What Are the Symptoms of a Sick Skunk?

Skunks Regarded as “Pests”
It has been a common myth that skunks are mere annoyances and are regarded as “pests”. It is actually a wrong notion that they need to be exterminated. Skunks are actually considered to as “natural pest controls” and are vital to the environment. If they are exterminated, the ecosystem could have some imbalance.

Rabid Skunks are Carriers of Rabies
Skunks can only be rabies carriers once they are rabid. Being rabid means the virus has become active and you can see obvious signs. Rabid skunks can carry rabies once they bite another animal and not because of their wastes, foul spray, or even their urine.

Kinds of Rabies
Studies state that there are two kinds of rabies in skunks where they showcase two opposing sides:

• Furious rabies – This is the aggressive form of rabies in skunks where there is “foaming at the mouth” could spread diseases when it starts biting.
• Dumb rabies – If a skunk looks disoriented or showcases and odd behavior, it must likely having dumb rabies because a normal skunk will automatically get scared of people and other animals as well which prompts it to emit its foul-smelling odor as a defense.

Common Signs of a Sick Skunk
If you happen to notice a skunk roaming around your yard or premises, it is important to observe whether it is exhibiting a weird behavior which may be a symptom of it being rabid. It is vital that once you see a drooling skunk, you must stay away from it. Below are some symptoms of a sick skunk:

• Foaming at the mouth or drooling. This is a common symptom of a rabid skunk and can also manifest in dogs when it has rabies.
• Loses fear of people and other animals and/or disoriented. A normal skunk is afraid of people and of other animals which results in the emission of its foul spray to drive them away as its natural defense mechanism. A sick skunk on the other hand does the opposite.
• Loss of coordination or ataxia. A sick skunk may loss its muscle control resulting to paralysis. It may obviously have a walking incapacity as a result of the virus from rabies.
• Aggressive behavior. A sick skunk may also attack small kittens and puppies and this is what they also call “furious rabies” when a skunk exhibits overly aggressive or violent behavior.

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