There are quite a number of symptoms that a sick skunk tends to exhibit depending on the kind of disease the animal suffers. In fact, it will vary according to the category/class of the disease. For instance, in the case of rabies in skunks, those that suffer furious rabies will tend to show different signs compared to those that are infected with a dormant form of rabies. The severity of the disease in the animal will determine which particular signs shall be clear and what shall not be clear.
It goes without saying that one of the most common diseases that affect skunks is rabies. The most prevalent sign of this disease in animals is what medical experts call ataxia. This is a condition that relates to the movement of the animal – and in this case the skunk totally loses voluntary control of movement, like walking in a coordinated manner. Also, you’ll notice signs of drooling and saliva that is caused by the virus attacking the chewing muscles. As a matter of fact, the skunk might grow aggressive, attacking both humans and animals alike. Oftentimes, this sign is seen in animals that tend to exhibit the “furious” type of rabies.
The other sign that is a good indicator of a sick skunk is that it might start to behave strangely like swallowing stones, sticks, and other non-edible objects. The fur of the animal will not be well-groomed but unkempt and looking very dirty. It doesn’t react with purpose; the animal will not move around with undivided attention. It will seem confused. They will definitely drop their natural defensive nature and start attacking without even the slightest provocation. Overall, these signs are mostly exhibited in the group “A” of rabies, which differs from the group “B” –the dormant type.
A skunk that suffers from the dormant type of rabies will lay docile for long hours, unbothered by human and animal movements around him. In fact, some tend to act as if they are drunk or drugged. The skunk might also have a fever (slight or severe) and will be constantly pawing at his mouth. If you notice these signs, you better stay away from the skunk lest you get infected with rabies. Importantly, try to contact the pet control units or solicit help from institutions that can help you get rid of the skunk in your home or neighborhood.
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