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Licking Butt

Maltipoo is Licking her Butt / Rear End

Maltipoo Question

Hi. I am wondering why my 5 month old female Maltipoo is almost constantly licking her butt. Sometimes, she acts funny when she is sitting, as if it is uncomfortable but the biggest problem is the licking.

She did not injure herself in any way, so I am hoping that you can tell me why in the world she is doing this! (It's kind of embarrassing when she does it in front of my friends or when I am trying to show her off).

Thank You ~ Lori M.


Hi Lori,

The good news is that this is a common issue and it can be fixed. The touch of bad news is that fixing it is not the most pleasant thing in the world...We will explain.

All dogs, including the Maltipoo have anal glands. These are small glands that are located on the outside of the dog, on each side of the rectum.
Maltipoo dog female
These glands are normally filled with fluid. These are also called scent glands, because dogs of both genders release super small amounts of the liquid when meeting another dog; it's how the communicate. In fact, it's rather interesting, because they can tell a lot about each other by doing this.  It lets the other know the dog's gender, health status and even his/her mood (if he/she wants to play or isn't in the mood to socialize, etc.) Also, some may be released in tiny amounts when having a bowel movement, particularly one that is hard and large. 

Some dogs never have a problem with them...But most dogs do experience an issue once in a while...And some dogs need to have them checked on a routine basis.

What happens, is that sometimes the fluid in those glands builds up. This makes the skin stretch and in turn it can cause itching or discomfort. And this is one of the most common reasons why a Maltipoo would keep licking their butt area. Since they can't really use a paw to scratch the area, they have to use their tongue. 

It sounds like that is what your Maltipoo is doing right now.

Another way that dogs deal with this issue is that they will do what is called "Scooting"...An owner will notice that they rub their bottom on the floor or on the grass and this is often done right after a bowel movement has been pushed out.

Owners who do not know about Maltipoo anal glands will something think that their dog is actually wiping their behind after a bowel movement.  It really looks like that is what they are doing, but it is just a scratching method like the licking.
Now, when these glands fill up, 1 of 2 different things can happen:

1. If filled with fluid, an owner can "express" the glands to release the fluid (Or have a vet or groomer do this)

2. If the fluid has been in the glands for a while, it may have thicken up to a consistency that is similar to peanut butter - At this point an owner cannot and should not try to express them - The dog must be brought to the vet.

If you were to try to express the glands yourself, be aware that the odor is very overpowering. It can make some people gag. Also, until you have had practice, it can be messy. For that reason, it is suggested to do the procedure in the bathtub. It is expressed very similar to how one would "pop a pimple"....A finger is placed on either side of the gland and pressure is put inward until it "pops". The fluid that comes out will be a foul smelling red-to-brown color.

Since this is your 1st experience with a Maltipoo anal gland issue and because we cannot know if that fluid has turned into the thick substance...We would highly suggest having your dog's veterinarian check them out. You ask to watch him or her express the glands so that you can see how it is done and you will be prepared if it is to happen again. 
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