So we saw this cute guy and figured he could be the “spirit o’ the day” this fine Tuesday! And also help us explain the phenomenon that’s sometimes known as “scooting.” Though it can appear adorable (and certainly does here, if that’s in fact what’s going on), it’s actually a little more gross than that.
So….anal glands. Your dog has ’em. And in fact, they’re quite important, serving as his or her “business card” of sorts.
Located on the lower sides of the anus, these sacs produce an excretion that is unique; it tells other dogs his gender, health and approximate age. (Hence why sniffing one another’s rear ends is something of a dog handshake!) The glands secrete this substance each time your dog has a bowel movement. (By the way, cats have them, too!)
Sometimes, however, these glands can become impacted, which can make your dog quite uncomfortable.
So, if you see “scooting” behavior like this — it doesn’t necessarily happen in circles, that just seems to be this pups preferred move! — there may be some irritation going on. You should visit the vet to have it checked out.not
Once there, they will perform a rectal exam and, if necessary, express the sacs, giving your dog much needed relief (though it’s doubtful your dog will appreciate any of you for your efforts). If an infection is present, it’s likely your doctor will prescribe antibiotics, and perhaps anti-inflammatory or pain medication.
Many people think the scooting is caused by pinworms, but it’s a misconception. Dogs and cats are susceptible to many different parasites, but pinworms are not among them (people can get them, though!).
So, although the temptation to get out the iPhone and start shooting when your dog starts doing the boot scoot across your favorite rug may be great – be sure to add in your favorite booty-shaking track to keep all of us on the Internet entertained – it’s probably a better idea to make an appointment with the veterinarian instead.
Maybe give the carpet cleaner a call, too, on your way out the door.