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Have you noticed recently that your dog seems to be licking his bum frequently? This behavior may seem insignificant but it’s possible that it’s a sign of a larger problem.
If you notice that your pup is grooming this area continuously a trip to the vet may be in order. In this article we’ll cover a few possible reasons why your dog might be preoccupied with his rear, and when it’s time to intervene.
He’s Just Grooming
Dogs groom themselves with their tongues and the occasional licking of their nether-regions is just part of the process. This is especially common in breeds with longer fur, as it’s easy for fecal matter to become caught in the tufts on their hindquarters and become itchy.
This type of grooming may gross us out, but it’s important to let your dog do his thing to help alleviate his discomfort.
He Has Parasites
Parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and even fleas may irritate your pup’s rear end in addition to causing symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
When left untreated, parasites can also lead to malnutrition and anemia.
Fortunately, treating parasites is usually pretty straightforward. Your vet will test your dog’s stool sample to determine which type of parasite he has and prescribe a medication to eradicate them.
His Anal Glands are Inflamed
Dogs have two small glands near their anus which hold fluid. Every time your dog poops a small amount of liquid is excreted from these glands, leaving your dog’s signature scent marker behind.
Unfortunately, these glands can become impacted or infected, causing your dog discomfort on his rear end. Many dogs will lick, scratch, chew or drag their bums across the floor in an effort to alleviate this feeling.
In most cases, your veterinarian will be able to “express” these anal glands to release the build-up. Sometimes the glands become infected and require a course of antibiotics. In extreme cases, the anal glands may become abscessed and require surgical removal.
He Has Allergies
Allergies are another common reason why your dog may be licking his bum frequently. An allergic reaction causes itching and inflammation, which often includes your dog’s anal region.
Some dogs are allergic to fleas, while others may be sensitive to shampoos or foods.
While it can be tough to pin down the culprit of an allergic reaction, once you do the solution is simple: don’t let your dog come into contact with it. Your vet will likely be able to prescribe a medication to help alleviate your dog’s allergy symptoms too.
When To Be Concerned
It’s always important to be an observant pet owner so that you can tell when your dog’s behavior changes. Often the changes in their actions are subtle and may be easy to miss if you’re not completely in tune with your dog’s typical state of being.
While it’s not unusual for dogs to lick their bums, persistent, aggressive licking is not normal.
If your dog is licking his bum frequently there’s a good chance he’s experiencing other symptoms as well. Other symptoms to look out for include:
If you happen to notice that your dog is experiencing some or any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian to get your pup some relief.
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