Here's what to do if your dog gets skunked

Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by Vicki, May 24, 2009.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator

    Here's what to do if your dog gets skunked

    By William Hageman
    Tribune Newspapers reporter
    May 24, 2009

    What's worse than having your dog skunked? How about having your skunked dog run through the house, leaving a trail of stink that's nearly impossible to get rid of?

    Spring is here, and so again are skunks, who are busy courting and mating and spreading their scent hither and yon -- including on dogs.

    "We had three the other day," says Francine Barnes, owner of Carriage Hill Kennels in Glenview, Ill., where skunked dogs can get cleaned up. "We're probably doing a couple a week now. We even had some in March, which is unusual. It's April, May, June when they really kick in."

    Skunks, which are also high on the list of animals that carry rabies, are more likely to be found in rural areas. But they do turn up in some sections of cities near wooded areas, for example. Glenn Mayer, a member of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association who has a practice on the city's Far Northwest Side, says he had a skunked Shih Tzu brought in recently.

    There are things a pet owner can do.

    Reduce the skunk threat by not making them welcome. Never leave pet food outside, don't feed skunks, keep trash containers secure, and remove piles of brush that could serve as shelter. When you take the dog out at dawn or dusk -- when skunks are most active -- flip on a yard light and make a lot of noise first to scare them off.

    Even after taking all the precautions, though, your dog can run afoul of the critters. Should the worst happen, the first thing to do is close your doors and keep the dog outside. There's nothing worse than a skunked dog running through a house, trying to rub the scent off on rugs or furniture.

    Don't hose off the dog. A skunk's oily musk can't be removed by water; in fact, water only makes things worse. Also worth noting: Tomato juice doesn't work as a remedy. It'll just turn your dog pink.

    Instead, Barnes recommends a homemade solution (see accompanying instructions).

    Still, the stench can persist, according to veterinarian Lawrence M. Fox, who practices in River Grove, Ill.

    "I can often detect the odor on a dog just brought in for a routine visit, and when I question the owner, [he or she will] recollect that the dog was skunked some weeks prior," he says.

    "The most effective [remedy] is time," adds Barnes, who has been in the kennel business for more than 40 years. "It's just got to wear off.

    "My dad used to say that on a warm sunny day, put your dog out in the sun and let it bake off."

    Anti-skunk dog rinse

    1 quart fresh hydrogen peroxide (available at any drugstore or grocery store)

    1/4 cup baking soda

    2 tablespoons liquid dish soap (preferably Dawn)

    1. Mix all ingredients. The mixture will bubble, and it must be used when freshly made, while it's still active.

    2. The washing should be done outside; wear protective gloves.

    3. Don't wet the dog; pour the mixture over the dry dog, being careful not to get any in the animal's eyes, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

    4. Rinse and repeat.

    5. If the smell persists, make another batch of solution and go another round. (And it's probably not a bad idea to follow up with a professional groomer.),0,3275582.story
  2. Miakoda

    Miakoda New Member

    Another useful tip is to put a drop of mineral oil in each eye before the bath. This will protect the eyes should any of the mixture get into them.
  3. Renee

    Renee New Member

    I am so thankful that Bimmer's taught Kharma to go the other direction from a skunk, lol.

    Shiva, on the other hand, seems to have perfected a method of killing them without getting sprayed. She seems to think they're delicious. All that's left is the head, tail, and gland area, and all she ever has is a faint skunky odor on her jowls. Good thing, too, because I know if she got sprayed the ex would bring her to me to clean up :rolleyes:

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