The warmer weather is just around the corner but so are 2 nocturnal creatures, the skunk and porcupine. These animals pose a threat to our pets. Skunk spray can be harmful depending on where our pets are sprayed, but porcupines have a more serious weapon, their quills.
Skunks by nature are a docile creature but will defend themselves. Initially a skunk will hiss, stamp its feet and raise its tail as a warning and when these warning signs are ignored the skunk will spray their anal sac secretions. These secretions contain a mixture of sulfur containing thiols which give the characteristic odour of rotten eggs, garlic and burnt rubber. This foul smelling spray is meant to ward off predators. Skunks can spray these secretions up to 7-15 ft and have very accurate aim. Getting sprayed by a skunk is commonly referred to as being “skunked”.
Most times our pets are sprayed on their faces causing them to rub their faces, roll, sneeze and sometimes vomit. Occasionally, the spray makes contact with the pets eyes causing ocular edema (swelling), conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers which requires veterinary attention.
Treatment is aimed at converting the thiols, which are not water soluble into nonodourous compounds. Bathing dogs and cats in a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will accomplish this ( see attached recipe ).
Krebaum skunk odour removal formula
1 quart fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1-2 tsp of liquid dish washing detergents
For large dogs, add 1 quart of tepid water to ensure complete coverage. Mix the above ingredients together. Bathe the animals outdoors. Apply the formula to the pet, working deeply into the fur and allow it to set for 5 minutes. Rinse with a large amount of water. Repeat if necessary.
Dangers of the porcupine to follow in next blog