A total of 20 (14 females, six males) captive striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) with miniature temperature dataloggers implanted free in the abdominal cavity were examined for reproductive performance and pathology because of implants. Eleven of 12 female skunks reproduced successfully 45.9 ± 3.7 days after surgery to remove implanted dataloggers. The pregnancy rate of 91.7% (11/12) was much higher than other captive studies and was comparable with that of wild skunks. Eight striped skunks (six males, two females) that were euthanatized and necropsied after having implants in the abdominal cavity for 5 mo showed no apparent pathology associated with the implant. Implantation of the intraperitoneal devices did not lead to complications in abdominal tissues. Neither implant nor surgery affected reproduction. We conclude that implanted dataloggers can safely be used in physiologic studies of striped skunks or possibly other small carnivores in captive or field studies.
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Vol. 35 • No. 4