scooting on the floor? It may look like odd behavior to you, but that behavior could indicate that your dog has one of several health issues.
The first, and easiest to diagnose and correct, is impacted anal glands. The anal glands produce a strong smelling secretion used for territory marking and as a means of identification among canines. They are usually expressed during defecation and sometimes in instances of extreme stress or fear. However, occasionally the anal glands do not empty properly and sometimes painful impaction occurs which can lead to infection. A veterinarian or groomer can express your dog's anal glands if he needs it. You can also do this at home if you wish. Wear a pair of latex gloves, and have lots of paper towels at the ready (it's best to do this in the bath tub). Using your fore fingers, gently squeeze the glands until they are expressed.
A scooting dog may be a sign of other issues. Intestinal parasites or worms, such as tapeworms, can cause a dog to have an itchy backside. The dog will scoot on the floor to relieve the sensation. A quick and inexpensive test at your veterinarian's office will let you know what's going on. Intestinal parasites can usually be easily treated with a round of medication.
In rare cases, a scooting dog may be a sign of a urinary tract infection. The best course of action when your dog is scooting on your floor is to see a veterinarian - they can rule out serious issues and help your pooch get back on track!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|