alyssajordan05 Joey 25 Posts
Hello all! I had a couple questions about my 6 year old sugar glider, Brie. She just recently went through a pretty large trauma when she was diagnosed with a closed pyometra (an infection inside her uterus). We didn’t know the cause, but we had to take her to a specialty vet an hour from our house because no one else would see her for this.
After we figured out what was wrong with her, we were given the agonizing choice of euthanasia or an expensive surgery. As you know gliders do terribly with abdominal surgery, and we didn’t have high hopes for her survival. After my husband and I discussed it at length, we decided to shell out the $3,800 dollars for the surgery (in addition to the $700 already spent on treatment and imaging) because we had to try to give her a chance. She was my first glider I ever got and I love her dearly. I put it on my credit card and said a little prayer.
Fortunately, she made it through the surgery successfully and I was able to take her home. I had her separated and in a hospital cage set up next to my bed so I could hear/see if she had any issues, needed pain meds, or got out of her cone that the vet had to hand make. The first week was awful, I took off work just so I could care for her the best way possible. Changing and cleaning the cone, and giving meds 4-5 times a day to an upset, in pain, fragile glider who doesn’t understand why you won’t let them be with their cage buddy is heartbreaking.
But Brie is a feisty and stubborn little goof, and she made it through! She figured out how to walk and navigate with the cone on, how to eat, ways to play without a wheel, and I truly think it caused a deeper, more trusting connection to develop between us. A couple weeks ago she managed to slip out of her cone while I was out shopping, and it was off for a couple hours by the time I got back. She didn’t even try to groom her surgical scar, which had healed beautifully! So I left it off. Just last week, I moved her to her regular cage and she spends the days with her cagemate Zelda, and at night I separate them so Brie can eat her fill (Zelda is overweight and on a diet). I have had zero issues with her trying to groom at the surgical scar since.
The main issue I’m having is, now Brie is still under her usual weight by about 20 grams (she’s 81-84 and typically between 109-112). She lost weight when they removed her uterus, but she still should be heavier as her weight had been consistent for years before the infection. She is eating, I give her extra food, but the problem is she avoids most fruit and sticks to vegetables (like peas and corn, the latter of which I try to give sparingly). She will eat mealworms and I even tried fattening her up with waxworms which aren’t the healthiest but she does like them. Can you guys give me a recommendation of some high fat foods I can safely give her that gliders seem to really like?
She is on the HPW diet and has been successfully since I got her at 8 weeks OOP. I make it myself at home and supplement with more fruits and veggies than they recommend, probably double the fruits and veggies now since I’ve been trying to get her to gain weight. She also has a vitamin supplement I sprinkle on her food a few times a week. She is using the bathroom normally and her poop looks to be a healthy amount and consistency, she just isn’t eating enough to gain weight. She is VERY active and runs in her wheel a lot, which could also contribute to her skinniness.
Any advice for me is greatly appreciated! I have been unable to find hardly anything about sugar gliders surviving pyometra surgery, so I kind of feel like I’m in uncharted territory here. Thanks in advance!