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 Glider with Enflamed Cloaca! Tried everything I need help!

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momoandpetreesparent Posted - Aug 12 2022 : 02:12:58 PM
This is gonna be a long post and a hard one. I've had petree and momo for about 3 years now. I forget when this problem started happening but it has been at the very least over a year now. Please give this a read, I am at my wits end trying to figure this out.

Petree regularly gets an enflamed cloaca. It swells up (from the inside) like two water balloons, looks between pink and red, she struggles to poop and hisses, raises her butt up high to try to pee or poop. This happens regularly with the time gaps ranging from every 1-2.5 weeks. Some of her cloaca gets pretty red when she starts prolapsing due to the pushing. Momo has never experienced any issues like this.

For a while momo contributed to the problem, when it would happen she would groom it and sometimes bite it trying to fix it for her. So a couple of those times, it bled. Yes I have been to the vet nearly every time this has happened (and my poor wallet is suffering for it).

Way back at the start of all of this we took her to the vet and had her feces and stuff tested for infection, they came back negative. Usually the swelling goes down come morningtime, and she would normally be left with a small amount of swelling. I'd bring her to the vet and they would express her glands. Yes I know it is a dangerous thing to do and not something that should be done often just stick around til the end. Then they would give me medicine, usually an antibiotic and stool softener (meloxicam, trimethoprim and lactulose) and she'd get better. Temporarily.

Then came the tests to figure out how to solve this issue. These are all things that I have tried and still no solution has been found:
-I went from pocket pets pellets (I was a newer glider mom forgive me) and moved to exotic nutrition pellets on top of fruits and vegetables and eggs
-I tried more vegetables less fruits and the latter same for the eggs
-I tried cranberry juice in the water in case it was a Urinary Tract issue
-I thought maybe it was momo, I tried separating them
-I gave them pellets and HPW with their fruits, veggies, and eggs
-I tried giving her more fiber overall, more pumpkin and sweet potatoes
-I tried cleaning the cage more often and vice versa less often
-I tried leaving some items in the cage when I cleaned instead of all of them all the time
-I tried cleaning the cage with vinegar instead of dish soap
-I started cleaning their cloths without an allpod in case it was an allergy
-I tried taking specific items out of their cage in case it was related to a specific allergy to a specific item
-I tried moving cages completely to her other cage with different lining
-I tried keeping her on the same fruits and veggies, and also switching up the fruits and veggies more often

The temporary solution / damage control the vet and I have worked out is to put Preparation H hemorrhoid cream on her cloaca when it blows up like this and it has been working with keeping the swelling down and she normally licks it to keep it nice and wet / moisturized so it doesnt dry out when its puffed up. And if shes having too much trouble pooping to give her lactulose by mouth to soften her stool.

On June 22nd, Petree underwent surgery to have her anal glands removed. The vet told me they were abnormal when they took them out, they saw 2 extra weird small nubs on both of her glands and that they had removed those as well. Everything went well! Her glands were removed safely and she recovered from the surgery. But it is unfortunately, NOT the cause of the issue. This is still an occurring issue. However, the surgery still helped in a way that her butt doesn't blow up/swell AS MUCH as it used to and she doesn't need her glands expressed anymore. Additionally, the problem doesn't get progressively worse over the course of the night like it used to. But it's still happening and she is still in pain!

During the time of her surgery she had to wear a cone, and since they didnt make small enough cones to make it easy for her, she had to eat things she could only lick and not pick up because she couldn't reach her mouth. So she ate scrambled eggs, HPW and applesauce only for about a month, and we experienced 0 issues then.

Now that shes fully healed and has no scent glands, she has been separated from momo for like 2 months, simply because momo is aggressive towards her. It is so incredibly sad because I don't think momo recognizes her without her scent but petree recognizes momo still because momo still has her scent glands. But I cannot put them together anymore without momo being aggressive and trying to attack her, and now that I know this issue is still happening I am reluctant to putting them together so momo doesn't bite it and make it worse! Now I sacrificed their entire relationship only for the problem to not be solved.

I am starting to think that this must just be a recurring issue for the rest of time however I am less inclined to actually believe that because it randomly started occurring out of nowhere about 2 years into taking care of her. And conveniently when momo came along. Which is why I thought maybe it was momo (but that's been ruled out).

The first time it happened again we went back to the drawing board and are now testing again. This time we tried NO PELLETS! We were so sure this was the issue as we saw on forums everywhere saying absolutely no pellets. So Petree and momo have been on HPW only for about 2.5 weeks now. And we've just encountered another buttsplosion (as I am now calling it haha). So it's NOT the pellets causing it. What in the heck could it be! I'm still performing damage control with the hemorrhoid cream and lactulose when it happens and as per usual the swelling is practically gone come morning.

My current theories are as follows:
-Perhaps her butt is sensitive and when she is close to the bottom tray (especially when it is dirty) perhaps the fumes of the pee will agitate her cloaca? However I am pretty sure she has had this issue when isolated in the top of the cage with no tray at all.
-Perhaps she needs to have a probiotic as part of her daily meal and her gut is just sensitive and prone to infection? But there was no infection present
-She hasn't been eating as much of her HPW as usual these last 2 days and that's because it's a different flavor, they enjoyed the insects and fruit flavor but don't seem to like the honey and apple one. Perhaps they just didn't eat enough of it in the last 2 days but I don't think their sensitivity to a diet can be THAT sensitive and change so much in such a short period of time, can they?

I am really struggling and it hurts my heart to have my baby in pain so often. If you gave this a read please anything will help, words of positivity, advice, anyone that's maybe seen something like this before? I have posted a couple times about this before but this is the most in depth one, I need help from ANYONE! Please! I am absolutely begging for anything! I'm not sure how to tag the Vet in here. I am absolutely open to answering questions and giving details like what cage I have etc. if anyone thinks they might have ideas and theories to what could be causing this. I just really need some help and support from fellow glider owners.

Including an image of her cloaca down here so someone can have a frame of reference.