Got a double unit Critter Nation and a double unit Ferret Nation! Here you can see them side by side. The Critter Nation has smaller spaces between the bars so I can use it for the smaller babies that would otherwise fit through the one inch spacing on the Ferret Nation. The cages aren't very full of accessories yet, but I will be adding some more branches for them to begin to learn how to climb, some more wheels to keep them in shape, as well as some more fleece cubes, hammocks, etc for them to sleep in. Since this picture was taken I have also added a few more water bottles for them because they have a tendency to all try to drink at the same time. These are such great cages for them, and so roomy as well. I would still like to get an add-on unit of both the critter nation and ferret nation to make these three stories tall so I can have more cages in the same space. But I can't afford it just yet, so in due time. As the opossums age the accesories in their cages will begin to change to include more "natural" items so that when they are ready to be moved to their outdoor enclosures before release, dirt, leaves, and branches will not be new to them.
About a week ago I talked to a local grocery market, Best Buy Market, to see if they would be interested in donating some of their partially spoiled produce to me to help feed the opossums in my care. Well yesterday I went and picked up a large drum full of produce. From a lot of types of leafy greens, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, radishes, mushrooms, potatoes, and some fruit such as tomatoes, apples, and some pears. Eleven grocery bags full once I separated everything out. So I'm in the process of cutting everything up and then freezing it. As you can see in the pictures below, a sink full of broccoli is now in five one gallon freezer bags. I'm running out of freezer space though and I think I will start looking in to getting another freezer. So I would like to say thank you very much Best Buy Market for all of your generosity! I will be adding your name to my donation list on my "How You Can Help Page."
Yesterday I received this older female to be looked at. I could tell that she was older because of the bald patches she had where she was losing hair from age. She was caught in a trap and brought to the local SPCA. Upon first inspection of her mouth I noticed one side of her lower was partially swollen and the other side had looked torn. The whole top of her muzzle was scratched up as well. It all appeared to be from trying to get out of the trap that she was caught in. She also had a few broken teeth. So I got her on some antibiotics to help fight off any infection. This morning, I took the picture you see here when I went to give her another dose of antibiotics. She has become more swollen and the torn parts of her lower jaw were now excreting puss of white blood cells and other debris. I will continue to keep her on antibiotics until her mouth heals. Luckily though, she eats very well and has a lot of spunk in her. Unlike many other opossums that just want to be left alone, she is rather feisty and always has a hiss or two for me. She's a strong woman, that's for sure.
Notice anything different about this little baby? Everywhere that should be pink.. is very white. This little one came to me very anemic from a flea infestation. I removed the fleas immediately and begin to offer some fluids to rehydrate this boy. Also.. notice the toes on the right back foot? At first I thought he was missing a toe, but it turns out that his toes are just different than most opossums. On the back feet opossums have little "hands." Difference with this boy is that his "ring finger" is shorter than it should be. It's actually about the size that his "pinky" should be, but that toe is actually even smaller. He walks fine on it though, and does not appear to have any issues with it. Strange huh?
New juvenile that I got in today. Barely old enough to be away from it's mother. She was found in the yard and the lady that found her was unsure if her cats had got to it or not. Sure enough, I found two puncture wounds. One on the neck and one on the chest. I got her on antibiotics right away to help fight off the bacteria from the cat's bite, and removed all dirt, grime, and fleas. She is now enjoying some water and fresh food.
I don't always just get in cute little baby opossums. Sometimes adult opossums need to come in to wildlife rehabbers when they are injured and in need of some help. When Andy, a fellow rehabber, asked if I was home for him to bring an opossum by for me to look at, I never expected to see so much physical damage. Upon initially looking at this female, I assumed that she got caught in a car engine. She was picked up by Lisa, a local animal control officer, and she said that the female was hunched over in the grass when she found her. The wounds looked a day or so old, but she was definitely in pain. Many patches of fur were missing all over her body. The worst sections being on her shoulders and over her left hip. Those areas were completely void of fur and instead had multiple abrasions. Her tail was also sliced up multiple times at the base, some areas deeper than others. After letting her get some water, which she was very happy to receive, I gave her some pain medication and let her rest for a while. I needed to check closely check out her wounds and wash of the dried blood and dirt that was matted to her fur. While I was in the tub with her, carefully washing her down, I did not realize how many abrasions she had until her fur became wet and I was able to see her skin much more easily. After drying her off and setting up multiple towels for her to lay on I began to apply some ointment to her wounds and then let her rest. Opossums are very resilient animals and they bounce back very well from many different traumatic injuries. So I pray for this girl to do the same as well.
For the past few days, the big boy that had previously only been on liquid food, then soft foods, has now been on harder and more solid foods. Including harder foods such as dry kibble, whole eggs, and chicken wings with the bone. He has been doing really good eating everything without any issues in his previously broken jaw. Unlike the other opossums that I would feed before they wake up, I would bring his food out after he was already awake so I could observe him eat. Last night I decided I would release him the next night. So tonight was the big night! I picked out a spot for him to be released, gathered him up in a carrier as the sun was going down over the horizon, and brought some extra food with me to hold him over for his first night. I always bring some food with me during my releases and I also try to "fatten" the opossums up just a little bit prior to release. So opened up the carrier and he was eager to be out. I placed the food on the ground and he just took of running. I was happy to see that he wasn't shy and sticking around next to me. He began to run all around under the bottom of low tree I released him next to. Soon, he was climbing in the branches. I stood by to watch him for a moment, before gathering my things to go on my way. He walked towards me for one last good bye, then ran off under the brush again. I'm glad I was able to give this guy a second chance even after he had the misfortune of being struck by a car and having his jaw broken.
HI, I'M AMANDA!
Welcome to my site! Here you will find my personal rehab stories and articles to help you with wildlife around your home. Thanks for joining me! Read more..
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