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Jul 23 2018
11:20:30 AM
I love having discussions about gliders and their care and I'd love to have one here....

there is a lot of contradicting information out there, a lot of opinions stated as facts, a lot of myths people believe, a lot of outdated information. Etc.

So that's the topic of the game... ok fine it's a discussion but I would really like everyone to post and participate.

It doesn't matter how long you have had gliders or how little or how much experience you have. Everyone has at least one thing they thought was true about gliders that actually isn't true at all. Or one thing they really aren't sure about but believe it until they learn otherwise.

This is because during the course of your research you probably read it somewhere and it's parroted by who ever reads it.



So, the topic...........

I'd like to know some of the things you think are true and why you think that. OR something you thought was true, but later found out it wasn't true or accurate. It can even be something you just wonder if it's true or accurate but aren't sure.

NO judgments please, no ridiculing anyone, just an honest discussion.



I'll start.

I thought ( because of my research ) any glider that used it's teeth on itself in any harmful way was a self mutilating glider. I believed that for a couple years and read it on many different sites.

It IS inaccurate.

There are many times a glider will chew on itself to remove the source of pain, that does not classify them as a self mutilating glider.

There are criteria a glider has to meet to be considered a self mutilator. The criteria came from self mutilating gliders over the passed years that all had these things in common.

One major criteria is the noise they make when they are about to self mutilate. It's a sound like no other, it can not be confused with anything other sound a glider makes.


If a glider chews a foot off, and doesn't make this sound just before it chews it's foot off it is not a self mutilating glider. It's simply the normal response a glider makes to toe or foot injuries

One criteria that ISN'T on the criteria list is ... single glider.


Another myth about self mutilating gliders is that single gliders will self mutilate. This is also un true. There HAS TO BE a medical reason for a glider to self mutilate. It will not happen simply because the glider is single. The two self mutilating gliders I have seen were not single.

Self mutilating is one of the most common misconceptions about gliders, mostly because TRUE self mutilating gliders are so uncommon most owners have never seen a self mutilating glider.

It is such a complete nightmare, it is exceptionally graphic and heartbreaking, the stories are seldom shared publicly. The 2 most recent cases were private, and were about 2 years ago, I haven't heard of a case since then.

What are public and owners do see is graphic pictures of what gliders do to untreated injuries, and that is normal for gliders to do.



So what are some of yours?














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Jul 23 2018
04:47:21 PM
scoot Joey 30 Posts
quote:


Another myth about self mutilating gliders is that single gliders will self mutilate. This is also un true. There HAS TO BE a medical reason for a glider to self mutilate. It will not happen simply because the glider is single. The two self mutilating gliders I have seen were not single.




I don't think the consensus is that single gliders are the only ones that self mutilate or that ALL of them self mutilate.

It does make perfect sense that as colony animals, when kept in solidarity, they will get depressed. The depression can then lead to self mutilation.

quote:

There HAS TO BE a medical reason for a glider to self mutilate.



Depression.

Again, I'm not saying that self mutilation ONLY happens in singles, or that ALL singles will self mutilate. I still believe that its bad to keep gliders solo and that it can contribute to a little guy self mutilating.






Now for something I was off about.

I thought gliders would drink more water. With a proper diet that includes fresh fruits and veggies they get most of their liquids from what they eat.
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Jul 24 2018
10:10:41 AM
Leela Goofy Gorillatoes Gliderpedia Editor Visit Leela's Photo Album Leela's Journal 2919 Posts
I agree i don't think the consensus is that sm is only singles. But it is commonly the first thing said to owners with a single glider.

Depression and loneliness are real for single gliders yes, it CAN lead to over grooming, stress flips, inactivity... but it will not lead to self mutilation unless there is something medically wrong, it maybe undiagnosed and not recognized by the owner as a health issue but just because it is undiagnosed doesn't mean there is nothing else wrong.....

There is not a single documented case of a self mutilating glider with no other health issues, that simply came from being single or depression.

Personally, I'm not aware of any case at all that the glider was single. So it doesn't support that depression from being single could contribute to it at all.


The thing is, we know what doesn't contribute to it, what we don't know is the exact cause of it happening. There are very few commonalities between the separate cases.

The current theory is it is parasite related. Because the medications that have been most successful at treating self mutilators = have been a combination of antiparasidic meds. This is one of the few commonalities we see.

of course, your welcome to your opinion

I still believe gliders thrive rather than exist. when in groups of 2 or more. I believe they are happier in colonies rather than single, for the most part. There are some gliders that prefer to be alone. You just have to know your glider and what works for that glider.


WATER

That is interesting isn't it!? I've found my gliders drink more now that I started using water silo's instead of water bottles with ball and tubes. But yes primarily still from the food they take in.

