Rupert is a 2kg male, adult brush tail possum from Worongary and was admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital with rodenticide poisoning from eating rat bait. Rat bait depletes mammals of vitamin K1 which is a vital part of the blood clotting process and therefore causes internal bleeding resulting in the death of the animal. Rupert was presented to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital pale and lethargic. The donors informed us that he was likely to have eaten rat bait as they had the poison in their roof and this possum fell from the roof as he was so unwell. This information accompanied by his symptoms clearly indicated that he needed to be treated for rodenticide poisoning immediately. The treatment for rodenticide poisoning is the administration of very high doses of vitamin K1, if treated in time this will allow the blood to begin to clot normally again and the patient can recover before internal bleeding takes its life.
You can help patients like Rupert by not using rat bait. Possums make their homes in the roof of our houses because we are depleting their natural environment through habitat destruction leaving them nowhere else to go. You can help give these possums a home by placing nest boxes in trees around your home. You can build your own nest box by following the plan available here.
Other things you can do to help save wildlife is to control rodents by setting catch and release traps so if you catch a native animal they will be uninjured and can be released back into the wild.
Remember that it takes all of us to make a difference, only together can we save our beautiful native Australian wildlife.
Do you want to make a donation and help save patients just like Rupert? Yes, I want to help!