Surgical Descenting
by Roger Ross DVM

Descenting Skunks, Ferrets, etc:


Some people like to keep skunks as pets.  There are even genetic lines of skunks with brown and white fur that are raised for pets so as not to be confused with wild skunks.  Wild skunks are either illegal to keep as pets or professionally discouraged as pets because of their strong association with rabies.

At any rate, for the few people that keep pet skunks, or for zoos, some vets will surgically remove the scent glands.  I've done a few of these in the past but refuse to do anymore.  Just one drop of skunk juice in the hospital will put me out of business for a week.  And just because a young skunk is used to being held and petted by humans doesn't mean it isn't going to freak in a hospital full of barking dogs and a human with a syringe in his hand.

If you have a skunk that needs to be descented, expect your vet to cut a few corners and perform the surgery outside the clinic...probably at your place.

Ferrets:  The one reference I found on this subject considered it mutilation to descent a ferret.  I've never done this surgery and don't know much about the topic

On This Page:

Surgery; a very few comments about descenting ... something I don't know much about

On Other Pages:

Home:Animal Pet Doctor

Before Surgery     

After Surgery   

Ear Cropping


Surgical DeBarking

Soft Tissue Surgery
Fracture Surgery

The Omentum in Surgery   

Cancer Surgery   

Hernia Surgery 

Abdominal Surgery
Pharmacy: about the medicines used in veterinary medicine

Surgical Specialists and Referral Veterinarians

History of Veterinary Medicine in the United States

All the important stuff I know about fleas


Denistry: why oral hygiene and health is so important and what you can do about it

Dermatology: How I treat skin diseases in pets

Orthopedics: How I treat arthritis, pannus, hip dysplasia, and other problems of the bones and joints

Ear problems and the miracle treatment Zymox

Ophthalmology: Eye Problems discussed

Diseases of the blood

Metabolic Diseases like Diabetes, Cushings Disease, Addison's Disease, and Thyroid Disease

Cardiology: Heart problems in cats and dogs

Our pages devoted to Cats

Our pages devoted to Dogs

For a complete list of contents, please go to our home page at


HOME: Animal Pet Doctor      SURGERY: Intro      Before Surgery      After Surgery   
Soft Tissue Surgery    Fracture Surgery    Spaying Your Pet      Castration     The Omentum   
Cancer Surgery    Hernia Surgery    Declawing   Debarking    Ear Cropping     Abdominal Surgery