Thank God Tim and I have never experienced this but I'm happy to Blog on this as we do live in the country where we have seen and smelled many of these critters. Further to that, from what I understand from reading friends posts on social media about these encounters - complete panic and chaos seems to be the reaction!
Follower of my blog, Mary, is to be graciously thanked for initiating this. Upon doing my own research, getting "skunked" can not only be a very stinky situation but also very dangerous to our canine friends.
Lets understand the skunk : Skunks are nocturnal animals meaning that they are most active at dusk or night but please note I've personally seen them in the wide open during midday. They have a very keen sense of hearing as well as scent but are said to have impaired vision.
The skunks scent glands are very similar to canine anal glands. They are located on either side of the the skunks anus and produce an oily secretion that contains sulfur which leads to it's "eggy stench". The chemicals bind to skin proteins and are not water soluble. Simple bathing with water does not work to rid the smell and actually reactivates it so the odor can return after you pet gets wet.
Skunks rarely spray without giving notice but have been known to spray on "offense" if they have babies (kits) present. Typically, their warning consists of hissing, stomping their feet, and raising their tail. Should you see this, please retreat immediately! Our canines however tend to do the complete opposite to our dismay!
Most commonly, dogs will be sprayed on or around the head as sadly, they're typically in an overly snoopy or aggressive situation with a skunk, leading the skunk to spray in defense. Skunk spray is not poisonous but can pack an extremely aggressive punch of smell. Getting a direct hit, can cause nausea or vomiting if swallowed and will act like tear gas if it gets in the eyes. Cases have been recorded where canines have even been temporarily blinded. If your dog gets sprayed directly in the eyes or mouth, seek immediate veterinary treatment.
Skunk spray permeates clothes, skin and fur, making it last for weeks. Research shows that a skunk's odor will last 14-21 days if left untreated but does slowly dissipate as it reacts to oxygen. Please know that the longer you wait to wash it off, the harder it will be to free yourself of the nasty odor.
It is recommended that if an encounter happens, your dog does need to be examined as skunks can also bite and or claw.
Treatment : You may wish to consider doing this outside to keep any smell "localized" and out of your home.
In a plastic container, combine 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid soap. Add lukewarm water if needed for larger dogs. Mix the ingredients well.
A chemical reaction will occur and the solution will start to fizz. Use it immediately as the effectiveness will decline rapidly.
Do not store this mixture or place the solution in a closed container or spray bottle. The pressure will build up and the container could burst. This could cause serious injury to you and your dog.
Quickly apply the solution to the affected arreas with deep massage to break the oils up (you may wish to wear rubber gloves and consider using a sponge!).
Always avoid getting mixture in your dogs eyes, ears or mouth area.
Allow the solution to remain on your dog for at least five to ten minutes.
Sadly, if the smell persists - RINSE AND REPEAT.
Do not let your dog lick the solution
It is always wise to consult and visit your vet!
Don't forget, it may FEEL like YOU'RE the victim here but truly it's your dog, praise and reward after treatment is done even though you may not feel like it!
- 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (found at any pharmacy or supermarket)
- 1/4 cup of baking soda.
- 1-2 teaspoons of liquid dish washing soap.
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