Butt it’s important!

We love all of our dog, everything about him/her, even the least appealing parts. From their wet nose to the waggling tail, but we don’t often give too much thought to their actual “butt”. The “butt” is medically termed the anus and the surrounding area is called the perineum.  Some significant things can happen “down there” and you need to be aware of them.

It’s About Multitasking

A dog’s rear functions as more than just a poop assembly line. The rectum and anus do play a serious role in waste removal, but that’s not all that happens in the “caboose”. All dogs have anal glands (unless they have been surgically removed) that are located on either side of the rectum. They produce a foul-smelling fluid and this fluid (and its nauseating smell ) are normal functions.  These same anatomical structures are like the ones that skunks use to make their distinctive spray, so it stands to reason that anal glands stink!  For dogs, they seem to serve little purpose other than marking and identification.  Because the glands occupy real estate close to the anus, they can easily become infected, so you should know about them. Dogs with infected glands will scoot and lick their rears.

You Got A Lot of Nerve

Anatomically, your dog’s perineal area has a lot of nerves and is a very sensitive area.  This means that if your dog has any issue back there, it hurts…a lot! Bite wounds, lacerations and infections can all occur in this area and if your dog has something going on in the area, it is truly a pain in the rear. Anything that happens near the anus has a potential to be very uncomfortable for a dog, even routine grooming.  Keep clipping and handling the area to a minimum and ask your groomer not to try to express the anal glands. Anal gland expression and manipulation should be done by a licensed veterinarian under sedation because of the level of potential pain.

It’s More Than A Feeling

Not only pain is heightened in the perineal area, itching can be intense here also and is sometimes associated with allergic disease, worms, or even fleas. Most of the issues that cause perineal issues will require a vet’s help. The same story holds true here.  If your dog seems uncomfortable around this area, she probably is even more uncomfortable than she seems. Swelling or tenderness in this area is important, so if your dog is reluctant for you to lift her tail or look at her butt, it is time to call your veterinarian.

As your dog’s caretaker, you need to know what is normal for your dog and his butt because he cannot tell you. Make a habit of examining the area, maybe whenever you bathe your dog, so you know what is normal for him.  If you see anything that seems odd, ask your Dr. Primm or Dr. Pepper. Of course, if you notice an injury, drainage or your dog is paying an awful lot of attention to his rear, he needs help right away, so do not delay. Our veterinarians have been helping Ooltewah, Collegedale, and McDonald’s dog butts stay healthy for over 20 years. I guess you could say we can do an expert ANALysis! (Sorry, could not resist!)