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What Happens If A Possum Bites You?

By Mildred T Koerner on May 16, 2023

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a possum were to bite you?

While it may not be the first animal that comes to mind when thinking about potential threats, a possum's bite can still cause harm.

In this article, we'll explore what happens if a possum bites you and how to handle the situation.

Firstly, it's important to note that possums are generally non-aggressive animals and will only resort to biting as a last defense mechanism.

However, if they feel threatened or cornered, they may lash out with their teeth in an attempt to protect themselves.

If you do get bitten by a possum, there are certain steps you should take right away to minimize the risk of infection and ensure proper healing.

So buckle up and let's dive into the world of possum bites!

Understanding Possum Behavior

Encountering a possum in the wild can be a thrilling experience, but it's important to understand their behavior before approaching them.

Possums are generally shy and nonaggressive creatures, but they may become defensive if they feel threatened.

If you see a possum, it's best to keep your distance and avoid making sudden movements or loud noises that could startle them.

It's also important to note that while possums are not typically dangerous animals, they do have sharp teeth and claws which can cause injury.

One common concern people have is what happens if a possum does bite you.

While rare, possum bites can occur if the animal feels cornered or attacked.

In most cases, these bites are not serious and will only result in minor puncture wounds.

However, it's still important to take precautions when interacting with wildlife.

If you encounter a possum up close, try to calmly back away from the animal and give it space.

You can also use loud noises or flashing lights to scare possums away without causing harm.

By understanding how possums behave and taking simple steps to stay safe around them, you can enjoy these fascinating creatures without putting yourself at risk of injury.

Risks Of Possum Bites

Understanding possum behavior is crucial in avoiding conflicts with these animals.

However, there are times when we cannot avoid being bitten by a possum.

In such cases, it is important to know the risks associated with possum bites and how to handle them.

Possum bites can pose a risk of disease transmission, including rabies.

It is recommended that you seek medical attention immediately after being bitten by a possum.

The wound should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and warm water before applying antiseptic cream or spray to prevent infection.

If the bite appears severe or if symptoms such as fever, headache, or muscle weakness occur, seek medical attention promptly.

Remember that early treatment can reduce the risk of complications from possum bites.

Cleaning The Wound

After a possum bite, it's crucial to clean the wound thoroughly to prevent any further infection.

Imagine your wound as a garden bed; if you don't tend to it regularly and remove all the weeds and pests, they will eventually take over and destroy everything in sight.

Similarly, if you don't wash the wound after a possum bite, bacteria can grow rapidly and cause an array of issues.

To start cleaning the wound, gently wash it with warm water and mild soap.

Do not use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol as these can damage healthy tissue cells.

After washing, apply antiseptic cream or lotion on the affected area to kill off any remaining germs.

Use a sterile bandage to cover the wound until it completely heals.

If there is excessive bleeding or signs of severe infection such as fever, swelling, or redness around the bitten area seek medical attention immediately by contacting a professional who specializes in wildlife bites.

Now that you have cleaned and covered your possum bite injury let’s talk about why seeking medical attention is necessary even though you are taking care of it at home.

Seeking Medical Attention

After cleaning the wound, it is important to seek medical attention if you have been bitten by a possum.

Although they are generally harmless and rarely carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, there is still a risk of infection from their bites.

In particular, one should look out for signs of rabies as this disease can be fatal if left untreated.

When seeking medical attention, be sure to inform the doctor or nurse that you were bitten by a possum so that appropriate measures can be taken.

The wound may need to be dressed with an antiseptic and antibiotics prescribed to prevent infection.

Additionally, the healthcare provider may recommend getting vaccinated against rabies depending on the circumstances surrounding the bite.

It's always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to animal bites, especially those inflicted by wildlife like possums.

Preventing Infection

If you've been unfortunate enough to receive a possum bite, it's important that you take steps to prevent infection.

Opossums are known carriers of diseases such as leptospirosis and tuberculosis, so prompt action is crucial.

The first thing you should do after being bitten by a possum is seek medical attention right away.

Even if the injury seems minor, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Your doctor will examine the wound and determine whether or not antibiotics or other treatments are necessary.

In addition to seeking medical attention, it's also important to apply an antiseptic solution to the wound as soon as possible.

This will help kill any bacteria that may have entered through the bite and reduce your risk of developing an infection.

By taking swift action and following these preventative measures, you can minimize your chances of experiencing complications from a possum bite.


In conclusion, being bitten by a possum can be a painful and scary experience.

It is important to understand the behavior of these animals, as they are typically non-aggressive but may bite if provoked or threatened.

If you do get bitten, it's crucial that you clean the wound immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to avoiding possum bites altogether.

Keep your distance from these wild animals whenever possible, and never attempt to touch or handle them.

As the old saying goes, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.'

By taking simple precautions and respecting wildlife boundaries, you can help keep yourself safe from potential harm.


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