Why Does My Boston Scoot It’s Butt? 6 Reasons & Treatments

Has your Boston Terrier been scooting his butt across the floor excessively? Maybe, your Boston has been licking at its bottom a lot.

Scooting of the butt or licking at the bottom is typically due to discomfort or itchiness of the bottom. Most commonly, butt scooting is caused by full anal glands, but there are also several other causes of scooting.

Why Does My Boston Scoot Its Butt? 6 Reasons & Treatments

This article will review what may be causing the scooting in your Boston and what you should do about it.

Butt Scooting in Boston Terriers: Causes and Treatments

Butt scooting is caused by discomfort or itchiness around the rear end. When your dog scoots, they are trying to relieve this discomfort by scooting. 

There are many different causes of butt scooting ranging from full anal glands to intestinal parasites

Treatments for butt scooting will depend upon the underlying cause of the scooting. The following are various causes of butt scooting in Bostons. With each cause of butt scooting, I will also provide potential treatment options.

Why Does Your Boston Scoot Its Booty?

In this video, Donnie interviews Dr. Addie Reinhard discussing the topic, why do Boston Terriers scoot their booty.

Interview With Dr. Reinhard About Boston Terriers Scooting Their Booty.

1. Full Anal Glands

The most common cause of butt scooting in Bostons are full anal glands. Anal glands are two sacs that live just inside the rectal area that fill up with a foul fish odored liquid. Anal glands store this liquid, and normally, when your dog has a bowel movement, these glands will express themselves.

In some Bostons, the anal glands do not express normally, and they might get overfilled. When the anal glands get too full, they will begin to feel uncomfortable and may cause your Boston to scoot.

Other symptoms of full anal glands include:

  • Licking excessively at the bottom
  • Foul odor liquid leaking out of the bottom

Ever wonder why your Boston Terrier is eating grass? Read this article, 4 Reasons Your Boston Is Eating Grass.

Anal Gland Treatment Options

Here are two options for expressing your Boston Terriers anal glands. You can either hire a professional to do it or try it yourself.

For the try it yourself option just know that it is messy. Watch the video by Dog Psychology 101 below to see what is involved with trying to express the anal glands yourself.

1) Treatment Of Full Anal Glands

Full anal glands are treated by conducting an anal gland expression. Many times anal gland expression can be done without a full veterinary appointment. 

Anal gland expressions are often performed by veterinary technicians or groomers. Call your veterinarian to see when you can get your dog in to get the anal glands expressed.

The cost of anal gland expression usually ranges from $10.00 to $30.00 and may need to be performed monthly or less frequently.

2) At-Home Treatment of Anal Glands

You can try expressing the anal glands at home, but it is a messy process. Once, a pet owner asked me to show them how to express the anal glands. After showing them, they were happy to spend the money having me express the anal glands because it is a stinky and difficult process.

If you are interested in learning how to express the anal glands at home, watch the video below by Dog Psychology 101.

How To Express Anal Glands At Home

Pumpkin and Pumpkin Supplements

Because anal glands are normally expressed when dogs have bowel movements, sometimes adding fiber into the diet may help decrease the frequency you need to have the anal glands expressed.

Fiber can be provided in the form of pumpkin. Consider adding 2 teaspoons of pumpkin (plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling!) to each meal. Alternatively, you can start your pet on Glandex, a pumpkin and probiotic supplement.

You can check out Glandex reviews and pricing here on Amazon, Glandex.

2. Anal Gland Infection

Anal gland infections can also cause butt scooting in Boston Terriers. Sometimes anal glands can get infected and impacted. 

This is a very painful condition where the anal gland gets infected, swells, and may even rupture.

Other symptoms of anal gland infections include:

  • Bloody discharge from bottom
  • Pain around the bottom
  • Excessive licking at the rear end
  • Foul odor liquid discharge from bottom
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite

Ever wonder why your Boston Terrier is eating its own poop? Read this article, The Stink On Why Boston Terriers Eat Poop.

anal gland infection
Bella not happy about us taking this photo.

Anal Gland Infection Treatment

Anal gland infections have to be treated by a veterinarian and will not resolve on their own.

