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Virginia Opossums?

Wallabies, kangaroos, Sugar Gliders, Possums, Quolls, etc.

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blacksagephoenix
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Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:12 am

I am pretty confident that the switch to a new home will work out fine. He has been out to adoption events and interacted with strangers for the first house, and just slept in someone's lap for the second hour. So he is used to being around other animals, loud noises, and strangers, and seems comfortable in that situation. He is being given to me. Good thing I have a second large cage just lying around. Haha. Depending on how fat he is though, I may have to give him Sikas cage and give her the other cage. They are relatively the same size but the openings between levels is pretty small, Sika could fit easy, but maybe not a chunky possum. We will see. Besides, he won't be in it often. If everyone gets along, he will have free roam of the house. Now they said he is a picky possum when it comes to food. They tried boiled chicken, fruits, veggies, Mazuri and zupreem diets, and the only thing he will eat is cat food. I am going to try some baby foods to see if he will eat that, but I really want him off the kibble. If I can't get him on a kibble-free diet, ill probably have to find him a nice grain-free kibble.

And Ofcourse, you will get loads of pictures!!
*~*~*~*~* Chell *~*~*~*~*

Mother of one daughter, one dog, two cats, one fennec fox, three hedgehogs, two short tailed opossums, three sugar gliders, three velveteen rabbits, one bearded dragon, one tortoise, twelve ball pythons, and several rats.
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the_unstable
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby the_unstable » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:53 pm

I have heard their diets are complex and it's quite important to get it correct. I would absolutely try and give him something other than just cat food (cat food in general may be bad for them anyway) if you can manage. Since they have such short lives, it's important to try and prolong it as much as possible. I think they also probably need grains in their diets as I think they are omnivorous.
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blacksagephoenix
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Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:53 pm

Yeah, he is apparently in Friskies. :/

I am going to have to figure out something quick and get him off that! She said she has tried everything, but I'm going to start the process over and try everything myself. From my understanding, their captive diet is relatively similar to a skunks and I know I had a great system with the skunk I had, just need to see if this little fellow will cooperate and eat what I give him.
*~*~*~*~* Chell *~*~*~*~*

Mother of one daughter, one dog, two cats, one fennec fox, three hedgehogs, two short tailed opossums, three sugar gliders, three velveteen rabbits, one bearded dragon, one tortoise, twelve ball pythons, and several rats.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:46 pm

You just have to be persistent. They can be picky but something they snub one week they may take the next so just keep trying things. Also if he only takes the kibble just give him enough to live on but keep him hungry so he will be more inclined to take other things.
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blacksagephoenix
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Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:40 pm

That's a good suggestion. The way I look at it, if they get hungry enough, they will eat anything! That applies to any animal! lol... I have good confidence that I will be able to get him in a healthy diet.
*~*~*~*~* Chell *~*~*~*~*

Mother of one daughter, one dog, two cats, one fennec fox, three hedgehogs, two short tailed opossums, three sugar gliders, three velveteen rabbits, one bearded dragon, one tortoise, twelve ball pythons, and several rats.
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blacksagephoenix
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Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:42 am

Ok, so today is the official day! Picking up Awesome Possum tonight!!! I got his cage set up with lots of toys and blankets and hammocks and his litter box. All ready to go!
*~*~*~*~* Chell *~*~*~*~*

Mother of one daughter, one dog, two cats, one fennec fox, three hedgehogs, two short tailed opossums, three sugar gliders, three velveteen rabbits, one bearded dragon, one tortoise, twelve ball pythons, and several rats.
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the_unstable
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby the_unstable » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:52 am

Ooo yay! Please post pictures as soon as you can! I'm so excited for you!
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Ash
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby Ash » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:03 pm

That's so exciting! I just love VA opossums! I can't wait until you get him. Good luck with the new addition to the family. :)
3 red fox, 4 iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, tarantula
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blacksagephoenix
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Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:09 pm

Well, we are home with Awesome Possum and already ran into an issue. He ripped one of his back claws out, like, completely off. (already have a post about it in the health section) We first noticed blood all over the blanket that was with him in the carrier. and found a complete claw in it. Bleeding has stopped and now I am just gonna make sure it stays clean and free from infection.

