Dan from London asked us why his poor little pooch was dragging his bum along the floor.

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We asked Jess the Vet why, and here’s what she had to say:

“Poor pooch. Dogs ‘scoot’ along the floor on their bottom or nibble the base of their tail when there is an itch or inflammation around the anus.

It’s usually a sign that your dog’s anal glands are full and need expressing.

Anal glands are sacs from which a small amount of ‘scent’ is squeezed every time your dog defecates. They sit just inside the anus, and most dogs never experience an issue with them.

Occasionally the glands become blocked, leading to an accumulation of fluid which thickens over time.

‘Scooting’ can happen for multiple reasons:

1) If your pet does not regularly pass firm faeces (they get diarrhoea, soft faeces or doesn’t pass faeces frequently), the glands may not be emptied properly.

2) If the exit from the glands is narrower than normal, common in overweight pets, meaning the fluid can’t pass as easily when they poop.

3) There seems to be a link between dogs who have skin issues and blocked anal glands, so watch out for scooting if you’ve got a pup with sensitive skin.

4) There is also ongoing discussion in the vet world about a link between dogs who get easily nervous or stressed and anal gland impaction.

Whatever the cause, this is always best treated by a visit to your vet, who will need to place a finger inside your dog’s anus and gently squeeze the glands until the build up of fulid is passed.

While the condition isn’t life threatening, it is really uncomfortable for your pooch and should be treated as soon as you notice symptoms to avoid the risk of abscess and infection.”

We hope that was helpful!

Have a question for Jess the Vet about your dog’s health?

Ask it here, and we’ll send you Jess’s response! You can also look out for answers to questions from other dog owners on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and as ever, on the Gudog blog.

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