farming Vermont

sketches of three striped skunks

This is the face of a dog who deeply regrets her choices. Farm Dog Caraway got sprayed directly in the face by a skunk a few days ago and didn't realize how many baths would result.

a black and white dog is laying on a blanket on a deck bench, looking regretful

I'm hopeful she's learned her lesson, since immediately after getting sprayed she started frantically wiping her face in the grass, clearly the smell was not an enjoyable experience. 

For those who might need to deskunk a pet in the future, I can recommend "Skunks Etc." enzyme wash as the most effective treatment I tried. It still took several rounds to make her even remotely suitable for indoor living but it was much better than some other deskunking shampoos I tried.

This is one situation that I don't make a soap for. Regular soap and water are useless against the power of mephitis mephitis. One of the most important factors in getting the smell under control is washing as soon as possible after the spraying. The commonly recommended home remedy of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap seems to be backed up by some good science. So that's a good place to start out if your dog gets sprayed and you don't have anything specialized on hand.

Other home remedies like tomato juice  just cover up the smell and "tire out" your nose so you don't notice the smell anymore. Leave the area and come back and the scent will definitely still be there. I also heard someone recommend buttermilk but this was after we had Caraway pretty much deskunked so I didn't get to try it. I imagine it would make my dog obsessed with licking herself! Anyone ever tried it and can say if it worked or not?

So, over five days later (with daily baths) she is definitely still not 100% fresh, especially when she gets wet, and she is still not allowed on the furniture (which has been a rude awakening for this spoiled dog!) but her coat is the shiniest and softest its ever been and she is inoffensive enough for petting. Just one of the many hazards of farm dog life.

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