Animal Anecdote 29.
Poor oldest daughter, Carolyn had more than her share of encounters with skunks and hear is one of them. It was at a time when I had descenting of skunks as one of my surgical procedures. The patient was an adult that I was not usually asked to deodorize but this one was for a zoo where the director wanted to display it.
For that procedure I had my help set up an operating table with all the instruments and anesthetics etc. necessary outside my Clinic. The surgery was well underway with a few curious visitors watching. Among them was 7 year old Carolyn who was no stranger to viewing any of my surgery looking over my shoulder. I should mention that the scent glands, two of them are located on either side of the animal’s anus and are almost the size of the yolk of a chicken egg
in a large polecat.
The surgery involves the careful dissection of the glands to be removed and as I proceeded I ruptured the sack of one and the yellow contents were projected right over my shoulder and into poor Carolyn’s eyes. She screamed and clutched her face. I quickly grabbed a handful of cotton, wet with water but could not pry her hands away from her face and ran into the building and phoned a close friend Dr. Bill Lattanzi who was head of pediatrics of a human hospital. He told me to get Carolyn down to the hospital immediately. “She could be blinded by it.”
I rushed back and there was Carolyn playing by a pile of sand with a toy shovel. “How are your eyes, Carolyn?” I asked to which she said, “They’re OK Daddy, they stung for only a little.”As a reader I am sure you know why I recall that incident and I am glad to recount it for no other reason than to dispel any fear of blindness from such an encounter. I should have recalled the numbers of dogs that had challenged a skunk including many of my own and never was the thought of blindness considered.
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