By Dr. Norette L. Underwood
Help Doc, My Pet is dragging its rear on the floor!
Does your cat or dog drag their booty on the floor or rug? We call this “Boot Scootin.” Owners wonder, “What causes my pet to do that?”
Your pet has two opening on each side of their rectum. If you pretend their rectum is a clock they are located at 4 and 8 o’clock. These openings come from anal glands. Anal glands are 2 small glands (also called anal sacs) located inside the anal opening of all dogs and cats. These glands normally release a small amount of a foul-smelling liquid every time your pet goes to the bathroom. This liquid gives each pet its individual scent. This is why pets always smell each other’s rear.
What causes anal gland problems?
Whenever the anal glands become blocked, over-filled, or inflamed it causes discomfort for your pet and can lead to further problems. Common reason why your pet may be experiencing anal gland problems include soft or loose stools, digestive issues, allergies, infection, obesity, poor anatomy or a combination of these things.
What are the signs of anal gland problems?
The most common sign seen is scooting their rear on the floor or carpet. They also may lick excessively, strain to defecate, release a sudden foul odor, show pain or discomfort of the hind end, or bleeding or swelling near the anal area. Some pets may chew the top of their tail or tuck their tail between their legs. In cats signs may include defecating outside the litter box.
When should I be concerned?
If your pet is experiencing any signs of anal gland problems, you should consult with your veterinarian immediately. Anal gland problems left untreated can develop into further problems including an infection or abscess. It could also be early signs of some form of cancer. If the glands are just full your veterinarian will empty them and help you develop a plan to keep them irritation free.
What can be done to prevent anal gland problems?
There is a new product that can be sprinkled on your pet’s food or given as a treat. It is important to feed your pet a consistent high-quality diet free from excessive fillers. Keeping your pet at their ideal weight will help. Your veterinarian can help resolve any underlying causes of your pet’s anal gland problems such as allergies or digestive issues. In some severe cases, the anal glands may need to be surgically removed.
If you have problems with your pet and anal glands you may contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Best Friends Vet Mobile Service or Trumann Animal Clinic at firstname.lastname@example.org or 870-483-6275.