Anal gland infections are usually treated by antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian. 

Some anal gland infections or abscesses may require sedation, lancing, and flushing of the affected anal gland by your veterinarian.

3. Allergies

If your Boston continues to scoot their butt even after having the anal glands expressed, this may mean that your Boston has an itchy bottom caused by allergies. 

Allergies are caused by either an ingredient in the food that your dog is sensitive to or pollen in the air. Allergies cause itchy skin but can also cause scooting and itching around the bottom.

Treatments for Allergies

Consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has allergies. They can prescribe dog-specific allergy medication that will help relieve the scooting.

The most common allergy medications used in dogs include:

  • Apoquel– An allergy pill that is highly effective at relieving itching in dogs with allergies.
  • Cytopoint– A safe and effective allergy injection used to treat itching secondary to allergies.
  • Steroids– A cost-effective and rapid relief allergy treatment with a few minor side effects.

4. Intestinal Parasites

Though not extremely common, intestinal parasites can occasionally cause butt scooting in Bostons. Butt scooting due to intestinal parasites is more common in Boston Terrier puppies.

Other symptoms of intestinal parasites include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Small rice-like worms around the bottom
  • Long white worms in the stool
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite

Treatment for Intestinal Parasites

If you suspect your pet has intestinal parasites, speak with your veterinarian about prescribing a dewormer. Your vet may wish to run a fecal test on your pet to figure out the type of worm causing the symptoms prior to administering dewormer. 

Different dewormers treat different intestinal parasites, so it is important to first consult with your veterinarian prior to administering a dewormer.

Why Does My Boston Scoot Its Butt? 6 Reasons & Treatments

5. Vaginal Irritation

Vaginal irritation in female Boston Terriers can cause butt scooting. Because the vulva is also on the back end, any irritation to this area may cause scooting.

Signs that your female Boston may have vaginal irritation include:

  • Licking around the vulva area
  • Vulva swelling
  • Redness and irritation of the skin around the vulva
  • Vaginal discharge

Treatment for Vaginal Irritation

If you suspect your female is scooting because of vaginal irritation, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. They will likely want to test the vaginal area to see if your Boston has a yeast infection or bacterial infection.

Depending on the cause of the irritation, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics, antifungal medications, or skin wipes to treat the irritation.

6. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another cause of scooting in Boston Terriers. When a dog has excessive amounts of diarrhea, the bottom can get inflamed and irritated. When the bottom gets inflamed, it becomes itchy and uncomfortable which may lead to scooting.

Treatment for Diarrhea

There are numerous different causes of diarrhea in Bostons ranging from intestinal parasites to stomach upset. 

If your Boston is having diarrhea, it is important to schedule a veterinary visit so your veterinarian can determine the cause of diarrhea.

Possible treatments for diarrhea in Bostons include veterinary prescribed antibiotics, veterinary low-fat diets, dewormers, and probiotics.

Is your Boston Terrier pooping blood? Read this article by Dr. Reinhard, 8 Reasons Your Boston Terrier Is Pooping Blood & What To Do About It!

Why Does My Boston Scoot Its Butt? 6 Reasons & Treatments


Scooting in Boston Terriers can be caused by many different issues. One of the most common causes of butt scooting is full anal glands which can be treated by anal gland expression by a veterinarian.

Unfortunately, most causes of scooting in Boston Terriers can not be treated at home. If you notice your Boston scooting excessively, I recommend calling your veterinarian.


Elliott, P. (2019). Top 7 Reasons Dogs Scoot Their Across the Floor. Petful. Retrieved from 

Nelson, J. (2019). Why Is My Dog Scooting? AKC. Retrieved from 

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Addie Reinhard, DVM

Addie Reinhard, DVM- Dr. Addie Reinhard is an experienced small animal veterinarian. She is a Boston Terrier lover and always enjoys caring for her Boston patients at the veterinary clinic. She is passionate about providing helpful educational resources to pet parents regarding animal diseases and preventative care. She lives in Lexington, KY with her husband, greyhound, and four cats.

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