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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 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:23 pm

Bath went well. I did notice alot of the soap suds turned a pinkish color from dried blood on his skin, flea related. Looks like they are all dead, for now. Already placed my order for Critter Oil with express shipping. The company that sells it is only about 2 hours away so it should be here soon. I have to run out to pick up the lotion (I only have scented here) and the shampoo and conditioner she recommended. Also gonna swing by the store and pick up some more veggies and some crickets. I offered him super worms to see if he would eat them but he didn't notice. I am gonna try to calcium dust some crickets to try to get him some extra calcium. Be back on later!
*~*~*~*~* 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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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:20 pm

I gave him a play with chopped avocado, bok choy, some nonfat plain yogurt, mozzarella cheese, and baby food peaches. He licked up some of the peaches and some of the yogurt, smelled the rest, and was done. Maybe ate about 2 tablespoons in total. Petsmart didn't have Avoderm shampoo or conditioner, so I am going to order some online. As I was going through his fur after he was all dried off, I picked off a bunch of dead fleas that were just sitting on his fur. I only found one that was alive and got him off, but that means there may be other survivors. I washed his bedding and am giving him the night to relax and soak up the lotion, then another bath tomorrow with Dawn. I am afraid to overdue the bathing, but the lotion will help keep him moisturized.
Attachments
Sika with Awesome.jpg
Sika still doesn't know what to think. But they seem alright together. He is too lazy to care, and if he moves the slightest amount, she runs away. Seems like a good enough relationship to me! lol
Porcupossum.jpg
I bought some Nivea lotion for extra dry skin and lathered him up from head to tail. Now he looks like a porcupine. I declared his alias as Porcupossum!
Bathtime!.jpg
He was really good with the bath, kept trying to run away but was fairly calm everytime I picked him up and put him back in. Once he figured out how to climb out, he did it so quickly! Needless to say, my bathroom floor was soaking wet by the time we were done. 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 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:00 pm

At least he ate something that wasn't cat food.

To make bath time easier you can tie a leash short on the cloth rod thing, I think most baths have one and harness him up. Here I did that to Pua. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdw-fLVu9tw

For the record fleas don't normally lay eggs on the animal. They will lay them in dirt, in your carpet, sofa etc. The eggs hatch into grubs and the grubs make cocoons then those hatch into fleas. So now that he's brought them in you may need to treat your home too. You can sprinkle borax in the carpets with salt and that is a good way to kill them. Vacuuming daily is ideal so you can vacuum up any new hatches, empty the vacuum daily too or they might find their way out. Sprinkle the borax after vacuuming. When you get the oil you can make the spray and do the carpets and furniture, curtains etc to be safe. It shouldn't be to hard to get rid of them since it's fresh and not a full blown infestation of your home yet.

Edit: at least he got some exercise while you bathed him.
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:08 pm

good... i wouldnt use the calcium dust with opossums ... i would instead use maybe 1/4 tablet of OsteoForm for dogs .. this is an approved calcium supplment but the NOS, and i have found amazing luck with it ... zaxahry took a 1/2 every day of his life.. because he was found with 2 broken legs

the calcium powder dosent always soak into possum bone properly .. the mixture isnt right .. there was only 1 calcium supplement approved, and they just approved the osteoform beginning of 2011 .. so i know it works

Theres no need to fret with over duing the bathing .... with dawn it is difficult to dry out the skin... the lotion will help, but you dont need to fret.. you can give 3x a day if needed for the dawn bath it wont hurt him .. maybe just increase his heart rate .. which is needed at his weight

with the yogurt.. spice things up a bit and go get some yoplait cherry cheesecake or key lime pie... lmao ... opossums love all the flavors.. they usually wont touch it if its bland

to loose weight and help the MBD here are some tips:

