Monday, June 25, 2012

Kristy Rustay: Little Stinker

Late Sunday morning we had a cute visitor in our garden. A young skunk. While admiring his adorableness, my husband, Ryan, and I also realized the potential hazards our fuzzy friend could cause: a) he could spray us; b) he could spray our dog, Lily; and c) he could eat my vegetables.

The skunk made his way around the perimeter of my garden,
where the tall potato leaves created some shade.

This baby skunk may be adorable,
but he caused a whole bunch of trouble.

With these threats in mind, we were sure to keep our distance, and we kept Lily far from the garden, tied up in the front by the fence. However, the skunk did not get the memo saying that he was to stay put in the garden and not go near the dog.

About an hour after we first took note of the skunk in the garden, Lily suddenly leapt to action and pounced behind a bush near the fence. At the time, I was on the ground playing with our 8-month-old daughter. I yelled to Ryan and sent him over to make sure that Lily wasn’t after the skunk. I had hoped that she was after the usual yard enemies — the chipmunk or the squirrel.

Sure enough, it was the skunk. And, unlike chipmunks and squirrels, skunks don’t possess much speed. Lily caught him; shook him; and, as a result, was sprayed in the mouth, on her front legs, and on her head!

What do you do when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk?! I wasn’t sure since this had never happened to us before. I called my cousin, a veterinarian; my aunt, who has had a ton of experience with animals; and my other cousin, who owns a skunk-attacking dog and has been through similar situations on numerous occasions.

The collective advice was as follows:
  • Thoroughly rinse out Lily’s mouth with water.
  • Call the vet and schedule a rabies booster, which Lily should get within 24 hours.
  • Wash the sprayed areas with a solution of dish soap, vinegar, and peroxide.
  • After Lily has been washed, rinsed, and dried, rub the sprayed areas with baking soda. Repeat often until the smell dissipates.
Now I am wondering what to do about the skunk. It is possible that he lives under our shed. It is also possible that he has family— he is just a little stinker, after all. He may have parents and siblings too!

If you have advice to lend, I would be most appreciative. Please keep in mind that terminating an animal’s life is not an ideal solution for me. However, if it means protecting my girls, I will do what I need to do.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Is there a local wild animal rescue place that could pick it up and relocate it?