What to Do in Case of an Opossum Bite

Love bites are cute, but not if they are bites from an opossum. Opossums are not aggressive until they sense danger from a predator. The first defense mechanism the opossum has is playing dead. However, even though it may be small, it is not harmless.

As they say, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but this is not the place to use those eyes. Never get too close to a rained-on lion, thinking it’s a cat. In conjunction with this, no matter how cute you think the opossum looks, when he chooses to attack, run as quickly as your legs can carry you. An opossum has sharp teeth and claws, which it will use to its advantage if need be. 

While people often say there is nothing as painful as a dog bite, those bitten by opossums have a different tale to tell. It has about fifty teeth, and they’re all razor-sharp. They will easily cut off most materials, and human or animal flesh is no exception. That said, in this article, we will explain what to do if you are bit by an opossum.

Dangers of Opossums

Just like a rose has its thorns, in the same way, the opossum has its razor-sharp teeth. Opossums can growl, hiss, and show their 50 sharp teeth, which they use to scare away rivals. But generally, they are a relatively calm animal and like to avoid confrontation at all costs.

However, opossums are still considered to be dangerous because of the large variety of infections that they can carry and transmit. The good news is that opossums are not known to carry rabies. That’s because the virus needs a much higher body temperature than what opossums have.

What to Do When Bitten

If you or your pet has been bitten by an opossum, despite the minimal rates of rabies transmission, seeing a doctor is still strongly recommended. Cleaning and washing it thoroughly is an excellent way to keep your wound in check. However, if the injury is grave or continues to bleed, you may require stitches. As I mentioned, the opossum has 50 teeth, meaning they can cause severe damage.

In extreme cases, rush the victim to a hospital. For those who like taking matters into their own hands, here is what you can do:

  • Wash the wound immediately. Alcohol is never the best choice in such a case. Use only warm water with soap. 
  • Once the wound is clean, you should apply an antiseptic to the wound. As it is with any animal bites, you will need to keep an extra eye on your injury to make sure that it doesn’t get infected.
  • In some cases, a disease known as Tularemia, caused by bacteria, can start to manifest, and this will be another problem that needs antibiotics to be resolved. So, medicines come in handy in any case of an animal bite. 

Although rare, it makes sense to know of the signs and symptoms of an opossum bite. They will include an infection in the bitten area that doesn’t go away quickly, as well as infections manifesting in the lymph nodes.