Canine Squatting Down

by John
(New York, NY)

Reader Question: What Causes Dogs To Squat Down?

Our Irish Terrier has started squatting down as if scooting but receives regular de-worming treatment and we gave a two-day booster when this started happening. She has also been scratching at one side of her mouth and licking and chewing at a back paw.

Examining her as closely as she would allow I saw that there is raw skin between the pads on her paw and she has drawn blood on her mouth her persistent scratching. I'll take her to the vet but wondered if you had any ideas about what it might be.

Veterinarian Gives Possible Causes For Dogs That Squat Down


The combination of itchy face and feet makes me think an allergy is a likely diagnosis, although other health concerns can certainly cause these symptoms. Your dog’s itchy bottom could also be caused by an allergy (perhaps to an ingredient in her food or to environmental triggers like pollen, mold, dust mites, etc.) or be indicative of a problem with her anal glands.

I would start working up your dog’s condition with a physical exam including a check of her anal glands and unless the problem was then obvious, move on to skin scrapings to rule out mites, a fungal culture for ringworm, and skin cytology to check for infection. If none of these tests gave us an answer, I’d either begin empiric treatment for environmental allergies or start a food trial to rule out food allergies, depending on which problem I thought was most likely.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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