Why is my dog scooting?
(Q) I have a seven-year-old cross-breed who is driving me mad scooting. He is wormed regularly and has his anal glands checked and emptied if necessary at his six-month health check at the vet’s. He is fed on fresh food every day and is in tip-top health. I’m at a loss as to what is irritating him.
(A) Vet Roberta Baxter says: Scooting and rubbing the bottom along the ground is an indication of discomfort under the tail. This can relate to anal sac blockage, worms causing anal irritation, or other conditions of the anal area such as infection, or internal masses and hernias. In bitches, it can also relate to bladder infections and vulva discomfort.
Make sure your dog is up to date on worming treatments, and get the problem checked out by your vet.
Your vet should check the anal sacs, which can fill and need emptying more than once every six months, and may take a swab if infection is present.
A rectal examination or further tests may be performed if there are any other concerns. Anti-inflammatory or antibiotic medication may be needed. If the anal sacs are the underlying problem, you may need to increase the fibre levels in your dog’s diet to aid natural emptying. Adding bran to food can sometimes be helpful.
In rare cases, anal sac removal may also be considered.
(A) Vet Holly Mash says: It is possible that your dog has anal gland problems and might need them emptied more often. There could also be some discomfort linked to infected or blocked anal glands.
Adding plenty of fibre to your dog’s home-cooked diet is a useful way of ensuring the anal glands empty. This could be a spoonful of porridge oats or some Weetabix.