1 square container of gerber baby food mixed veggies and grains, or the green veggies.. any gerber baby food veggies, we like the ones that include grains
1 container of baby food fruit.. the sweeter the better
1 tbsp of flvored yogurt
crushed Osteoform tab at your dosage

mix this in a bowl... this is heaven for an opossum, and a neat way to get them to eat the calcium ...

do this once daily.. i normally do it before i go to bed around 12am to supervise the eating of the pill

feed as usual at night ...

remember: avocado (1/2) every other week , PROTEIN ONLY ONCE A WEEK WITH MBD ---so you must only give a chicken wing with the bone once a month.. because you are swapping a protein every week, i normally do protein on saturday to remind me.. that way they only get 4 proteins .. YOGURT only with the baby food mixture .. this supplements in the other tiny bits of protein .. with MBD you can give 1/3 cup cat chow once a week .. and i usually did this on mondays .. NO CITRUS PRODUCTS like oranges, etc. NO FRUIT JUICES with MBD .. you can maybe give 2tsp of apple juice in water once a week to spice things up.. but the acidity can be detrimental to calcium intake ..

with MBD we do not force movement .. so if he wants to stay inside his bed, feed him inside his bed... do not force him to come out..this can cause fractures and bone breakage.. somtimes the possum knows best

live feed, i would limit 1 cup every week.. meaning you can scatter this cup throughout the week.. but it is so high in calcium, id watch the levels... we want to try and decrease as much protein as possible and increase BRIGHT GREEN VEGGIES !

after he begins to move on his own ... i would limit excersise, but let him move as he pleases ... do not force it

kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus ... all of these are amazing for possies.. (they are all inside baby foods) .. but if you wish to feed regular food .. the secret weve found:

veggies chopped into a measureing cup or stove stop saucer, 2 tsp of honey, sprinkles of cinnomon, maybe some jam (little bit).. fill to top and boil .....

drain water, chop veggies warm in some flavored yogurt.. and there you have a possum dinner fit for a king!

I hope this helps! [♥] Keep me updated!

oh yea.. the cheese .. its way way fatty .. so id do maybe a 1x1 cube every other day ...

oh yeah... and egg... watch the egg .... if youre gunna do an egg on saturday for protein .. do this ONLY ONCE A MONTH .. weve found it is high in cholesterol.. and it can be deterimental for calcium intake as well ... i usually crack it inside a coffee mug, scramble with some fresh spinach, and then microwave on high for 45 seconds.... now you have a perfect egg spinach patty that you can wrap inside something or stuff inside something.. i normall smear veggie baby food on mine.. so he has to lick it off to get to the egg


So a ton of info there. You'll need to stop the cat food all together. If he's finding your cat's food maybe try putting it up high. Since he's so lazy maybe he wont find it.

I do know one trick with spinach. You can wash it then stick it in the dehydrator then powder it in the blender. 1tsp of powder is about the same nutrition as a 1/3 cup of fresh. Fresh is always better but it could easily be mixed with more flavorful foods to get it in a picky eater. I use it in the anteater food mix.
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:41 am

Please express my sincere gratitude for all the information she is sending. I really do appreciate both you and her. I am taking this information and creating a weekly schedule to adhere to, that way I can make sure I feed him what he needs, but not too much of certain things. I put the plate he was eating from earlier in front of him again about 30 minutes ago and he ate the rest of the yogurt and most of the avocado! He was up moving around and circles the apartment once, and then went to rest. He is up again now circling the apartment, and so I made him a small bowl of yogurt mixed with half a jar of fruit baby food, half a jar of veggies baby food, a little bit of finely chopped bok choy (Chinese cabbage) with some baby cereal for grains. He sniffed it, and kept on walking, but when I put him up for the night, I will put that in his cage with him. Hopefully he eats it later.

