Three radio-collared striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) found dead during a field study of winter ecology of striped skunks near Willowbrook, Saskatchewan, Canada were examined. Streptococcus equisimilis was identified as the primary agent causing necrotizing purulent pneumonia in one skunk and suppurative meningoencephalitis in another. Both Streptococcus equisimilis and Streptococcus canis were isolated from lesions of purulent myocarditis and pyothorax in the third skunk. These are apparently the first reported cases of S. equisimilis infection in striped skunks and suggest that this opportunistic pathogen may be a significant cause of mortality under some conditions.
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Vol. 38 • No. 3