Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Potentially Useful Recipe



Interrupting the trip recaps with a story that is both tragic and comedic. Here in North Park, skunks are rather common and quite fearless. They roam from yard to yard, making their dens under houses (we've seen whole families slip through an open crawlway). Well, two NP skunks have met their fate in our yard, not realizing that Canus lupus familiaris is apparently one of their predators. To be fair, I think there's only one member of C. lupus familiaris who finds the thrill of victory to outweigh the disgusting stench. That's me trying to be polite and not say that someone is too dumb to learn that black and white stripes with a big tail = stink.

To date... Bear: 2 Skunks: 0

Last year, he went after an adult skunk and all olfactory nerves within a 2-house radius paid for it for a full day. Even after being immediately scrubbed down with skunk wash, dog shampoo, and a full groom the next day, he reeked of skunk for months. The worst died down after a couple of weeks, but the smell lingered in his hair follicles until Thanksgiving (first time was August 2007).

This past Friday, I let him out without checking the yard first. Next thing I knew, that all-too-familiar stink filled my nostrils. This time, though, it was a juvenile who went down fighting. D. went to pick up the body the next morning and found it with its teeth still bared.

Moo: Bear, it's a little one! You're a baby killer!

Bear: *grin* pant, pant, pant *tail wag*

No remorse, that one. You'd think he'd learn. In light of this event, I present a recipe:

Skunk Wash

1 quart hydrogen peroxide
1/2 cup baking soda
1 tsp. liquid soap (dish soap is fine)

Do not add water and do not mix in a closed container. Soak affected areas (since skunk spray is oily, it's ideal to use it on the whole body in case the spray spread) for five minutes, then wash with warm water. Be very careful when washing near the eyes or mouth. Follow with regular pet shampoo. Dry the pet thoroughly.

For best results, use it as soon as the pet's been sprayed. The vet office that gave us the recipe (thank goodness for 24-hour vet emergency rooms) said that the wash will be ineffective if the owner waits too long.

Ideally, if a regular grooming can be scheduled the next day, it helps, especially if the pet was hit full-blast at close range. Expect the smell to linger lightly for about 2-3 months. Since we had leftover wash and our poor little friend had met his end on a barren patch of sideyard, we poured the remainder over and around his body. That reduced the stench and made it easier to bag and leave out for the city's dead animal collection. Plus, the neighbors won't wonder what the hell happened... again.

6 bites:

Darlene said...

Not that I've experienced what Bear has been through, I've also heard that bathing your pup in tomato soup works. Another alternative I heard from another person is a douche bath.

KirkK said...

Hey GF - Now this is a really useful recipe! ;o) Whenever Sammy sees skunks, he always wants to go play......I always cringe at the possible outcome.

Rayrena said...

Ugg, my sympathies to you! That smell just doesn't seem to go away! One of our dogs bite a skunk in the butt and got sprayed in her mouth and face. Try washing that out. Almost impossible to lather up the face well enough. The skunk crawled to the front yard and died.

Luckily animal control came out and collected the, uh, cadaver. Unluckily, I was home alone for the week and to usher Khyber through the house and sequester her in the garage to keep her separated from the skunk. She threw up skunk stank in the garage (which made it stick for weeks) and the house ended up smelling for weeks. Not to mention how long she smelled. Dogs, gotta love how much they want to protect their yards :)

moowiesqrd said...

Darlene- I'm sure Bear would enjoy tomato soup much more than the peroxide!

Kirk- Keep it on hand... hopefully, Sammy will never indulge the urge to play with skunks.

Rayrena- The lady at Environmental Services is not very nice... I'm mad at Bear for giving me more reasons to deal with her. ;) Bear's first time was around the eyes, nose, and some in the mouth. Poor guy tasted skunk for days and could barely eat. Still... he didn't learn. Dogs, gotta love 'em.

Alice Q. said...

Oh how well we know this recipe - Bart hasn't ever actually gotten ahold of one that we know of - but he did get soaked in the face once going after one under the car. Foaming at the mouth, vomiting, the whole bit. This stuff really does work - you have to try and leave it on for a little while, which can be tough with a struggling dog in the shower. For lighter mistings of skunk - Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap works pretty well too!

moowiesqrd said...

Alice- Awwww, poor Bart! The shower! You're much braver than we are. The first thing Bear wants to do post-skunking is rub his face on any surface he can find. Then, he wants to go to his happy place, the bed. We're terrified that if we tried to wash him inside, we'd end up with a skunked house.

Bear loves going after animals under cars, too. 70+ pounds dive-bombing asphalt is definitely a powerful force on the arms. He's nearly toppled me before.

6 bites