Yesterday Andy brought me an adult female opossum that was picked up by animal control officers and I was told that she had possible head trauma. I came to the very likely conclusion that she was hit by a car. She had dried blood on both nostrils but there was still fresh blood coming from her left nostril. Her left eye was partially closed and her left ear was held down. Andy told me that she had been pawing at her left ear like it was bothering her, but luckily I did not see any blood in or around it upon examination. So I gave her some pain medication to help relax her and some flea medication to kill all of the fleas on her and then proceeded to make an ice pack to place on the top of her muzzle and forehead. The purpose of the ice pack is to restrict the size of the blood vessels in hopes to help stop her nose bleed, or at least slow it down. After a few minutes of holding it to her face though, luckily the bleeding had stopped and I was able to clean up the excess dried blood. She slept all throughout the night, resting her sore body instead of walking around as she would have normally done during the night.
Today, she is already doing significantly better. She now has interest in drinking water, although no interest in any food yet. If there is still food in her cage by tomorrow I will have to blend some up to tube feed her so she can get the nutrients she needs to help her body heal. She's been very patient with me throughout yesterday and today. She has no problem with me placing my hand under her jaw to lift up her face so I can see her nose better. I was also able to check her jaw more thoroughly today to see if it had any issues. Opossums are generally very non-confrontational animals which would rather be left alone to live their lives. Although this female is a wild opossum, I believe that she knows that I mean no harm and that I am here to help her until she is better to be back in the wild where she belongs. No matter how calm and tame she may act though, I never forget the fact that she is a wild animal and can still bite me at anytime. This is why I always move slowly and quietly so she does not get spooked. Also, after dealing with so many opossums I am able to better judge how they are feeling and what their reactions are telling me. That way I know when they may feel threatened, scared, or stressed enough to bite me. But as for her injuries, opossums are extremely tough animals and can withstand considerable abuse to their bodies and hers is rather minor. She'll be back to her normal self in no time and ready to be back out in the wild. Hopefully not too close to any vehicles this time.