Scooting/Dragging Across The Carpet

     Have you ever noticed your dog sometimes scooting or dragging his butt across the carpet? What about eating blades of grass? He may be having a problem with his anal glands. Inside of the rectum are two sacs called anal glands. One is located at the four o'clock position, the other at the eight o'clock position. When  a bowel movement occurs, fluid is released to help the dog mark his territory. It is also used as a way for him to find other dogs. Another way of releasing the fluid is when your dog scoots, or drags across the carpet. You may even see your companion scoot or drag  across the grass or dirt when he is outside. Located just inside, at the sides of the rectum, these glands at times can become inflamed. Inflammation can be caused by poor diet, constipation, diarrhea and infection causing the anal glands to become clogged.

Signs Of Blockage

     Your dog eats blades of grass as a way to try to help firm up his stool and help ease any discomfort he is experiencing. Healthy glands in a dog will release themselves when he has a bowel movement. Another sign that he may be having problems with the anal glands is the smell. If you notice your dog has a strong odor coming from him and he starts licking his backside more than normal, that could be an indication of his anal glands being clogged. Sitting down often after a bowel movement is another indicator. So what do you do when the glands are full and cannot be released? You may have to visit your veterinarian to have this taken care of.

     Your veterinarian will inset a finger into the rectum and feel the glands for fullness. Once it's identified that your dog has full glands, the veterinarian will begin to squeeze the sack to drain them. Standing on the left side of the dog, the veterinarian will lift your dog's tail and insert a finger, while keeping the thumb on the outside of the gland. Squeezing the thumb and finger together, the gland will start to empty out into the anus. A paper towel is kept close to the anus to clean up any liquid that comes from the gland. This liquid can look tan in color, thick dark brown, tan liquid with tiny black flecks, green or like peanut butter. This procedure is definitely not for the squeamish. There will be a foul odor that comes from your dog.

Keeping Your Dog Healthy

     Prepare your car for the ride home from the veterinarian. Lay an old towel or blanket down in the back seat of your car for your dog to lay on. There will be some left over leakage coming from his anus and you don't want it to become embedded into nice clean fabric seats. Keep your dog healthy by feeding him high quality food. Stay to the same brand of food. This should help prevent your dog from getting diarrhea. If he needs fiber to firm up his bowels, try adding a tablespoon of unsweetened pumpkin to his meal.

     Although any dog can develop problems with their anal glands, male dogs are slightly more susceptible to this problem. Also, because of their size large dogs, as well as overweight dogs, can develop this problem. Extra body weight can cause the anal glands to become full. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercising. Tak him for a walk regularly and play with him often with his favorite toy. A happy dog is a healthy dog, and a healthy dog means fewer trips to the veterinarian.