When your dog scoots you need to act

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Is your dog a scooter? That might be a clue that you need to take action.

Scooting can signal health problems for your pet

You might have seen this behavior in which a dog scoot across the floor dragging his hind end on the carpet, grass - possibly your favorite rug. This isn't a funny a little trick. It's actually a signal that you shouldn't ignore.

Scooting is more common in small to mid-sized dogs although it can be seen with larger dogs and even cats. Most often it’s because anal sacs are bothering them.

What the heck are anal sacks? To put it delicately, they are located near his tail and secrete an oily substance that is thought to help mark territory or communicate with other dogs and cats. That's probably why dogs greet each other by sniffing each other’s bums.

Normally, when your dog poops, the sacs are expressed. But if your animal is sick with diarrhea or a dietary change causes a softer stool, the sacs won't empty the way they should.

Animals that are overweight have less muscle tone, or sometimes additional fat tissue gets in the way of proper emptying. Skin infections and seborrhea can cause anal issues. So scooting can be a signal that your dog is irritated or even in pain from inflammation, infection, impaction ( which are plugged sacs) or even tumors.

Scooting can look pretty funny, but it’s no laughing matter. If you see it, the first thing to do is to make an appointment with your vet. A simple irritation can lead to infection, impaction, even an abscess, so catch it early and keep him healthy and happy. Hopefully he just needs a little release that the vet can give him.