The odor of skunk in the neighborhood brings the fear of having your dog sprayed. Outdoor cats also run the risk of getting sprayed. The dog will not know why he suddenly is banned from the house and no one will come near him. If your dog does get sprayed, you want a quick fix. There are homemade and commercial remedies for eliminating the smell from your pet that work pretty well. Tomato juice is a common one.
A recent issue of Dog Fancy magazine presented a solution for this obnoxious odor which is made up of ingredients most of us keep on hand, though maybe not in these quantities. The solution was suggested by Leslie Sinclair, DVM. This homemade solution oxygenates the thiols, the part of the skunk spray that stinks, to neutralize the odor.
Mix the following ingredients in a non-metal container: One quart 3-percent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda (not baking powder) and 2 tablespoons of Ivory liquid dishwashing soap.
Soak the dog's fur with lukewarm water and then soap him/her up with the washing solution, taking care not to get it in the eyes. Leave the solution on for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse well. This solution works for your clothes as well as with anything else that gets the skunk smell on it.
When finished, discard all solution down the drain with plenty of running water. Do not try to store it. It quickly loses its strength and the oxygen gas it emits can cause a closed container to blow up.
Hydrogen peroxide is dated and once it is open, is not effective for long periods. Keep a fresh supply on hand. Most bottles of hydrogen peroxide contain 16 ounces. Two full bottles make a quart. It is a very inexpensive product so watch the date and replace it as needed. This solution really works but do remember the precautions. Ivory liquid is also a good product to keep on hand. It is a soap, not a detergent, and is gentle and non-irritating.
Continuing with health issues, this has been a particularly bad year for stickers and fox tails. Be watching for them as they can cause serious problems both for dogs and cats if not found and tended to right away. Long-haired pets and dogs with drop ears are particularly susceptible. Stickers can work their way down the ear canal and then are difficult and dangerous to remove. Serious pain will result. They latch on to the coat or wedge between the toes. In the process of trying to chew them off himself, the dog can get these stickers attached either inside or outside of his mouth. If not found right away, infections can result which are expensive to treat. Or the stickers can get entangled in a mat of hair and become imbedded in the skin.
If your dog is suddenly shaking his head, scratching at his ears, chewing on his feet or acting like something is bothering him, check it out. This is one of the reasons why regular brushing is so important. In the process of brushing, you will usually find any foreign objects. Once the spot is inflamed and swollen, a visit to the veterinarian is necessary. Sometimes the vet must operate to remove the imbedded object and this usually requires sedation or even putting your pet under anesthesia. Although necessary, this is never easy on an animal. Surgery most often will be followed with a time on antibiotics to prevent infection. All this can be avoided by keeping a watchful eye on your pets and regular grooming.
Christy Wrather is a columnist for the Payson Roundup. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by snail-mail at HC1 Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.