Well, it took half a dozen Weims and over a dozen years, but we finally had our first skunking. I was bragging just the other day that I’d never had a dog that got skunked, and truth be told, we were due for it. My dogs hunt hard and love the furry critters almost as much as the feathered ones!
The scene: our property around 11 am. I usually free run my dogs a few times a week. Since they are hunting dogs, it’s not unusual for one to go missing for a few minutes so I wasn’t surprised when Macy couldn’t be located. I started calling her, and a few minutes later she bolted past me —- and wafted an unpleasant and familiar odor as she went. She sped down to the creek and started dunking her face, rubbing at her eyes. The smell got stronger. She recovered a bit and then promptly vomited. And vomited again, rubbing her face and eyes on the grass. OH NO, she’d been skunked!
We walked back up to the car (I ran, they trotted) and I did a quick google search on my phone as I loaded them up. Turns out, it wasn’t the vet but the closest Wal-Mart was our destination! Despite the barrage of wives tales that people will tell you, only four things are necessary to remove skunk odor, and this method is scientifically (and practically) proven to work.
- 1 quart hydrogen peroxide (make sure it’s fresh, since old peroxide turns into water)
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid
- Rubber gloves
Don’t mix these things together until you’re ready to use them. They bubble, foam, and could possibly explode if not used immediately.
My eyes were burning from having her in the car with me — I could only imagine how she felt! I lathered her up multiple times that day and the smell began to subside. They say it’s important not to leave the mixture on their coat for too long as it can bleach their fur. I already have a very light-colored Weim and I won’t lie — I left it on for a couple minutes and kept lathering. Her coat still looks fine after three washings and a shampoo. It still had a little bit of odor, but according to experts only time will remove that.
I washed her crate bedding in with Nature’s Miracle and the stink came right out. Her collar, however, was a different story. That went in the trash!
Skunks can leave an offensive smell on your dog, but can also do more damage in some cases. If a dog is sprayed directly in the mouth or eyes, it can damage the sensitive mucous membranes. If your pup gets a direct hit to the face, make sure to rinse his eyes really well with water or saline (contact solution is a great eyewash!).
In some cases, this can cause corneal ulcers, especially if the dog constantly paws at his face. Generally they will vomit if it gets into their mouth or nose, but this shouldn’t cause any lasting damage.
Check for any defensive marks left by teeth or claws. Skunks are a leading carrier of rabies, and the wounds could get infected if they aren’t kept clean. Small dogs can collapse and convulse after a direct hit, but this is not common in Weims. Generally there are no health consequences to your dog getting skunked. It’s just a smelly annoyance!
More Skunk Facts
- Striped skunks are the most common skunks in the US.
- They are mostly nocturnal, and tend to be passive animals unless directly threatened or cornered, for example, by a nosy canine!
- Skunks eat everything and anything.
- They live in dens or burrows underground and often use deserted burrows of other animals, dig dens under rock or wood piles, under buildings, etc.
- Skunks do not hibernate, but they can lower their body temperature and block the entrance to their dens. They are still able to defend themselves if your dog goes nose-first into their living room!
- Your Weimaraner is much more likely to have a run-in with a skunk in the warmer months.
- Skunks have a home range of about 2 miles from their dens.
- Skunks generally give fair warning before they spray their attacker, and can spray 3-5 times before they have to “reload” which takes about a week.
Skunk info/overview from http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/skunks.html