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Are opossums dangerous to cats, dogs, or other pets?

The opossum is one of the most unusual creatures on the earth. All of us have heard of the term “playing possum” which is how these critters defend themselves. If confronted by a predator, their common reaction is to pretend that they are dead, releasing and odor at the same time that makes the predator believe that this rodent has died and is rotting. This causes the vast majority of predators to move on, allowing the opossum to live another day.

It is a very unusual defense mechanism to employ, but no one should believe that these animals are not capable of defending themselves in other ways. They are wild animals, after all, which means that they will attack if prodded enough, and this can mean that your cat, dog, or other pet can be in serious danger from one of these creatures.

Most would think that are no possum would not really pose a threat to their animal. Your dog, cat, or other pet would come upon the possum, the animal would pretend to be dead, and your pet would move on. Unfortunately, many times your pet, particularly your dog, may see the pseudo-dead possum as a play toy. This is what many pet owners have talked about, finding that their dog couldn’t leave the animal alone.

What a situation like this arises, you can be sure that the possum is going to fight back. This will mean that it will scratch or bite your pet, which poses all kinds of potential risks for your animal. Not only do you have to worry about the fact that these cuts and scratches can be dangerous in themselves, but these animals carry a large number of diseases that pose risks for your pet as well. You may find that a virus or parasite to get off of the possum and onto your animal through saliva or even through just physical contact with one another.

You also have to worry about the feces of an opossum. This will frequently carry such things as parasites that can burrow their way into the skin of your pet, using your cat or dog as a host as it slowly leads to the deterioration of the health of your pet. These parasites can be quite brutal, and this is why it is extremely important that you ensure that you keep possums as far away from your home as possible.

Should your animal come in contact with an opossum it is a good idea to take him or her to the vet immediately. These rodents are the carriers of many potentially life-threatening diseases for your pets, including rabies, and so treatment is necessary as quickly as possible. Be sure you try to protect yourself, by wearing gloves and covering exposed skin so that you do not come in contact with the blood of your pet. This will protect you should your animal contract some kind of serious disease from the opossum. Read more: Opossum Control, How to Get Rid of Opossums, Opossum Feces.

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