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Why Dogs Drag their Butts Across the Floor

Rigel the Golden Retriever is outside rubbing his butt across the black top

Puppies and dogs can get sore bottoms. It sometimes causes them to scoot across the floor. Sometimes their anal glands need to be drained, but it can be caused by many different things and the problem is not always in the gland. Sometimes it is in the rectum or surrounding area. The problem can be very simple and not a big deal to life threatening. It can sometimes cause them to chew their tail and/or the area around their crotch.

Spencer the Pit Bull Terrier is sitting on a dog bed right after he finished dragging his butt across the bed

The most common cause of a dog's urge to scoot across the floor is anal sac impaction. Anal sac impaction is when the anal glands do not empty on their own. There is no clear answer as to why this happens, but It can happen after a bout of loose stools. When it does you or your vet need to drain the sacs for the dog.

A dog's anus with yellow circles drawn on either side marking the anal gland areas

There is an anal gland sac on each side of the anus located at 5 and 7 oclock. The anal gland is one of the things a dog uses to spread its scent. When a dog has a bowel movement the anal glands are supposed to release some of the fluid. When this does not naturally happen the fluid builds up and it begins to hurt. As you can imagine, emptying a dog's anal gland is a very messy, smelly task. The anal sacs on a toy dog can be drained in a laundry tub. They would need to be drained if they are bigger than the size of green peas. A large breed is best done outside. They need to be drained if they are larger than a small marble. This is one of the things a vet should check at your annual wellness exam.

Anal sacculitis is when the anal glands become inflamed and often infected. This condition must be treated or it can lead to gland rupture.

A red inflamed, itchy dog anus on a white dog

Pruritus Ani in dogs is the condition where a dog's bottom becomes itchy. Itchy bottoms can be caused by dermatitis infections (bacterial, parasitic or fungal), skin allergies, worms, fleas, bee stings, bug bites, objects stuck in the dog's butt, among many other things. It is best to keep the area dry as a moist area can make the problem worse.

Anal gland cancer can also make a dogs bottom itchy.

Close Up - A bloody red inflamed dog anus on a white dog

Pruritus Ani in a dog—day 1 of treatment

Close Up - A spotted red inflamed dog anus

Pruritus Ani in a dog—day 2 of treatment

A dog anus with pink patches on it

Pruritus Ani in a dog—day 3 of treatment

If you have a picture(s) of your dog scooting across the floor and would like to share send it in!

Written by Sharon Maguire© Dog Breed Info Center® All Rights Reserved