Phil has been nippy lately and we all know that I love a good handling challenge. I was working with him today while wearing gloves. I figure that the more I handle him the more he will get used to it and become tame. At some point I took him outside and while I was holding him I swear that he looked up at the treetops above and began to cry. It was probably just the cool dry wind causing it, but for a moment it really seemed that he remembered trees and freedom and shed tears over it.
After this event, he got fussy and/or something startled him and he bit me. Not expecting this, my default reaction was to yank my hand away from his mouth. In doing so, I ended up hurting him pretty bad. Apparently his k9 tooth was caught in the glove and when I yanked away, it came along for the ride. The end result was a gory snap, a very bloody mouth with a k9 pointing horizontal, a big mess and a very mean possum that I now had to deal with. I rushed him to the vet and it is good that I did. His tooth did not come out, it was still firmly embedded in his jaw. My fear was that I broke his jaw and it turned out that one side was fractured enough that it turned the tooth and the jaw sideways.
The vet was able to reset the bone and said that it was a good thing that it was only a fracture and not a complete break. Because of this we were able to avoid having the jaw wired and the tooth should survive the healing intact.
Vet told me to add calcium to the diet because it appears as if he has brittle bones. So because of this, I have decided to lessen up on taming Phil and just get everyone healthy so we can try to mate. If it comes to be, I will work hard to tame the offspring and not worry so much about the parents.
I feel really bad about what happened with Phil and I guess all I can do is keep it as a lesson learned in going forward. Not all exotics are destined to be kept as pets.
My goal is to learn as much as possible about the South American Four Eyed Philander Possum and to determine if it is capable and worthy of being kept as an exotic pet.