You may have noticed your dog dragging its rear end (known as scooting) across your floor — it does so to relieve pain or itchiness. While a single case of dog scooting shouldn’t be too worrisome, repeated occurrences may indicate an underlying cause such as an anal gland infection, food allergies, irregular bowel movements, and more. Luckily, dog owners can use these dog swollen anus treatments at home if they don’t have time to take their pets to the vet.
Why is My Dog Scooting?
Dogs will often scoot on hard surfaces to get relief from pain, discomfort, and itchiness from a wide range of issues. While many of them can be resolved through home remedies, some problems like internal parasites and anal sac impaction will need medical attention. Below are some of the most common reasons why your pooch may be scooting around your home.
1. Anal Gland Problems
Anal sac problems are among the leading reasons for scooting in dogs; this is because all dogs have anal sacs located around the anal opening that secrete a foul-smelling liquid when a dog poops. These function as scent glands that help dogs identify each other — it’s what they use to indicate whether they’re ready to mate or not. When your dog has loose stools or soft stools for an extended period of time, your dog’s anal glands might not express properly and start to swell up.
When you don’t regularly express glands your dog’s anal sacs can become impacted or may lead to anal sac infection. In severe cases, they could burst if the owner leaves them unattended for too long. Anal gland abscesses are a result of an infection and will need a trip to the vet — problems with your dog’s anal glands can cause a lot of pain, so be sure to speak to your vet about treatment.
Problems with your dog’s stool or the lack of it may cause a dog’s discomfort and may result in scooting to get temporary relief. A poor diet as well as foreign objects in the digestive tract can cause canine constipation, while white and crumbly poop may indicate that your dog’s diet contains too much calcium. Massaging your dog with just enough pressure can help provide quick relief, and giving your dog a high fiber diet can help with long-term solutions.
3. Parasite Infestation
If you’ve noticed that your beloved pet is dragging its bottom across the floor it may be due to parasite infections. When parasites such as tapeworms exit the anal area, it can cause itchiness and irritation. You’ll be able to confirm an infestation if you see white spots in your pup’s feces, which can mean tapeworms, hookworms, or roundworms.
Dogs can experience a lot of pain from everyday things that they might be allergic to, such as specific foods, and pollen, while some may experience contact dermatitis. This refers to an allergic reaction toward something they touched such as lawn fertilizer. Allergies may result in intense itchiness in your furry friend, particularly in the dog’s bottom, so it will have to scoot.
Other symptoms of allergies include the following:
- Swelling around the face and body
- Red and inflamed skin
- Runny and itchy eyes
- Ear infections that happen frequently
5. Vaginitis in Female Dogs
In female dogs, a vaginal infection known as vaginitis may lead to scooting, especially with puppies. Dogs with this condition may experience vaginal discharge, lick their private areas excessively, and male dogs may think they’re in heat and show interest. This will usually need antibiotics to treat, so if think your dog may have vaginitis, contact your vet for the best way to provide relief for your dog.
6. Skin Irritation
Fungi and bacteria naturally exist in your dog’s skin but if they get out of control, your dog may get skin infections. These are uncomfortable, so dogs will have to scratch to get relief — when their skin breaks, it can make way for even worse bacterial infections such as hot spots. Female dogs, in particular, can get yeast infections around their private areas which can cause itchiness and burning so they have no choice but to scoot.
If you see a rash or redness in any part of your dog, be sure to visit the vet. Moreover, when dogs visit their groomer may scoot to relieve irritation from grooming products such as perfumes and sprays. They may also get clipper burns, small cuts, and irritation from getting groomed, so be sure to get a professional dog groomer.
7. Usual Dog Scooting
There may be times when your dog’s poop may get stuck on the side of the anus, which isn’t such a concerning reason for the butt dragging. However, you may want to check if the reason for the sticky poo is due to fecal incontinence — if this is a problem, you may need to see your vet. Furthermore, long-haired dogs such as Shi Tzus and Cocker Spaniels need regular trimming around their bottoms to prevent feces from getting stuck in their fur.
Dog Swollen Anus Treatments at Home
If you notice that your dog is suffering from a swollen backside that’s not accompanied by other health issues, you’ll be happy to know that it can be resolved at home. Some solutions are designed to improve your pup’s digestion, while some can provide instant relief from pain and discomfort.