Their teeth are designed for compressing the juice from food, rather than grinding food like our teeth

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Jul 24 2018
05:19:27 PM
scoot Joey 30 Posts
quote:
Originally posted by Leela
Depression and loneliness are real for single gliders yes, it CAN lead to over grooming...



Ok I see where you're coming from now. Self mutilation is less common and a lot more serious, and not caused by stress or depression. What most people warn about with keeping solos is actually over grooming, which is not as serious. Often calling it self mutilation when really its less serious.


---

Also their teeth! Their bottom set is really weird. I never actually got a good look until I had to force feed one of my sick ones food and medicine for a little bit (he's fully recovered). I forgot what its called but its similar to hippos where its a long set that points forward.
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Jul 24 2018
05:45:14 PM
Leela Goofy Gorillatoes Gliderpedia Editor Visit Leela's Photo Album Leela's Journal 2919 Posts
yes! exactly!!

it is extremely more serious so much that sm gliders have had to have protective gear on 24/7 to protect them from inflicting even more damage to themselves.

The first time you see the extent of the damage of a sm glider is when it really becomes clear what a self mutilator is compared to a non self mutilating glider.


Their teeth are amazing! I think there are 40 or 42 teeth packed in there I don't remember. The roof of their mouth is really cool too it's ridged lol
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Jul 25 2018
01:44:48 AM
SugarSlave566 Joey 15 Posts
Some of the things I first thought was true when I was a newer glider owner was that baby gliders are always easier to bond with than adults, keeping a lone glider will cause it to die, and the best way to bond with a sugar glider was forcing your new glider to be balled up in your cupped hands. Thankfully I was too scared my sugar gliders would shred up my hands if I tried the last one. Lots of my false info came from pocket pet websites but thankfully I found this website and learned a lot from it.
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Jul 25 2018
10:25:05 AM
BYK_Chainsaw Fuzzy Wuzzy Visit BYK_Chainsaw's Photo Album BYK_Chainsaw's Journal USA 1168 Posts
This is not a myth 100%, but something that I have got differing information on.

HLP Hind Leg paralysis.
Commonly said. to much phosphates and not enough calcium leads to weak bones and difficulty walking and maybe death.

Vet and other information. - a disease in the glider causes blockage of calcium absorption in the bones, leading to weak bones and difficulty walking.

My thoughts - captive glider needs a special balance diet of calcium vs phosphates. but what about wild gliders? who balances their diet? given that starvation is one of the biggest dangers to a wild glider, I think they eat most things they can in the wild, so with this random diet of eat whatever you find leave a low probability of balanced calcium and phosphates. so how do wild gliders survive?

Again, I'm not saying HLP is a myth. but I'm still NOT convinced of the source of the illness. (note: and is was a vet that backed up the information I got from reading it was a illness, not food imbalance.)
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Jul 25 2018
10:29:37 AM
Leela Goofy Gorillatoes Gliderpedia Editor Visit Leela's Photo Album Leela's Journal 2919 Posts
"baby gliders are always easier to bond with than adults, keeping a lone glider will cause it to die, and the best way to bond with a sugar glider was forcing your new glider to be balled up in your cupped hands."

Baby gliders are easier to bond with than adults. This is an awesome and very common one. I also thought that in the beginning.

The truth is, joeys can be just as hard as adults, adults can be just as easy as joeys. It really comes down to each individual glider.

I've had easy joeys and difficult joeys, I've had OMG I can't believe how easy this 13 yr old guy is and other adults that took a long long long time.

I've also had an adult that according to his owner would need work.... he didn't need that much work and was a totally different glider when he came here from what she knew at her house.

A friend of mine was given 2 females that were "the devils spawn" according to the previous owner who were the most sweetest babies, immediately, with my friend once she got them. Sometimes a glider just doesn't mesh with the human, or the rhythm of the household.

I've found age has very little to do with temperament. Gender sometimes can though, intact males can be a little more cocky about things once neutered they tend to mellow out.




Keeping a lone glider will cause it to die. This one just drives me nuts

I think it's such a big misconception because over the years when a single glider died the owners or community didn't have a medical reason so the only reason they had was it was by itself. I also think over the years it was a scare tactic breeders used to get you to buy more than one.

Is it easier for a new owner to buy a pair rather than one... YES. It saves you from having to go through the introduction process later on, it can save you buying more cages and accessories. It can save you from an introduction not working and being left with 2 singles instead of one.

It can save you a lot of stress and money. But often times that just isn't how new owners start out and that is ok too.






Cupping. Yeh that scared the crap out of me to, I was told that by the backyard breeder we got our first one from.

