Q: Why does my dog drag his butt across the floor?

cartoon-dog-butt-wipeA: Why is Buddy the dog licking his rear end? Why is Sophie dragging her butt on the carpet?Although the kids may collapse in hysterics when they see the dog doing this – it’s no laughing matter- especially when you are the one that has to clean the rug!!! Since your dog cannot reach back and scratch or rub the irritated or uncomfortable tissue on his behind, dragging it across your nice Persian rug is his only alternative. There are many things that can cause this discomfort such as diarrhea, colitis, or parasites; however, the most common cause for this discomfort is irritated anal glands.

Anal glands are small sacs located just inside the rectum at roughly 4 & 8 o’clock. Both dogs and cats have anal glands and they are responsible for producing a very pungent secretion which helps to comprise their ‘individual scent.’ While others of their species may find this scent extremely appealing and downright sexy, we emphatically do not! These glands can become irritated due to impaction, inflammation, infection, or sometimes, growths. Impacted glands can usually be emptied without difficulty by your veterinarian, and this provides instant relief for your pet. Some pets will need to have this procedure done regularly while others may never experience problems. Your veterinarian will also be able to determine if the glands are inflamed or infected during expression and prescribe appropriate medications. Your pet will also be checked for any potential growths. If these problems persist, and medications are not helpful, the glands can be surgically removed. Predisposing factors for irritated anal glands can be soft stool, allergies, or variation in the location of the glands.

So- if your dog is ‘driving the invisible car’ or if you are noticing excessive licking, bad breath, or straining to defecate, please come see us as soon as possible. We might even be able to recommend a good carpet cleaner!

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