Do skunks attack pets?
A skunk will attack in defence whenever it feels in danger or threatened in any way. Pets do not know when to back off when they spot or find an unfamiliar animal like the skunk within the vicinity. Chances are the pet, for instance a dog or cat, will approach to scare the skunk away, or will attack the skunk and in such a case the pet will definitely be skunked.
Another case is a pet approaching or getting too close to a skunk’s nesting place. This is even worse if the skunk is a mother and she is nursing her babies in the nest. Then the skunk will definitely be in the attack mode, trying to protect her young ones or just indicating boundary crossing. They will also attack when fighting for food or if cornered in a way. All rabid animals attack, so will a rabid skunk.
However, skunks attack in different forms according to the situation at the time.
• The most common and distinctive mode of attack by the skunks is the spraying. Skunks will spray on pets using their very foul smell that they produce from their glands as a way of making them go away or as a decoy for the skunk to make a swift escape. Either way, the end result is that you will end up with a smelling cat and extra work is needed to get rid of the foul smell.
• Sometimes, if the pet gets too close, the skunk may resort to using physical attack rather than the normal spray method. Skunks have sharp claws and sharp teeth with which they will use to scratch and bite the dog or the cat as they fight with each other. He scratches and bites may range from simple to very fatal ones thus wounding the pet badly. A more severe and dangerous concern may occur if the skunk is rabid. This means that your pet is at risk of contacting this deadly disease therefore it is advisable to take them to a veterinarian whenever you see deep bite or scratch marks.
• While fighting each other, pets are at risk of contacting diseases and parasites that skunks carry. Rabies being the deadliest, pets can also contact leptospirosis, an infectious disease caused by a bacteria. This disease can also be passed on from pets to humans. Intestinal roundworms can also be transmitted from the skunk to the pet and not forgetting parasites, especially ticks and lice which can jump and take host in the pet.
• A skunk will also harm puppies and kitties if left unprotected by their parents. Though skunks do not eat dogs or cats, they will bite or scratch them to wound them and the most severe fatality will be killing them.
Read the How to get rid of skunks page for helpful information and to learn more about Do skunks attack pets?
Do skunks attack pets?
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