Archive for the ‘Pet Safety’ Category

My Dog Was Sprayed By A Skunk! Now What?

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Discovering that your dog has been sprayed by a skunk is one of the ultimate nightmares of pet ownership. There is nothing quite so offensive as freshly released skunk spray. If this happens to you, don’t worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Stay calm, take a deep breath of fresh air (before you are no longer able to) and follow these instructions.

First, check your dogs eyes, nose and mouth. A skunk’s spray can be extremely irritating to mucous membranes. If possible, you’ll want to flush out your dog’s eyes with a saline ophthalmic rinse. Use a saline soaked cotton ball to clean out your dog’s nostrils and use water to gently rinse out your dog’s mouth. Don’t be surprised if your dog drools excessively, vomits, or sneezes repeatedly. Red, squinty or watering eyes are also to be expected. Do your best to prevent your dog from rubbing or scratching at their eyes!

Next, get ready to give your dog a thorough de-skunking bath. Check out this recipe for the most effective de-odorizing treatment we know of:skunk spray recipe card


The TV show, Mythbusters, actually tested the most common skunk spray remedies and determined this DIY recipe is by far the most effective. It beat out the old stand-by, tomato juice, as well as well known over the counter skunk spray removal products. Besides being more effective, this recipe is also less expensive and made up of ingredients you probably already have at home.

A Few Helpful Tips:

  1. This probably goes without saying, but either bathe your dog outside or be sure to get him right into the bath tub! Don’t let him stop to rub on your furniture or carpeting along the way!
  2. Wear gloves while bathing!
  3. Once you’ve finished bathing with the peroxide/baking soda/dish soap combination, follow up with a good lather of regular dog shampoo.
  4. Don’t forget the collar! Try soaking it in the same solution and then throwing it in the washing machine (either alone or with some old towels or blankets, just to be safe!)
  5. Don’t store any leftover mixture for later use! It’s most effective when used immediately. Plus, if this mixture is kept in a sealed container, the pressure can build up to a dangerous level!

When to Call Us:

  • Don’t panic. Being sprayed by a skunk does not generally constitute a medical emergency. You can ALWAYS call us for advice, or a little moral support, because trust us, we know how awful this experience is!
  • If your dog’s eyes are excessively red or irritated, or squinting continues, it may be wise to have one of our doctors take a look.
  • If your dog is bitten or scratched by the skunk, call us right away! We’ll help you make sure your dog is up to date on their Rabies vaccine. Depending on how long it’s been since your dog was last vaccinated, we may recommend a Rabies booster just to be on the safe side.
  • If your dog vomits persistently, is lethargic, has a lack of appetite or just is not himself, give us a call.

One Last Note:

This recipe, and all of the accompanying tips do also apply to cats, but BE CAREFUL!  A cat who tolerates being bathed is a rare entity. If you DO find yourself in the precarious position of having to bathe your cat, it may be helpful to use a smaller tub already partially filled with water, and a cup to rinse them with. Avoid using a spray nozzle, as this is more likely to scare your cat. Most importantly, be sure your bathroom door is closed!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Leaves are falling, the weather is turning colder, and the staff at Mendon Village Animal Hospital are busy getting ready for Halloween!

While the doctors and staff are working on our own disguises for our annual Halloween costume contest, we can’t help but wonder: what will all of our patients be dressed up as this year? What better way to find out than have a Pet Costume Contest??

Cat, halloween, pet costume

Dr. Reichenstein’s cat, Tigger, in costume

Pet Costume Contest Rules

    • 1.  Email a photo of your pet in costume to by Monday, November 3rd.


  • 2.  We’ll upload your picture to our Facebook page and let our friends vote!  Every “like” will count as a vote for your pet. The pet with the most votes will receive a special prize!


  • 3.  The winner will be announced on Facebook on  Friday, November 7th!



Does your pet hate getting dressed up??   Be sure to join in the fun anyway!  We’ll need your help to determine the winner.  Check out our Halloween photo album on Facebook on the Monday after Halloween to see the all the submissions and vote for your favorites!


Aside from what great costume you’ll dress your pet in, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that your pets stay happy and safe this Halloween.

Halloween Safety Tips

1.    Keep your pet’s curious noses far away from the candy bowl!   Unlike human trick-or-treaters, dogs and cats can’t tolerate those sweets!   Chocolate is toxic to dogs, as is xylitol in sugar free candy.  The Pet Poison Helpline calls Halloween their busiest time of year, noting a 12% increase in  phone calls during the week around the holiday.   If your pet ingests Halloween candy, or anything else questionable, the Pet Poison Helpline is a great resource to find out if you should be concerned, and what to do next!  Check out their website, or download their app!

pets, halloween

Tracy’s Boston Terrier Pumpkin

2.   Be careful with lit candles inside Jack-O-Lanterns, especially around curious cats and wiggly dogs!

3.   If your furry friend is joining your family trick-or-treating, make sure they are visible to cars and passersby!   A reflective leash and collar, or a light attached to the collar can be very helpful in making sure your pet is seen.

4.   For pets who stay home on Halloween night, be sure to minimize their risk of slipping out the door!  Keep dogs leashed if they are helping you pass out candy. Consider closing cats and nervous dogs in a quiet, safe room during peak activity time.   Just in case your pet does manage to sneak past you, be sure they have a well fitting collar with ID tags so they can be safely returned to you.

5.   Don’t leave pets outside unattended.  Unfortunately, some Halloween pranksters target pets.  Just to be safe, we recommend keeping cats inside and letting dogs out only when supervised.  This is especially important for black cats and dogs.  In fact, many shelters won’t even adopt out black pets during the month of October.


Have a fun, happy and SAFE Halloween!  Don’t forget to keep an eye on our Facebook page to find out what creepy, silly and fun costumes the staff come up with for our own contest on Thursday, October 30th!