Do Opossums Have Rabies?

Photo of a family of opossums

Opossums’ open-mouth hissing and drooling behavior (playing possum) is frequently misinterpreted as a sign of rabies. Opossums, on the other hand, use this bluffing behavior as a defense mechanism. In fact, opossums are extremely rare carriers of rabies, possibly due to their lower body temperature when compared to other warm-blooded animals. That doesn’t mean they’re immune to all diseases. Opossums are often carriers of tuberculosis and leptospirosis.

Learn More: Opossum Exclusion Frequently Asked Questions

What Diseases Is Most Common In Possums?

Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that begins with flu-like symptoms, is carried by opossums. Leptospirosis can cause kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, and respiratory complications if left untreated. The disease is spread through the urine and feces of infected people. Cats, dogs, and humans are among the mammals infected. Keep pets vaccinated against leptospirosis and clean up urine and feces with bleach to avoid infection. If an opossum has infested your home, contact a wildlife removal professional to remove the animal and decontaminate the infected location.

How Can Opossums Spread Diseases?

Opossums may appear to be innocent animals, but they are actually wild animals that can spread disease by scratching and biting their victims. It’s also worth noting that an opossum has a habit of acting dead when startled by a bright light, and when approached, it may attack quickly before looking for a safe place to hide. It’s also worth noting that the opossum’s feces can spread a variety of diseases, so if you’re dealing with an opossum or an area around your home where one has been seen, you should take it seriously and take the appropriate precautions.

What To Do If You’re Bitten By A Possum?

Opossums do not bite frequently, and if you are bitten, you should be aware that the chances of an opossum carrying rabies are slim. You might have contracted fleas, parasites, or ticks if you came into close contact with a possum. You must thoroughly wash the bite with soap and water. Assist with the application of antiseptic. If you notice any signs of inflammation or swelling, you should seek medical attention right away. While opossums do not normally carry rabies, you could become ill due to a bacterial infection. This infection is treated with antibiotics. If you have any concerns about the bite you received, you should seek medical advice. Getting an expert opinion from a medical professional is always a good idea.

Is A Sick Opossum Nesting In Your Attic?

Opossums are common in suburbs and urban areas, and they frequently invade many homes. They enter attics, basements, and spaces between walls, where they leave droppings, wreck property, and even die in difficult-to-reach places. Opossums also carry parasites and cause problems for pets by stealing their food or biting them violently with their 50 sharp teeth. If you have a possum problem in your home or on your property, contact Animals Happen right away to have it removed.