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Sugar Gliders
So it looks like she won't make it...
So it looks like she won't make it...
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Jun 30 2013
07:54:35 PM
I have three sugar glides and one of them is currently extremely ill.

I noticed today, because she kept getting up and seemed extremely weak. She vomited once today-- and like, real vomit, not their regurge-reflex, with bile and everything-- and while she's still eating a little bit, she's obviously not doing well. She keeps getting up and then going back to bed.

I can't take her to the vet until the morning-- there are no exotic vets in my state that work on the weekends. I have an appointment with one tomorrow, but I'm very worried about her getting through the night, or even if she does, surviving at all.

From what I have read of other posts, gliders that begin vomiting like this do not get better. And she's already weak-- she has a persistent jaw infection that hasn't been able to be treated by antibiotics. I worry that she may be septic, from this infection. It was something that we knew may happen eventually, but it's still rather sad, and I wish there was something I could do for her.

She has no diarrhea, but her urine is coming out thick, which suggests that she has been rarely urinating. She seems to be breathing heavily, though that's hard to tell due to the fact that it might be her stomach. Plus the vomiting...

Either way, there's nothing I can really do for her now and it's just so hard.
I feel like it's all my fault.
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Jun 30 2013
08:04:56 PM
Lucille Super Glider 238 Posts
I am so sorry to hear about your ill glider. Please don't be hard on yourself, you seem like a very concerned owner. I am hoping for the best for her, please update tomorrow.
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Jun 30 2013
08:08:55 PM
sleighr Face Hugger Visit sleighr's Photo Album AZ, USA 643 Posts
May not do any long term good..... but do you have a way to get some fluid under her skin? Maxwell acted the same way from over heat and dehydration..... If she is dehydrated due to the infection it might not help in the long term
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Jun 30 2013
08:30:01 PM
Kokorokorokoro Glider 133 Posts
Frankly, I don't think it'll do any good.

I doubt she'll make it through the night. And even if she does, she probably won't make it through tomorrow.

I'm hesitant to try to do anything on my own-- the last thing I want to do is hurt her more. The vet told me that if she wants water, she'll drink it, and I shouldn't try to force her to drink any. She takes little sips here and there, but that's all.

I just wish I could help her.

To be honest, I'm thinking I may have someone put her down tonight. She's obviously in so much pain, and I know that she probably won't make it. But I would hate to act too quickly-- I almost did that with my other glider when he got sick with a different illness, but he recovered and is now in (nearly) perfect health.

But I've seen this before with another glider I had once. Not this same illness, as his was a long time coming and he died three days after I got him (if I had known more about gliders, I could have seen the signs). She looks the same as she always did, but she can barely keep her head up, and she's obviously so weak. I think she may have given up already too.


I feel cold for doing this. I feel like I should be doing everything in my power, but a part of me is being 'realistic' and knows that it won't do any good. But I feel like such a *ty person for just sitting here on the internet crying about it.
I hate that I'll go to sleep tonight knowing that she probably won't be alive in the morning.
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Jul 01 2013
01:14:43 AM
Kokorokorokoro Glider 133 Posts
So I was right.

I went in to go and check on her an hour ago and she was seizing. Maybe it was a stroke-- I don't really know. But either way, I knew that I was waiting too long to face facts.

I took her to the vet and they were going to euthanize her, but she died after being put under anesthesia.

I'm having them do a post mortem. If they find anything, I'll let you guys know.
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Jul 01 2013
07:11:50 PM
sleighr Face Hugger Visit sleighr's Photo Album AZ, USA 643 Posts
I never know when to quit either. I have had gliders heal up from horrific problems and others that were dead in the morning that looked the picture or health the night before.
The message is if your alive... Be happy!
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Jul 04 2013
08:38:08 PM
lyricalnuisance Joey 34 Posts
Oh dear.... sorry for your loss, I hope to god it wasn't anything your other gliders could have caught.
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Jul 05 2013
12:31:42 PM
LuckyGlider Zippy Glidershorts GliderMap Visit LuckyGlider's Photo Album LuckyGlider's Journal TX, USA 5254 Posts
very sad, sorry to hear of your loss
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Jul 17 2013
12:13:07 AM
Kokorokorokoro Glider 133 Posts
I got the results of the post-mortem today.


