Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why Is Your Dog or Cat Dragging Their Butt on the Floor?

Have you ever seen your dog or cat drag their butt across your carpet? If the answer if yes, do you know why exactly they are doing that? After all, I'm sure you don't want your carpet treated like toilet paper for your furry friend's behind.

Photo via 50-phi

It's a valid question and this whole butt scooting business is actually quite common, so don't freak out. There are quite a few reasons why your dog or cat might be butt scooting on the ground. Here's a list of the most obvious reasons why this might be happening.


Anal Glands

Dogs and cats both have special glands located just inside their anus. These glands are called anal glands and they release a very stinky and strong smelling secretion. The fluid released from your pets' anal glands comes out naturally when they use bathroom. It helps them mark their territory. 

Sometimes, the fluid in these glands becomes thick and pasty and gets stuck. This can cause problems for your pet because it can be uncomfortable or even rupture. In an attempt to relieve themselves, your dog or cat might start butt scooting. This is a big sign that your pet's anal glands need to be expressed. 

Here's a tutorial on how to do it yourself, if you're feeling brave. If not, most groomers and veterinarians offer this service. 

Tapeworms

I'd say the 2nd most common reason for butt scooting is tapeworms. After all, no one wants worms coming out of their butt so I think butt scooting is acceptable, if you're a dog or cat. 

Tapeworms are easy to diagnose and get rid off. Usually a single pill or injection of Praziquantel from your vet will clear them up. If you want to know more about tapeworms and how dogs and cats get them, read this

Fecal Matter Stuck in Fur

Sometimes, fecal matter might get stuck on fur especially in long haired dogs and cats. Sadly, I've actually seen dried poop balls so badly stuck in a dog's fur that it's a wonder how the dog was ever able to go to the bathroom. 

If this is the problem, it's an easy fix. For extremely matted fur, I would suggest contacting a groomer or veterinarian for a grooming session. It's easy to cut a dog or cat's skin if you don't know what you're doing. 

This problem is also very easy to prevent. If you ask your veterinarian or groomer for a "hygiene clip" they will shave and trim some of the fur around your pet's anus. 

Photo via Paul Joseph





So if your dog or cat has ever dragged their butt on the floor in front of your dinner party guests before, don't worry - you're not the only one this has happened to. Embarrassing? A little bit. But the reasons that cause the butt scooting in your pet are almost always easily fixable. And sometimes, nothing is wrong. They just have an itchy butt. 

49 comments:

  1. Our friends dog did that all the time. We always check Mollie has a clean bum before she comes in. Sorry we have been AWOL been busy sorting out the auction, all up and running now xxxoxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

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    1. No problem guys, I'm sure I'm also behind in some way =/

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  2. Great information, Ann. Carmine has to get his anal glands expressed regularly because they don't express themselves like they're supposed to. We a make a routine trip to the vet every three months so he doesn't become uncomfortable and there's no chance of a rupture.

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  3. I sometimes use the pants of my staff when I feel something on the other end of me is wrong :o) Butt Bruno, the Jack Russel in my neighborhood does it always when his bipeds come home :o) Probably it's his way to show joy?

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    1. Haha I haven't seen that before Easy! I guess so.

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  4. We learned the anal gland lessen over the winter, the hard way, Roxy scooted just a few times, and then one day her anal gland blew out. Freaked me out! Had to find a vet in Arizona, and he squeezed some nasty junk out of there. Thankfully she healed just fine, and no problems since.

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    1. Ah I do remember that. They do look really bad don't they? I'm sure I've seen the nasty junk one too many times before. Glad she's better now!

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  5. Great post! Thanks

    For our dogs, it's their way of expressing their anal glands. Since switching their diet, they don't do it as often as they used to. I also add pumpkin to their diet as a treat (no longer to treat diarrhea) and this helps too.

    For our cats, it's poop stuck in the hair and it kinds of sucks for them and me.

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    1. Yea, it can help them express it on their own. I've heard that pumpkin can help for dogs who don't express like they should. Poop stuck in the hair is never fun... for the pet or human!

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  6. BOL! Interesting topic!
    Mika will often get a bit of fecal matter that won't come off of her fluffy butt after shoe goes potty, so we will find her scooting her butt across the grass! But then she has green grass stains! haha!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  7. Fortunately none of my dogs do this, but I have contemplated having Neeko's potty patch clipped. My sister has her cocker's anal glands expressed when he goes to the groomer every six weeks or so. I can imagine it is quite uncomfortable for dogs to have itchy worms or impacted anal glands.

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  8. Haven't had anal gland issues yet (thank the doodle) or tapeworms for that matter - WHEW!!! As far as the fecal build up - that's taken care of too! When Harley was a pup he had a horrible case of giardia, and the vet had me wipe his bum after he pooped because we were fighting a stubborn parasite for over a year. Just got in the habit of doing it, and still do.... Thanks for the info, will definitely pass it on,

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    1. Aw you are such a good dog mom to wipe his butt! Lol! That's actually a great tip for giardia. It really can be SO hard to get rid of...

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  9. Great information! I don't have a dog but I -sort of- have a cat. I will keep this in mind

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  10. That really isn't fun for anyone!

