Dr. Al Townshend
The age-old adage “curiosity killed the cat” can also hold true for our canine companions. Skunks are somewhat friendly until another animal comes too close, and then all hell can break loose.
The skunk has two glands around the rectum (similar to the anal glands of a dog or cat) that have muscles that allow the skunk to squirt a fowl and disgusting spray as a defensive mechanism. It effectively prevents further interaction and enables the skunk to amble away undisturbed.
It leaves the pet and the Guardian in an almost panic situation. The odor can be so strong and unpleasant to keep all other animals away until the situation is resolved. What to do, where to go, and how do I effectively resolve this issue before the pet spreads the odor everywhere, including the house?
What To Do
- Keep the pet outside and under control until all the needed items are gathered.
- The pet is often sprayed in the muzzle, which can get in the eyes and cause the pet to rub. If that is the case, rinse with a wet sponge and eye drops, being careful not to get too much water on the pet.
- DO NOT BATHE THE DOG. Bathing with water, tomato juice, mouthwash, or any other mythical remedy will make further treatment less effective.
Most agree that a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and soap is the best choice. They are everyday household items that most will have in the home.
- 1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide (also available at any pharmacy).
Be sure it is just 3%. Stronger solutions can bleach the pet’s hair coat if left on too long.
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 teaspoon liquid soap
- Rub the mixture down to the skin and cover every area of the pet. Be careful not to get the mix in the eyes, and don’t leave it on too long. If you haven’t gotten the skunk spray on yourself, use rubber gloves and an apron for protection.
- The odor should dissipate once the entire body is covered with the mixture.
- Rinse the pet thoroughly to get all of the mixture off the pet.
- Wash the pet with a mild canine shampoo and rinse thoroughly.
If the Guardian’s clothes are contaminated with the smell, washing them with regular laundry detergent and ½ cup of baking soda should fix the problem.