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Avoid Getting your Pet Skunked

Normally we start to worry about the arrival of skunks in our backyards much later in the year, but early spring is when skunks begin to show signs of moving around the neighbourhood again. Due to the unusually mild winter this year the skunks and also raccoons have not entirely disappeared and have been sighted in backyards throughout many of the winter months.

As pet owners, many of us have already had the unfortunate experience of a one on one contact with this cute, but very stinky creature known as the skunks!  With the early onset of warmer weather the skunks are becoming more visible to the general public and the pet population. We all know how curious our pets can be and can count on them to put their noses where they don’t belong and before you know it, you have a skunk encounter on your hands.

In the event that your pet gets sprayed by a skunk, you should assess them to make sure they are showing no signs of eye irritation, illness or have encountered any bite wounds. Please have your pet checked immediately by their Veterinarian if you have any concerns. Usually skunk sprays do not cause any lasting medical problems; it is normally just the terrible odour we have to deal with. Remember skunks can transmit rabies so ensure your pet is protected from this disease by keeping their vaccines up to date.

There are a number of skunk neutralizing products available for purchase at the Veterinary clinic, these help to neutralize the odour, but unfortunately do not make it disappear completely. It will help improve the odour issue but the only thing that will get rid of the odour entirely is time –lots and lots of time. Despite using the neutralizers, the skunky odour will return every time the pet’s fur gets damp; this can continue to be a problem for many weeks after the initial spray occurred.

The best advice we can give is to watch out for skunks and run in the other direction as soon as you see one and hopefully your dog will follow your lead. Unfortunately dogs never seem to learn and will get sprayed over and over again, maybe they think that eventually they will develop and immunity to this little black and white creatures powerful weapon of defence! So keep your eyes peeled and be on skunk alert.

Written by: Marie Hearn






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