Ewwww! What's that smell? And why is my dog scooting his backside on my carpet?!


You are sitting on the couch and your clean, beautiful dog is sleeping nearby. They move a bit to a more comfortable position and suddenly you are overwhelmed by the smell of a dozen startled skunks. Far worse than the “normal” puppy gassy smells. There is a fair chance it was an anal gland secretion. Skunks smell a lot due to large anal gland that they can squirt at will.

Many dogs never have any anal gland issues. Occasionally a little foul smelling liquid drains out of an anal gland and spills onto the ground or their coat and smells horrible. Often this is normal but it may also be a sign of anal gland disease. Anal glands can sometimes become blocked or impacted and they are sore and inflamed. This usually means the dog will lick at their backside excessively or “scoot” on their backside on the ground or carpet. Ewww. Sometimes the gland becomes infected and abscesses and needs flushing under anaesthetic and multiple medications to treat effectively and occasionally removal of the gland.

Other causes of scooting include worms, skin irritation around the tail and bits of stuff the dog has eaten getting stuck after having a poo (like bits of grass or chewed up toys) and they scoot to try to dislodge it. If in doubt bring them in and we can take a look. 5 years of uni training equipped us well to conduct thorough bottom inspections! :)

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