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Newt and Tina Posted - Sep 06 2017 : 06:47:14 PM
I have a question about recovery after a surgery for my sugar glider, Tina. She will have stitches, and to prevent my other sugar glider, Newt, from biting them, I will have to separate them. I have an extra cage that I'm thinking of setting up as close as I can to their home cage, so they can smell, see and hear each other. But I'm worried it will stress them out too much to be apart. Does anyone have any experience with this? Or any suggestions? Thanks!

Here's a little info about us: I am a third year vet student with 2 sugar gliders, Newt and Tina. They are about 1 or 2 years old (I got them from someone who clearly didn't realize how much work they were and they couldn't keep them, so I adopted them, and now don't know exactly how old they are). Newt is a neutered male, and Tina is a female. I believe they may be siblings based on their behaviour.

And now for Tina's medical history, I apologize if it's a little long, but might be of interest for other owners!

It started in May, I noticed Tina's third eyelid was prolapsed and inflamed. I immediately brought her to the university, and one of my professors (he teaches all the exotics classes) checked her, and couldn't see much other than the third eyelid being red. He gave me some antibiotic cream and told me to give it to her once a day. About a week later, there was no change (I think Newt was licking it off her eye). My professor referred me to another veterinarian that works with exotics. We decided to put Tina under anesthesia to have a better look, and took a sample of the third eyelid for cytology. There was nothing visible to the naked eye behind the third eyelid, and cytology only showed inflammation. The vet prescribed oral pain medication and anti-inflammatories. They worked immediately! It was great! But than, about a month or so later, it came back. We tried the medications again for one week, but no success. Fortunately, a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist was coming to my university at that time for 2 weeks for a 4th year rotation. I made an appointment with her, and we decided to perform an ocular ultrasound under anesthesia to see if it could be a retrobulbar abscess. Nothing showed up on the ultrasound, but when the ophthalmologist looked closer at the third eyelid, she determined that the cartilage of the third eyelid was bent. With fine forceps, she was able to push it back into place, and it immediately went back to normal! Tina was on pain medication and tear gel for a week or so and everything was great.

But then, about 4 days ago, her third eyelid was prolapsed again. It was ideal timing, since the ophthalmologist was back for another rotation starting yesterday. So we had another appointment, and made a plan for surgery for next week. We have a few surgical options (since we'll only know what's the best option once we have Tina under anesthesia and can have a better look), but one will involve stitches to keep the cartilage in place for a week or so. I will have to make an e-collar for Tina so she doesn't scratch it, and will have to separate her from Newt since he will definitely try to pick at it! She'll be on oral pain medication as well as antibiotics to prevent an infection.
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ZooVeteran Posted - Jan 11 2023 : 11:31:54 PM
hello, also interested to know what happened ? Were they ok ?
Thank you to anybody who had to send his baby to surgery.
Bdtice1 Posted - Sep 24 2020 : 08:30:04 PM
I know it's been a while since your post, but can you let me know what you ended up doing after the surgery? Did you separate them? Just wondering as my girl Penelope is going to have a tumor removed and she has a sister. I really hope all worked out for Tina and she fully recovered! Thank you!
Tiakristin3 Posted - Sep 06 2017 : 08:53:38 PM
Thank you for sharing your story! I wish I had some helpful suggestions for you but I really don't have any experience with what you're dealing with. I mainly wanted to wish you the very best and a quick recovery for Tina! Sounds like she's getting wonderful care and lots of love!!