Keep your Distance…

by Vet. Fernando Riera S.

The skunk is always associated to its penetrating and fetid smell, as well as the Pepe le Pew cartoons, the Casanova skunk from the 1950s.

The skunk’s “perfume” is its defense method against predator attacks. This smell is so disgusting that not even vultures do their job when they find a dead one. This strong smell comes from the animal’s anal glands that secrete a substance that can be sprayed up to 6-10 feet away, while the animal takes a shooting position.

¡They even stand on their front legs for better aim! 

Keep your Distance… - Osa, Uvita, Costa Ballena - Ballena Tales

The skunk is a nocturnal, solitary, and omnivorous animal; it eats other animals, insects, plants, eggs, human waste, etc.). It’s black and has its characteristic white stripes that go from head to tail. They live in burrows dug by the females with their powerful claws; there they live with up to 10 offspring. This animal lives in most of the South, Central, and South America. 

How can you get rid of skunks that prowl around your properties? 

They are scavengers that eat anything, and you must eliminate sources of food and shelter for them, such as piles of grass clippings, harvested fruits, and ripe vegetables. Plus, skunks hate the smell of ammonium, and citrus peels have a natural repellent quality. Spread orange or lemon peels around your property and under your terrace or porch. 

What if our dog has been sprayed with the skunk’s disgusting liquid?

Wash your dog in a big container with hydrogen peroxide solution (3%!), baking soda, and soap. Do not rinse your pet for 20 minutes. To prevent lacrimation, itching, nausea, or vomit, the veterinarian must prescribe a good antiallergenic medicine.

INFO: Fernando Riera S. – Clínica Veterinaria Costa Ballena – Uvita

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