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Butt-Scooting – What Does It Mean?


Is your dog frequently butt-scooting on the floor? As well as being embarrassing for you (as pets seem to save this “party trick” for when guests arrive!), it can be a symptom of an underlying issue in your pet that requires veterinary treatment!

Why do some dogs start butt-scooting excessively?

Dogs commonly scoot their bottoms along the ground due to:

  • Blocked or infected anal glands
  • Intestinal worms
  • Allergies causing itchiness around the anus
  • Inflammation/infection of the vulva or urinary tract in females

How can we help to stop your pet’s butt-scooting?

If your pet is scooting a lot, it’s best to have them assessed by one of our vets. We’ll perform a thorough examination, and we’ll also chat with you about when they were last treated for intestinal worms (and recommend an effective deworming medication if required).

If your pet’s anal glands are blocked, we can express them gently to reduce the irritation. Sometimes, a fibre supplement such as psyllium husk can help to keep the glands empty in the future. However, some pets require regular anal gland emptying every one-to-three months to avoid anal gland infections.

In female dogs, we will examine the vulva to ensure there is no obvious discharge, or surrounding skin fold infection. If we suspect a urinary tract issue, we can perform urine tests for further assessment.

If your pet persists in scooting despite management for any of the issues above, we may discuss investigation for potential underlying allergies. Atopy (allergies to airborne plant materials or dust mites) or food allergies can cause itchiness around the bottom in affected pets.

Once our Vets reach a diagnosis for your pet’s particular problem, we can then advise on a long-term management routine to control their irritation and ban the butt-scoot from your household!

This article was featured in our September newsletter. To sign up to future editions of our newsletter please visit our sign up page