Scooting is the act of trying to relieve an itch by rubbing or dragging your dog’s bottom along the floor. Dog scooting allergies are quite common in dogs and most dogs will need to be treated for them at some point.
Can allergies cause dogs to scoot?
There are many causes of scooting behavior in dogs and allergies or skin irritation is one of the most common, aside from anal gland problems.
These allergies could be:
- Environmental i.e. grass seeds, pollen, etc
- A food allergy or intolerance
- Flea allergy dermatitis
- Demodicosis (demodex mite)
- Atopy (canine atopic dermatitis)
Some causes such as environmental or food allergies can be easily managed by avoiding certain areas during walks and switching to a diet that does not contain the triggers of your dog’s allergy.
Flea allergy dermatitis is caused by an allergy to the saliva that fleas produce. It is quite common for dogs to experience this, with symptoms such as itchy skin, redness, dry or flaking skin and inflammation.
Atopy, or canine atopic dermatitis, is an allergic skin condition that causes itchy skin, sores and hair loss anywhere on the body. Atopy is usually triggered by environmental allergens either absorbed into the skin or inhaled.
The allergens cause an over-reaction of the immune system which is the cause of the skin irritation.
The treatment options are dependent on the cause of the irritation and the resulting scooting behavior.
Treating the cause will alleviate most of the symptoms, but there are some things you can try to soothe your dog’s itchy bottom.
Topical treatment such as medicated cream works wonders for itchy bottoms as they contain ingredients that target the inflammation. An alternative is aloe vera or coconut oil which can be applied using a cotton pad.
A bath in warm water will also help but be careful to dry your dog completely. Warm, damp skin is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which could cause a secondary infection.
What can I give my dog to stop scooting?
Scooting may soothe the itch for a short time, but it will cause skin sores and hair loss from the friction of the skin against the carpet or hard floor.
You may need to ask your vet for a mild pain relief as well as any treatment for the cause of the itchy skin. Do not give your dog human medication as it is not designed for their metabolism and can cause toxic shock.
Remember to keep up to date with your dog’s flea and worm treatment to ensure this does not worsen their itchy skin. Some dogs are allergic to flea saliva, so preventing fleas is important.
Do worms cause scooting in dogs?
Worms in dogs can cause scooting, a condition in which your pet drags his bottom along the ground. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as discomfort or the need to remove an itch.
If your dog has worms, you will notice them in your dog’s stool or vomit. Roundworms and hookworms can cause itchy skin and irritation around the anus, which can lead a dog to scoot.
Your vet will do an exam and may also do blood work or other tests to figure out what’s going on.
Conclusion of dog scooting allergies
Scooting is a common sign of anal gland disease. This can be caused by either blocked or full glands that are impacted and need to be expressed, or if they have become infected, they will require vet care.
Allergies can also cause dogs to scoot if the anal sacs are irritated. However, they may also be itchy elsewhere on their body, so you will need to look out for other symptoms.
It is unlikely that scooting is anything serious, but you should see your vet if it continues for longer than a few days as there could be a problem.
In rare cases, dogs with cancer in their rectum may scoot as well. This is more likely in older dogs and again would probably occur along with other signs of illness.
The best course of action is to work with a veterinarian to get a treatment plan in place that will relieve your dog’s discomfort and prevent further irritation.