What should I do if my dog attacks a possum?

You and your dog should first get away from the possum. Don’t try to scare or engage the possum. Focus on getting your dog and yourself away from the possum. Next, check for injuries in your dog and then call the vet.

Although it is rare for a possum to carry Rabies but not impossible. However, they could carry diseases such as tuberculosis or coccidiosis. You should take your dog to the vet if he isn’t up-to-date on his vaccines. A booster shot is recommended for dogs with possums in their mouths, eaten one or bitten by one.



What should I do if my dog had a possum in his mouth?

To get your dog to drop a possum caught by him, you can use the “leave them alone” command. The dog found a possum inside his mouth when he returned. After a quick but firm “leave him alone”, Gavin gave up on his prey. It’s a good idea to give your dog a good bath before taking him to the vet.

It is important first to check that your dog is not bleeding or hurt. Possums are known for their resistance to large dogs. Consider the possibility that your dog may have bit the possum and that the blood is not your dog’s. In this instance, neither you nor the possum should be touched.

To avoid infection, you should immediately clean the wounds. The wounds can be cleaned with warm water and hydrogen peroxide and then wrapped in antibiotics.

You should take your dog to the vet. Also, small punctures or wounds can be missed. Your vet may recommend additional medication or alternative treatments. Also, your dog must be examined if they eat possums. Possums, like other stray animals, could transmit diseases to humans.

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Is my dog at risk for Rabies from a Possum?

Rabies is the number one concern for dog owners who worry about their dogs getting into fights with wild animal’s. Although there are good reasons for this, the chances that your dog will contract Rabies from an opossum are very low. Possums can be very shy and reclusive. They can hide well and only make contact with other species if they are desperate. This greatly reduces the chance of them spreading the disease.

Understandably, people are concerned about this. Your dog will require immediate treatment if he is diagnosed with Rabies. If your dog gets Rabies, you might have to put him down. Possums are very mobile and can maneuver quickly, but their teeth can be quite dangerous. A possum with full-blown Rabies is frightening.

These real but unlikely possibilities are enough to make people fear the disease. We are highly emotional and visual-oriented animals, so the thought of a rabid animal is a vivid image in our minds. You can find some relief in knowing that rabid Possums are very rare.

If your dog accidentally kills a wild possum or other animal and eats it, check for injuries and bring him to the vet for booster shots. This is the best route.



Rabies in Dogs

If your dog comes in contact with a rabies-infected animal, you must quarantine it and keep it isolated for at most 45 days.

The progression of Rabies is slow, and symptoms can appear in a matter of days or months.

Rabies in dogs can be challenging to recognize because they often exhibit dramatic behavioral changes and become aggressive. You may also notice the following signs and symptoms:

  • Drooling
  • Inadequacy of coordination
  • Inability to swallow with consequent dehydration/starvation
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures

You are obligated by law to notify your doctor if any of these symptoms appear. If Rabies has been diagnosed, the dog will be put to sleep, and its brain examined. Rabies should not be contracted by a dog that has been vaccinated. There is no 100% vaccine, so it is better to take the necessary safety precautions to prevent spreading the virus to other pets. If you are unsure, consult your local laws regarding Rabies and vaccines. The first shot is usually given to puppies around three months old and repeated yearly.



What should you do if your dog kills a possum with Rabies?

Possums are not usually carriers of Rabies. This is because they don’t usually survive predatory attacks, and their bodies’ temperature is too low for the rabies pathogens to thrive and spread. Possums can still carry Rabies in rare instances. If you find possum bite marks on your dog and aren’t sure when they last had their rabies shot. Call your veterinarian. They will have your dog’s medical history. If you are not satisfied, they will inform you immediately.

There should be no reason to worry if your dog has been vaccinated regularly. It is safer to have your dog checked. No matter if your dog has killed an adult or a baby possum, there are still chances that Rabies will be found in them. If your dog has attacked a possum, but you have the carcass, you can get them tested for Rabies. Use all precautions, and avoid touching the animal with your naked hands. Wrap the animal in a bag and keep it cold. However, don’t freeze it, as it can cause infection.

Follow the instructions of your local animal control. If the rabies test can be done, the possum should be tested. You should receive the results within a few hours. Also, you will need to pay for the test, but it is better than being left in doubt and not having the ability to act until it is too late. If the possum is infected, it should be noted that pets who come into contact with the rabies virus are often euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease to their family members. If the possum is clean, as it happens often, consider your dog very lucky and take all precautions to prevent it from happening again. Dogs and possums can meet. However, there is a lot at stake. Your dog should only try to outwit them once.


I’m a long-time animal lover and owner of two dogs and three cats. I grew up on a farm where we had all sorts of animals, from cows and horses to pigs and chickens. My love for animals led me to pursue a career in writing about them. I have been a pet care writer for over 5 years and have extensive knowledge of animal care, health, and behavior.

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