Why Is My Dog Dragging His Butt On The Ground?

About a year ago, I noticed my Chihuahua, Diego, dragging his butt on the ground. First, I saw him scooting outside on the grass. He had never done that before so I just assumed his butt was itchy. Later that same day, I noticed him scooting again. This time it was across my living room on the carpet. I immediately knew something was bothering him. I knew a dog dragging his butt on the ground could be a sign of a few things.

As I hopped in my car and drove to the vet, I kept praying it wasn’t worms or something worse. Thankfully, it wasn’t. It turns out, Diego had swollen anal glands and they needed to be drained. It’s pretty common. He recently scooted again and I needed to take him to get his anal glands drained. In light of my recent vet visit, I figured I would put together a list of the top four reasons dogs scoot. 

1) Anal Sac Problems

Located internally on each side of your dog’s anus are small pouches. They are called anal glands. They make a smelly, oily fluid used to identify each other and mark their territory. Usually, these glands drain themselves. If they don’t empty properly, though, the anal glands can become inflamed, blocked, and abscessed. This causes a lot of discomfort for your precious pooch. So, in an attempt to relieve that discomfort, they will scoot their butts across the floor.

Scooting is one of the main signs of anal sac problems. Other signs include:

  • Chewing or licking the area
  • Swelling around the anus
  • Trouble defecating

While you can learn to drain the anal glands yourself, I always have my vet do it.

2) Worms

Another reason dogs drag their butt on the ground is because they have tapeworms. Your pup can get infected by tapeworms if he swallows worm-infested fleas. If you find your dog scooting, check his rectum. If you see tiny, white, rice-like worms then your dog may have tapeworms. Check with your vet. Tapeworms are treatable with medication.

3) Rectal Prolapse

Rectal prolapse occurs when the final portion of the large intestine protrudes through the anus. When this occurs, you will actually be able to see your dog’s anal tissue and rectal lining sticking out of his anus. If your dog is experiencing rectal prolapse, get him checked by a vet immediately. Your vet may need to stitch your dog’s anus or perform surgery to prevent it from happening again. 

4) Tumors

If your dog has an anal gland tumor then their bottom will swell, causing major discomfort. In an attempt to relieve that discomfort, they will scoot their butts across the floor. If you think your dog may have an anal tumor, make sure to visit your vet ASAP.