Also, I found this site and it lists symptoms of MBD in steps of 12 starting with what comes first to the later stages. Out of the twelve, I would say he is on step 8. He seems to have everything in steps 1-8. Step 8 is fractures, which I have notices some of his toes don't touch the floor on its tips. Most of them do, but some curve upward at the tip, as if the tip broke at some point. Haven't noticed any other broken bones or injuries, so its in the 8th stage.

http://www.opossum.org/briefmbd.html
*~*~*~*~* 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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Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:43 pm

Update on Awesome Possum:

When I put him in his cage for the night in Monday, I put that mixture from my last post in with him. He licked up a little bit and went to sleep. I left it in for 24 hours and by Tuesday night, he ate the whole bowl! Bok Choy and all! I even gave him 3 super worms and only one was left. So I took out that bowl and replaced it with a mixture similar to the first but switched up the veggies. This time he has green peppers and yellow squash, along with the fruit and veggie baby foods, yogurt, and the remaining super worm. He has eaten about half of that bowl already. So food wise, we are off to a great start!

I have ran into a slight issue and am trying to work though it. While he was out exploring the living room Monday night, Sika (fennec) decided she wanted to play with him and was actively pouncing at him like she would the cats. Well, he got all defensive and started hissing at her. We separated them immediately. He hid behind the lizards cage and wouldn't let us pet him, hissed at us too, so we decided to leave him alone and let him calm down. We haven't introduced them outside of cages since. Now last night, while he was exploring our bedroom, our adult cat decided to walk pass him and he lunged and bit the back of her neck! I have not seen him move that fast until then. She ran away and I went to get him while my boyfriend went to check on Mama Kittie. He wasn't acting aggressive towards me, kinda acted more scared. Mama Kittie has no punctures and is completely fine, but now I don't trust them to be okay. I think this incident was related to Sika trying to play with him. Mama Kittie is tougher and can take more than little Sika. I don't think he intentionally tried to attack the cat, I think he just confused her with Sika.
*~*~*~*~* 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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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby amanda2826 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:51 am

I haven't been on here in a while and it is so great to see another Virginia Opossum owner on here now! You got a lot of great advice given to you. Definitely one big thing to keep in mind is to cut all kibble out of your opossum's diet. They are much better off with getting their nutrients from fresh protein, fruits and veggies. Providing the proper diet is always the hardest part with owning these cuties, but it is definitely worth it. My girls are very good with eating their veggies, even vegetables that other opossum owners say that theirs won't eat. But they still have those moments now and then when they just won't eat a certain vegetable at night. So don't let that bother you too much if your guy does that too. :P And good luck on getting him to be more active. My girl Kieran has always been bigger than Meeka, lazier too, but by providing the proper diet it has kept her from becoming over weight. If you have any questions about my experience, feel free to ask! I'm excited to see some more pictures and hear about your new love. :)
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:55 pm

So it's been awhile since an update.

just remember: opossums dont play .. number one rule .. they may look like they are trying to play but will normally bite full force .... ive had issues with zaxahry biting both my cats .. the cats learned after the first bite, that this is not a cuddly nice animal and after this would jump to highest spot when zaxahry would walk through the living room ... the animal will learn that this is an opossum and not a toy .... the opossum will rule the house as do all opossums lol
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:01 pm

Awesome Possum is doing great! We have moved his cage out of our bedroom and into the spare bedroom. We keep a baby gate up at the door during the day, to keep my daughter out of there, but take it down at night. He comes out and explores and when he wants to go to sleep, he goes back to his room. We have a broken leather couch in there that we gave to the animals. It is kind of hard to explain how it is broken, but pretty much he has a hollowed area under the couch that is safe for him. He made it his den. He goes into his cage to use the litter box and to eat, and then goes back under there to sleep.

He is pretty active and is eating great! I have come up with a weekly meal plan to make sure he is getting what he needs, when he needs it. He even chased down a few crickets. That was super cute! He tried to pounce on them. I also think he has lost a little bit of weight. His fat rolls on the top of his neck are starting to disappear!

I also haven't seen any fleas on him, and his skin is doing much better.

