Spotlight on Cleopatra

spotlight on Cleo

Here is our beautiful Cleopatra. She is my second Mephitis, the first being a chocolate. My first one passed on New Years Eve of 2014-2015, suddenly. It was saddening, and I could not live long without another skunk in my life so I called the breeder again, Ruby Fur Farms, as that was the only breeder I was aware of. Unfortunately, I am temporarily away from home for training with the U.S. Navy, so I had asked the breeder if he had any new arrivals, and if so, could he possibly wait to ship one until I was home in Mid-September. He said he could not, so I consulted my family back home, and it was agreed that we would have one shipped, and they would care for it until I returned, which they were capable of having assisted me with the last one. She arrived by plane in Eugene, Oregon on July 23rd at 2:30pm, and by assumption, with the aviation laws on animals, she should have been approximately 8 weeks old, or older. She was healthy and lively, but excessively cuddly for a new arrival. Typically they are more fearful after the long flight, separation from their mothers, and introduction to strangers. She did well for about two weeks, then suddenly, with no warning, she became unresponsive, on a weekend no less. The emergency vet was called, but upon hearing it was a skunk, they stated they would be unable to see her. Panic! My family called me, I directed them to a friend of mine that had previously been a vet tech for a zoo. She recommended an exotic vet she knew, and Cleo was rushed to the vet. I also called the breeder. He didn’t seem to care at all, and then also proceeded to admit she was only six weeks old when he shipped her.
Useless. at the vet…….. She was dehydrated, and anemic, but the cause was unclear. Tests were run with no result. She was sent home with a revised diet, and many medications, to include a safe antibiotic. She livened up some but not nearly enough. By the end of the next week, she had fallen back to her non-responsive state, but on a Sunday this time, no vet available. They called me again, we all panicked. I called everywhere, even the zoo vet, with no results. I remembered then that I had joined a forum online long ago, Striped Bandits, so I researched that site and found a number, which I called for advise. I was then redirected to call Maria. I relayed her advice immediately to the family at home. Cleo responded immediately to the treatments. She was then taken the vet the next day. X-rays, more tests, wormer, more medication, still no clear diagnosis. She improved only slightly then had yet another major crash. More panic. I directed the family to call Maria directly, I was out of any other ideas. Whatever was said worked! She is now on a steady road to recovery, and lively as ever. I can only thank the diligence of my amazing family back home, with the help of Maria! I look forward to many years with Cleo.

Eva Clark

spotlight on Cleopatra


  1. Cleo is one of a number of kits with problems reported this year. More than one Veterinarian has stated that the kits may have been removed from their moms too early. Sadly, two that I am aware of, did not get help in time and have died already. If you get a skunk that seems small for their age or one that is not thriving, please take them to a Veterinarian that has experience with skunks asap! A blood test will reveal anemia which can be treated. In Cleo’s case, she was prescribed a drug for the anemia and I recommended some supplements to help support her in this critical time.
    I was thrilled when I got the call that she is on the road to good health.

  2. I HATE to hear of them being taken from their mothers so soon, tragic all around!! And I really cannot stand the thought of them being shipped every year.
    Cleopatra is GORGEOUS. This was a close call, I am SO thankful she pulled through this, Maria is our very best resource.
    I hope she continues to grow and thrive and that you have a long, healthy and happy life together!

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