As I mentioned on my personal Facebook page last night, our almost 7-year-old cat got sprayed by a skunk for the first time last night.
It was also my first time in dealing with an animal that had been sprayed. It was, to say the very least ... unpleasant. Not so much for us, but really painful for the poor cat. I was honestly just glad I was there to help.
The smell of skunk has never bothered me - when we drive by on the road and get a whiff of a dead one, I actually kind of like the smell. It's a whole lot worse close up, but it still didn't bother me too much last night. It was the rest of it that was so bad for the cat.
If anyone is upset by hearing about bodily functions, you might not want to continue reading. I didn't want to post any of this to Facebook because it is rather distressing, but I didn't know how a cat would react to being sprayed in the face by a skunk, so I'm going to share in case any of you ever have to deal with the same situation.
First off, she was completely immobilized. She literally couldn't move more than a few feet. She immediately vomited to get the acrid spray out of her throat. She couldn't open her eyes, and she was frothing at the mouth. I got her into the nearest sink, which happened to be the kitchen and washed her face off with water and a cloth - once I had done as much as I could with that, I passed her off to the hubby, who had obtained a towel and wrapped her in it. And that's when I ran to the iPad and looked up what the hell to do.
Interestingly, a few weeks ago I had either overheard someone or seen on T.V. that tomato juice really isn't a great remedy to skunk spray. Besides, we don't keep tomato juice in the house (but as a lot of you will know, I do have a few jars of canned tomatoes that would have done in a pinch - although that didn't cross my mind in the heat of the moment last night). Instead, I came across an recipe to use:
Same recipe is on several sites, and we used it last night, because although we don't keep tomato juice, we do have hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in the house.
Okay - so mixed up the H.P. that we had with some baking soda and a drop or two of soap to get the worst of it off. Although skunks can spray up to 10 feet, apparently they have very good aim, and when in close proximity will spray right for a face. There is absolutely no smell left in the backyard where the spraying happened, so I think the skunk unloaded it all in Jack's face. Poor thing.
Up to the tub and a good washdown with soap and water, and then another mix of the H.P. solution with the stuff we borrowed from our friends across the street (at 11:30 - we have good friends). We also used some human eye drops for her right eye, which she still couldn't open after about an hour. They do say that if the eyes are still irritated to get them to the vet, but by 12:30 or 1 it seemed okay and it's fine this morning.
There were no scratches or blood visible, but rabies is always a concern. Fortunately, I took kitty to the vet this week and she is totally up to date on vaccinations.
Hubby wanted to lock her in the kitchen for the night, which worked for about 1/2 an hour until she was banging so hard it was noisy upstairs. So I went down and got her and snuggled with a slightly smelly cat until she went to sleep.
It was very traumatic, but I'm so glad she didn't have to suffer through that alone with no help. She was happy to stay in last night, by the way.
I did notice this morning that I have a couple of good scratches on my stomach. Not at all a surprise, I'd say.
As an after thought - maybe this is some karma from all the torment she gives the neighbourhood wildlife ....