It seems that a lot of domesticated skunks suffer from hip dysplasia, which is not surprising considering that most of them are from a single place which is undoubtedly causing some inbreeding issues. Although Hobkin is notably not from there, so I'm hoping that this isn't hip dysplasia manifesting.
I do think it's likely that this might be a sign of arthritis—although I don't believe it's the sole culprit, here. Hobkin is six years old, officially classified as a "senior" skunk, and I've noticed particularly with this season's coat blowing* that there's a lot more white around his muzzle and paws than a couple years ago. It sort of freaks me out thinking of our little guy as being "old." I'm clinging to the hope that he'll be one of the pet skunks who live a couple decades, but I know that's unlikely. I also know that it's inevitable that one day he will break my heart—the unavoidable consequence of loving someone who has a significantly shorter life expectancy than we do. It's something I try not to dwell upon much, but this (baffling) injury has sort of brought that to the forefront of my mind.
Going to continue trying not to dwell upon that now . . .
*My GAWD there's skunk fur everywhere! My car is coated in skunk fur, and that was only from one back and forth to his godmother's last week. I'm worried that our vacuum cleaner is going to belly up from choking on skunk fur!
• around 200 on Taijiya. Did some clean-up, a bit of bridging, and some culling of words, so was a bit more productive than that count shows. Total words: 27.1K.
• Contrib. copies of Triangulation: Taking Flight with my (reprint) story, "The Life and Times of Penguin."