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"Scooting" in Pets

For those of you who know what I'm talking about ... you'll also know why this is not exactly my favorite topic. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about ... lucky you.

"Scooting" is the delicate term for your dog or cat dragging its bum along the floor (and yes, usually on the carpet you work so hard to keep clean!).

This is sometimes a symptom that they may have anal gland problems. Anal glands are small glands located at the side of the anus and produce and contain an atrociously stinky liquid (used for territorial marking).

If your pet has this condition, he or she may need some help in emptying these glands (yeah, I know, not the most pleasant thing...). Some people have it done when their pets are at the groomers, others bring their pets to the vet. And most people are more than happy to pay someone else to do this for them!

If your pet requires more frequent anal gland expression, you may want to ask your vet how to do this yourself.

I do this regularly for one of my dogs. The first time I tried it (under my vet's watchful eye), I was too timid and scared of hurting my dog. Each time I tried it, it got easier. Now it's routine - when my dog thinks he needs his anal glands expelled, he runs and sits by my feet and scoots his butt along the floor to show me that it needs to be done again.

It sounds disgusting (okay, it is disgusting), but learning to do it yourself - if your pet requires it done frequently - will save your pet the stress of having to go to the vet or groomer too often ... and it will save you a few bucks while you're at it.

If you think your pet may have anal gland problems, please talk to your vet. He or she will be able to diagnose the condition and recommend treatment.