GET­TING TO THE BOT­TOM OF IS­SUES

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - PETS - WORDS: DR MARK REEVE

Why does my dog drag its bot­tom on the ground? It’s com­mon to see dogs do­ing this and there are lots of rea­sons why they may be do­ing so.

It’s usu­ally noth­ing to worry about, but in some cases it could be a sign of an un­der­ly­ing is­sue.

Dogs will rou­tinely lick and clean this area as part of their nor­mal rou­tine, but when this be­comes ex­ces­sive and they start caus­ing dam­age to the skin, further in­ves­ti­ga­tion is re­quired.

The area around your dog’s anus is a sen­si­tive piece of skin and quite prone to be­ing ir­ri­tated or get­ting a se­condary skin in­fec­tion.

It’s also a very pop­u­lar place for fleas to live. Own­ers of­ten ex­pect dogs to scratch around their head when they have fleas. In­stead we will of­ten find fleas in this area.

This area is also prone to be­com­ing in­flamed as part of your dog’s nor­mal al­ler­gic re­sponse.

Dogs get a dis­ease sim­i­lar to eczema where the skin be­comes red, in­flamed and cracked as a re­sult of al­lergy — set off by pol­lens, grasses or even foods.

In­testi­nal worms are an­other cause of bot­tom drag­ging in dogs.

It’s un­pleas­ant to think about but par­a­sitic worms go through sev­eral life stages and can re­pro­duce in the in­testi­nal tract and then pass out eggs or lar­vae at the end.

This can be quite ir­ri­tat­ing for your dog, lead­ing to it scratch­ing and lick­ing its back end.

An­other rea­son can be prob­lems with the anal glands — two small pea-sized sacs that are at­tached to the anus.

The job of these glands is to pro­duce a scent when a dog passes fae­ces.

Be­cause of their sac-like na­ture, anal glands are prone to ir­ri­ta­tion and in­fec­tions.

An un­no­ticed anal gland in­fec­tion can even be­come blocked and then a deep ab­scess can form, which can be very painful.

If your dog is drag­ging its bot­tom on the ground and it be­comes red, has open cracks or weep­ing, then it needs to be seen by your vet.

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