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Dog and cat scooting...why it happens and what to do?

Did you see your dog scooting or your cat scooting? Does your cat or dog lick its rectum more than necessary? Or does a bad smell come from it?

Even though could be funny to see your pet scooting, you will realize soon that is a sign to go to the Vet to express its anal glands.

Where they are located?

As you can see in the image above, there are 2 sacs situated on both sides of the anus. Those sacs have fluids that are released each time that the animal has a bowel movement.

What is its function?

Let's say that is like the greeting card for the animals, its personal essence is there. That is the reason why the dogs like smell poop.

Why do you need to go to the Vet if your pet is scooting?

Some animals may have a problem expressing naturally their anal glands, so the anal glands begin to full with fluids like a balloon, and the liquid fluid becomes thick making it harder to get expressed ( in this case we say that the anal glands are impacted) the stored fluid may get infected causing swelling and an abscess that eventually may "pop".

Why does it happen?

There is no specific reason, but genetics plays an important role, sometimes periods of soft stool also may cause this issue, or obesity in pets as well.

What to do?

You need to go to the Vet to have their anal glands expressed, and please Do Not Do It at Home, NEVER ( unless you have been certified or taught by an expert)

The veterinary technicians are the ones that in the 80% of cases we perform the procedure but also can be done by a Vet, especially when we realized that an anal gland may be impacted or if there is an abscess. In that case, the vet will prescribe antibiotics or/and anti-inflammatories.

How often you would need to take your pet to the Vet due to this problem?

Depending on the animal, there are times that it needs to be done once a month, others once every 3 months or 6 months, and I saw cases that we made the procedure once and never happened again.

I hope you learn from this article. If you have other questions about this subject or another I will be glad to talk about it in my next blog.

So feed your pets, walk and play with them and give a lot of love.!


  • Hunter, T., & Ward, E. (n.d.). Anal sac disease in dogs. vca_corporate. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from

  • Image: Dog anal sacs. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2021, from

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