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Small white dog sitting on the carpet

Dogs and scooting

Q: My pug, Biscuit, has been scooting her rear end on the carpet. When I mentioned it to a coworker who has a pug, she said something about anal sex and recommended I make an appointment with Biscuit’s veterinarian. I know Biscuit hasn’t had sex of any kind, so now what should I do?

A: You may have misheard your coworker, who probably said she thinks Biscuit has a problem with her anal sacs and should see the veterinarian for treatment.

A dog has two anal sacs, which lie beneath the skin and open into the anus. The sacs are lined by anal glands that produce a foul-smelling liquid which normally is released with each bowel movement to let other dogs know who was there.

But some dogs’ anal sacs don’t empty as they should. When the sacs fill, the uncomfortable swelling causes the dog to lick the anus or scoot the behind on the ground in an attempt to empty them.

The problem is most common in small dogs, dogs that are overweight, those that have neurologic problems affecting the hind end, and dogs whose anal sac ducts are abnormally formed.

If ignored, impacted anal sacs can become infected or rupture through the skin, causing bleeding and pain. So, take Biscuit to the veterinarian, who can confirm the cause of her scooting and, if her anal sacs are impacted, empty them.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com

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