Mary Kaye Ashley mka at
Mon Aug 1 11:25:54 PDT 2005

I have been working round the clock for the past couple of weeks regarding the sick babies and the status of the virus here in Florida and will keep everyone updated.  I am actively working with pet stores and individual owners whose babies are sick.  I am also working with USDA and in the future will be providing input for the FL Veterinary Association who I understand has a team who will attempt to isolate the source of the outbreak.

ADSA FL has purchased TamiFlu out of our treasury funds and will make it available to anyone whose baby is sick.  Our chapter has also paid for lab testing on both living and dead babies in the hopes that we can isolate the particular strain of virus.

At this point in time, I want to emphasize that we do not yet have 100% conclusive lab results regarding the strain of virus, although it is believed a strain of distemper.  No one knows if this is the strain currently covered by any of the vaccines used in our skunks, or if it is a mutated strain.  That is what we hope to learn by doing a $500 viral isolation test.

So as not to alarm a lot of people needlessly, I want to explain the following:

If you purchased through me and ADSA FL, your baby should be healthy and free of the virus.

If you ordered a baby directly from Ruby Fur Farm and had it shipped directly to you, your baby should be healthy and safe.

Based on the phone calls and tracking I have done, it appears that the pet stores who have sick babies are those who made their baby skunk purchases through one of three animal brokers here in Florida.  

If you purchased a baby through a pet store who DID NOT go through a broker and who ordered direct from Ruby's, then your baby should be safe.

If anyone has questions, please feel free to post them to the list or to email me privately.  I am extremely interested in hearing from everyone out there who currently has a sick baby or who had one which expired.

Mary Kaye Ashley
Vice President, National Board
President, Florida Chapter
American Domestic Skunk Assoc. Inc.
1311 Hamlin Drive
Clearwater, FL 33764
(727) 532-6830
mka at


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