Fall is here and for those who got a kit in the spring, your baby is officially a junior skunk. He or she should look just like a smaller version of an adult skunk. By now, the 3 de-wormings are complete. Once your skunk weighs 4 pounds or more, you will switch to using Panacur C, 1 gram to de-worm and follow the instructions for an adult skunk. Read more about that here. After completing the cycle of de-worming for 3 days, wait 14 days, then de-worm again for 3 days, you need to mark your calendar to do this twice a year or every 6 months. Make sure all other pets in your household are de-wormed on schedule too as they can pass parasites to your skunk or your skunk to them. Following these easy steps can prevent most cases of prolapses as parasite infestations are almost always the cause of prolapsing in skunks. It will also prevent the discoloration of the white of the fur, assuming the diet fed is healthy.
By now, most people will have had their boy skunk neutered. Neutering can be done anywhere between 3 and 6 months assuming the skunk is healthy. Girl skunks are spayed between 4 months and a year, depending on their size. If you have both a boy and a girl skunk that have not been spayed/neutered, it is important that they not be allowed any time together as you do not want to have a surprise litter of kits. It takes experience to breed captive wildlife, it is not as easy as one might think. Both males and females can get aggressive during mating season. Females can go into heat and not come out, developing a type of anemia that can be fatal. This usually only happens when there is male in the home, or if the female is obese but it can happen to any female in heat. Un-neutered males can be annoying as they hump their owners and other household pets and they may get aggressive. If you want your pet skunk to be healthy and happy, spaying and neutering is an important step. So, if you have not already done so, now is the time to spay/neuter your junior skunk.
If your baby went through the biting stage as most kits do, he or she should be coming out of that by now. The junior skunk will start to exhibit signs of their adult personality. Now is when you start to see the pay off for all the time spent socializing your new baby. You should be able to tell what your skunk’s dominant personality will be by now or the near future. There are 3 major personality groups for pet skunks:
1) Mellow, the skunk is laid back, not easily startled and has little fear of humans. There is a better chance of them bonding with more than one person.
2) Average, the skunk sometimes displays some traits of the first and third personality groups. Most pet skunks fit in this group.
3) High Strung, the skunk is easily startled and appears to be nervous. Generally does not bond with more than one person and may not bond at all with a human.
There are sub traits that can apply to each category that will discussed in depth in another post.
Six months have passed if your skunk was born in the spring. If you are not up date yet, now is the time to catch up. You want your skunk to have the best chance at a long, healthy life!