Putting Out The Fire In The Worm Hole – Natural Remedies for Itchy Bums
Veterinarian Reviewed on December 5, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
There’s a fire in the hole! There’s a fire in the hole! A real, ruffing fire!
Have a gander at the fine young lad in the picture above. He has adopted a much too familiar activity, that of dragging ragingly hot bum on floor. Not just an attempt at relief engaged in by dogs, the “Butt Scrag” (a dragging scratch) can been witnessed amongst other species. I once even saw a human do it, while his friends barked “Drag the butt! Drag the butt!” . It’s so embarrassing but funny when humans pretend to be us.
All yapping aside, when one of us critters gets down that low it’s never for laughs. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always because we have a wriggingly bad case of worms! More often, it’s due to trouble with our anal sacs, and is terribly uncomfortable. A trip to the vet is most necessary, and treatment is key.
Allow me to regale you with my own personal tale – and why I chased mine so much.
It was a time in my life that I will never forget. I was young, I was lively. And I was having a very new sensation in my nether region. Like most dogs, I attempted to apply the lick method – famous for healing and treating most dogging ailments. It helped to tem-paw-rarily relieve the pressure and itching, but once I was up and at ’em, the sensations returned. And so of course, in my border collie-obsessive way, I got back down and licked. I licked and licked and licked and licked and licked… and licked. I couldn’t stop. The sound started to make my human Sage crazy.
I also had the distracting urge to go number two, constantly. That provided some relief too, but momentarily. And yes, for some strange reason I thought that if I could catch my own tail, I could put an end to my misery. What can I say, that itching put me right out of my very own mind.
And so I made for one last resort: I clawed my butt along the coarsest, wooliest carpet we own. Dog it felt good. But not for long. My human Sage caught me, and in an instant I was whisked to my vet for a very, very intimate examination. Turns out, I had a buildup of anal secretions that I wasn’t able to expel on my own – common amongst household pets. Ew, dawgs!
There are two small glands just inside a doggie’s anal opening. Marking our scents help the secretions to pass, but in my case (and in the case of many friends I know) my secretions had built up and clogged the ducts. The vet explained to Sage that a buildup could lead to painful eruptions and abscesses, and that she had caught my issue in the nick of time. Our vet taught Sage how to deal with it personally. Here’s how (ack-ack):
She also told us that there can be other reasons for itchy bumhole: allergies and worms. In those cases, straight up herbal formulas like Nettle-EyeBright or GI CleanUp Gold can take care of those problems – no one wants wormy bums dragged on their carpets!
At this point in time, my little issue is no longer a big deal. The licking I do now is mostly during cuddle sessions with my humans. Taking this info to your human when you’ve got the butt heat will help you, too! Yap yap!
Be cool, Buster
Photo Credit: naritheole
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan