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Dogs will be dogs, and skunks will be stinky

Sep 9, 2012 - Gene Dunbar, Riverton

Having been at one time the unhappy owner of a Labrador retriever who had lost an argument with a skunk, I was acquainted with the really poor solution to that problem which involves a gallon of tomato juice.

So, to my happy surprise, I read in the August 2012 edition of Wyoming Wildlife, published by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, that there was a process which did not use that juice and was actually quite successful at cleaning an animal and eliminating all odor.

This came about when the magazine printed a letter sent in by a Mr. Tom Klein of Kennewick, Wash.

He wrote:

"Mix one quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, available in any grocery or drug store, one-fourth cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) -- that's Wyoming trona at work -- and one teaspoon of liquid soap.

"A chemist explained that skunk essence is made up of sulfur-containing molecules.

"The materials in this recipe, when mixed together, form an alkaline peroxide, that chemically changes the skunk essence into sulfonic acid, a completely odorless chemical.

"The purpose of the soap is to break down the very oily skunk essence, and make it more susceptible to the other chemicals.

"And, he warns, be sure to keep the solution out of the eyes, nose and mouth of the patient.

I hope I never need to use the formula but we all know that dogs will be dogs and that skunks will be stinky, so that someone will, at some time, have that kind of problem.

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