We have had a long spell of really hot and humid weather, such that we have tried to take Ray out for shorter walks than usual both in the morning and in the evening. He is not too enthusiastic about his walks in these conditions, but we can all benefit from the exercise!
Our typical routine is to tell Ray that it is walk time and, while he is waiting to go, we fiddle around with preparations. Do we have his bottle of water? His collapsible water bowl. Do we have treats and poop bags? Do we need to have money with us? Did I take my 7:00 pill?
This past Monday, rather than have him wait for us to get organized, we put his harness on him and let him out into the back garden. Typically he would go and pee, and then wait for us at the gate.
We were ready a few minutes later, so we locked up the house and went into the garden to leash him and go. What a shock we got! We saw our Ray, clearly distressed. He had large “strings” of yellowy drool hanging from his jaw. He was salivating badly and foaming at the mouth, whilst also shaking his head and then burying it in the grass. While he was not exactly choking, he was obviously having difficulty getting this rather disgusting mess out of his body.
We had smelled skunk many times before and, while this was very similar, it was not quite the same. I would describe it as skunk with a strong addition of very potent lime. It was highly pungent and quite overpowering. Carol did a brief Google inquiry, and discovered there were quite a few animals and insects which could present a serious problem to Ray with their natural defense systems.
We thought that perhaps he had bitten into or eaten an animal, or something toxic, that he had found in the backyard. Or maybe something stung or bit him that released a toxin. Carol couldn’t see anything when she pried his jaws open, so a fast decision had to be made and, not wishing to take any chances, we put an old painting “drop-sheet” down in the back of my vehicle for Ray to lay on, and off we went to our nearest 24 hour emergency vet clinic.
When we arrived, we quickly took him in, and were greeted with “Get that dog outside!” One of the staff followed us out into the parking lot, and advised us that he had been “skunked”! I mentioned that this was different to any skunk I had experienced before, to which she explained that what I was smelling was a young skunk, and the fluid was very fresh. They recommended a particular product, which we already had at home, so back home we went.
Ray was kept outside while we collected old towels, a bucket of water, and mixed up some deskunking shampoo.He was not particularly happy with this change of routine but, with lots of treats, he was relatively cooperative. The “drop-sheet” in the back of the car was put in a garbage bag, and his collar, harness and leash soaked in the shampoo mix.
Some investigative sniffing of our own determined that our shoes had picked up traces of the skunk fluid, and so also had to be soaked … and then where we had walked when we first entered the house had to be treated.
While being told to “Get that dog outside!” was a bit of a shock, it is understandable that no business would want the odor of skunk associated with their image!
It is now Friday morning, and my car, our home, and Ray, still have traces of skunk odor, or is it perhaps the skunk treatment shampoo residue? We may just have to treat all the problem areas again!
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To learn more about our beloved Ray, please click on the book cover of “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” (in right side column).