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Periodic dog seizures and dog scoots his butt

by Tommy Box
(Midland, TX, USA)

We have recently noticed our dog, Nute, scooting his butt along the carpet as if his rear end is itching or something. He also has periodic seizures. More on these in a moment, first, here's a little more about Nute...


Age: 3 years
Gender: Male
Breed: Shih Tzu

Nute seems to be on the skinny side and does not put on weight. He has a sensitive stomach and we have to feed him Nutro chicken flavored food dog food, otherwise he gets sick with diarrhea for a few days. As long as we feed him nutro dog food, he does not get sick.

As treats, we give him "Itty Bitty Bones" that is an all natural treat baked with natural peanut butter. We also give him "bacon flavored jerky strips" . Sometimes we give him "milk bone" for a treat.

He is a house pet (housebroken) and we keep him locked up in his kennel at night. He is free to roam the house during the day. He is taken out to use the bathroom 2 to 3 times per day, and he is not neutered.

We have to treat him continuously for fleas and ticks which he picks up when going outside to potty. We use seven dust to powder him to keep the ticks and fleas down.

We just recently gave him liquid wormer. It is called liquid wormer, RFD pyrantel pamoate for puppies and dogs, by Pfizer.

He is up to date on all his required shots, and he was recently taken to a local vet for an ulcer in his right eye that the vet said that looked like a cat might have scratched his eye. The vet prescribed eye drops and eye antibiotic which seem to have cured his eye problem.

Nute also has seizures. So far I have noticed him have a seizure about once per month and it is usually brought on by excitement. The seizures only last for a few seconds, then he gets up and sleeps for a while.

Question # 1: We have recently noticed Nute scooting his butt along the carpet as if his rear end is itching or something. He gets into the sitting position and pulls himself along the carpet with his front legs in the sitting position. I have seen this type activity in dogs before but don't know what causes it. Can you tell me what to do to cure this problem?

Question # 2: What can we give Nute to prevent or slowdown his seizures? We cannot afford expensive vet bills, so are there any less expensive options to help him?

Thank you

Comments for Periodic dog seizures and dog scoots his butt

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Sep 02, 2010
My Online Vet Response for Periodic Dog Seizures and Dog Scoots his butt
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Tommy,
Dogs that scoot along on their rear end are usually trying to empty their anal glands. Anal glands are scent glands similar to a skunk scent glands. They have 2 glands, one on each side of the rectum. The gland continuously produces a liquid, so when a stool is passed through the rectum and the anal sphincter contracts, the glands express the liquid scent,and are emptied along with the stool. This is the resaon why Nute greets another dog by sniffing his rear end, he is smelling that dog's 'scent' glands. Then when he sees a big pile of poop, he runs over to smell it to see if he can identify the scent of the dog that passed it.

If for some reason the anal glands do not get emptied, if stool clogs up the little opening to the anal gland, or Nute has a loose or soft stool, then the anal glands do not get emptied, and just become fuller. This creates pressure as the gland swells, and some dogs will scoot on their rear, or try to chew or lick at their rear, or have some other symptoms of hind quarter discomfort.

If the glands become too full they can become abscessed and will rupture. This is extremely painful, and can cause a dog to be very sick. Groomers will routinely empty a dog's anal glands every time a dog goes for a bath, haircut, and nail trim. Usually every 6-8 weeks.

You can also take him in to a veterinarian, if the gland is too painful or swollen for a groomer, as it may indicate that it is infected and he may need antibiotics and/or pain killers.

As for the seizures, I am VERY worried that he may be toxic from the flea powder you are applying. Sevin dust (carbaryl) is used on plants to control insects, it is POISONOUS to mammals!

STOP using this on Nute, and I would advise at least to get a blood panel done to evaluate his liver.

There are other causes of seizures, such as low blood sugar, anemia, or genetic causes, but a blood panel will rule out if he has any of these problems. For the next 4 weeks, bathe him with an oatmeal shampoo, one time per week. One time per month use Dawn Dish soap to bathe him, rinse it off well, and then use the Oatmeal shampoo. Dawn Dish soap will kill fleas on him and it is NON-TOXIC.

