After having another skunk prolapse the night after Valentine's day I took my skunk to another vet to have a more in depth checkup. The vet decided to stop worming her with the Pyrantel Pamoate and changed her to Ivermectin (Note that this was not him saying that Pyrantel Pamoate is a bad wormer for skunks, it was simply because her specific parasites did not seem to be clearing so he wanted to try a different option.) Along with this, he gave Gingerbread a thorough checkup. This went as most of my vet vists go:
Weight: Good. Coat: Good. Fleas? Nope. Teeth: Sparkly clean. Temperament? Pissed off but dealing....
Then she pooped on the table. The vet was not as pleased with the consistency of her poop as he was with other issues and decided that her slightly squishy veggie poops may very well be part of the cause of her prolapses. He had me remove the boiled chicken and eggs from her diet, tone down the veggies, and introduce Omnivore Zoo A diet by Mazuri to her. We slowly added more pellets and sure enough, the more we get into her diet, the firmer her poop seems to be. We're prolapse free again and hoping to stay that way.
So all of this got me on a kick of "what is this Mazuri stuff?" I've seen it mentioned on the skunk forums before. I've even bought small sample sized bags in the past and tried it with my skunks. My previous skunk wouldn't touch it. The vet offered helpful advice such as "soak it in a little water/juice" or "grind it up with some yoghurt" etc. as ways to get the skunk to eat it. However, my current skunks seem to think it is fine dining at its best. I am glad we changed them to two bowls at feeding time, cause if not they might dig into each other for a chance at one extra pellet. We do break them up a little before feeding because the pellets are rather large, but other than that we have needed no extra treatment to get our girls nomming down.
So what about the health benefits? Everyone says different things about feeding "processed diets" to skunks, so I went straight to the source: What is in the diet? First thing I noticed was Taurine. My vet advised that I could cut down on the extra taurine I give my skunks because this diet already contains it as an additive.
Pork. There's a lot of Porcine meat and blood cells in the diet. This is the only type of meat in the ingredients. Everything else is vitamins and minerals, and other goodness to make your omnivore all that s/he can be.
Along with that it contains several different types of grains/meals. Corn, wheat, and soybean all show up in more than one ingredient and are high up on the list (making up a large amount of the pellet. I'm not a huge fan of excess grains and meals in my foods, so I removed any cracker/bread type foods I was feeding them and am allowing the Mazuri diet to be their only source of grains now.
Feel free to check out the diet yourself on their page. And remember, if you decide to try it, this is only an additive. Don't cut out their fruits and veggies. I feed my girls four to five pellets at each of their meals (my skunks both weight between 5-6 lbs).