I will say cupping your hand over the glider when the glider is in a pouch and your hand is on the outside of it works very well for scared gliders. But open handed cupping...... it's a great way to feel how sharp their teeth really are lol.
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Jul 25 2018
11:42:50 AM
SillySuggies Joey 19 Posts
idk if this is true or not, but i feel as if it is unsafe to have wooden toys in their cages. My thinking is, that, sugar gliders are sap suckers, so when they see wood, they chew on it to get sap. But, there is no sap and they end up ingesting it. I have seen my gliders chewing on wood and running towards wood every time they see it. My glider sadly passed with no explanation, and when we were disinfecting the stuff inside the cage, i found a whole bunch of chewed wood on the bottom. There were never any wood shards on the bottom of their cage. Also, there is safe and unsafe woods for them, and some toys are painted and they can ingest the toxic paints. Idk, it is just my theory
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Jul 25 2018
12:13:01 PM
Leela Goofy Gorillatoes Gliderpedia Editor Visit Leela's Photo Album Leela's Journal 2919 Posts
Hlp is a really good one ! It is one of the most go to answers for a couple symptoms. And often times an inaccurate diagnosis.

Because it is the go to answer, other things may be over looked. like spinal injuries, fractures or broken bones etc. Hlp is not as common as it once was partially because the diets have improved.

Hlp was a very common problem, OR it was diagnosed as hlp more often than it is now because now some vets are finally looking beyond hlp and weren't before.

Vets are not infaillible, though we expect them to be. We are all still learning about health and medical issues, including the vets.




Wild vs Captive dietary is always and interesting subject!

Personally.... I don't know

I think gliders bodies tell them what they need to eat, much like ie humans that crave OJ, their body is probably needing vit c or calcium or whatever that food provides as far as vitamins and minerals that the body is lacking.

And on the flip side...

I feel if the body has to much of something the glider will not eat the food that has a high amount of what it doesn't need and already has to much of, and will seek out a food that balances it and or provides something the other food it didn't eat didn't have.

which basically counters that overload out by not ingesting that food and ingesting something else the body DID need instead.

I hope that makes sense lol I seem to not be able to transfer thoughts from my brain to my fingers very well lately

Anyway it's just a theory... but it would also maybe explain why some gliders do very well on a diet for a long time ( in captivity ) then suddenly stop eating it and need us to change their diet. They can't just go find that other food on their own they need us to change it for them.








Edited by - Leela on Jul 25 2018 12:14:11 PM
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Jul 25 2018
12:36:55 PM
Leela Goofy Gorillatoes Gliderpedia Editor Visit Leela's Photo Album Leela's Journal 2919 Posts
Wood........ such a controversial topic riddled with questions and opinions.

I happen to work with wood a lot, but not for my gliders, I do wood burnings.

Personally I don't use any wood items in cages EXCEPT, fresh cut branches from known safe tree's. Which is a bit different than items made for in the cage, or making the cage itself with.

Safe trees... by that I mean species of trees known to be safe for gliders and aren't toxic or have any allergic reactions from it.

On top of knowing the species is on the safe list, you also have to know if it's ever been sprayed or treated for anything. In my case, I know the two trees I use have not been sprayed or treated.

I use the branches for enrichment and to help aid in dental care of the gliders... a natural flosser if you will.


Cages making and items for in the cage...that type of wood has been processed and usually kiln dried but sometimes chemicals are used to dry the wood.

Some people use wood items in their cage and have no problems, others won't use them at all. It really comes down to a personal decision. Personally, I think they absorb urine, and are a pain to clean so I don't use them. There are so many alternatives to wood that are easier in my opinion.

I can't really say about chewing and ingesting wood... none of my gliders are real chewers with anything but the branches.

I do know they are allergic to cedar, so cages or bedding or toys made of cedar are not good to use. Pine is a toxic one, unless it's kiln dried.

Wood that is painted ... that's a hard one too, like bird toys are stained with non toxic dyes rather than painted, birds are as sensitive as gliders are when it comes to toxicity of anything. But the still bleed out of the toy and are usually water soluble so I don't use them.

I'm so sorry for your loss, that is one of the hardest things with gliders, not having a reason for them passing.




Edited by - Leela on Jul 25 2018 12:41:12 PM
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Aug 01 2018
03:13:18 PM
Ballistic_Glider Joey 26 Posts
I have two.

1. If you have only one glider, no matter how much you take it out, it will die of depression.

I quickly realized that wasn't the case once I got on this forum.
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2. I also thought all sugar gliders liked the wheel and the bonding times.

Haha I found this out personally. Both of my glider do like the wheel, but one doesn't use it every night. That same one is also super shy and sometimes doesn't even come out for tent time. (She's getting better but she still doesn't care for it).
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