Let me start by explaining that the photos of this tree frog hanging out on our deck railing have noting to do with the title of this post or the story that will follow. They were just some cool pictures that I took that really didn’t have a story and since this story didn’t really have any photos to go with it I decided to pair the two.
Isn’t he cute?
On With the Story
It was shortly after 4:00 A.M. when I was awakened by the sound of my husband frantically calling “Ranger, Ranger No!”. I heard the screen door close and again my husband’s command, “Ranger No!”
“What’s going On?” I called from the comfort of my bed.
“Ranger just got sprayed by a skunk.”
In the few minutes it took me to get up and ready to help, my husband had already gathered the baking soda and peroxide and was getting Ranger in the bathtub. I gave him a towel to dry off the pup when he finished and spread a blanket on the floor for Ranger to roll on after his bath.
The smell of skunk permeated the house and my next task was trying to get rid of it. If you have never smelled skunk spray before I will try to describe it. Putrid is the best word I can think of. It will make your eyes water, your nostrils burn, give you a headache and will make you nauseated.
You may have guessed that this is not our first go around with de-skunking dogs. In fact we have had multiple skunk encounters with both Scout and Trooper falling victim. In most of the other occurrences we were largely able to keep the smell out of the house by bathing the boys before they came inside. This time that was not an option. This skunk was on our deck and was not in a hurry to go anywhere.
In order to get the smell out of the house the first thing I did was open some windows and put fans in a couple so they were blowing out. This didn’t seem to have any effect. Fortunately I remembered what I used a couple of years ago when Trooper got sprayed that did seem to help remove the odor from the house. It was a container of diatomaceous earth. This particular container has cinnamon oil infused in it because it is sold as a flea powder but since diatomaceous earth is said to absorb odors I decided to give it a try. I did not want to sprinkle it on the carpet because vacuuming it up can clog the filter and burn up the motor in a vacuum cleaner (it is best to use a shop vac if you do use it on the carpet). Thankfully it was not necessary to put it on the carpet. I only had to set the open container in the area when the odor was present, in this case the living room, and the odor began to fade away. Since the mud room also smelled of skunk I took a disposable cup and poured some of the diatomaceous earth into it. I then covered it with a paper towel and put a rubber band around it to hold the paper towel in place. I wanted it covered just in case it got tipped over. I placed it on the shelf in the mud room and again the smell began to fade away. By the end of the day the house was pretty much odor free.
As for Ranger, the peroxide and baking soda bath reduced the smell to a tolerable level but the smell lingered on him. It was about two weeks later when we took him to get his nails trimmed. After doing his nails the groomer used cotton balls with hydrogen peroxide on them to clean Ranger’s ears and wipe his eye lids and the corner of his eyes, while his eyes were closed. She also took a Q-tip with peroxide on it and cleaned inside the edge of nostrils. These were details that we missed and this really seemed to help.
There are a couple of other things that we have learned through these dog-skunk encounters. One is even when the odor seems to be completely gone it continues to lie in wait only to return the next time the dogs coat gets wet, and the next time, and the next time… It may actually take up to a year before the smell can no longer be detected on the wet dog.
The other is that getting sprayed by a skunk does not teach the dog a lesson. The next time he encounters a skunk curiosity will get the best of him or his instinct will take over. He will approach the skunk and this scenario will be repeated and THAT STINKS!