It was apparently a Salmonella enterica infection that went septic and got into her brain. Judging by the time frame and her behavior, it went septic very quickly and was probably due to a compromised immune system because of her jaw infection and general geriatric-ness.


I've been disinfecting all day and I feel so bad for the other two-- they're in a new, temporary cage that I had to get for the night while the room I keep them in airs out from all the cleaning solution I used and it's obviously stressing them out. They don't have much to do either.


I'm really worried about another thing they're doing, but I'll put that in another post.


Thanks for the concern.
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Jul 17 2013
12:33:15 AM
MoMo MaMa Face Hugger GliderMap Visit MoMo MaMa's Photo Album TX, USA 914 Posts
Oh no! I feel extremely sorry for your lost. Just remember you did your best and it isn't your fault. She is in a MUCH happier place now. Don't cry over her loss, but laugh at the times you and her created. At least she felt loved during her time.

When you say, the other two don't have much to do, do you mean toy/play wise? If so, you can do simple toys right now for them as in twisting straws through the bar cages, etc. Your other Gliders are sad just like you too. Comfort each other with lots of love. Please make sure you take them to the vet to make sure they didn't catch anything from the other Glider.

Glide free
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Jul 17 2013
07:33:45 AM
sleighr Face Hugger Visit sleighr's Photo Album AZ, USA 643 Posts
Try not to worry too much. Salmonella is all over the place. You can't kill it all. As you say it probably had more to do with her being a bit elderly and fighting other long term issues.
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Jul 18 2013
05:58:28 PM
Kokorokorokoro Glider 133 Posts
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6332007

I've been doing some research, as has my vet and my professor, and apparently there is some evidence out there that Salmonella species are natural gut flora for marsupial species (as they are for most reptiles and birds).

Why, I have no idea, but that essay is one of a few that talk about this and the prevalence. Insectivores also have particularly high levels of Salmonella.


It would seem that she was not "infected" but rather always had it-- which would explain why it happened. I worked with Salmonella, yes, but the level of sanitation within my lab is incredibly high. Similarly, the only chicken products I feed them are either boiled eggs or chicken baby food (in the BML mix), so the chances of it coming from something store bought is somewhat slim.

If she did get it from somewhere else, it was from a mealworm or perhaps even a cockroach that wandered into my house while I was sleeping (I live on the 1st floor in a desert-- the occasional roach happens).


More than likely though she always had salmonella, only it was never tested for before, because she wasn't sick. It only got her sick once she had already become immune compromised due to either general old age or perhaps the persistent jaw infection.
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Jul 18 2013
09:00:41 PM
sleighr Face Hugger Visit sleighr's Photo Album AZ, USA 643 Posts
Most of US don't know what all creatures are sharing space inside OUR skins till something gets out of whack and we head to the doc to see if he can figure out what's wrong. Good to know re intestinal flora
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Jul 18 2013
10:25:46 PM
Kokorokorokoro Glider 133 Posts
I mean, I'm not sure of it-- the article merely states that they commonly have it, not that it's necessarily natural flora.


But my microbiology teacher told me that marsupials often carry it as normal flora, as do insectivores, so he thinks it's probable that it is just normal. Insects often carry salmonella, so... yea. Not to mention that there are many articles that talk about how the influx of exotic pets onto the US market has caused a spike in salmonella cases (most typically with reptiles and turtles, but also with sugar gliders specifically).


People should still consult with their vets before assuming that what i'm saying is true (though realistically your vet probably won't have any idea as not that many studies have been done). However, they should also make sure to be very careful around them-- yet another reason why gliders are not good pets for children. Should one be immune compromised, they should take particular care around them, since they may be a carrier of salmonella (which can easily pass to humans through simple contact).
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So it looks like she won't make it...

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Sugar Gliders
So it looks like she won't make it...