SCOOTing in dogs

Ever wonder why your pet dogs suddenly sit on their bums and drags them on your shag carpet rug? No, it’s not a new dance move, nor are they mimicking Scooby Doo’s Automatic Breaking System (ABS). Neither are they trying to piss you off cause you gave the cat a bit more food than you gave them. Okay, maybe your dogs might be mad but that’s not the point of what I’m driving at. Your dogs might be in discomfort, way more discomfort than you might think.

A dog scooting

This weird but necessary act of your dog rubbing it’s bum on your rug, or on the ground is known as Scooting. It’s called this way because it mimics the way human beings ride a scooter: with the force of their limbs pulling them forward. This phenomenon is as a result of the dog’s anal glands filling up and getting inflamed from failure of being emptied when defecating… pooping… “going number 2″… releasing the Atomic nibblets; whichever term you prefer.

Image adopted from www.bullterrierfun.com

Anal Glands are located around the anus, at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock position from the anus to be  simple and precise. They fill up with fluid from lymphatic circulation and are emptied every time your dog, well, poops. The fluid: Well…it smells like your Christian Dior perfume on your Louis Vuitton suit…is what I would have said if it was opposite day or if I were trying to get my dog a deal with these brands (to which I’d redefine the word “failure”). The smell: Absolute Rancid!!!

That being said, you’d imagine what it would take for your dog to fail at emptying the anal glands. Your imagination is as valid as your dream: Loose stool is the number one suspect. Diarrhea doesn’t necessarily use a lot of belly energy to expel; and since there’s not enough force at the point of the anus, the anal glands will fail to empty. Now, this will lead to a sequel of dastardly events: The more the fluid accumulates, the more viscous it becomes and it begins the harden. This, in turn, blocks the pores through which the fluid is expelled and can leads to infection and inflammation. This is borderline unbearable for the dog and thus your dog will make like Aladdin, sit on your rug and glide on it like a Magic Carpet!

Luckily, there are Heroes and Heroines in Lab coats and scrubs who can save your dogs (and your rug) from their misery: Veterinarians!! We are trained on how to precisely and safely empty the anal glands, especially in our student years (it’s not as glamorous as I’m putting it, please don’t try this at home) Emptying them is kinda like a rectal exam, your vet will have to insert his/her finger into the anus of your pet dog and squeeze out the goodies from the inside out. Of course, there is the use of lubricants to reduce the level of discomfort for your dog and there are measures in place to prevent infections both for us and your dog from happening. My advice? Stay away from the room! Or better yet stay and let the Smell chase you away! 
The vet will take care of the loose stool, if it still has persisted, and you’ll be on your way home guaranteed of a happy dog and a cleaner rug.

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