Dogs are adventurous and curious, they will eat and chase after anything that is within their reach. It is no surprise to find your dog with a possum in his mouth especially if you have a greener compound where an opossum can find a snack. So, what do you do when your dog has a possum in his mouth?
My Dog Had A Possum In His Mouth!
If your dog had a possum in his mouth, you should not tense. Possum carries diseases like leptospirosis, coccidiosis, and tularemia, and in rare cases rabies. The chances of your dog contracting this infections are low on the condition that your dog is up to date with his yearly jabs. This will also apply if your dog ate a possum.
What If My Dog Attacked A Possum?
The firstly you should be to get your dog far from the possum. You should not try to threaten or frighten the possum as the chances of attacking back are high.
Check whether your dog has injuries on his skin, if he has any bite marks call a vet. A vet will prescribe the best medicine or administer a rabies booster.
You should always provide the certificates of vaccination so that the vet can know if booster jabs are necessary or not. Even if your dog looks okay, visiting a vet is advisable as the dog might have wounds that are buried in the skin.
My Dog Killed a Possum: What to Do
If your dog kills a possum, the first thing should be to get your dog far from it. You should stay composed as the chances of your dog contracting are minimal.
Don’t touch the possum as it can be ‘playing dead’ and it is hard to know if it is dead. This will also be safe for you as it can spread infections to you. Contact animal control; it is best if a skilled person helps you to get rid of the carcass from your compound.
Take your dog away from the scene and ensure he does not go back before the carcass is out of sight. This is because your dog can be tempted to go back as they have a high prey drive.
Call your vet and have your dog examined.
What Diseases Can My Dog Get From A Possum
Opossums could infect your dog with toxoplasmosis, Lyme disease, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, or Chagas disease by touch or, in certain situations, ingesting unsafe food.
My dog killed a possum, but why?
If your dog killed a possum, the highest possibility is that your dog started the fight. Opossums are peaceful and rarely attack. When attacked, possums normally play dead and the predators leave them alone most of the time but not always.
Dogs are descendants of wolves who are known to hunt for their food. Though dogs do not hunt for their food, they still have a high prey drive in their genetics.
Anytime your dog sees an animal that he can consider as prey, he is tempted to chase and kill it. The level of prey drive will vary from one breed to another.
Do Possums Have Rabies?
This is one of the biggest worries to dog owners when there is a fight between a dog and possum. This disease is not only dangerous to your dog but you too.
The chances of your dog contracting rabies are low because possums are fearful and peaceful and only interact with animals of the same characters. This means they rarely engage in fights reducing their chances of getting or spreading the disease.
Also, possums have a very low body temperature which is not a conducive environment for the rabies pathogen to grow and breed.
However, there is still a likelihood that a dog can contract rabies from a possum. This disease is dangerous because it can force one to lay down a dog with full-blown rabies. A possum with full-blown rabies can be hostile and his bites can cause serious health problems to your dog.
The best thing to do anytime your dog attacks a possum or vice versa is to take your dog to a vet to be on the safer side.
Benefits Of Possums In The Garden
Far from many peoples’ judgment, possums can be beneficial to your garden. If you see it in your garden you shouldn’t rush to send it away, it helps in eating snails, slugs, and even rodents. Unless a possum is posing as a threat to your dog you should leave it alone as it will soon leave.
To keep possums away you should make sure that all garbage cans are closed with tight lids, collect any ripe fruits that might fall from the trees. You can fence your compound using a wire mesh, keep pet food in locked places, or use possum repellants.
If your dog had a possum in his mouth, you should first take your dog far from the possum and confirm whether the possum is dead or playing dead. You should not be worried as the likelihoods of contracting infections are low. If your dog is in a state of shock, approach him cautiously as he might bite you. For safety measures, ensure that your doggie is up to date with his annual jabs.
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