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Why Is My Pet “Scooting” His Bottom on My Rug! by Dr. Jaime Doherty

Posted on 05/25/2012   |   Comments and Reactions

Scooting can be a sign of a number of things. Most commonly, scooting can be a sign their anal glands are bothering them. The anal glands or anal sacs are small glands found near the anus in many mammals, including dogs and cats. Anal sac problems are more common in mid- to smaller- sized dogs, but occasionally seen in larger dogs or cats. Scooting is also common in overweight pets. Anal sacs should empty regularly (and unnoticed) with normal bowel movements. If they don’t they may become impacted, infected (abscess) and possibly rupture.

dogIn dogs, these glands are occasionally referred to as “scent glands”, because they enable the animals to mark their territory and identify other dogs. The glands can spontaneously empty, especially under times of stress, and create a very sudden unpleasant change in the odor of the dog. When anal sacs fail to empty on a regular basis, it may cause discomfort as the full anal gland pushes on the anus. In such a case, they can be emptied by a groomer or veterinarian. This is an important aspect of dog grooming known as anal sac expressions.

Anal sac expression must be performed to maintain the dog’s hygiene and eliminate discomfort if your dog is not expressing them on their own. Discomfort is evidenced by the dog dragging its posterior on the ground (“scooting”), licking or biting at the anus, sitting uncomfortably, having difficulty sitting or standing, or chasing its tail.

Discomfort may also be evident with impaction or infection of the anal glands. Anal gland impaction results from blockage of the duct leading from the gland to the opening. Anal gland infection results in pain, swelling, and sometimes abscessation and fever. Treatment is by expression of the gland, lancing of an abscess, and antibiotics and antibiotic infusion into the gland in the case of infection.

There are other possible causes for scooting or anal discomfort: a perianal tumor that is infected or bothersome, irritation from diarrhea, parasites, or matted hair. A scooting pet should be examined by your vet to rule out these potential problems.


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Laura Roberts says...

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Richard Jezek says...

High five kudos to Dr. Killman! She, with the help of the entire treating staff saved our TomTom’s life! Dr. Killman, Dr. Welch and Dr. Smith have renewed my faith in the caring veterinarian that we were looking for.

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Would like to thank the staff and doctors for the great care they gave our Tabby. The care given to Tabby was so kind and courteous. I am so grateful I chose I-20 Animal Medical Center.

Laura and Ricardo Grant & Nunook say...

Dr. Doherty and all of the vet techs that helped Nunook were so great. Words cannot convey how much we appreciate the great work everyone did for Nunook. He is our baby and he makes our family whole. Thank you for all that you do.

Marcia Marrow says...

Dr. Welch is amazing. She has a very calming nature, just what I needed when my Lhasa Apso was injured by a pit bull. She clearly explained everything in an understandable way. She also checked in with us (while we were there) to let us know what was going on. Thank you very much!

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The technical staff in the ICU is excellent and equally professional in providing the care, we feel, brought about Brandi’s recovery.

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I cannot thank you enough for everything the doctor and the rest of I-20 Animal Medical Center did to save my cat, Percy. Your care and compassion for my family during this emotional time was overwhelming.

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Greg and I could not be any more pleased with I20 Animal Medical Center for always being there for us when we need you most!

Yvonne Fiore says...

This was our first experience at I-20 Animal Medical Center. I was so impressed by Dr. Bloom, her real care, concern and understanding for my Cinnamon. My pets have been as loved as my children, thus, I expect excellent loving care and I and Cinnamon got this per Dr. Bloom and Jessica. Thank you!

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The staff was wonderful and you can tell that they are real animal lovers. They were very thorough when checking out my dog and I didn’t feel at all like Jack was “just another dog”. They genuinely cared and explained everything very well. Loved them

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I have been to lots of vet clinics. Yours is the best in every way that I have ever seen! Thanks for restoring my faith in excellent veterinary care!

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The service was amazing! I came in as a referral for a critical condition. I was extremely upset and concerned about my pet’s life. The staff quickly attended to us making efforts to stabilize Sebastian and provide me with a quiet and calm area. I really appreciated the service I received

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We very much appreciate the skill and training you have and it was very evident in the procedures you performed on our dogs. Each of them had issues, some serious, and each of them are much better now, thanks to you and your staff.

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The staff was extremely concerned and courteous- Dr. Stinson saved my cat's life! Also pricing extremely reasonable for a 24-hr care facility.

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I-20 Animal Medical Center is amazing!! All the doctors, technicians and staff are the best. We had to take one of our dogs in for an emergency and everyone who helped us was great with our dog and with us. They encouraged us to call when we had to leave him and always answered and updated us on how he was doing through the nigh (even with many calls in a very short amount of time). The next morning Dr. Welch called and said that they had found something. She told us that Mikey was not going to make it and let us have hours to say goodbye. They answered all our questions and never once made us feel like we were imposing on her or her time. We have found a new clinic for all our dogs because of Dr. Welch and all the staff

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Excellent Care! I highly recommend you to our friends. Thanks to all the staff, especially Dr. Welch - we have a healthy dog once again. The love you and the girls showered on Rainey showed me how much you all love animals.

Janice Bunting with Tye says...

Our vet Dr. Litsey, referred us to you when Tye needed special boarding. We were very pleased with his care. We also really appreciated the staff's willingness to talk with us every time we called the ICU to check on him. It made it so much easier to be away from him. He came home a healthier and spunkier dog. Dr. Long was great with Tye and felt she took very good care to properly diagnose his condition and treatment.

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I cannot say enough how great Dr. Stinson and the staff were with Dirk and explaining the procedures. We have found a "new" place that I feel confident will take care of and actually care about Dirk. I have and will continue to tell our firends, family and co-workers how much we love I-20 Animal Medical Center.

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"I just wanted to say thanks for your help yesterday! Mr. Fluffers had a great time getting his shots and I actually think he wanted to go back instead of driving home! :) Lauren and Kimberly were great! I'm sure Mr. Fluffers hopes to see them when he gets his booster in a few weeks. Thanks again!"