He and the cats are good together, they stay out of each others way. In fact, the cats were chasing each other around the house, and went to run back to the bedroom, which is down a tile hallway, and saw the possum at the doorway. They both slammed on the breaks and attempted to stop and just kind of slide towards him. Once they got a grip, the ran away from the bedroom. He just watched them like the were idiots! lol.. It was hilarious.

He and the fox still don't necessarily like each other, well, let me rephrase that. He doesn't like Sika, but she wants to be his best friend. We separate them when he is active and moving around the house, but when he is sleeping under his couch, she gets let out. She will sometimes bother him and he will make a grunting type of sound and then we get her out of the room and close the door. Then he goes back to sleep and she forgets he exists and we can open the door again. The reason we keep it open to begin with is because that is also where the cat's food (up where A.P. can't get it) and litter box is, so we can't keep the door closed for a while unless the cats are in there too, but we don't like restricting them to just one room. But everything is going well for him. He is super awesome and I love him so much! lol

And now I have 5 little babies to take care of. I will be keeping them separate from the other animals and hopefully will get to release them. But I have another post already for that discussion.
*~*~*~*~* 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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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:16 pm

Glad to hear all is going smoothly. Funny about the cats.
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby Lionsniper » Tue May 21, 2013 1:54 pm

I am not online much anymore (different job, no wifi access) but I have a question. My first opossum that I had for rehab/release was so tame that he became a pet and he just passed away after 3 years. Now that I am working under an additional wildlife permit, I have received a total of 7 babies now for rehab/release. Do they ever wild? There is controversy on matters of opinion as to imprinting. Also, to answer the question of nipping, I was told by a former client who has had opossum for pets said they will bite and draw blood if they smell food. I was careful with Mufasa so this never happened but they are VERY food motivated/oriented. Seems to be their mission in life. Mufasa was the sweetest wild animal pet I've ever had.
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby Ana » Tue May 21, 2013 4:56 pm

Wow, amazing thread, so informative! Thank you for the pictures!! If it wasn't for that
terrible lifespan this sounds like a perfect pet!! :(
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:06 pm

Just found this post from last year, as I have been gone since.. Mr Possum passed away unfortunately. About three months ago. We got him down to a nice, healthy weight, and he was eating a lot healthier with his strict diet. He and Sika didn't play too well together. He was a very slow-moving "old man" with bone issues, I am sure causing some pain, and she was very hyper, jumpy, and loud, and just scared the crap out of him when she bounced around trying to play. He would just run into his closet and hide from her. We would dig him out of the closet when she was put up to give him a chance to roam around the house for a little bit during the day, but most of the time, he just went back to his room and into his closet again. She was always put up at night while we were sleeping, and he would roam around a lot then. He was much more active at night.

Before he passed away, he was down to 10 lbs, and had a lot of loose skin, like an obese man had just dropped 100 lbs. He had good muscle tone under that sagging skin, and definitely moved around a lot better. We often had a baby gate up in his doorway, so the cats could come and go, but he was confined during the day while my daughter was running around the house (she was only one and a half years old so I didn't much let them play together), and sometimes he felt good enough to climb over the gate! It was astonishing at how big of a difference a good diet, healthy weight, and some medicine could make! We started to notice him being a lot more lethargic, loss of appetite, and a few times had really bad tremors. We took him to the vet and she told us the damage from the foods he ate before us where set in him pretty bad, and what we did definitely gave him a nice, healthy year or so added to his life, but it wasn't enough to "save" him. He passed away that night.
*~*~*~*~* 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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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:04 pm

They don't live long anyway so it sounds like you did quite a lot to help him that he got an extra year or so.
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blacksagephoenix
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Re: Virginia Opossums?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:09 pm

And it's all thanks to you!! You lead me to Alicia, who is an extremely wonderful person and is now one of my good friends.
*~*~*~*~* 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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