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Why Does My Pet Scoot on the Carpet?

Children may find it hilarious, houseguests may find it repulsive, and you may find it outright embarrassing. We are talking, of course, about scooting.

If you’ve ever caught your dog or cat using your carpet as toilet paper, it may be easy to brush it off as normal, silly canine or feline behaviour. However, scooting is usually a response to extreme itching, pain or inflammation. 

Sometimes, the cause could be as simple as dried fecal matter stuck in your family member’s fur, which can often be treated at home with gentle soap and warm water. However, if the fur on their behind is matted, or the feces is “stuck” partially inside, do not try cutting or pulling it free as this can cause damage to the region.

While there are many reasons your furry family member may be scooting, of the most common reasons is an issue with the anal glands. Anal glands are small sacs on either side of your dog’s or cat’s anus. They produce a foul, fishy-smelling secretion, normally released during bowel movements, that help them mark their territory.

Sometimes, these glands can become clogged or infected, in which case they will need to be manually drained to provide relief. This is a task best left to your veterinary team to ensure that the procedure is performed safely and completely. If the glands are not expressed, they may rupture, causing extreme pain for your little one. Anal gland issues are more common in dogs than cats, and often require lifetime management. Many dogs do well with routine expressions and dietary changes to help them manage their condition.

If your pet has been scooting and you suspect they may have an anal gland issue, it’s important to contact your veterinary team for a full assessment. They can help you make a suitable treatment plan for your furry family member’s unique situation. Your veterinarian will also rule out other potential causes of scooting such as injury, tumors, rectal prolapse, fleas, allergies, urinary tract infections, constipation and intestinal parasites. 

Most importantly, if you do catch your little one rubbing their bum on the floor, remember that they are not misbehaving; they just need your help. Dogs and cats can’t tell us when they’re uncomfortable so sometimes they just have a funny way of showing it!

Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

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