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Have you noticed your pooch dragging his bottoms across the pavement, suddenly turning back to lick his anal area, and generally over-licking the area around his anus?
These are glaring signs of a pup dealing with bum soreness. Pain in another area of the dog’s body is a little easier to deal with. The bum…. Not so much.
Nevertheless, as a responsible pet parent, you have to do all you can to make sure your pooch is happy and healthy.
That means embracing the ugly side of dog parenting. When your pet is in pain, you need to step in and offer something to soothe the pain and hopefully deal with the root cause once and for all.
What can you use on your doggie’s sore bums? We have listed a few effective strategies.
Why Do Dogs Get Sore Bums?
There are plenty of reasons that cause a dog’s bum to be sore. These include the following:
A. Anal Gland Dysfunctions
The number one reason for sore bums in dogs is impaction and infection of the anal glands.
Also referred to as exocrine glands, anal glands are two oval-shaped organs located on both sides of a dog’s anus. They are essentially special ducts with fluid in them.
When your doggie defecates, the glands empty the fluid to help stool pass along the rectum smoothly.
The fluid has a strong pungent smell and is used to mark the territory as well.
Each time your doggie defecates, the sacs should empty their fluid. However, when they don’t for one reason or another, soreness in the bum is bound to happen. This phenomenon is called impaction.
The glans will inflate and appear as red, swollen bulbs. They may abscess or worse – rupture causing an open bloody wound on the anal region.
If nothing is done, infection will soon follow.
A physical injury can also cause pain in the dog’s back area. These can come from anywhere – wild playing and tossing near sharp objects, grooming accidents, fights with other dogs, and excessive licking.
Thirdly, food, flea, and environmental allergies can also cause rectal soreness in your dog.
It is not always that allergies present in the form of anal irritations but they can occur this way.
D. Worm Infestation
At the sight of their dogs scooting their bums on the floor, most parents assume they have worms. That’s because worms and other parasites can also irritate the rectal area.
Irritation leads to excessive licking and biting ultimately causing soreness.
E. Bacterial Or Yeast Infections
An overgrowth of yeast or the presence of harmful bacteria can overwhelm your dog to the point of making her bums uncomfortable.
Yeast particularly makes the infected area incredibly itchy.
Similarly, bacteria can be introduced through an open wound or by ingestion.
When the anal region is itchy, the dog will lick it—sometimes until it becomes raw.
Related Post: 10 Best Dog Ear Cleaners for Yeast
Anal sac tumors affect the cells in and around the anus. They are not as painful at first but they can rupture and bleed causing soreness.
Let’s now have a look at the things you can use to ease symptoms of aching bottoms in your pet…
1. Express the Anal Glands
Firstly, if your doggie is among the many that have impacted anal glands, your first order of business is to empty them.
This is a job best performed by a qualified vet or vet nurse. However, if you think you can handle it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try.
Typically, you need to insert a gloved finger into your pet’s rectum, locate the anal gland and gently squeeze it.
As long as you are gentle, you can empty the sacs without much drama.
However, this is not always the case. Many dogs bolt and snap so be prepared for that. You may want to get an extra set of hands.
2. Apply A Warm Compress
Heat treatment is nothing new when it comes to pain and discomfort.
According to Medical News Today, heat dilates blood vessels thereby promoting blood flow and relaxing muscles.
When your doggie is experiencing pain in his bottoms, applying a warm compress can help him greatly.
Besides encouraging blood flow, it can also drain the anal sacs if they are full.
To do it, mix warm water and about 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt. The latter is effective at relieving pain and reducing inflammation.
- Soak a soft washcloth in the water mixture and place it under your dog’s tail.
- Hold it in place for 5-10 minutes then let go.
- You can also have the dog sit on the washcloth.
- Apply gentle pressure to keep her in place.
- Repeat the same twice a day until the soreness is gone.
Ensure that you use a clean cloth every time. After the warm compress, the dog may find it easy to empty her sacs if they need emptying.
3. Castor Oil Cream
Castor oil is a viscous, scentless oil derived from the beans of the infamous castor plant.
In ancient Egypt, it was used as lamp fuel and later for its medicinal and beauty benefits.
The oil consists of Vitamin E, Omega-6 fatty acids, and Omega-9 fatty acids.
Studies show that ricinoleic acid (which makes up over95% of it) in the oil has anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties.
When applied to your dog’s bums, it can significantly bring down any pain and inflammation.
The oil is also a natural moisturizer and will add moisture to your dog’s skin.
Any safe castor cream is okay. Just make sure it doesn’t have the nasty stuff – preservatives, additives, toxic chemicals, and more.
Apply a generous amount on the dog’s bum and gently rub it in.
Do it twice a day, every day for the best results.
4. Zinc Cream
Besides castor, zinc oxide creams have also been shown to help with soreness.
Zinc is essentially a naturally-occurring compound found in plastics, rubbers, cement, paints, adhesives, and plenty of materials.
Zinc oxide, on the other hand, is synthetically produced from zinc materials.
It is one of the main ingredients in diaper creams, anti-dandruff shampoos, calamine creams, and antiseptic ointments. This is all because it contains soothing, stringent, and protective properties.
Zinc creates a barrier in your doggie’s skin to prevent irritation. It can also help to heal damaged skin.
Apply the zinc cream as you would castor cream.
Make sure that the dog doesn’t lick it as it is meant for topical use.
5. Anal Gland Supplements
If your dog has impacted anal glands, you need supplements that boost their function.
These should have ingredients such as flaxseed, beet pulp, and psyllium seed husk. The ingredients increase the size of the stool so it can put considerable pressure on the anal glands so they can empty their fluids.
There are not many supplements specifically for anal gland health but if you know where to look, you will come across them. Check online, your local pet store, and ask around.
As usual, ensure it is devoid of toxic chemicals and anything that is not friendly to dogs.
6. Fiber Intake
Fiber-rich foods such as pumpkin and boiled carrots can also help form firm stools.
They increase the rate of defecation and may trigger the sacs to empty more often as well.
Increase your dog’s fiber gradually to avoid tummy upsets or constipation.
Related Post: 10 Best High Fiber Dog Foods for Small Breeds
This may sound crazy but exercise can also relieve pain in your dog’s bum.
For one, it fastens the digestive system so it works faster. This ensures more defecation and thus more emptying of the anal glands.
Exercise also tightens the muscles so they can assert more pressure on the anal sac to empty its contents.
The soreness of bums in dogs is not something to be ignored. No one enjoys seeing their dog in pain anyway.
Most importantly, pain can graduate into infections and more problems in the future.
Try the aforementioned strategies to ease the pain and treat the issue once and for all.