pet news

Sampson the Skunk – “An unlikely patient”

December 17, 2008

CAVE CREEK – Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center presented “Sampson,” a 2 year-old male striped skunk, to Animal Health Services showing signs of sneezing and pawing at his nose.

The doctor on the case, Lisa Lannen DVM, was immediately concerned with his dental health as skunks in captivity tend to have diseased teeth. Other symptoms included not wanting to eat and being more easily agitated than normal.

Radiographs of the mouth and nasal passages showed no tooth problems, infections, cancer or foreign bodies. (Sticks, leaves etc ...) It was then recommended to proceed with a CT-Scan which allows a more sensitive view of soft tissues and bone changes that may not appear on radiographs.

Significant changes were found in the left nasal passage that suggested a soft tissue mass that could be destroying the bone in the roof of the mouth. Two possibilities for Sampson’s disease consisted of a fungal infection, such as Valley Fever or Aspergillosis and cancer.
For the conclusion of Sampson’s case study, visit Animal Health Services online at

For more information on Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center visit

Courtesy Photo:
Sampson’s CT-Scan was more sensitive in finding soft tissue and bone changes than a radiograph.