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Exotic Pet Info

Parasites

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Skunks should be neutered between 4 and 6 months of age depending on weight and health. Failure to do so can cause behavior problems, can be extremely stressful, and can cause health problems for the skunk. Some female skunks suffer from systemic infections and general poor health during the breeding season (beginning in late January), these problems can be decreased or eliminated by spaying the skunk.

Health problems in skunks include rectal prolapse, seizures, diabetes, liver disease, kidney failure, heart problems, calcium deficiency, excessive weight, allergies, general mal-nutrition, etc. With proper care most of these can be corrected BEFORE the problem starts.

A worming regimen is recommended, especially prior to surgery whenever possible. Skunks should be wormed with a safe wormer like Evict, Strongid, Nemex-2, or Panacur.
NOTE: Wormers containing piperazine (piperazine citrate) have caused tremors, seizures, vomiting, and have been indicated as factors in several deaths, in skunks. Erliworm is a common brand of pet wormer containing piperazine. Skunks have had allergic reactions to various chemicals, including bleach and other cleaning products.
Some skunks exhibit various forms of alopecia. 
  Expected causes include endocrine imbalances, seasonal, and nutritional causes.


Many skunks suffer from rectal prolapse, a condition where the rectum and/or lower intestines protrude from the body. Often this can be insignificant and not require first aid or a trip to the vet. Occasionally the condition persists or worsens in a short time, in young or active skunks this can lead to infection or cause severe damage to the exposed parts.

The typical causes of prolapse are worms, constipation, chronic diarrhea, and improper descenting. Worm your skunk as soon as possible! If the problem is worms the skunk will push excessively to get them out its system. This may lead to successive recurrence of the prolapse until all of the worms are passed. Seizures >

 Many skunks have epilepsy, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), electrolyte imbalance, allergies, or some other medical condition which may trigger seizures. Parasites> Internal and external parasites can affect your skunks' health. Monitor you skunk for signs of parasites regularly and treat as necessary.

You can safely use Frontline (drops or spray) or Advantage (spray) for cats on your skunk. If using drops, give 1/2 the dosage prescribed for cats. Be careful of long term use of any chemical!

Worm your skunk! We have used Evict DS (Double Strength), Strongid Paste, and Panacur wormers for regular worming., these are available in pet supply or farm supply stores. You may also get  Nemex-2, and Droncet (injectable or oral) from your vet where prescribed for round- or tape-worm. We suggest you run a worming cycle as prescribed on the wormer starting when you get the skunk (young or old); typical regimen is - now, then at one week, then at two weeks, then at four weeks. Continue worming the skunk regularly to prevent re-infestation. Taking in new animals or spending time near other animals (dogs, horses, cattle, etc.) may lead to re-infestation.

We have found that garlic juice given in food will prevent flea and tick infestations, and helps prevent and eliminate roundworms. You can find garlic juice in the grocery store, put one or two drops on the food one meal per day.

 

 

First Aid Kit

Item Uses Notes
Thermometer Verifying temperature A digital thermometer with protective sheaths works well.
Syringes, eye dropper, etc. Giving medications, force feeding, etc. 3 ml is good size for pet skunks
Corn syrup, molasses Stimulate appetite, raise blood sugar levels, reduce seizures  
Children's Benedryl Allergy Liquid Antihistamine, reduce allergic reactions, cold relief   
Pedialyte, Gatoraide Electrolyte replacement Pedialyte Freezer Pops keep well
Children's aspirin Analgesic, anti-inflammatory  
Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, Milk of Magnesia, etc. Anti-diarrhea, reduces intestinal cramps  
Laxatone Laxative From veterinary office
Activated Charcoal, powder or liquid Adsorbant, poison or drug overdose treatment  
Evict DS, Nemex-2, Panacur, Strongid Wormer, roundworms NOTE: Wormers containing piperazine (piperazine citrate) have caused tremors, seizures, vomiting, and have been indicated as factors in several deaths, in skunks. Erliworm is a common brand of pet wormer containing piperazine.
Droncit Wormer, tapeworms From veterinary office
Rubbing alcohol General antiseptic  
Gauze, bandages, pet tape, cotton balls, etc.  Minor wound dressing  
Bach Rescue Remedy Liquid Stress relief  
Bach Rescue Remedy Cream Minor wound ointment  
Quick Stop, styptic powder Small wound treatment  
Nolvadent Oral Liquid Antiseptic General antiseptic From veterinary office, very safe for pets
KY Jelly, Vaseline General lubricant, prolapse treatment  
Preparation-H Ointment Reduces general swelling, prolapse treatment  
Panolog Ointment Antibiotic ointment, prolapse treatment By prescription - for known prolapse sufferers
Centrine Tablets Muscle relaxant, prolapse treatment By prescription - for known prolapse sufferers


This page was created on 08/27/04