Anyways, so aside from being in pain, he is pretty calm. I really have my work cut out for me with getting him diet and exercise. I haven't weighed him, but I would saw he is well over 20 lbs, possibly 25 lbs. After he gets settled, I will weigh him. Like I said before, from what I know, all he ate was whiskas cat food and rarely baby food. Nothing else. So he is extremely obesed, he has hard fat rolls on his neck and is super chunky. I'll get pictures soon. I also need to get him to exercise. She said he doesn't do much, only time he is moving is to go to different spot to sleep again. I'll have to get him out of a leash and try to get him to explore to get him moving. But other than the health concerns, he really seems to be sweet and relaxed. I offered him a piece of banana and he didn't want it. He got into his litter box about halfway and peed and pooped with his butt still not in the litter box so we already went through a blanket tonight. lol And then he tried to sleep in the litter box but we made him a new clean bed and he moved into it and has been sleeping ever since.
*~*~*~*~* Chell *~*~*~*~*

Mother of one daughter, one dog, two cats, one fennec fox, three hedgehogs, two short tailed opossums, three sugar gliders, three velveteen rabbits, one bearded dragon, one tortoise, twelve ball pythons, and several rats.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:08 am

Bab opossums love to run on rat wheels but they outgrow them quickly. They do a lot of traveling in the wild. Walks should help. Maybe order or build a cat wheel for him.
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blacksagephoenix
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Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:12 am

From what the previous owner told me, he will walk to a corner and go to sleep. Or outside, he would walk to the base of the closest tree and sleep. He has no motivation. But he is double the weight he should be, so it's like trying to get a 400 lb man to walk. He hasn't done anything but sleep yet, hasn't touched his food or water, and has only used the litter box once which was when we first got here. By the way, not sure if this is common or because of his previous diet, but he poop smells like fresh cow poop. Gross. lol
*~*~*~*~* Chell *~*~*~*~*

Mother of one daughter, one dog, two cats, one fennec fox, three hedgehogs, two short tailed opossums, three sugar gliders, three velveteen rabbits, one bearded dragon, one tortoise, twelve ball pythons, and several rats.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:53 pm

I hadn't told her what he was eating just the he was fat and asked for tips so she makes some assumptions on what he's currently eating(like decreasing the chiken wings when he's not getting any) but here's some tips from a possum person.

Lots of tips! Start with healthier foods, decrease yogurt intake.. and only protein once a week.. every other week give 1/2 of avocado .. this will continue fatty intake but it will be healthy fat.. instead of an entire chicken wing, cut it back to half, and make sure the skin is off and only boil it to cook it. watch fruit intake, because the sugars turn to fat if not used. increase veggies! .... NO cottage cheese, sour cream, or breads. limit grains to whole grain/wild rice. and maybe only twice a week. try baby food veggies that include grain because they tend to like this, and the grains are included, and it is WAY less fatty than food we eat. He can still have the once a week 1/3 cup of his favorite brand of ice cream! [;)] just as a treat! ... we have a bengal wheel and we built the opossum wheel from the NOS handbook ..... they usually ove the wheel.. but if hes super fat he wont, so to work up to this stage, instead of putting his food all in one spot for a feeding (and at the same time everyday) ... scatter it throughout the house ... hide it... make the opossum work for the food. and do it at different times everyday to jump start the metabolism! .. if you feed everyday, the metabolism will store the fat cells while he is waiting for food, if the body knows it will get fed in smaller increments throughout the day it will not store the cells and he can burn them off .... water therapy is also good.. fill the bath and make him swim.. [:)] zohey lost 3 lbs doing water therapy when she stopped sinking to the bottom. I hope all of this helps.. i am here if you need me


I could ask for tips on helping with being picky if you find he is. Aurora hadn't been gotten onto a domestic food yet when I got her, they brought her ant nests. So she didn't want to eat. I started her with blue cheese water because blue cheese tastes like their favorite ant. Then used that to wean her onto a good food soup. Of course you don't want to give him possum soup lol but maybe the idea of weaning him onto good food would work.

Maybe powder some cat food and sprinkle it on veggies for flavor? Or if he like the baby food start by doing that.

yea opossums live to eat.. but are extremely picky.. zax would go three days without eating, but then finally eat what i put down.. opossum are picky but it is possible

the tip to veggie seduction is baby food veggie/fruit... or if youre gunna feed regular veggies, boil in honey
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blacksagephoenix
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Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:37 am

Thank you so much for relaying that information over. I really appreciate the help.

Update on Awesome Possum.

