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Why Is My Dog Dragging Its Bottom?

Why Dogs Drag Their Bottoms: Common Causes and Treatments continued...

Worms. Tapeworms are another, though less common, reason dogs may start scooting.

Dogs get tapeworms by swallowing worm-infested fleas. And while scooting can be one sign of tapeworms, the most common sign is the appearance of tiny, rice-like tapeworm segments around your dog's anus.

Tapeworms are easy to treat with a simple dose of oral or injectable medication. Garlic is often recommended as a natural remedy for tapeworms. But there's no proof it prevents parasitic infestations, and it can even be toxic to your pet.

To prevent tapeworms from coming back, you'll need to control fleas. That can be done with pills or topical medications. Here too, there's no proof that garlic helps with pest control.

Rectal prolapse. Rectal prolapse refers to part of the rectum -- the final portion of the large intestine -- protruding through the anus. A rectal prolapse can happen to your dog after severe diarrhea or from straining with constipation. If you see an elongated, cylindrical mass sticking out from your dog's bottom, call your vet right away. This is a sign of rectal prolapse.

Treatment for rectal prolapse varies. After replacing the prolapse, your vet may:

  • Stitch your dog's anus partially closed to prevent the prolapse from happening again
  • Suggest a moist diet or stool softeners to reduce straining
  • Recommend surgery if the prolapse needs to be repaired


Other Causes of Scooting

The discomfort caused by wounds or tumors can also cause your dog to drag its bottom.

Swelling is a significant sign to watch for and can indicate an anal gland tumor. Swelling with redness, bruising, or discharge may point to a painful anal gland abscess that needs immediate treatment.


Checking Your Dog's Bottom

Here are three tips for checking your dog's bottom:

Visual inspection . Put on a pair of rubber gloves, then lift your dog's tail. The anus and the hair around it should be clean, without an intense smell. Look for swelling, growths, discharge, or injury.

Anal sac problems. Scooting is a strong sign that your dog may have anal sac issues. If you notice a powerful, foul smell around your dog's bottom, this indicates soiling with anal sac material. That's a sign that the sacs may be impacted or infected.

Worms. Tapeworm segments look like tiny, wiggling, creamy-white worms, or like small, unmoving rice grains. If you see either around your dog's anus, talk to your vet about suitable treatments.

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