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Help! My Dog Keeps Biting His Bum and Tail

If you are owned by a pup then you’ve seen this scenario play out. I have found there can be more than just a few reasons your dog can show these behaviors and some can be less worrisome than others.

First Look for Fleas when Dog is Scratching their Bum

There are many explanations as to why a dog bites at their bum and tail area. The first is the one we all think of off the bat, *fleas! Those nasty little buggers infiltrate our nightmares if we even spot just one! Luckily they can be dispatched a number of ways, such as homemade flea shampoo and diatomaceous earth.

Dog Keeps Biting Rear End – Anal Glands & Yeast

Veterinarian lifting tail of dog to check anal glands

Fortunately this can be as simple as their anal glands need drained. My pup’s is usually due to food allergy issues or consuming something he shouldn’t, like fatty greasy beef in any form, which he just happens to love!

This can lead to the dog chewing the underside of their tail. They will bite at their tail base and back end, underside areas and also scoot across your floor to try to relieve the itch. If you are not comfortable with draining your pet’s glands I recommend taking them to a trained groomer or your vet.

Another cause can be an overpopulation of the *yeast organism creating a yeast infection that has taken root, which usually affects the ears, genital and anal areas and can spread to other parts of the body including between their toes! Certain foods and treats always seem to trigger my pups.

Yeast Infection help can be found here and many places on the web.

Hot spots are the fourth most common reason for dogs biting and itching themselves with dry skin, wounds and parasites being close runner ups.

*We all have the yeast organism present on our skin, even our pets at all times, but certain things such as diet can cause an increase in the presence which can lead to infection.

Is Your Dog Biting its Tail until it Bleeds?

Dog biting its raw tail

This can be very distressing when you don’t know the cause. It can be a sign of a mild to serious neurological/behavioral issue which would require a more intense look at by your veterinarian to determine the root cause.

*Sometimes the Veterinarian has a product that can help immediately (as in the case of the fleas we encountered last year, they were resilient and otc treatments weren’t working for our pets. We had to go to the Vet to get prescription strength help!)

How to Stop a Dog From Biting Its Tail

Dogs use all parts of their bodies to let us know what is going on. Paying close attention can help alert you to something that they can’t tell you about.

Dogs can bite themselves due to parasites, anal glands being impacted or infected, wounds or yeast and if they continue doing this when not doing normally it can be their way of letting us know there is a real issue. Sometimes it is just normal behavior especially in puppies.

Dogs can exert these biting and itching behaviors due to

  • stress
  • boredom
  • allergies to foods and treats
  • yeast infection or fungal infection
  • anal gland infection
  • bug bites
  • bacterial skin infection
  • or mental behavioral health

Other Things to Consider

I have found rose thorns in my poor pups foot weeks after it happened as dogs hide their pain very well. Two rounds of antibiotics and foot wraps/soaks later to help with the infection is another pet parent lesson learned! Pets are a lot of work but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Since finding rose thorns in my pups foot, I’ve taken to looking him over frequently, especially when coming indoors from a long walk in the woods or too long of grass. A good time to do this for your pup is also during cuddling, bathing, brushing or trimming their nails. Taking note of anything unusual so you can nip it in the bud before it becomes a bigger issue. or find even more serious injuries you didn’t know happened at the time.

Depending on the cause for the biting and itching there are some over the counter remedies and online home made remedies you can try. As always we recommend talking to your veterinarian before attempting to treat them at home.

A good place to find more information on these and how to help your pooch with itchy skin issues here.

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