Animal Stories - Short Tailed Opossums

Animal-World Information about: Short Tailed Opossums

   Not only is the exotic Short Tailed Opossum very small, but it has a curious and easy-going nature... they are becoming quite a popular "pocket pet"!
Latest Animal Stories
Tara - 2011-02-06
I have a very sick opossum. We have spent hundreds of dollars and have even traveled to the only exotic vet in our Province. It started with a white spot on his eye and 1 swollen toe then progressed to 3 swollen paws and a slightly swollen tail. We have been giving him an antibiotic oral and topical in his eye and also an antinflamatory eye drop. His paws have gone back to normal but now his tail is very crooked with swollen spots. I have changed his environment to a more humid and warm. I am at a loss and so are all the vets we have seen. We had blood work done and everything came back healthy except an elevated white blood cell count which they said was because of the swelling. Does anyone know what I can do and do opossums have allergies?

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  • Alana - 2011-04-12
    How old is your opposum? Maybe you should try changing his food around, it's possible he might be allergic to something you're feeding him?
  • leah - 2014-06-07
    Try giving it Immunocal.
Not telling - 2005-10-22
This website is amazing! I found all the information i need all on this page. I never new there could be a website like this. I think I know everything about short-tail possums now

Troy - 2006-02-22
This really is a great site. Has all the information I needed about animals I was interested in and ones I did'nt even know you could have as pets. I also like all the feedback by the owners.

Angela Johnson - 2013-05-28
Hello everyone, i am a proud owner of a sto, for short, whose name is benny, jr. We have had him for a few months and he is so sweet and friendly, but, and i say but in caps for a reason;are you ready? He eats his own poop! ! It is so completely nasty and i have caught him already a few times doing it. I provide him with the special food they recommended at the exotic pet shop where we bought him- but why is he doing this? What makes it worse is that he gets it on his little 'fingers' and flings it about his home,(a fish aquarium. ) he makes such a mess and it is just so gross because then we don't want to handle him after seeing it stuck to his feet! ! Anyone have this problem?

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  • Anonymous - 2013-05-28
    I have seen this with dogs. I don't know of any absolute cures, but I've seen products for dogs that may help. There is a discussion here and products here . I can't attest to how well any of them work (thank goodness I've not had to deal with this problem myself)
Janice - 2012-09-06
How long do STO's live? A couple of days ago, I noticed my STO wasn't eating and now she seems to be wobbly if she tries to walk. I have made a vet appointment but can't get in until late tomorrow morning. Any suggestions? Thank you!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-09-06
    Their life expectancy is about 5 years.  Keep her warm.  Put a heating pad on low wrapped in a towel under the cage.  You can place drops of pedialyte water or gator aid on her tongue to try and keep her from dehydrating.
  • Janice - 2012-09-07
    Thank you. She's already at the vet now and they gave her fluids and will continue to do so to see if she will eat. They did mention Pedialyte if I took her home but I left her there. I did see on this website that they live 4-8 years. We'll see how she does--will let you know :)
annamae - 2011-02-22
I have 2 do this I learned a lot.

Rachel - 2010-12-15
I have 2 of the Short Tailed Opossum and I love them they are so cute take a paper towel and shred it into strips and see what they do its so fun to watch.

Dona - 2011-04-22
Has anyone had any problems with their opossum becoming lethargic(sleepy acting)? It has happened a couple times now but does not last more than a day.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-22
    Attached (click on the link for opossum) is some information regarding your little critter there. An opossum is not normally letargic - If your opossum is leathargic, not moving around, sleeping, non responsive, he is probably sick and it could result in being serious. He should be placed on some antibiotics so you probably need to take him to a vet. There are also different kinds of opossums and many are nocturnal. What kind do you have? Also is he lethargic in the nightime and daytime? Some opossums are lethargic by nature - so it sorta depends on what type of opossum you have. Better safe than sorry though. So if you opossum hasd changed behaviors, his feces is different, any odor to him, more lethargic than normal than you had best take him to a vet.
Natalie - 2011-08-05
I have a STO and we have had him for almost 7 months. He seems to be fine in his cage climbing around everywhere but he smells so bad. It doesn't seem to be the cage making this really strong smell because we clean it out regularly. I think it may be him but I'm not sure what to do because we have so many air fresheners in my room to block out the smell but nothing is working. Has anyone got any ideas of what I could do?
Thanks Natalie

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-05
    Most information states that the STO is odor free. However, they also state that depending on what you are feeding it, there can be a very strong odor to the feces and or urine. You might want to switch foods or try it. Thing that gets confusing is most of the articles do state that there is an odor left by both the male and females in their urine to enable a member of the opposite sex to finding them. Now when the same article says they are odor free but they leave odor so a memeber of the opposite sex can find them - that's a tad confusing to me. A wild opossum will secrete liquid via the anal glands to deter predators.
    I don't know what it is your are smelling but guess it isn't good. You do have a litter and that is kept clean - right? You are sure you have a STO? Something is wrong - I would think. What you're decribing is almost like a skunk so I would say not an STO or cross bred.
  • Anonymous - 2011-08-13
    I have a STO and his cage smells really bad after he goes to the bathroom. He likes to go in his wheel. The way I keep his cage smelling good is to clean his wheel and the few inches in front of the wheel as soon as he goes to the bathroom. I keep baby wipes near by to use for this. He is very predictable about when he is going to go (after he eats and when he wakes up in the morning). I have his terrarium in my bedroom. By the way, those terrariums that people use for pet reptiles make really great homes for your STO. Mine is 24 inches by 18 inches deep by 24 inches tall with glass double doors on the front. It has a screen on top and a light hood. Mine came with a 3D rock wall on the back which hides cords. I put a couple of weighted silk plants and branches that are bird safe to climb on and he seems very content. I made him a fleece snuggy to sleep in and he sleeps in it during part of the day and on top of it when he is awake.
Daniel - 2012-04-20
I recently got a STO, and I cannot get him to want to be held! He trusts me, cuz he comes to the cage door for treats and will eat them out of my hands, but when I try to hold him, he runs around the cage like crazy and when I do get ahold of him, he bites me! It doesn't hurt, but I figure that he doesn't wanna be held if he is biting!
I do have ferrets, hedgehogs and chinchillas in the same room... do you think he is on high alert and stressed from the smell of the other pets??
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated, because I would LOVE to be able to hold and let my STO crawl on me!
Thank you in advance!

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  • Daniel - 2012-04-24
    I usually use the bathroom with one of my chinchillas, but the bathtub had a crack and my grandfather went crazy, and tore out the floor, tub, and half the wall... so that was gonna be the spot, but it is totally messed up! So that is why I thought of the pen!
    Thank you for your replies, and help I really appreciate it... I will keep you updated on any progress!
  • Daniel - 2012-04-24
    Thank you! I will try that tonight. I have just been scared that he will run away and hide somewhere in my house where I will not be able to get him! He is SUPER fast, but I am going to try sitting in a big animal pen I have and hopefully if he jumps off, he won't be able to get loose!
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-24
    Animal Pen is a GREAT idea. You can also do the bathroom and just close the door. Great idea you have.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-20
    You say when you 'try to hold him, he runs around the cage like crazy'. My guess is he is afraid of being picked up. Not used to it, never happened or just possibly he is that way. Try picking him up with a towel, holding the towel under him so he feels more secure and immediately putting him in your lap on the floor or sofa. Many animals don't like to be 'picked up'. Many cats don't like being 'picked up' but will jump in your lap at every opportunity.