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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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I have a 1o week male skunk that has extreme swelling on if

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I have a 1o week male skunk that has extreme swelling on if right foot all the way to the joint. Also he has swelling on his left back leg just not as bad. I am a rehab and we have had him on steroids and baytril and soaking in Epsom salts 3 times a day but no results. We can touch it and massage it and he doesn't mind. I am at a loss - any suggestions?

Hi there,
It sounds as if you have tried several very good treatments for your skunk's swollen feet. Does he live in a wire cage? If so, he may have traumatized his feet a bit from the wires, allowing an infection to start and go under the skin. Have you been able to look between his toes carefully? Sometimes there's nothing there to be seen, and sometimes we can see skin abrasions or cracks. In this case, I'd suggest staying on the Baytril and continuing the epsom salts soaks, but discontinuing the steroid in case he is fighting an infection.

The other thing I wonder about is if he could be carrying a virus, like Aleution Disease Virus, that can cause vasculitis, or inflammation of blood vessels. Swelling in the limbs can be seen, but is usually accompanied by diarrhea or respiratory signs. If either of these occur, some people will treat with Tamiflu at 1-2 mg/lb for up to 10 days. With good nursing care, some do ok, but many do not survive. The jury is still out on whether this is a disease they are born with, or if they acquire it from the outside world.

In any case, avoid any contact with other skunks, minks, ferrets, or similar animals to limit the spread of disease if he has something contagious. If he doesn't get better with Baytril and Epsom salts, and he doesn't develop other symptoms, an x-ray may be useful to give more information.
Dr. Taus and 3 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He is one of 8 kits (4 per litter)that I have had since June 23rd. The others were moved to 2nd stage which is outside cage, yesterday & are with another group of 2 week older skunks on dirt floors. The babies sleep in large dog kennels at night so the only metal in on the front door. Yes they climb on it but have not found any injuries, cuts, sores or anything. Have looked under magnify glasses and had 2 other senior rehabbers look at him also. If he is contagious how long until it could show up in the others?

He does drag himself around and has a great appetite and is drinking water. He does have diarrhea tonight but I was thinking it was because of the antibiotic. He is very alert and I have listened to his chest and it is clear, no ticking sound.


None of the others show signs tonight of swelling and are moving fine.

Any other suggestions?