Dog itchy bum: causes, diagnosis, treatment – Owners often bring their pets complaining of an itch in the anus, that the dog “rides” on the priest, whines, bites itself at the base of the tail. Regardless of the words used by the owners to describe the symptoms, they can all be caused by the same causes. What is the reason for this behavior and most importantly what to do with it?
The main reasons for “riding the pope”
Owners can often watch how the skin around the dog’s anus looks moist and red. Sometimes a fishy smell and some swelling near the anus and a leak of smelly liquid begin to appear.
The three most common causes of itching and “riding” on the dog’s pope are fleas, worms, and problems with the anal glands. Keep in mind that the anal glands rank first on this list and are the main subject of discussion by veterinarians. Less common causes are allergies, skin infections, and tumors.
The first thing a veterinarian does with a proper examination is to clarify the history of treatment for worms and carefully check for fleas. Diagnosis of worms can be a little difficult when examined if the infection is not serious and there are no adult worms or tapeworm segments visible in the feces or stuck in the fur around the anus. If a specialist has determined that it is worms that are the problem of the onset of symptoms, the dog is simply treated with a quality agent in the correct dosage.
After several weeks, appropriate tests are performed to verify the effectiveness of the treatment. If you are sure that your pet has no problems with fleas and worms, your next step is to check the anal glands.
What are the anal glands?
The anal glands are small paired pockets located directly inside the dog’s anus. The gland is emptied through a short and narrow duct to the surface near the inner edge of the anus. The cells lining the glands produce a brown to gray oily liquid.
There are two theories that explain the presence of anal glands in dogs. The first of them is that the allocation is involved in marking the territory, and the second claims that the allocation helps lubricate the feces and contributes to their smooth passage. Problems with the anal gland are more common in small dog breeds.
In healthy dogs, small amounts of secretion naturally leak during bowel movements and periods of activity, which keeps the glands empty. For some unknown reason, the anal glands of some dogs produce fairly thick, semi-solid material, which is much more prone to blocking the gland because the thick secret cannot pass through the narrow duct to the outside. In many of these cases, the gland becomes clogged, causing pain and inflammation.
When the problem worsens, these blocked glands can burst, causing an abscess. With an abscess, a mixture of the secretion of the anal gland, pus and blood can also leak. Infections of the anal gland of dogs are treated by expressing the gland, washing it, and then introducing a local antibiotic with an anesthetic into the gland, as well as a course of additional antibiotics. Abscesses of the anal gland are a more serious problem and may require surgical intervention to deplete the gland and remove non-healthy tissue.
Veterinarians recommend that owners of dogs whose glands produce a thick secret come every couple of months for an examination. This will reduce the risk of damage to the glands and their infection / abscess. In dogs with recurring anal gland problems, veterinarians recommend surgical removal of the glands.
- Constantly update drugs for the treatment of worms and fleas. Use safe, effective veterinary drugs for all animals kept at home.
- Do not miss the moment of the problem and periodically watch the dog. Symptoms of riding the pope, frequent turns to lick or bite at the base of the tail or anal area, all of which can signal a problem. If you have symptoms within 3-4 days, consult a doctor immediately.
- Some veterinarians believe that increasing fiber in a pet’s diet increases stool volume and promotes natural emptying of the gland.
- Keep your dog active. Active and slender dogs with good muscle tone are more likely to naturally release the secrets of the anal gland, doing their usual daily activities.
If you do not treat the listed problems in a dog, infections, abscesses and even worms can become a real “pain in the ass” for your pet. Do not ignore your pet’s signs of discomfort and consult a specialist as soon as possible.