For flea prevention,check our page on skin conditions, and especially the information on how important the right diet is for your dog. NO dry dog food, if he has any skin allergies. And use only NON-TOXIC flea products such as Cedarcide by Wondercide, a cedar oil based product.

If he has a toxic liver, he should have herbal supplements such as milk thistle 8mg/lb of body weight 2 times daily for at least 2-3 months until the liver enzymes have returned to normal.

Continued as Part 2 Periodic Dog Seizures and dog Scoots on butt

Sep 03, 2010
(My Online Vet response continued from above)
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

He should also have a stool sample done to see if he actually has any parasites. There are different worm medicines used for different worms, there is not a one-wormer-gets-them-all type of treatment, and again, this can be toxic for his system. It is much safer to just check him for parasites, and if he does have worms then you will know which de-wormer to use.

A holistic veterinarian would be the best person to assist in helping you restore Nute back to good health. To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Epilepsy & Dog Seizures,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Seizures & Dog Epilepsy Section

Jan 31, 2014
Scooting behavior
by: Anonymous

Our dogs scoot their rear ends on the carpet and it's because their anal glands are full and need to be expressed (emptied). Our vet has told us that dogs' anal glands are usually emptied when they have a bowel movement, but not always. We were shown how to express the anal glands ourselves, but we're reluctant to actually do it; so we take them to the vet when the scooting starts happening frequently.

Jan 31, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Periodic dog seizures and dog scoots his butt
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

January 31, 2014

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for your comments. You are completely correct regarding anal glands and scooting. And if a person is uncomfortable expressing their dog's anal glands, then a veterinarian should be called initially just to make sure everything is ok.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



Mar 21, 2014
dog seizures & scooting
by: Elle A

Hi Tommy,

We have a shih tzu, too. He's 8 years old and has experienced the same symptoms you listed. Let me address them.

First, the scooting. Yoshi, our shih tzu, started scooting. It turned out that his anal glands were swollen and full of fluid. It happened to both anal glands on 2 separate occasions. The first time, one gland popped. He barely healed from the first episode when the 2nd gland on the other side swelled up. When this happened the 2nd time, the vet drained it. Applying medication to the wound the 2nd time was less messy and healed faster.

Now for the seizures. Yoshi started experiencing seizures when he was about 3 years old. At first it was just him rolling around and it happened infrequently, about twice a year. When he turned 5, the seizures started getting worse. Seizures were probably once every other month. One night, as I was feeling helpless just comforting him as he suffered another seizure, I found an article on the internet. It described using an ice pack and placing it on the dog's back. Desperately, I tried it. As soon as we placed the ice pack on his back, the seizures stopped. Here's the URL to the article:
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/icepack.htm
We find that using a zip lock bag and filling it with ice cubes works best. Keeping a zip lock bag of ice in the freezer, ready for the next episode, is not as effective as packing a fresh one on the onset of a seizure. We keep a small carton of Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream just as the article suggests. After his seizures subside, and when he starts coming around, we give him a couple of teaspoons of ice cream. We are so grateful to have found this article about the ice pack. Sometimes it takes a little longer for his seizures to subside but it works all the time.

We believe one of the main triggers was the snacks we gave him, Milkbones. Milkbones was like a drug to him. He'd drop a bone when he heard us reach for the Milkbones. Then I noticed he started gaining weight and the seizures were more frequent. Needless to say, we do not give him Milkbones anymore.

Yoshi still has seizures but not nearly as much as he used to when we were giving him Milkbone treats.

Hope this helps.

Mar 21, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Periodic dog seizures and dog scoots his butt
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

March 21, 2014
Hi Elle,
Thank you for your comments. A pack of ice cubes, or bag of frozen peas, placed on the lower back area just over the hips is useful in some cases to slow or shorten a seizure episode. It is thought that the lower temperature slows down the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to the brain, and cools the brain to decrease EEG electrical activity.

I am glad it worked for your dog! And too many milkbones are not that healthy either!

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.




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