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Dog Sprayed by Skunk

by P Lamay
(Bridgeport, MI)

My dog was sprayed by a skunk in the middle of the night. I think he was directly hit in the mouth and nose as he did not smell anywhere else but in that area. Within 24 hrs he developed swelling in the lips and inflicted sores on his nose and muzzle from rubbing.


I bathed him with a solution of baking soda, peroxide and dish soap. A week later I noticed he developed a couple of small oozing sores on his neck which smelled like skunk, I bathed him with shampoo and treated the sores with Tea Tree Oil.

At that time I thought it may have been self inflicted from rubbing. Three days later more oozing sores appeared on his back, that were larger and had the smell of skunk. I'm not sure what is causing this. I'm afraid that he digested the skunk spray and it is making him sick. He did not have any sores or injuries of any sort when the spraying occurred.

Any suggestions or know what is happening?

Editor Suggestion Dog Sprayed by Skunk

A dog that has encountered a wild animal such as a skunks should always be handled with care; it has been reported that skunks are a major cause of Rabies in dogs and humans in North America.

The first thing which we recommend here is the pet owner’s safety; it is always better not to come in contact with a pet which has come across, encountered or has been bitten by a wild animal. Remember, Skunks are one of most common reservoirs for Rabies. Rabies is a viral disease, which can be transmitted to a dog, a human and any other animal if bitten by an infected animal.
Rabies in an infected/bitten animal is characterized by behavioral changes, slower eye reflexes, chewing the affected site on the body and in advance stages irritability, consistent barking, aggression and disorientation. In the last stage, the affected dog becomes unconscious, fells into coma and death occurs.

Even if you haven’t noticed any of the above mentioned signs, and you suspect that your dog has been bitten by skunk; the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) directs that you should go for a detailed examination of your dog.

According to law, if it is bitten by a skunk or any other wild animal, it should be re- vaccinated and kept for 90 days in quarantine. If the dog is not vaccinated earlier, either it should be euthanized or strictly observed for at least 6 months and then vaccinated in the 5th month of observation.

The aforementioned the worst case for a dog if it is bitten by a rabid skunk, but if your dog has only ingested skunk spray, it can cause toxicity in your dog and cause a spectrum of clinical features, including swelling, sores, discomfort, sores along the back bone and excessive salivation.

Excessive salivation or drooling is similar to what is caused in a rabid animal; therefore do not try to handle such a dog by yourself.
It is better to call a nearby veterinarian and get your dog examined properly. If it is only skunk spray toxicity, it can be treated with specific drugs.

At home, you can try a mixture of tomato juice and white vinegar, given at intervals of 3 – 4 hours. It is better to reduce your dogs solid diet and increase the liquid portion of the diet.

Additionally, to eliminate harmful contents and toxic material from your dog’s body, try some natural remedies such as Detox Plus.

The home remedies should only be administered once your dog is confirmed as having skunk toxicity. In either case, i.e. the chance of rabies or any other disease should be confirmed by a veterinarian through clinical examination and laboratory tests.

Please keep us up to date on the dog skunk toxicity problem and best of luck to you and your dog.

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Jul 30, 2012
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Skunk spray can be fatal
by: Anonymous

My 8 yr. old mini schnauzer has been sprayed three times twice by small skunks but after being sprayed a third by a large adult she has not been the same, aloof and tired. My vet has done normal tests but is not aware of serious problems skunks might cause. Tonight after reading this forum I will be taking her to University of Davis, the premier animal hospital in CA, tomorrow first thing for a complete exam.

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