Scooting or dragging of the rear end along the floor
or ground, can be a signal to you as a pet owner of
a few concerns. Normally this indicates that something
is irritating the area under the tail of your pet,
and the act of scooting or dragging the rear end along
the floor serves to soothe this irritation.
Among the more common conditions that are responsible
for irritation of this area include: Tapeworm
infection, swollen or impacted anal glands, stool
or dried fecal material stuck to the hair under the
tail, skin irritation or infection in this area.
Tapeworm infection results in the shedding of
small rice-like segments of the tapeworm, which are
motile. These segments are actually comprised
of the tapeworm eggs. When they "crawl:"
out of the rectum, the movement against the skin results
in an irritation, and often times scooting is a result.
Anal glands are located on either side of the
rectal opening, and function to empty when the pet defecates,
as a form of territorial marking. The odor from
the anal gland fluid is very fetid strong odor, and
alerts other animals to the territory being marked.
Sometimes the duct leading out to the rectal opening
becomes clogged or narrowed, and doesn't allow for the
contents of the gland to be expressed. Thus, scooting
occurs in order to try and express the gland(s) by the
Normally the anal glands can not be expressed by will,
and a groomer or veterinarian must do so for the pet.
This should ONLY be done for the pet if the glands are
unable to empty by themselves. Otherwise, the
pet will become dependent upon manual expression of
the anal glands if done on a routine basis.
If left unattended, the gland(s) may become infected
as the retained material becomes stagnant. The
result can be an anal gland abscess, which will eventually
rupture and drain its contents.
Stool or dried fecal material often times can
collect in the hair of medium to long hair breeds which
can pose a problem. Sometimes the act of defecation
is prevented by this collection of fecal material, but
most commonly the pet will scoot their rear end to try
and rid themselves of this material.
Often times, the area beneath the tail requires clipping
or removal of the hair along with the fecal material
to alleviate the problem. Irritation of the skin on
or around the anal region can result in scooting or
licking of this area.
Sometimes grooming an animal too close to the skin,
or bacterial infections, allergic reactions, can all
contribute towards this type of irritation.
Your veterinarian should be able to treat whatever
the underlying cause, in order to stop the scooting