My Dog Killed a Possum: is it dangerous to my dog?

My dog killed a possum. Should I be worried? What to do? This is a question that many pet owners may face when their furry friend kills a wild animal, such as a possum.

If you live in an area where possums are common, you may have seen one out in the wild or in your backyard. If you have a dog, you may have even seen your dog kill one. However, if you live in an area where possums are not common, there’s a good chance that your dog hasn’t killed one yet.

There are a few scenarios in which you may need to take steps to protect yourself and your pet.

What is a possum?

Possums are small, marsupial mammals native to Australia. They are distinguished from other Australian mammals by their flattened heads and short tails. Possums have a unique way of eating leaves, which they snatch off the ground with their front teeth and then suck up into their mouth.

Why do dogs kill possums?

Dogs kill possums for many reasons, the most common of which is prey competition. Possums are a dominant and aggressive species that can take down a smaller dog easily, so a dog may feel compelled to hunt and kill one if it encounters one in its vicinity.

Other reasons for dogs killing possums include protecting their own territories or families, defending against predators, or satisfying their natural instinct to chase and capture prey.

In some cases, dogs may mistake possums for small animals they are used to hunting such as rabbits or squirrels, leading to deadly consequences.

Also Read: Dog Kidney Failure: When to Euthanize?

If you live with a pet dog and encounter a possum in your yard, be sure to keep your dog safe and stay out of the way – dogs will instinctively attack any dangerous animal they see and can seriously injure or even kill them if provoked.

Should I be worried if my dog killed a possum?

Possums are cute and cuddly creatures, but if your dog gets mad and kills one, don’t be too worried. Dogs have been known to take down possums, even when they’re not supposed to. There is no need to panic though; most likely, your dog just acted on instinct and didn’t mean to hurt the possum.

What to do if your dog kills a possum?

Take the following actions if you discover that your dog has attacked a possum:

Get away from the possum: Instead of trying to startle the possum or scaring it awake, you should simply get yourself and your dog as far away from it as quickly as you can, as it may attack again. However, there is a good chance that it has already vanished into the night.

Conduct a thorough check for wounds on your dog: Check the skin and the fur of your dog for any wounds to determine whether or not your dog has been bitten by a possum. This should be very visible. In the event that they have been bitten, proceed as follows:

Notify the veterinarians: If you suspect that your dog was bitten by a possum, give your veterinarian a call so that you can explore your options. The wound will typically be cleaned, and antibiotics will be prescribed, in the majority of cases. It’s possible that this will involve giving them an updated rabies vaccine just in case.

When you take your dog to the veterinarian, you should also bring any paperwork that pertains to past vaccinations that your dog has had. This information will assist the veterinarian in determining whether or not emergency booster vaccinations for diseases such as rabies are required.

A trip to the veterinarian is always necessary after a possum attack, even if your dog seems to be doing fine, in order to properly attend to your dog’s wounds, test them for any diseases, and provide them with pain relief. Your vet will be able to properly attend to your dog’s wounds, test them for any diseases, and provide them with pain relief.

There is a possibility that some wounds are minor and can be concealed by the fur.

Can dogs get diseases from possums?

Possums may pose a health risk to dogs because of the diseases they carry. Possums, like many other types of wild animals, have the potential to carry a wide variety of diseases, some of which can be passed on to dogs.

The Chagas disease, coccidiosis, TB, trichomoniasis, and leptospirosis are just a few examples of the infectious conditions that can sometimes result in a person’s death.

In addition, it is essential to keep in mind that there is a good possibility that certain animals, such as possums, carry fleas, which, in turn, can spread diseases such as murine typhus.

In addition to this, even if your dog does not attack or kill a possum, there is still a potential that any urine or droppings left behind by the possum can carry and transmit these diseases to your dog. This is the case even if your dog does not kill the possum.

On the other hand, if your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and they receive them on a yearly basis, they should be protected against the majority of the diseases that possums transmit.

If your dog had a possum in his mouth or killed and ate one, it is necessary to visit your veterinarian for guidance, treatment, and maybe booster immunizations. This is especially crucial if you are ever unsure about anything.

Can dogs get rabies from possums?

A significant number of owners are understandably concerned about the possibility that their dog could contract rabies from the possum after the animal was killed by or assaulted by their pet. On the other hand, you will be relieved to learn that the likelihood of something like this occurring is quite remote.

According to the Opossum Society, the average temperature of a possum’s body is between 94 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit, which is lower than the average temperature of other mammals. Possums are noted for having a lower body temperature than other mammals. It is difficult for viruses such as the rabies virus to live in possums because of their low body temperature. Possums can carry and transmit the disease.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that even though the likelihood of a possum becoming infected with rabies is extremely low, this does not mean that it cannot happen. The risk may be low, but it is still there, which is why it is essential for you to make sure that your dog’s vaccines are always up to date even though the risk may be low.

Because your dog will be protected from diseases such as rabies by these vaccinations, it is possible that they may prevent your dog from passing away as a result of the disease or from having to be put to sleep as a consequence of the sickness.

Conclusion

It is important to keep in mind that even the most docile of dogs can occasionally display an aggressive side. If your dog has killed a possum, it is important to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out any underlying medical issues. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to take steps such as getting a restraining order or even filing criminal charges against your pet. In the end, it is ultimately up to you and your veterinarian to decide what action to take.

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