Symptoms of a sick skunk

A skunk isn’t exactly a beloved animal; the mass media has ensured that by wildly exaggerating the skunk’s identity as a stinky animal to get a few laughs. In reality, they are fascinating creatures.

They stand out with their alluring coat of black and white hair, and just like opossums, they are immune to snake venom. They spray a foul-smelling oily liquid, but only when they feel threatened by predators or humans, and that too sparingly, since it takes a whole week to reload the anal glands which produce the liquid. In fact, perhaps conscious of the effects of the deadly weapon that they possess, they will give a clear warning before spraying; they will turn their back to you, stamp their feet and hiss audibly.

What a cool bunch, right? However, just like other members of the animal kingdom, they do get sick. Now, you might own a skunk, or you might want nothing better than to be as far away from them as possible. Either way, it can help to learn about a sick skunk’s symptoms so that you know how to deal with them properly.

When a skunk suffers from any gastric condition, it tends to experience loose bowels. The side effect of diarrhea is that the skunk may also feel tired and dehydrated, and it may also show signs of being less careful about where it defecates; it will regularly relieve itself in random locations instead of the usual location.

Way too much scratching
As with humans, excessive scratching by a skunk is indicative of skin ailments. It could also be caused by the existence of parasites on the surface of or just underneath the skin. Rashes and grazes will be visible on such a skunk’s body, so one should be on the lookout for these.

Loss of appetite
Skunks do not generally neglect the opportunity to take advantage of an easy source of food, so if you see a skunk passing up on food lying around, then it will often be the sign that it is quite ill. This is a symptom for a variety of different diseases.

Shaking and shivering
Skunks usually employ a confident gait, and they appear to know where they are headed merely by relying on their nose and ears. If you ever spot a skunk shaking or shivering vigorously, then that is yet another sign that it is suffering from a disease. In any case, it is in a very poor condition which must be addressed immediately.

Go back to the Lafourche Parish wildlife removal home page.