I got a chance to weigh him and he is 15.3 pounds, so not as bad as I thought, but still. I have tried giving him and chopped it all up. I have tried several different veggie baby foods and he won't touch that either. He sleeps for about two days and wakes up to explore for about 15 mins every two days. This is when he will get some water and munch on the cats food (the only thing he will eat) and use the bathroom. Might explore the room or his cage some, and then it's right back to sleep. I have been trying to get him to move around but he just goes to sleep. I took him outside on a harness and he just curls up and sleeps. And I can't lure him with treats since he won't eat anything.

Also, after he moves around for a few minutes, he kind of makes a twitching movement for a minute or two. Similar to the jumping of hiccups. I haven't seen him do that unless he was just moving around.

Another issue is that he has fleas and I don't exactly know how to treat it because they aren't supposed to be bathed, and shouldn't get topical flea treatment. He has alot of black dirt-like stuff on his skin. I think that is flea shedding and eggs if I'm not mistaking. He also has flaky dry skin. How can I get him clean and flea-free? And avoid skin problems?

That all aside, his toe where the claw ripped off is healing nicely. He is walking on it and keeps it clean, no infection or anything. And he is doing alright with the animals. The cats try to attack his tail, but they are learning to be easy with him. He just freezes when they come near him, if he is awake and notices.
*~*~*~*~* Chell *~*~*~*~*

Mother of one daughter, one dog, two cats, one fennec fox, three hedgehogs, two short tailed opossums, three sugar gliders, three velveteen rabbits, one bearded dragon, one tortoise, twelve ball pythons, and several rats.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:50 pm

I was worried about they symptoms being MBD because of diet so wrote my friend first.

first off.. opossums can be bathed... so throw him into the water as fast as you can and squirt a whole hell of a lot of DAWN dish soap on him!!!! ... the dawn will kill the fleas asap.. make sure you get some q tips and clean his little ears.. scrub scrub scrub and brush with a comb in the bath ... he may poop.. if your next to the toliet while kneeling next to the tub just pick the poo up and toss it in the toliet and flush! easy clean up! .. lol .... scrub scrub scrub.. let the dawn sit on his skin for 3-5 minutes to kill the fleas the rinse.. this can be done 3 times in one day to kill the fleas.. after this has been done, you can treat opossums with critter oil, http://www.critteroil.com/ .. this will kill fleas for up to 6 months and wont let them bite back.. safe for al wildlife.. you can even wash his bedding in it, in your washing machine so the fleas dont lay eggs in your house.

the dawn will help with the dry flaky skin, but yes, this is a symptom of MBD as well as the lathargy and the twitching and 'hiccup' .... you can use plain lotion on his skin, fingers, and tail.. i use nivia on my opossums they like it.. lol ruunnn slide on the tile.. till it dries..

(the tail should always be lotioned or lubed.. dont let it dry out.. because of captive diets, they dont get the needed amount of fatty acids to keep tail and skin from cracking)


if you suspect MBD, i have a reversal diet and supplements that has helped many opossums on our forum including my zaxahry .. i have to go to work right now.. so i am typing fast .. but when i get home at 5pm.. we can discuss changing his diet so his energy increases .. and he doesnt seem so 'blah'... but for right now .. bathe the little critter and pick those fleas off! ;)) .. the dawn will make him shine! .. [:)] .... after the dawn flea treatment i recommend Avoderm http://www.avodermnatural.com/Grooming/index.htm ... this has the avocado in it.. i use the Avoderm Oatmeal on my opossums.. and they look like models.. lol

since i will be at work.. try fixing him a plate of : half avocado, slice of mozerella cheese, banana, yogurt, and a dab of baby food veggie..... this is every food a possum will go nuts for.. lol .. healthy for him .. but they arent supposed to get them everyday.. so just see if he eats it, which ones he likes.. and we can narrow down his palate.. lol ... gotta go.. but ill chat again at 5
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blacksagephoenix
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Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:05 pm

Omg you don't understand how much I appreciate this! I will do what she said and throw him in the tub right away. He is still nervous here and I didn't want to freak him out yet, but this must be done! And I'll get that plate of food for him too. I will definitely get some lotion on him too. I tried some sweet potato baby food with a little of the cat food last night but he didn't touch it. Thanks again. I will look into the links you posted as well and get him what he needs.
*~*~*~*~* Chell *~*~*~*~*

Mother of one daughter, one dog, two cats, one fennec fox, three hedgehogs, two short tailed opossums, three sugar gliders, three velveteen rabbits, one bearded dragon, one tortoise, twelve ball pythons, and several rats.

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