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San Diego Humane Society

Sprayed by Skunks

If a person or an animal surprises a skunk in a situation where neither can retreat, the skunk will spray in self-defense.

Skunk spray in human eyes is extremely irritating and can cause temporary blindness, but no permanent damage. Flush eyes liberally with cold water to ease irritation. Wash skin with carbolic soap and water, tomato juice, or vinegar. You may be able to save clothing by washing repeatedly in vinegar water and/or hanging it outside for a month or so before dry-cleaning. For the worst sprays, however, it may be best to discard or burn the clothing.

When your pet is sprayed, the quicker you take action, the more completely you can remove the odor.

Wash your pet with diluted vinegar to counteract the chemical makeup of the skunk spray. Skunk Off and similar preparations containing neutroleum alpha, available from some pet stores, are effective.

Skunk Smell Remedy
  • 1 quart 3% peroxide, 1/4 c baking soda, 1 tbs. liquid hand soap.
  • Mix all three ingredients together.
  • Shampoo animal thoroughly keeping out of eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Soak 5 minutes.
  • Rinse well.
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