Cardiac disease is a common finding in small mammals but it is rarely reported in striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis). The aim of this survey was to evaluate the prevalence of cardiac disease in striped skunks and to characterize the types of cardiac disease that might be present. In April 2010, a questionnaire was sent to veterinarians in zoologic collections with membership in the International Species Inventory System. Surveys were distributed to 55 institutions in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Twenty collections with a total of 95 skunks replied to the questionnaire. Of these, five collections reported at least one skunk with cardiac conditions for a total of 11 cases. In these 11 animals, the following conditions were diagnosed: myocardial fibrosis (n = 4), myxomatous valve degeneration (n = 4), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (n = 1), dilated cardiomyopathy (n = 1), and valvular endocarditis (n = 1). Based on these findings, cardiac diseases should be considered as part of the differential diagnosis in captive striped skunks presenting with weakness, lethargy, and decreased appetite. Cardiac ultrasound also should be considered at the time of annual health examinations to evaluate for possible cardiac conditions at an early stage.
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