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Can Opossums Carry Rabies?

All mammals can carry rabies. However, it's actually very rare for possums to carry the disease. This is party because opossums have a slightly below average body temperature, and the rabies virus can't thrive at this lower temp.

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All wild animals come with a risk of disease, which is why you want to use extreme caution when dealing with anything, such as the lowly opossum, when it comes to into your yard or home. Of course, the last thing that you will want to happen is for your pet to become ill when coming into conflict with these wild creatures, and this is very much so the case with rabies – a disease that many wild animals can carry with them.

For the most part, you can protect your pets by having them vaccinated against rabies. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you and the rest of your family are protected. Although the chance of an opossum having rabies is incredibly rare, it is still wise to approach or deal with these animals with extreme caution, not just because of the risk of disease, but also to avoid being bitten or scratched by the critter once it feels threatened and lashes out.

So, why is it incredibly rare for an opossum to have rabies? The answer lies within their internal body temperature. In this animal, the temperature is so low, usually around 94-97 degrees Fahrenheit that the rabies virus struggles to survive. This is what is thought to be the reason behind it anyway; scientists are apparently still studying this fact.

In short, although it is rare for your friendly neighborhood opossum would be running around with rabies, you still want to be careful and ensure that the kids stay away from wild animals, the pets are vaccinated and you avoid them coming into conflict with them, and at the same time, you take the necessary precautions to ensure that you are never putting yourself at risk of getting bitten, scratched or in contact with potentially dangerous diseases.

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