If your sweet doggie out of nowhere has started to display a penchant for sliding or scooting his rear end across your living room floor, he's probably not trying out any new and innovative dance moves. What he is probably doing, however, is dealing with the discomfort of anal sac woes.
Dogs are equipped with anal sacs that are situated in their anal regions, surrounding their anuses. These tiny and circular pockets give off an oily light yellowish-brown substance that has a markedly strong and unpleasant fish-like odor. This substance typically comes out as dogs pass stools. In some cases, however, obstruction prevents that from happening, leading to accumulation within the anal sacs -- and an unhappy dog. Inflammation is also a possibility in these scenarios. Dogs often attempt to deal with the tension of the buildup by scooting their rear ends across floors -- their way of trying to push the excess substance out by themselves.
If you think that your dog's anal sacs are full, take him to the veterinarian promptly. The veterinarian can manually take care of the problem for your cutie, and even demonstrate for you how you can do it by yourself in the future. Although expressing the glands once often halts any scooting or sliding issues in dogs, it sometimes needs to be repeated a few times in order to get everything out. If the sliding continues even after this, it could be a sign of medical ailments such as tapeworms, so speak to your vet about the matter immediately.
If ignored, this accumulation can bring upon further disagreeable effects. Infection is always a possibility of this accumulation, as are abscesses, the latter of which can abruptly burst and trigger pus to come out via the skin. Not only are these abscesses seriously ouch-inducing to pooches, they also are extremely icky, frequently bringing upon even worse smells. These abscesses call for urgent veterinary attention, and are often managed through antibiotics use. Drastic circumstances sometimes even call for surgical management -- essentially surgical sac extraction.
If you're not 100 percent convinced that your pet's dragging is related to his anal sacs, look for other clues that might signify the problem. These clues include running after the tail, difficulties in passing stools, excessive biting or licking of the bottom, hiding, hesitation regarding walking and trembling. The only way you can be totally sure of what's going on is by bringing your pet to the vet.
Anyone who adores dogs is probably aware of the seemingly bizarro canine penchant for going up to other dogs' rear ends. This behavior actually has a purpose, allowing canines to get acquainted with each other better. This rank-smelling discharge that collects in their anal sacs actually can provide them with lots of useful information about each other, from gender to age.
- WebMD: Why is My Dog Dragging its Bottom?
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Why Does My Dog Drag Her Butt Across the Floor?
- The Ark Animal Hospital: Bottom Dragging, Worms and Anal Glands
- Mar Vista Animal Medical Center: Anal Sacs
- Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine: Scooting in Dogs
- Putnam North Animal Hospital: Anal Gland Disease
- Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Anal Sac Disease
- George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images