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This is a discussion on Opossums within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horses and opossums
  • Opposum hazzard to horses

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  • 1 Post By Horsesdontlie
  • 1 Post By OutOfTheLoop
  • 2 Post By walkinthewalk
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  • 1 Post By themacpack

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    12-04-2012, 12:03 AM
Angry Opossums

They can carry EPM, correct?


I'm so distressed, the BO refuses to remove the baby opossum ):

I understand that she loves animals, but there's no reason to put her horses and OTHERS at risk
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    12-04-2012, 12:15 AM
Yes, they are carriers for EPM and and it is passed by ingestion of opossum feces. I would be concerned if an opossum is permitted anywhere near feed. I would have a serious talk with your BO about this threat. I would suggest having Animal Control trap it and release it somewhere else, far away.
DancingArabian likes this.
    12-04-2012, 05:47 AM
I would suggest getting rid of the nasty animal and just pretend it ran away.
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OliviaMyee likes this.
    12-04-2012, 06:19 AM
Yep ring up animal control, and if she asks say you don't know who rang up the animal control but they were scared for its safety. Just lie your horse is more important its worth getting rid of it.
    12-04-2012, 07:05 AM
Green Broke
Another danger is that both Opossum and raccoon will leave feces ON hay and it's really hard to tell the difference between the two

For the first time in nine years, this summer, I threw out $20 worth of hay because of that. I haven't seen any traces of anyone since then, so I'm hoping my barn cats were enough of a threat the critters kept on the move.

If the opossum is relocated, it needs to be done miles and miles away. I tried that trick several years back --- took it almost two miles away ---- found it dead on the road a few days later, less than half mile from my farm

I know it was the same one because it had a distinct marking on its head - one of the farmers had hit it<---better them than me because I can't kill anything, I just "relocate them" and it didn't work in this instance.

If there's a baby, there's a mama somewhere and maybe some brothers and sisters.

They don't need to be "gone" ----------- they need to be "long gone" for the safety of all the horses.
themacpack and OliviaMyee like this.
    12-04-2012, 07:48 AM
Super Moderator
I do not like to kill things, but 'possums and skunks are the exception. They are extremely dangerous to let stay around. 'possums because of EPM and skunks because of rabies.

Opossums catch easily in a live trap if you do not have a .22 or do not want to shoot it. We knew a man near here (in Oklahoma) that had 7 horses end up with EPM about the same time they found a possum nest full of little possums in their hay barn. He got rid of them, but ended up with 7 infected horses and lost most of them. We just do not mess with them.
themacpack likes this.
    12-04-2012, 07:52 AM
Green Broke
It's time for the little guy (and his family, because for the one you see there are others you don't) to go and for the barn to be come opossum-UNfriendly.
OliviaMyee likes this.
    12-04-2012, 03:52 PM
Thankfully I have 2 Jack Russells at my farm that kill opossum, raccoon and woodchuck. After several dead chucks and oppossum, we haven't seen any in at least a year, thankfully. Be frank with your BO and if that doesn't work, call AC because that is a serious health risk to your animal. I am sure if other boarders knew about the oppossum (and the health risks), she would have to get rid of it admist the worry. You are the client and this is a health hazard to every horse in that barn, some probably worth thousands of dollars!
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    12-04-2012, 04:41 PM
Id warn the BO that if any horse, not just yours, that the horses owner could sue them big time, because that is a MAJOR hazard and I'm betting they could get more in damages than just vet bills

And i'm not much for lawsuits (just fyi) haha

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