1. Warm Compress
Placing a warm compress on the dog anal glands is among the easiest ways to provide relief from anal sac inflammation. All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Fill a bowl with warm water and add 1 tbsp. of Epsom salt
- Soak a clean cloth in your warm water
- Wring your cloth to ensure it’s not too wet
- Apply the damp cloth on your dog’s bottom for a few minutes
- Repeat as many times as needed
2. Manual Anal Gland Expression
Because anal gland issues are among the most common cause of scooting in our dogs, manual expression of their sacs may offer our dogs quick relief. Healthy anal glands will usually be unnoticeable, but if you see swelling and redness around this area, then manua expression is needed. You should express these glands on your own only if you have experience — if your vet agrees that you’re capable of this procedure then follow these steps:
- Be sure to put gloves on since the anal gland fluid may spill onto your hands
- Lift up your dog’s tail and look for the small sacs that are swollen; before expressing, ensure that your pup is in the bathtub or standing on top of an absorbent cloth so it won’t leave a mess
- Put your fingers over the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions around the anal glands
- The anal glands should feel like peas or plums, depending on whether you have large breed dogs or small breed dogs
- You’ll know that you’ve successfully expressed the glands when fluid flows out of the area and there’s a reduction in size
- Don’t forget to wipe the area using alcohol and some dog wipes
3. Calendula Compresses/ Epsom Salt
Some dog owners believe that Epsom salt works as a muscle relaxant or may even work as a laxative. There are claims that it can compress in baths which can help dogs in pain but there’s actually little evidence regarding these claims. On the other hand, Calendula has little antimicrobial properties and is also anti-inflammatory, which can help to accelerate the healing of wounds.
Using a Calendula compress is especially beneficial if you see a small injury around your pup’s behind which is making it scoot.
4. Giving a Fiber-Rich Diet
Feeding dogs a diet that lacks fiber is among the leading causes of constipation in canines, which may lead to scooting and a swollen anus. Some of the best sources of fiber for dogs include psyllium husk, cellulose, beet pulp, and fiber broth. Leafy and root veggies such as broccoli and celery are great sources of cellulose, but you may also use the powdered version.
However, adding fiber to your dog’s diet can be tricky since it can cause diarrhea if there’s too much, so talk to your veterinarian first about how to get started. Soluble fiber such as psyllium can reduce diarrhea while insoluble fibers such as cellulose can decrease constipation.
5. Increase Their Water Intake
Giving too much dry foods to your dog may cause their stool to become too hard, which may lead to constipation. Keeping them hydrated is the key to keeping them healthy on a dry food diet, and you can also alternate your pup with wet or canned dog food to help increase their water intake.
6. Provide Daily Exercise
Giving your dog daily exercise can help improve its digestion because blood can be pumped more effectively throughout the body and into the digestive organs. Failing to give your pooch exercise on a daily basis can lead to overweight dogs and will affect your dog’s health. Obesity also makes pooping harder for dogs, which will also lead to a swollen anus.
7. Adding Probiotics and Checking For Allergies
Did you know that probiotic chews will work well for dogs with sensitive stomachs by controlling gut bacteria? If you notice that your dog starts scooting after it eats and it sneezes, turns red, or swells, it could be allergic to something in its diet. Switching over to a healthy with probiotics can help to alleviate symptoms of energy.
You may also add fish oil to your pup’s meals since essential omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce inflammation and skin problems.
Can I Use Pumpkin for Treatment?
Pumpkin is a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber but it might not be the best food to combat your dog’s diarrhea and constipation. This is due to the blend of insoluble and soluble fiber that may not result in the right kind of fiber for their specific digestive needs. Moreover, simply giving your pooch a few teaspoons of pumpkin puree won’t provide enough fiber for your pup.
Can I Deworm My Dog to Treat a Swollen Anus?
If your dog’s swelling is caused by parasites, then deworming might be able to help, but if your pup continues to suffer, then it might be because of something else. When it’s been dewormed but it’s still scooting, be sure to check for constipation or an inflamed anal gland. Alternatively, your pup might get itchy around its bottom while the dead worms make their way out.
Foods to Help Express Anal Glands
As mentioned, foods rich in fiber can help dogs deal with problems surrounding their anal glands by reducing loose stool and diarrhea. Below are insoluble and soluble food sources that you can use to increase your dog’s fiber intake, which will directly influence anal gland expression.
Soluble Fibers for Diarrhea:
Insoluble Fiber for Constipation:
- Whole grains
- Wheat bran
When to Visit Your Vet
You won’t always have to make a trip to your vet if you notice that your dog has been scooting around at home. However, if your dog also has diarrhea or has started vomiting, then you may need to speak to your veterinarian. If your dog also refuses to eat, has a parasite infestation, or experiences weight loss, be sure to get medical attention.
There are a wide range of reasons why your pup may start scooting and may need relief from pain, discomfort, and itchiness as a result of skin infections, vaginitis, allergies, or clogged anal glands. Thankfully, there are many ways for you to treat your dog’s condition from the comfort of your home, without the need for professional help. But if you notice that your dog needs medical attention, don’t hesitate to visit your vet and get the treatment it needs.