Sunday, April 14, 2013


I took the girls outside for the last time around 11pm Friday night. Lark was on a flexi-leash as she has been showing a proclivity for digging since she whelped her litter on April 2nd (gotta have an extra den ready for the pups, just in case!). Everything was proceeding as normal until June alerted to something I couldn't see and Lark chimed in. At first I assumed it was a late night jogger or someone walking home from downtown after an evening out. June tore off toward the back of the yard to investigate and Lark lunged on her leash, longing to follow, but thankfully was held in check. Because June raced straight to the back of the yard instead of along the side of the fence line which parallels the street, it then struck me she might have fixed on a critter vs. a person. As she disappeared behind the big fir tree I shouted "June!" but it was too late. In moments, June was racing back with a snoutful of skunk so strong it smelled more like industrial strength burnt rubber than the smokey, musky smell we more often associate with skunks.

Lark REALLY wanted in on the action but I kept a firm grip on her leash. June made a move as if she was going back for another pass so I told her, "June, NO!" and thankfully she obeyed. I hustled Lark into the house, asking George to keep an eye on June until I could put Lark back with her puppies and whip up some de-skunking formula. This formula is made from common household ingredients but it is important to note it cannot be prepared ahead of time. It is described in detail here:

Once I was back outside I confirmed June had taken the blast of skunk spray full in the face. Her eyes were red and puffy and she was foaming a bit at the mouth. Although a few of our dogs have been skunked before, no one has ever been hit as hard as June was that night. I wiped down her head and neck with the de-skunking solution, being very careful to avoid her eyes, nose and mouth as this formula is somewhat caustic and can cause pain and even damage to her eyes and mucous membranes. After I had done as thorough a job as I could we went inside. Unfortunately, June was still in so much discomfort from her encounter she began rubbing her muzzle on the kitchen rug and parts of the kitchen floor. She was also rubbing quite a bit at her eyes. A quick search on the Internet by George had me heading to the bathroom cabinet for saline solution. We used this to flush out her eyes as well as her nose and mouth and it seemed to help quite a bit. Soon after that I put June in the tub to rinse off the de-skunking solution. By then it was obvious to me there was still some on her lips and mouth so I did some additional flushing of that area with water.

By the time we had June, the kitchen and ourselves cleaned up as well as we could that night it was past midnight. We put June in a crate as she still seemed somewhat stinky despite our best efforts. About 1am we realized she had thrown up in her crate. Although most dog/skunk encounters are smelly and annoying they aren't generally life threatening, at that point I started to get a little worried because we had read that skunk oil ingested in large quantities can be toxic, causing lethargy, vomiting, seizures, anemia and liver damage. Her gums had color and her energy was good so I didn't think we needed to rush off to the emergency vet, but I decided to spend the rest of the night closer to her in order to better monitor any additional symptoms. Needless to say, no one slept well that night though June did not vomit again and seemed none the worse for her experience. I did dose her with some milk thistle in the hope of combating any potential liver issues.

In the morning we went out to buy additional cleaning supplies, then spent 3-4 hours doing laundry and deskunking the back steps and the kitchen.

I hope June has learned her lesson about skunks but I rather doubt she has, knowing June. And of course now that we are past the work and worry we can't help but wonder if June did this to get our attention. It's been a tough couple of weeks for her what with Lark and her pups getting the bulk of our attention.

Do I have your attention now?

Larkie's boyz take 2

What is it with Lark and male puppies? On April 2nd, we welcomed Lark's second litter of three boys into world. As before, mom and pups are doing great. Everyone hit 2lbs or above on the sixth day, beating her first litter, which achieved that mark on the eighth day.