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  11. grate post shiner...sum one we noe ....dai$y....who iz a long haired kitteh.... haz hada izzue ore three ore four with a bit ...stuck ta her furz..... but she wants two ree mane anonymouz....dai$y....coz oh her sposed" rep" az bein queen of trout towne....KNOT...dai$y !!!!!!!!

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    1. Oh no! I think Dai$y might just kill you if she read this comment! ;) mol

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  12. Wilhelm is a butt scooter and needs a routine vet trip to have his anal glands expressed (about every six weeks.) I had always thought it odd that he scoots more often than just towards the end of the six week stretch (when the glands are fullest.) I wonder if he is trying to express them or if he just has an itchy butt? He often smiles when he scoots (it must feel good!) Pumpkin did not help his glands do behind own thing. My former long haired cats, Emily and Gryphon, would scoot when they had feces stuck to the fur around their anus. Ah the smeared poop on the floor... and the sofa... I am glad Amelia is a short haired tabby!

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    1. Yikes! Shiner is also a butt scooter... her anal glands get full too.

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  13. Thank you for asking the question that no one wants to ask! We always figured it was the anal glands, mine may be due to get done again as I've been caught scooting. But mom is NOT brave enough to do it herself. Love Dolly

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    1. I don't blame her Dolly. It's usually not very fun for the dog or human!

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  14. I think some dogs just like to do it. :)

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    1. Everyone has an itch sometimes! lol

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  15. Great information. I have had a few animals that have needed their anal glands expressed. Hope you have a great day.

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  16. Angel Isis was a Persian cat and often had poop stuck in the fur ; Mum was fed up with it and made her a "wide" hygiene clipping, what almost made the veterinarian die laughing when he saw Isis' cleared butt ! Purrs

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  17. Miss Ann...I saw the word "Butt" in the title and I had to run right over! BOL Hmmm, we always thought it was just anal glands that caused the butt scooting but apparently, there could be more causes and now we know because you told us. Great post!
    Oz

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    1. BOL! Well it's one of those things no one probably wants to talk about, but humans have questions that need answered! A lot of people at the vet clinic asked this question all the time, so I figured I'd write about it.

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  18. Our first dog used to scoot his butt across the floor all the time. Turns out he had issues with his anal glands. I was never brave enough to do it myself!

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  19. There is a commercial I think for a carpet cleaner where the dog drags his butt across the carpet and leaves "a trail". Quite funny. We know it is usually an anal gland thing, but sometimes we just need toilet paper.

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    1. I suppose if you don't have opposable thumbs, the ground can make for good toilet paper ;)

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  20. Sheba does this occasionally, because of her long fur, and I just need to get back there and trim out a little bit of fur. I used to worry at first that something more was wrong, but she only did it occasionally so I figured out she just needed a little clean up!

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  21. Haha! Such a great post! I have a cat that does this at the worst moments, like when we have guests over. We call him "streaker" because, well ... you know. He only does it when he has a bit of a "dangler." So gross and so funny.

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    1. I was going to use the term dingleberry, but wasn't sure if that was appropriate.

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  22. Yep, I've done this. But never during the peeps dinner party. I should try that. ;) ~Wally

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  23. Thanks for the informative post. Beamer sometimes does the butt drag when he wants to wipe his butt! :)

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  24. When my dog was dragging her butt I took her to the vets. She had a yeast infection going on back there. She was trying to itch it by dragging her butt.

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    1. Ah well that makes sense because yeast infections can be itchy!

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  25. Yep had to deal with the anal glad issue until we made a food change. :)

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    1. Yea, food does seem to play a role with the anal gland thing a lot of the time.

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  26. My pug was draging her behind on the couch like she was pooping but she was not im scared :(

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  27. I did not pay attention to this issue. Through your articles, I will need to take care of my Pug closer.

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  28. My Aunt Mildred has a Siamese cat named "Muffin" and much to our dismay she picked up a habit of dragging her butt across the carpet, which could really be embarrassing when we had company over. She's no spring chicken so we just wrote it off as old age, but it was always awkward when guests tried to laugh it off as if it was normal. We tried scolding her, modifying her diet and even gave her her own rug but the problem only seems to get worse. My wife suggested it's time to put her in a retirement home but that cat sure would miss her!

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    1. Honestly, you should just have her anal glands checked. Vets and groomers will express anal glands for a very low price.

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  29. I have seen dogs do this, but until today I had never witnessed a cat doing the butt scooting! So naturally I had to research it and was surprised that it's common among cats as well as dogs!

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  30. Yes , but then there's a vet fee to -so at $61 , adds quickly . Would adding dry food back in her diet help you think she's on canned DM now - hasn't needed insulin since canned , so kinda afraid if that be same an issue again , but tired of my cats constant scoot , never an issue on dry , but diabetic and renal issues when was on all dry .

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    1. The canned is probably better for her... I've heard pumpkin puree can help, but not sure if that's compatible with her diabetic diet. If you think the dry helps, you could try adding some of it back into her diet. Have to be careful with cats because their anal glands are more likely to abscess than a dog's which will cost more money in the long run.

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