Ray … why you?

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,Β  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.Β  Or maybe something stung or bit him that released a toxin.Β  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!

** *** ***** *** **

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).

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50 thoughts on “Ray … why you?

    • That is often recommended here also, but the most common additional info is that it does not do a particularly good job. We used a product called Skunk-Off which was fairly good, but it had a residual odor so Ray has only just now started smelling like a dog again! πŸ™‚

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  1. It’s highly distressing to even read. How did you and Carol get through. I was scared if Ray was okay ! I got to know about skunks for the first time in this post. I am glad Ray is safe. Although it was quite rude for the hospital staff to react the way they did!

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    • The skunk liquid is an oil so is not easy to neutralize, and water just accentuates the odour! If Ray had been allowed to wait in the vet clinic, he would have left traces of skunk wherever he walked, sat, lay and generally touched. They would have had to close down for a while, so they were just being very practical, and an assistant did come outside with us to help.

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  2. Poor Sam, and you and Carol too! Fortunately we have not had the skunk experience with Kali or Kloe. Interestingly when we lived in Suburbia they would come around the yard a lot; in fact we found a family of skunks had built a nest under a shed in the yard. Now out in the mountains I see a lot of skunk roadkill but have never seen or smelled one on our property. There may be a reason but I think I’ll just count our blessings and leave it at that.

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    • Thank you for letting me know Paul. There has been a lot of positive feedback, generally in the context that the individual was able to relate to a number of the pieces. Those kinds of comments make it so worthwhile! πŸ™‚

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  3. My old cat Jake didn’t exactly get skunked but he did get skunk stink on him. Maybe he got a spritz or rolled in something. Anyhow I could smell it for a long time. I don’t know if that’s because it was in my head or if it hung around that long. Definitely not a good time.

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      • You are right. Jake didn’t smell as strong as something that got a full spray. I couldn’t figure out what he did. They do act like there’s nothing wrong and want to sit in your lap. Then your clothes sort of smells and people look at your funny! πŸ™‚ The joys of having pets!

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        • That was the first bath that Ray has ever had, although he gets brushed regularly. He never rolls in smelly stuff so just smells of dog. People sometimes look at us a little strange when they hear that Ray hasn’t had a bath in 5 years! πŸ™‚

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          • I don’t bath my cats unless the get poop stuck on their butt and then only their back end. Cats are clean by nature unless they are old and sick. In our neighborhood there is a mobile doggie groomer that comes through and bathes dogs every month. They also get clipped and trimmed. I always like natural dogs although for some breeds a clip may be more comfortable in the summer.

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  4. Oh goodness! I have heard so much about the awful smell of skunk and how hard it is to get rid of. I hope you succeed in the end, but I suspect you might be smelling it for some time yet! Luckily we don’t come across them in our area. (Tho the dead putrified bird that LM once rolled in smelled bad enough!)

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  5. I didn’t know about the young skunks. Interesting. If you have an ionizing air purifier in the house, use it. If Ray has a kennel, put him in it and the ionizer pointing toward him. Use it on everything. If you don’t, it’s a great investment. (Believe me, it works.)

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  6. Oh No, Poor Ray! I remember you writing about a family of skunks before and being so glad that Ray hasn’t got “skunked” Poor Ray. wasn’t so lucky this time! Glad that at least it wasn’t anything worse.
    I guess I was totally off with my guess on Wednesday as to why you all were told to get Ray out of the office! But yes it does make sense that they weren’t interested in the skunk scent being the new scent for the office! Hopefully you can get the lingering smell out of your house, car and off of Ray soon!
    I would say that Ray has deserved an extra dose of treats through all this and you and Carol deserve to treat yourselves too. πŸ™‚

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