Close Encounters of the Wildlife Kind

This time of year means warm, wonderful walks with our companion animals.  But it also means they run a higher risk of encountering wildlife they (and you) will never forget!  Here are a few tips on taking care of our pets after one of those “encounters”…


First, meet Pepe Le Pew!  For those not old enough to remember Pepe, he was a skunk!  I can clearly remember when Bandit, my dog, met up with her first skunk.  It was in our back yard.  I let her out to go “do” for the last time that night when I suddenly caught a whiff.  I yelled at her to come back ASAP but, of course, she HAD to see what that thing was calmly sauntering across our yard.  Well, the “something” was a big, fat skunk.  Bandit ran after it, mouth open, only to encounter the worst mouth wash she had EVER tasted!  Well, she backed off and, much to my surprise, ran after that skunk AGAIN.  Guess what happened then! Yepper – another shot to the mouth.  It was only then that she ran back inside – Oh joy, oh joy!


Well it was off to the tub VERY quickly so the “skunk perfume” didn’t get TOO imbedded in the rugs….  First thing was to wash her eyes out with water.  The spray from a skunk will not harm eyes – just irritate them!  Wash with water or natural tear solution.


Next is the de-skunk shampoo.  I’ve used this recipe and it works – although some times you will have to re-shampoo a few times.  Remember to leave it in for about 10-15 minutes before rinsing…


1 quart, 3% hydrogen peroxide

1 cup dish soap or mild detergent

¼ cup baking soda


Mix all the ingredients together and lather your pet well.  Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse well – Repeat until the smell is gone.  If your pet ingests any of the solution, know that hydrogen peroxide, although harmless, will make a pet vomit if they take in enough.


Do NOT store the mixture – throw away any unused portions.


The second critter to beware of is the porcupine.  Now, I’ve been told “the porcupine attacked my dog” and I had to literally hold back laughing.  Please know that the porcupine is one of, if not THE most, docile, slow moving mammals out there.  There is NO way a porkie will EVER attack a dog – WHY would it?  It’s got a natural defense system that will send ANY predator running!!!


So if bowser bites a porkie (I’ve never seen a cat attack a porkie!), there will be issues.  Namely, LOTS of quills – the ones you can see and the ones you can’t……  Quills have barbs on them and they only go one way – IN.  These quills can puncture eyes, joints, abdomens and chests of the dogs that attack them.  Smaller quills can become imbedded under the skin very quickly which leads to some severe infections.  NEVER, EVER, EVER TRY TO PULL QUILLS OUT YOURSELF!!!  You will end up doing more harm and causing EXTREME pain to your dog.  Never cut them off, either.  If your dog gets quilled, CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY!  Get the poor, suffering pooch to the vet ASAP.  Your dog needs to be anesthetized and the quills removed by a veterinarian.  Again, NEVER try to do this yourself.  There are quills that you won’t be able to see and your dog will need to be put on antibiotics as well.

So prevention is the best method for avoiding this VERY costly, VERY painful issue.  Through all my years dealing with animals, I’ve gotten this question quite often…“My dog keeps getting into fights with porcupines.  I don’t know what to do”….My answer?  “GET A LEASH FOR THE DOG!” Jeeze.


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