Why Is My Pet Dragging Their Bum?

Clients often will comment that their dog or cat is dragging their bum on the ground, so they assume their pet has worms. A simple answer for this activity is that there is irritation around the anus, and their pet is attempting to relieve the problem.

Hair can become wound in the fur around the peri-anal area following a normal bowel movement or after an episode of diarrhea. By ‘scooting’ your pet is attempting to rid itself of the ‘cling-on.’ Owners can assist by simply cleaning the area either with a baby wipe or by shaving the area. Shaving the area will also expose the skin to the air and help prevent irritation following a bout of diarrhea.

Itchy skin can cause a pet to rub or lick their bum to try to relieve themselves. Allergies can affect the skin of the paws, the abdomen, the ears, and the area around the anus. If the bum dragging becomes a regular activity, they may be a problem. Your veterinarian should be advised so they can determine if allergies are the culprit.

Pets have two small glands called anal glands inside the rectum. These glands empty a smelly, fishy scented liquid via the anus when pressure from a normal stool passes through. Veterinarians see pets that need these glands expressed on a regular basis. Many pets can solve the issue themselves by rubbing their bum on the ground. If the glands do not empty properly, there is a danger of abscesses forming on the outside of the rectum. It is best to see a veterinarian if the pet is obviously scooting to express these glands properly. No matter the reason, veterinarians can be very helpful in determining the reason for your pets’ scooting behaviour.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 204.253.2668.

Written by: Brenda L, RVT



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Last updated: August 3, 2021

Dear Clients,

In order to maintain everyone's safety and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following procedures have been implemented:

If you have a fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of sense of smell, sore throat, painful swallowing, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, chills, or fever we ask that you do not attend your pet's appointment.

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Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at St. Vital Veterinary Hospital