Why Is My Australian Shepherd Scooting?

Probably every dog owner once has seen their dog sitting on its bum and pulling itself with its front paws and „scratching“ on a carpet or bedding. Some get angry and shout at the pet for soiled fabrics, others immediately go to buy worm pills. And the more sensitive owners are seriously alarmed and the puppy is already sitting at the vet‘s examination table after an hour.

The most common explanation for your Australian Shepherd scooting a bottom across the floor is that the dog has worms. However, far more often than worm infection, this symptom is caused by a completely different health problem – clogged paranal glands. In this article we will go through more possible reasons and what to do when you see such behavior.

What Causes Dogs to Scoot?

Dogs usually do this when they have itchy butt. So first of all you need to find out why itching. And it can be for many reasons, from worms to inflammation. The most common causes of such scratching are:

1.     Anal gland problems

You‘ve probably noticed that when dogs communicate, they sniff each other buttocks. They interact through odors, emitting fatty substances secreted by glands on both sides of the anus.

The anal glands can sometimes become clogged, causing abscesses or inflammation. As a result, the dog may begin to scoot buttocks on the mat to reduce pain or discomfort.

Scooting on a carpet is just one of the symptoms of anal gland problems. Other signs may include licking and chewing the area, swelling around the buttocks, and difficulty defecating.

Treatment depends on what is causing the problem. These can be antibiotics to treat the infection, foods with more ballast, hot compresses, an incision of the anal gland, or flushing under general anesthesia.

2.     Contamination by their own feces

If a dog has diarrhea, it can weaken, feel dehydrated, and feces sticks to its buttocks. If your Australian Shepherd has constipation, the feces may get stuck in the hair near the anus. In such case, dog may feel discomfort, which he tries to reduce by cleaning his butt on the carpet. If the infection has not started, the treatment can be simple – cut the hair around the butt. After that, it is necessary to wash the place with water.

3.     Worms

Another possible cause of butt scratching is tapeworms. Dogs become infected by ingesting fleas – tapeworm larval carriers. Additionally, possible sign of tapeworm infection is the appearance of small, rice-grain-like tapeworm limbs around the butt. Tapeworms are easily expelled with medication. To prevent the dog from becoming infected with tapeworms again, fleas need to be eradicated.

More About The Symptoms and Signs of Inflammation of the Anal Glands in Dogs

In some cases, the mucus produced by the anal glands of dogs cannot be removed, causing inflammation, infections and even abscesses (purulent inflammation that can cause blood infection).

Symptoms to help the dog owner identify the inflammation of the anal glands:

  • Irritability, restlessness, the dog can not rest quietly;
  • The dog is constantly trying to flatter, scratch, or bite around the butt;
  • The dog emits an unpleasant odor;
  • The pet suffers from constipation, cannot defecate, feels pain (whining) when defecating.

Inflammation of the Anal Glands

Usually, if the dog is healthy, the fluid in the anal glands is also excreted in the feces, so health problems begin when the glands of this fluid are unable to remove. As the fluid settles in the glans, it thickens, becomes viscous, and clogs the glandular tubules. In this case, it is not difficult to help the pet – the liquid is easily removed by gently pressing in the appropriate places around the outlet. So, the veterinarian will quickly eliminate this health condition.

Untreated blockage of the anal glands can turn into an infection. The dog can be very irritable, may be angry, timid. Possible yellow, bloody discharge around the butt. In this case, specialists washes the anal glands, prescribes antibiotics. The pet needs to be monitored, an untreated infection can turn into purulent inflammation, and wounds can open at the outlet.

If clogging of the anal glands often plagues your Aussie, specialists recommend adding fiber to your dog‘s diet. Fiber, ballast substances, increase the volume of feces, they are more easily excreted, they press harder on the anal glands during emptying, thus helping them to empty. Of course, it is best to adjust your Australian Shepherd‘s diet with professionals who will select the best products for your dog, according to his wishes and interests.

How Do I Get My Australian Shepherd to Stop Scooting?

The best prevention of any pet disease is a healthy diet, weight control and adequate exercise. As already mentioned, infection with intestinal parasites is not always a direct problem of scooting on the buttocks, but it can cause diarrhea. And diarrhea can lead to stuffing of the glans, so regular deworming is necessary for all dogs.

If your Australian Shepherd faces such factors as raw mean, often contact with animals living outdoors or frequent outdoor visits, has a tendency to handle everything, lick and eat everything outdoors, then deworming should be done more often, but about this of course discuss with your veterinarian.

Also, experts recommend that dogs with frequent diarrhea, digestive problems, and signs of food intolerance be brought in for paralytic examination and squeezing at least once every three months. During the procedure, each gland is grasped with the fingers and the abnormal secretion formed by gentle pressure is squeezed through the duct. This is not complicated procedure, albeit a bit unpleasant, but will help make sure your pet isn‘t expecting more trouble.

Final Thoughts

If you notice that your Australian Shepherd is irritable, constantly trying to lick his butt, scooting on the butt – it is not always the cause of parasites. Inflammation of the anal glands can be a common cause of illness. Therefore, it is best not to delay and not miss the problem. It is always easier to come for a preventive check-up than to treat chronic problems.

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