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The Master Gardener Journal


C O M P U T E R   C O R N E R


by Candice Sherrill, Master Gardener

PEPE LE PEW PAYS A VISIT

Cooper, our beagle, discovered a skunk on the back porch early this morning, and you can probably guess how things progressed from there. As designated guardian of our particular little castle, he wasted no time making Pepe understand that the welcome mat was definitely not out for members of his ilk. The skunk beat a hasty retreat back through the gate, but not before leaving his calling card.

No sooner had he disappeared around the corner of the house, than I heard my husband issue this decree:

"Lemon juice! Get out the lemon juice!"

"No!" I argued as I worked frantically to corral the poor dog in the laundry room off the garage. "It's tomato juice they always recommend!"

GOOGLE WOMAN TO THE RESCUE!

Springing into my trusty phone booth (Okay, the computer room) I did a quick query using "skunk attack" as the search term. Within seconds I was reading this advice from the Amherst Small Animal Hospital in Snyder, New York:

"First, make sure you do not touch your pet for 2 hours after skunk contact. This is the safest approach, as rabies can be carried by skunks and the virus can remain active on the fur of your pet for a short while after the contact.

Mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1 box of baking soda and 1 bottle of dish detergent. Wearing dish washing gloves, wet the pet's fur and apply the cleaner thoroughly, avoiding the eyes. Scrub well, rinse, then repeat as needed until the odor is manageable. The odor will not be entirely eliminated but it should be livable. When the pet dries you should be happy with the odor level. If not repeat more baths. The skunk odor will still be evident when the pet is wet for several months."

Fortunately we had all the recommended ingredients on hand, and Cooper is now resting comfortably on the living room floor—much shinier, fluffier and sweeter-smelling than he was a few hours ago.

(And perhaps a little wiser, as well).

The Amherst Small Animal Hospital's rabies info can be found at: http://www.asah.net/When_Skunks_Attack.htm

RABIES STATISTICS
And while I'm at it, here's the URL of a page put out by the Arizona Department of Health Services listing the state's rabies statistics for 2003: http://microvet.arizona.edu/Courses/MIC438/Rabies%20in%20Arizona,%202003%20-%20ADHS.htm


Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteer Information
Last Updated November 21, 2004
Author: Lucy K. Bradley, Extension Agent Urban Horticulture, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County
© 1997 The University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County
Comments to Maricopa-hort@ag.arizona.edu 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040,
Voice: (602) 470-8086 ext. 301, Fax (602) 470-8092