Drunk as a skunk

Cross-posted to .

Okay, so we’re having houseguests this week. Friday Paul arrived and Hobkin started acting kind of stressed, even though he obviously likes him. Paul’s taken on the role of beloved uncle with Hobkin, wrestling and playing with him for hours on end, and our fuzzhead is adoring the attention. Hobkin even crawled into and curled up on Paul’s lap for a nap on Sunday. But he was still obviously stressed by the change in his habitat–he was snappish, easily startled, and frequently forgot where the litter pan was. Not good.

On the SkunkChat board, there’s something that a lot of people recommend for stressed critters called Rescue Remedy. Shelters often use it on their new arrivals to de-stress them, and I’ve heard several veterinary support people now from different clinics saying that they always keep some on hand to use in emergency situations on traumatized animals (hit by cars, etc.) of all species.

A little research revealed that Rescue Remedy is apparently a combination of five flower essences (Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose, and Star of Bethlehem) put out by the Bach Centre. It’s intended for humans, but the primary use I’ve heard of appears to be on animals, although one of the people on the SkunkChat board also uses it when she has an asthma attack.

Now Matthew and I aren’t big into the homeopathic medicine thing, so we were dubious. And we’re also not keen on the idea of drugging up our furchild, but it was obvious that Hobkin was freaked, so we went out and bought some at the local health store.

After consulting with the various skunk experts, we’ve started him on 3-4 drops four times a day. And it seems to be working. He was a bundle of nerves all weekend, and yesterday, after two doses of the stuff, he was almost his old self. He became less bitey and jumpy, and experienced a near-complete return of proper bathroom habits. Additionally, he’s not drugged or doped out either. He’s alert and playful and affectionate. Yay!

But here’s the thing, the flower essences are distilled by brandy. The Rescue Remedy is 14 proof! We are assured that the dose is safe for him, but now we’re wondering, are we snookering up our skunk? Is he calmer ’cause of the flower essences or is he calmer ’cause we’re giving him four drops of brandy four times a day? Or even is he calmer just ’cause he’s gotten used to Paul being around? Ack!

There’s also a Rescue Remedy skin cream which we might try as an alternative.

I haven’t heard anything bad about this stuff from any of the myriad resources we’ve consulted, but has anyone else had any experience with it or any of the other Bach infusions? Zounds.

“Drunk as a skunk” has taken on new meaning in our household.

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6 Responses to Drunk as a skunk

  1. kaoslyon says:

    “Drunk as a skunk” has taken on new meaning in our household.


    Just be on the lookout for mini bottles strung out all around the house. Then you’ll know Hobkin has a problem. lol

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Just be on the lookout for mini bottles strung out all around the house.

      Snarf. Actually, when I fed him his dose this morning with breakfast, he hiccupped which is when I began to wonder. It was just once, but a hiccup is a pretty big thing for a young wee beastie.

      This is so sad. My skunk’s sloshed and I’m cold sober.

  2. humblepie says:

    i’m ‘sorta’ familiar with the Bach essences. I’ve been using them for about 6 months for anxiety. It might be helping, it’s hard to judge what is ‘normal’ for me these days. But it isn’t hurting anything. Nice to see that it might be helping Hobkin deal with his anxiety.

    Keep in mind that 14 proof is only 7% alcohol. Does that make you feel better? It’s about as potent as a good beer.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks for the feedback.

      14 proof is only 7% alcohol

      Ooops. Actually, no, it’s . . . ack, 54 proof then. The bottle says that it’s 27% alcohol, I believe.

      I’m going on the “it seems to be working and probably not hurting him” side of things, but I wish there were more scientific studies on it.

  3. prosewitch says:

    My family is pretty hippie (i.e. I haven’t had any immunizations beyond the ones you need as a child), so we’ve experimented a lot with homeopathic medicine, and I think there’s something to it. We use Rescue Remedy drops, diluted in water or juice, when we’re sick/stressed and if nothing else it has a calming effect (after this long, it’s probably not just placebo). While not all alternative medicines are guaranteed to work right away–like if they don’t mesh with your chi or someting–I prefer them to traditional Western medicine, which scares the shit out of me.

    Just my 2 cents. =)

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Appreciate your $.02. Yah, it seems to be working, which is the important thing. We’ll keep him on it until our houseguests clear out. That is, unless he starts slurring his words and staggering about

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