Complications From a Dog Being Sprayed by a Skunk

For some reason, some dogs think this guy is their pal.
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If your dog got to close to the wrong black-and-white friend, you can smell the evidence a mile away. He apparently didn’t get the hint from that raised tail! Once that sulfuric spray is released, try to stay calm and act quickly to help the little guy out.


Unfortunately, when a dog gets sprayed by a skunk, it often hits the face. That skunk oil is irritating and can cause pain, burning and inflammation to the eyes, nose, mouth, lungs and throat. Check your pooch’s face to see if the area is affected. If it’s red, inflamed, he’s pawing at it or rubbing that area on the ground, rinse his face immediately with large amounts of water and pat dry with a paper towel or old, clean towel. Contact your vet or emergency veterinarian clinic immediately for further instructions. If you can rinse while someone else calls, do that.


Not only does the spray hurt the face, but if your dog paws the affected area, he can scratch his skin. This also causes pain, possible bleeding and, in worst-case scenarios, may get infected. Also, if a dog tries to attack the skunk or gets too close, the skunk may try to defend himself by biting or clawing at his attacker. Check your dog for cuts, scrapes or scratches. Also, attacks by wild animals raise the risk of illnesses, such as rabies or distemper. If there are injuries or concerns, consult your vet.

Temporary Blindness

That spray is quite potent and acts like tear gas. It can damage the cornea of the eye and cause temporary blindness to your four-legged friend. This is why quick flushing the eye area is so important, as is immediate veterinarian treatment.

Stinking Up Your Home

You’re first instinct is probably to bring your poor guy in to wash him up after he’s encountered a drive-by from a skunk. Keep in mind that the skunk oil is sticky and extremely smelly. Whenever possible, wash your dog outside to prevent that stinky stuff from infiltrating your home and adding more to your “To Do” list.

Smelly Pooch

If that spray was released on your doggie’s coat, you’re in for some heavy duty cleaning. Throw on old clothes so you don’t contaminate your good ones. Use paper towels to blot the affected area. You can use a towel if you want, but make sure you use one you don’t mind tossing afterward. Plan on washing him several times to get rid of the stubborn stench. There are special products specifically designed for this purpose that you can find at the pet store. If you have any questions about what products to use, ask your vet for advice. Wash only the affected area if you can, as the oils will spread.