On the way to Terrell, with Abigale in the passenger seat, I stopped in Dallas to pick up a new opossum from another rehabber. They rode together in Abigale’s carrier up to WCCR, and got aquainted in their new enclosure.
Abigale is still thin, and not acting quite normal. She got wormed today, and a fresh plate of food. Wet cat food! Yum!
This is Opossum Hollow. WCCR is equiped to handle massive amounts of wildlife. Last year, more than 4,000 animals came through our doors. The first enclosure is the only one with opossums in it. Normally, durring the busy season, all of these would have opossums in them. Right now, Abigale, and her new room mate (named Betty) are the only ones.
Betty will probably only be in the enclosure for a few more days to let her ged aclemated to her new surroundings. Abigale will be okay though. Opossums are pretty solitary. They enjoy their alone time 🙂
Tomorrow, I am getting up early to head to WCCR. I am taking Abigale with me. I will also be making a stop in Dallas to pick up one other from another rehabber.
The night I picked up Abigale, I suspected she may be blind. I tried to relocate her, and normally when we do this, they run as fast as their short little legs can take them into the nearest brushy patch. Abigale just sat there. I nudged her to encorage her to go, but she stayed. So, I picked her up, put her back in the kennel, and brought her home.
She is still really skinny, but the whole time she has been in my care, she has had a voracious appetite. Today, she didn’t touch any of her food. Normally, I feed her first thing when I get home (usually around midnight which just so happens to be the time when opossums are active). her diet has fairly consistantly included soaked dog food, fresh fruits and veggies, leafy greens, and a raw egg. Today, not only did I not feed her at the usual time, but I gave her mainly leafy greens, a few grapes, and a handful of dry dog food, and no egg (far lower in protien and calories than what I normally provide). Maybe I am spoiling her….or maybe there is something wrong.
I have to wonder if she has vision problems, because if I do not disturb her sensitive wiskers, I can nearly touch her eye. This eye in particular seems to have issues. If you look at the photo carefully, the eye looks alittle dull and cloudy. She also usually tries to keep this eye to the wall.
Opossums are pretty non-agressive, so it doesn’t suprise me that she allows me to handle her (don’t try this at home, kids! Opossums may be docile, but they still have teeth, and they like to eat dead things. That means LOTS of bacteria in their mouths!).
She also still seems to have a few fleas. I de-fleaed her again tonight, just to play it safe. I tried to give her fluids, but I am having a hard time with it tonight for some reason. I am going to try again in a bit. When I get her to the ranch tomorrow, maybe I can get someone else to look her over and confirm wether or not she is blind, or vision compromised.
Either way, she will probably end up being soft released on the ranch grounds, so she will have food available in a regular location. She still needs some time to build up her strength, but she should do fine out there when the time comes.
I just hope her not eatting anything tonight isn’t a sign that there is something more seriously wrong with her.
I cover her head with a blanket while I am doing this just to help her feel more secure and calm. Most of the time she just sits and lets me do my thing. Tonight, she actually reacted to the fluids being administered for the first time. This is a good sign. It means she is feeling much better.
After, she poked her head out of the blanket to inspect my work. Her body condition has improved dramatically over the past few days. The points of her hips and spine are far less defined than they were three days ago, and her ribs now have an almost normal pad of flesh over them. Her apetite is really good. She eats every scrap of food I put infront of her, and I have been filling the bowl.
Tonight is more soaked dog food, fresh greens, a raw egg, some grapes, and carrot pieces. I expect the bowl will be empty by morning. I am glad she is eatting so well. She needs all the nutrition she can get.
I still plan on worming her this weekend and then maybe it will be time for her to be wild again. She is almost ready!
I finally really got my hands on Abigale. I have started her on sub-q fluids. I have given her a couple of days to destress and aclimate to her surroundings before really doing anything with her. I looked her over thoroughly today. She doesn’t have any major injuries, but she is VERY thin. I can feel the points of her hips, and her spine. She has been eatting very well the past couple of days, so I am a bit suprised that she is that thin, but the way she is acting, I am not completely suprised by it. Her belly is also rather firm, indicating a heavy internal parasite load. I will be going to the ranch again this weekend, and I will see about worming her then.
I brought her inside to administer fluids. You can see the bulge on her side where I gave them to her. Sorry I could not take a picture of the process, but I didn’t have enough hands!
Tonight, dinner is soaked dog food, to ensure she is getting plenty of protien, a raw egg, blueberries, banana pieces, and a few mealworms.
There is also some liquid vitamins in the mix. Looks delicious, no? She isn’t too happy with me for the fluids, but she will thank me later. They will help her feel better. Once she is back up to a good body weight, and acting normal, I will make her wild again.
Maybe not as glamerous as rehabilitating a bobcat, but for Abigale, I made a difference; even if she won’t appreciate it 🙂