My Dog is Scooting….Does He have Worms?

My dog is scooting…does he have worms?

A common misconception is that a dog has worms if they are scooting.  A dog infected with an intestinal parasite may have few to no symptoms with diarrhea or weight loss being the most common symptoms.  It’s more likely that your dog has one of a few other issues going on…

Dogs often scoot when their anal sacs are full since being full may be irritating or uncomfortable to the dog.  In an attempt to relieve the sensation they scoot their bottoms on the ground.  Often times the pet may also lick at their bottoms frequently. 

Don’t know what anal glands are?

  • Dogs (and cats too) have two anal glands that fill sacs just on the inside of their anus, one at about 4 o’clock and one at 8 o’clock.  These glands are constantly producing a foul, pungent smelling substance that ranges from liquid to a thick paste.  The sacs typically empty naturally when the animal defecates; for unknown reasons this may not happen, but the sac continues to fill.  When this happens the pet will often start exhibiting symptoms that let the owner know it’s time to have the sacs manually expressed at the vet’s office.    

Dogs may also be scooting due to a skin issue, i.e. allergies or a skin infection.  An itchy bottom will usually cause a dog to scoot or chew/lick at their bottom frequently.  If there is any evidence of redness, rash, swelling, or sensitivity, have your pet checked by your veterinarian.  

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