How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10382
Experience:  I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Oliver is a king Charles spaniel that is fighting to nibble

This answer was rated:

Oliver is a king Charles spaniel that is fighting to nibble around his tail and bottom area. He was favoring his left side where he was nibbling as well, when walking. He yelps when he walks and the only thing helping him is just laying down. What might be going on with him?
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to help you with your dog today.

Dogs chew at their rumps on the ground for several different reasons:


First, they may actually have intestinal parasites. Dogs generally get 4 kinds of worms: hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms and roundworms, and you can't always see them with the naked eye. If a dog isn't actively shedding the adult worms, you need a microscope to determine if they even have them. A fecal sample brought to your regular vet where they can use a special solution and a microscope to look at the sample is the only way to know for sure if your dog has worms and/or what kind they might have.


Secondly, full anal glands. Dogs have two small pea-sized glands located just inside the rectum. In the past, they were used to scent mark so that other dogs would know where they were and what territory belonged to that particular dog. These days, those glands aren't necessary in tame dogs, but they have them anyway. The glands are filled with a foul smelling, oily substance and can sometimes become impacted or abscessed. Even dogs who have never had a problem with their anal glands in the past can get a problem with them, so having your vet check them to see if the glands are full is a good idea. If the glands are full, the vet will manually express them so that they're empty again. Once empty, the dog will generally stop bothering their bottoms.


Finally, they may have an irritation in the anal area such as dried feces or other things that can cause itches. If you can't see a problem with the naked eye, then the best thing to do is to have your vet take a peek. A quick fecal test and checking of the anal glands usually finds the problem.


I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've actually expressed his glands recently. This seems to be an ortho issue... why is he walking funny? Also, why is he yelping?

Hi, I'm Dr. Deb. I
I recently came online and see that you still have questions about Oliver. I'd like to help if you still require assistance.


I can understand why you might think that an orthopedic problem is causing Oliver's behavior since he's clearly in pain but there may be another explanation for his symptoms.

If Oliver is trying to intensely chew and nipple on his body in one particular area and yet seems quite painful when you try to look at it, then it sounds like he may have a hot spot or what is also called moist dermatitis. (LINK). These lesions are always secondary to self-trauma but the underlying cause is different for each dog.

For some dogs, they've done so much damage to their skin that they become infected and are quite uncomfortable...which could account for his awkward gait and yelping (because of pain). I've actually had very mild mannered dogs try to bite me when they've had a hot spot and I've gone to examine it. The extent of the skin lesion may not be obvious in a long-haired dog; it's only after the fur is trimmed that you often see how extensive the damage is.
In addition to trimming the fur from the area, we typically clean the skin well with anti-bacterial products (such as very dilute betadine or iodine) and then dispense antibiotics and usually anti-inflammatory drugs. If he won't let you examine the area, then you're going to be limited in what you can do for him at home, unfortunately.
And, if he's that painful, I wouldn't want you to try since he might injure you although I'm sure it would not be intentional....he's just in pain.

You could also put a cone on him to prevent further damage to his body; you might be surprised at how much damage he could actually do in a fairly short amount of time. You'd think that he wouldn't continue to traumatize the area since it obviously hurts (if this is the problem, of course), but most dogs don't use common sense when it comes to hot spots.

If he were having a problem with his spine, then he could be painful and favor one leg, but these dogs are not usually trying to chew at their bodies with any great intensity. They might lick at their bodies somewhat but this is not usually seen in most dogs.

What you can do to help with his discomfort is to give him Aspirin at a dose of 10 mg/lb twice a day (with food to avoid stomach upset). As long as he's not currently taking any other n'said medication and as long as he's not vomiting, then this drug would be safe to give him.
My only hesitation about advising it's use would be that it might interfere with what your vet would want to prescribe but several doses should be ok.

I hope this helps and gives you some possible explanations for his behavior. Deb

Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10382
Experience: I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
Dr. Deb and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you