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Dear Labby: Petiquette for dogs (and their people)

Dragging behind? Dear Labby discusses

Dear Labby,

Some friends down the street stopped over for lunch last weekend and they brought their Golden Retriever/Great Dane mix. During our post-lunch conversation, the dog scooted and dragged and scraped her butt across our floor. When she reached the end of the carpet she turned around and came back performing the very same maneuver. A two-legged butt drag, at speed.

I didn't dare say a word for fear of embarrassing our guests but shouldn't they have jumped up and asked her to stop? And is the dog doing that because she has a disease or bug and should I be worried about that bug being in my carpet now?

Signed:

Mutt Of Our Neighbor Wiggles Across Livingroom and Kitchen, Embarrassing the Diners!

Most often, butt dragging is caused by impacted stool in the dog's anal sacs. Delightful, no? (And you thought the idea of a parasite was gross.) "Expressing the anal sacs," as they say, is easily done by a vet or groomer - and should be taken care of as soon as possible to alleviate a rather uncomfortable situation for your dog.

There's a small chance the dragging is caused by tapeworm. But here's the good news: once liberated from the dog's bowels, these disgusting little bugs just dry up and die. They're not hanging out in the depths of your carpet, plotting your demise. (Again, a visit to the vet is necessary if tapeworm is the culprit.)

As for your guests' lack of expression regarding their dog's anal sac expressing, that certainly is a puzzler, M.O.O.N.W.A.L.K.E.D. According to petiquette, an immediate "Oh, silly dog! Let's take a walk around the block" was in order. Since your guests didn't offer, I would've suggested a lighthearted, "Looks like Michael Jackson could use a stroll - I'll grab the leash!"

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