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