While it is normal for dogs to lick their butts, there are numerous possible reasons for this behavior. 

It is important that you learn about why dogs do this so that you can find out if there is anything wrong with yours.

1. Skin Infection

A skin infection could be causing your dog to lick its butt. There are many different types of infections that can affect your dog’s skin. Your dog could be licking their hindquarters as a way of soothing themselves due to discomfort caused by the infection.

Your dog’s rectum is particularly vulnerable to infection due to the fact that it comes into contact with feces on a regular basis. If your dog rectum was scratched and some feces got into the wound, it could become infected.

A veterinarian will be able to prescribe a course of antibiotics to clear up the infection so that it is no longer an issue. If there is a fungal infection, a topical cream could be enough to effectively treat it.

If you notice any swelling and/or redness around your dog’s rectum, it is important that you get them to the vet right away. This could mean that there is an infection that needs to be treated immediately. The longer the infection goes untreated, the more of a threat it poses to your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.

2. Parasites

It is also possible that your dog’s butt licking is due to parasites. There are different types of parasitic infections that you’ll want to learn about.

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Internal Parasites

Some parasites affect the inside of a dog’s body. These parasites can burrow into a dog’s intestines, causing severe damage to the gastrointestinal system. Tapeworms, whipworms, and roundworms are all examples of internal parasites.

These parasites can cause severe irritation of the anus, as well as other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. The longer the parasites are allowed to feed off your dog’s intestines, the weaker they will get. 

This is why it is so crucial that you get them to the vet as soon as possible. There are medications that can get rid of internal parasites effectively, though it may take a while. A veterinarian typically requires a stool sample to confirm the presence of these parasites.

External Parasites

There are also external parasites that can be equally as harmful to your dog as the kind that feeds on their intestines. Fleas and ticks are two of the most common types of these parasites. These parasites live on your dog’s skin, sucking blood for sustenance.

External parasites can also feed around a dog’s rectum, which can cause it to lick the area as a way of comforting itself. A veterinarian can prescribe a topical medication to get rid of these parasites on your dog. They may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication to make your dog more comfortable while the medication does its thing.

3. Problems with Anal Gland

Dogs sometimes develop issues with their anal gland that cause swelling, irritation and general discomfort. The problem could be that your dog’s anal glands are impacted. It is also possible that these glands are infected, which can be very problematic for numerous reasons.

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Impacted anal glands can cause your dog to be in a lot of pain, as well as having a negative overall effect on their health. If these glands cannot release fluid normally, they can get infected. If an abscess forms as a result of bacterial infection, your dog’s life could be at risk.

The good news is that your veterinarian can treat your dog’s impacted anal gland so that it starts releasing fluid once again. There are a number of medications that can treat infection if this is an issue. Dogs often lick their own butt when they have impacted anal glands, and it is a serious problem that needs to be addressed right away.

4. Yeast Infection

A yeast infection in the rectal area can cause your dog to lick its butt. Yeast thrives in moist environments, so the rectum is not an uncommon area for this type of infection. If your dog has a yeast infection, you will notice redness and inflamed skin around their anus. They could also have crusty or scaly skin.

While a yeast infection is typically not life-threatening, it does need to be addressed quickly. The sooner you get your dog treatment, the more likely they are to make a full recovery. Your vet will likely prescribe a special medication to treat the yeast infection. It should clear up nicely within a couple of weeks, assuming your dog’s immune system is functioning properly.

When to Take Your Dog to the Vet

Just because your dog is licking its butt doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to take it to the vet. If they are licking their butt more than usual, you should look for signs of a problem. This includes redness/inflammation around the rectum, lethargic behavior, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

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If you notice any of these symptoms with your dog, you should get them to the vet as soon as possible. It can be difficult to determine the exact cause of these symptoms yourself, so you’ll have to get them looked at by a professional.

Conclusion

  • Dogs lick their own butts when nothing is wrong, but it could be a symptom of an underlying issue.
  • A bad skin infection could be causing your dog to lick its butt. This can happen if your dog’s rectum is scratched and bacteria enter the wound.
  • Parasites are often the cause of excessive butt licking among dogs.
  • Internal parasites can burrow into a dog’s intestines, causing internal bleeding and other problems.
  • External parasites like fleas and ticks feed on the outside of your dog, which can include their rectum.
  • If your dog’s anal glands are impacted, they may start licking their butt more than usual. If this is the case, you’ll need to take them to the vet to have their glands drained.
  • A yeast infection is another possible explanation for butt licking.
  • If you notice any diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy or inflammation around your dog’s rectum, you should get them to the vet immediately.
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