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Vet's Corner

Many Causes for Dog’s Carpet Scooting

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Most of us have seen our dogs do it at some point. We may have been disgusted, horrified (or even humored) as our pet dragged his bottom across the rug. Well, they aren’t doing this just to gross us out. There can be many causes for your dog’s carpet scooting. Check out this list of possible causes by Dr. Ryan Goupil, DVM, written for NorthJersey.com:

Many Causes for Dog’s Carpet Scooting

There are several reasons for scooting which your veterinarian can easily check. The first, and most common cause is a problem with your pet’s anal sacs. These are two small sacs lined with glandular cells located just inside the anus which produce an odorous fluid that is normally excreted when your pet defecates, or perhaps when she is nervous. These sacs are akin to the stink-glands in skunks, explaining the pungent smell. They are also the same sacs that dogs sniff when they greet each other, like a sniffing fingerprint.

If the sacs become inflamed or abscessed, they can become irritated and even painful, requiring intervention from your veterinarian; the pain can be analogous to hemorrhoids in people.

Your visit may be as simple as expressing the sacs to relieve pressure or opening an abscess to allow it to drain. If anal sacs are not the root of the problem, a few other things should be assessed:

  • Have I done an annual fecal check for intestinal worms? (They can be irritating.)
  • Has my pet been groomed lately? (Is there any clipper-related irritation?)
  • Does my pet have allergies? (Either seasonal, fleas, food, etc. – your vet can address any of these concerns.)
  • Is my pet’s rear end clean? (If there are any fecal remnants on the fur, your pet may simply be trying to wipe them off.)

If you have exhausted this list of potential causes for scooting, your pet may simply have an occasional itch down there. Unfortunately for your carpets, scooting is their best means for providing relief.

Is your dog a carpet scooter? As you can read from Dr. Goupil’s article, there are many causes for dog’s carpet scooting. A quick trip to your veterinarian may help you get to the root of the cause, and give your poor carpets a break! Does your pup have any other mysterious habits? Tell us about them, won’t you?

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  1. Thanks for the article, Brook. This is highly-informative.

    If I may add to your list of reasons why dogs scoot, tumors, though very uncommon, is also associated with scooting. Though it will be difficult to distinguish tumor versus inflammation of the anal glands, if you see some symptoms like constipation, loss of appetite, unwillingness to play and excessive thirst, these are all associated with your dog having a tumor.

    Another reason that is notable to be mentioned is urinary tract infection. Though this is very, very rare, this too may be a probable cause of the dog’s scooting if you’ve already exhausted all possible reasons.

    I have an article here which you can read on for more information: goldenretrieverlove.com/why-is-my-dog-dragging-its-butt/

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