The Almighty Anal Gland and the Truth About Scooting Pets
There may be nothing more distracting than your dog incessantly dragging his rear end over your carpet while you try to concentrate on your latest Netflix binge. Why on Earth do animals do this? More importantly, how can you stop it from happening so you can get back to season 4, episode 3?
Scooting pets may be a problem, but you are not doomed to helplessness. Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital is going to help you learn all about the dreaded butt drag and what you can do about it.
A Lesson in Anal Glands
Before delving into the finer details of scooting pets, a small anatomy lesson is in order. One of the main culprits behind this problem is the anal gland, a unique organ that humans do not possess.
Dogs (and cats as well) have two small sacs just inside the anus that hold a uniquely malodorous fluid. In fact anal sacs are what skunks use to spray threatening individuals, although skunks are one of the few species that can express the fluid on demand.
The fluid contained in the anal sacs is expressed when a pet has a bowel movement. In that smell, a lot of information is held. Your pet’s anal gland secretions helps to communicate its age, health status, and sex to other animals. It can also serve as a territorial marker.
Sometimes, however, the anal sacs do not express themselves properly and the gland may become impacted. These leads to discomfort, and, you guessed it, everyone’s favorite rear-end drag.
Reasons Behind Scooting Pets
Anal glands are not the only offender when it comes to scooting pets, though. Anything irritating back there can cause the issue. If your pet is suddenly paying a lot of attention to his backside, you should:
- Take a moment to peek under the tail for mats, fecal matter, or anything else that could lead to irritation.
- Bring us a fecal sample so that we can screen for intestinal parasites, a common cause of rectal irritation.
- Double check your flea control practices are up to par.
- Examine the skin under the tail for signs of irritation, redness, or swelling.
- Consider potential food allergies.
- Call us right away for an appointment if you can’t identify or fix the problem.
Chances are that even if you don’t see anything, if your pet is persistent about dragging her rear on your rug there is some sort of issue. Our professional staff is here to help sort it out.
In order to prevent problems be sure to keep your pet’s undercarriage clean and well-groomed (baby wipes can be a great way to freshen things up). A good intestinal parasite and flea prevention program is also key.
Try to remember that pet scooting is a problem that happens for a reason, and many times an examination is in order to properly express impacted anal glands and to check for signs of infection or other issues. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.
Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital:
Where big city medicine and surgery meet small town customer service and value.
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