Thursday, November 2, 2006

Oh, Stink!

1. Which of the following animals do not belong in a friendly neighborhood in small-town Saskatchewan?
a. Sasha, a beautiful Bichon mommy
b. Alaska, a beautiful Bichon puppy
c. Harpo, a beautiful Bichon daddy
d. Stinky Skuny, a horrible, terrible, awful invader

a) Sasha b) Alaska
c) Harpo
d) Stinky Skunky

(Answer: d) Stinky Skunky)

Last night before I went to bed, I let my 3 dogs out to the back yard just like I do every night before I go to bed. It was about 11 p.m. when most of the neighborhood is already sleeping. Within 1 minute of putting them out, there was a HUGE commotion at one of our side gates. I called the dogs, but they didn't listen. They were so worked up over whatever it was they had discovered, they were ignoring my desperate pleas for them to come back into the house. At first I thought they were freaking over my neighbor's cat, but it didn't take long to realize what was really going on. The smell. The stench. The horror. They had discovered a skunk and that skunk was not impressed. It sprayed all three of them.

With all the commotion Wayne got out of bed, grabbed his flashlight and headed out the door to corral the dogs in. By this point my puppy Alaska was already at the back door with a pathetic look on her face indicating she was panic-stricken by what was going on. Sasha and Harpo followed close behind, and they too looked unhappy with the outcome of this ordeal.

So, here I was, at 11:10 p.m. searching for anything tomato-based. I conjured up a mixture of tomato soup and tomato sauce and began the process of dealing with the problem. All 3 dogs had their tomato shampoo, followed by 2 more shampoos of the stuff I normally use when I bath them. As you can see by the pictures, my dogs are normally pure white. Well, not after the tomato bath. They all have a sort of orange hue to accentuate their features. Hopefully that will eventually work its way out of their hair. I may have to give them another bath today to try to whiten them up a bit more.

I've always been under the impression that using a tomato-based product on your pet after it's been sprayed by a skunk is the best way to get rid of the odor. Even Zooboomafoo promoted this method in one episode. However, when I was searching for a picture of a skunk to use in this post, I discovered the following article at (excerpts only. The original is too long to include):

You have probably heard that the best way to get rid of skunk odor is to wash your dog – or if you’re really unlucky, yourself – with tomato juice. This is an old wives' tale which does not work. The only thing worse than skunk odor on your dog is the combined smell of skunk and tomato juice! Here are some of the best ways to remove skunk odor from your dog.

Immediately wipe off your dog with paper towels to remove fluid that hasn’t soaked in yet.

Two effective products are Earths Balance - Skunk Free and Petastic - Skunk Odor Eliminator. You should consider having these on hand before your dog gets sprayed. Skunks are nocturnal animals, so it is likely that your dog will be sprayed at the most inopportune time, such as a chilly spring evening just as you are about to go to bed. These late night encounters mean that your local pet store which carries these products will probably be closed. If you are planning to use these products, do not use any other methods before or after application because they will interfere with the activity of the enzymes that remove skunk odor, causing them to be ineffective.

You can use Listerine or any other antiseptic mouthwash. Apply the mouth wash to the affected areas, let it soak for a few minutes and rinse. You can repeat this as necessary. Another remedy to make yourself is as follows:

1 quart of hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup of baking soda
1 teaspoon of dish soap

Combine the ingredients at the time of use. This solution works to remove skunk odor because of a chemical reaction initiated immediately upon combining the ingredients. If it sits for too long, it will become ineffective.

Apply the mixture to the affected areas, let it set for about five minutes and rinse. If you need to repeat the process, you must create a new solution, as the chemical reaction quickly expires. Avoid getting it into your pet’s eyes, nose and mouth.

Dealing with a dog that has been skunked is a miserable experience.
No matter how horrible the skunk odor that emanates from your dog, keep in mind that he was only fulfilling an instinctual curiosity. Your dog is probably suffering from this encounter more than you are; being sprayed by a skunk, especially in the eyes, is very painful, not to mention that a dog’s sense of smell is much keener then that of humans.

I'm not sure if I totally agree with this article. I used the tomato product and it seems to have worked. And if it didn't there's nothing I can do about it now, because the article states that
If you are planning to use these products, do not use any other methods before or after application because they will interfere with the activity of the enzymes that remove skunk odor, causing them to be ineffective. So I guess we'll all have to just live with my horrible mistake of not using the correct concoction.

What I'm finding to be the worst thing about this now is my paranoia. I don't really want to let my dogs out to the back yard anymore, especially when it's dark. I do not want to re-live this experience over again, and neither do they. But they need to go outside to do their business. I think I'll be going out with them for a while to "supervise" this activity. As much as I dread doing that, I think I dread the skunk spray more.

Our neighbors already have a skunk trap set out. They told us a couple of days ago that they had caught a skunk which was living under their deck. But they didn't tell us there was another one! (I actually don't think anyone knew until the encounter with my dogs). Hopefully "Stinky Skunky" was caught overnight and this nightmare can end.

Our whole house smells like a skunk. I'm hoping this smell will dissipate over time. If anyone has any suggestions about removing the awful smell from the air (and I don't mean using an air freshener - that just "masks" the odor), please let me know.

I thought I was having a bad week already. It just keeps getting worse.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Oh no... That is so aweful. I really have no words...