Funny you should ask.
A-Jay began licking at the base of his tail and scooting on the carpet shortly after we got him. He had just tested negative for parasites/worms, so we figured it was his anal glands. Within a day of having them emptied, he was back at it.
We had the glands expressed again, and he went right back to the licking/scooting.
The vet gave us a cream to try,
but its not something you could use long term and as soon as we stopped using it, he started up again. He was on an antibiotic at the same time, because of a foot wound, so I'm thinking that would have addressed any chronic bacterial skin infection. The liquid that came out when the anal glands were expressed was normal, and there does not seem to be any impaction or infection in the glands, and the vet felt no tumors.
I was wondering if this could be a food allergy, so I went to a book I have that I really like (Pet Lover's Guide to Natural Healing for Cats & Dogs, by Barbara Fougere), and under "Itchy Dogs" it says that "if the itching is at the base of the tail, it is nearly always caused by a flea allergy. If the itching involves the front half of the dog (e.g., ears, paws, and flanks), it is usually atopy, a food allergy or scabies mites." (note that she uses the phrase "nearly always" and "usually" - which I took to mean these are guidelines for trying to guess what the heck is going on, but not necessarily concrete assumptions). Interestingly, it notes that flea allergy is the most common allergic skin disease in dogs. The first recommendation in all the subsequent sections is "treat for fleas - whether you see them or not." How do you treat for fleas, though, if you've already been using flea preventative on the dog?
It just doesn't seem to fit. I've flea combed the dogs, and they don't have fleas, and I'm 99.9% sure we don't have fleas in the house. He could easily have been bitten outside, which might have started something, but it has been going on for almost 2 months, and it seems to me like a reaction to a bite wouldn't last that long? So then I wondered if there might be some fungal or yeast thing going on that is causing the problem.
Whatever it is, the poor baby has rubbed himself raw, and he is actually getting sores on his bottom, so a couple of nights ago I brewed some green tea, and have been holding soaked gauze pads over the area for a few minutes, 2 - 3 times a day. It seems to be working.
He's not licking or scooting or bothering it, and its not red and the inflammation is gone. It seems like wishful thinking,
but I'm hoping he just needed to stop aggravating it in order for it to start healing.
If we can't resolve it, it seems like the most logical next step is to try an elimination diet to determine if there are food allergies. The first time he went to the vet specifically for this issue, my husband took him, so I don't know if they did a skin scrape, but that might be worth trying, too.
Anyhow, sorry to hear about your particular situation, and I wanted to let you know about the green tea, in case it might help while you are working on a resolution.