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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Of Possums and Poo (A Scared Hu-Mom, Too)

Wolf & Harley: "Woo! We Feel Better Now!"
Yes, you read that title right! We can certainly learn a lot about what is going on with our dogs from their poo. Flashback to earlier this week: we had quite a scare. There's been a baby opossum hanging around our backyard, traveling the top of the fence line, and with their high prey drive, as you can imagine, driving our Huskies mad! As fate would have it, "Gizmo" (as my daughter nicknamed the opossum) was snagged off the six-foot tall fence by Bandit as she dove off the deck, full run, and in mid-air caught Gizmo. The unfortunate opossum did what they do best, "played opossum" to our FiveSibes poking and licking it. Bandit pawed at it and talked to it in an attempt to get the opossum to quit, well, playing opossum. During all this, one of them bit the opossum in the cheek, and there was now blood on it's face, plus, (and not to gross anyone out), when the critters go into their protection mode, they automatically bare their teeth, saliva is all around, and they emit a foul anal fluid to fool their attackers, in this case, my Huskies, of which a few came in contact with all the fluids. (Eww).

How it all began...with a Husky-Opossum Stare-Off

Twelve hours (and a very sleepless night for Hu-Mom) later, I had a very sick boy...Wolf was not feeling good, not eating or drinking, vomiting saliva tinged with blood and then bloody diarrhea...I mean 1/4 cup worth at one bowel movement, and it was very scary! We were very close in touch with our family friend (who is a vet tech and her hubby is one at a vet clinic) through the night until our own vet was opened in the morning. 

Wolf recuperating...

Overnight I was able to stop Wolf's "runs" and get him to rest. (Pictured here, his sissy Chloe came to check on him and a musical stuffie (Dominic the Donkey) a special furpal sent him seemed to soothe him. Then, our second furbaby, Harley, came down sick...not quite as severe as Wolf, but she, too, had the big "D." Stools samples were taken and the kids were put on a 12-hour tummy rest followed by bland food (we did boiled rice, yogurt, chicken, and pumpkin - small amounts of each at varying times throughout the day). The sample came back parasite free, I was armed with anti-diarrhea meds, and the supposed diagnosis is bacteria from the opossum cause their illness.

Wolf resting with Dominc
We had a big chat with the Sibe kids and made them swear off chasing wildlife...but we all know how easily that promise can be broken. Still...today is the first day they are both truly feeling and looking themselves again...so this Hu-Mom is now on opossum patrol too!

PS - for those of you wondering about Gizmo, my husband thought he was a goner...but he got up and my hubby walked him out to the front yard and into the opossum safety zone. Hopefully, he will not ever return to our backyard. While I don't want to see any harm come to Gizmo, or any other wildlife, my Sibe kids are my first concern and I don't ever want to see them sick like that again. And they have caught opossums, squirrels, and birds before...but you just never know what they could be carrying or can transmit to our dogs.

Just Say No to Opossums!
Gizmo chillin' in one of our trees.

So if you see a opossum in the yard, bring in your furkids...while they are said to carry the least amount of transmittable diseases, they do carry a lot of bacteria from all the "junk" they eat and from their bodily fluids that could come in contact with our dogs. If it should happen, please contact your vet right away!

5 comments:

  1. Possums are scary!

    Stop on by for a visit
    Kari
    http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. We are so glad that everyone is back to normal. Great advice about bringing in the pups but sometimes they are just too quick and humans get to stay up all night worrying. We have the same issue with fence lizards and bird carcasses left in the yard by feral cats here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, that's a possum story! Oh, I couldn't resist! BOL ahem. Anyway, I'm so very glad you are all feeling better now. I can relate, I have these critters in my territory too and I always try to bash them, but so far they's stayed outside my fence. I'll try to keep this in mind if I ever get the chance to chomp on one. YUCK BOL
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP

    ReplyDelete
  4. THAT is why WE don't get to play with the wildlife on OUR hill. They don't ever go to the DOGTOR and they CAN and DO have ... thingys that make us sick.
    Glad everybuddy is WELL now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We don't have an opossums out this way - although we do have poisonous toads. I don't think you can win.

    Monty and Harlow

    ReplyDelete