This might get long
1 Vets are not dietitians or nutritionists.
One of the vets I had high hopes for that is local to me started "educating me" on glider diets when I took two very healthy gliders in for a wellness exam. It was also some sort of pellet diet, she had never heard of Bml. When I started asking her questions she couldn't answer I answered them to her. When I started explaining the 2:1 ratio she put her fist full of diet information back in her drawer and said I think it's safe to say you know how to feed your gliders. That conversation was almost enough for me to not want to go back there. I did go back a few times for a couple different issues that she really didn't help with much that I will get into later.
She's still a very promising vet but just doesn't have enough hands on glider experience.
my 2nd vet. I took a female in with a neck wound about the size of a 50 cent piece that was infected. The vet spent the first hour lecturing me ( seriously lecturing not talking or explaining anything ) on diet, telling me I'm feeding them all wrong despite not knowing what I actually feed and not asking me what I feed and she said my gliders were all probably malnourished. Mean while she had not even asked what we were there for and hadn't even set eyes on the glider.
I finally snapped and said I did not come here to be berated over diet, I came here for a INFECTED WOUND that obviously I can't treat at home or I wouldn't have come here for you to throw stitches in and give me a prescription for meds My gliders are not malnourished if You'd BOTHER to look at Nicky who was about 140 grams she does however have a gaping wound on the back of her neck that could use some MEDICAL attention from a VET. She finally looked at Nicky as I got her out of the pouch and said "OMG that is infected!!" .........ya don't say!! NOW can YOU do something about it or do I need to find another vet?
She put Nicky under, cut off the infected areas, stitched her up, gave me exactly 10 drops of antibiotics and we left. Nicky healed and recovered just fine.
I was so irritated with her that we started going back to vet 1 who was at least able to recognize I know more about gliders than she does I just don't have a medical degree
This last year I have been battling a bacteria infection in two of my cages.
Vet 1 would not do any of the tests I requested. The only actual test she would do was fecals and they always came back clean. We tried treating this issue with several different medications oral and topical based on what I thought the issue was but without proper testing it was just guessing and hoping. Well nothing worked. So we went back to the Diet Nazi vet 2.
My appointment with the Diet Nazi was at like 3 pm. It took over 2 hours to even get in the exam room, and another hour for the vet tech to come in and collect all the info. By now it's 6pm. The vet finally comes in and launches into her lecture about diets and telling me the gliders issue is diet related.
UGHHHHHHHH here we go again!! This time, I interrupted her at every turn and threw as much information at her as she was trying to do with me. Still hadn't even looked at the gliders to see the visible symptoms. I asked for 2 tests one a tape test and 2 a bacterial c & s test. The only test she would do was a fecal and it was clean. She tried telling me the gliders were stained from poor diet.
I've been involved with rescue and rehoming gliders for the last few years this is NOT diet staining. I can show you the difference in diet staining with pictures.... this is not that. This is some sort of bacteria or yeast infection!
Well she wasted soooo much time on diet that it was to late to call vet 3 for a consultation. Vet 3 has 2 glider specialists and are extremellllllly expensive. So vet 2 wanted to call vet 3 the next day and see what test she should do, OK fine!! if they will tell you that awesome.
Now, the whole diet lecture has me really irritated so irritated I sat here n wrote the vet a letter explaining that I am there seeking medical attention and I need you as the VET to do your actual job and be the VET not the nutritionist hurling information at me that I already know. It turned out to be 4 pages long when I printed it out.
The next day I called to see what they found out. The receptionists, who knows how irritated I am with the whole diet thing, tells me that vet 3 told vet 2 what test to do and asked if I could come back in today.... ok GREAT YES GETTING DRESSED RIGHT NOW!!
When we got there, I had the receptionists anddd the vet tech read my letter to the vet, and asked if there was an email I could send it to the vet. They said absolutely and that they were glad someone is finally saying something about the diet lectures. It's not just with gliders that she does this, its with all the animals... sooo I thought cool I'll email it later when I get home. Well the receptionists decided they weren't waitin for that and gave my letter to the vet before she came in to run the test.
She came in HOT n loaded!! and again we had a half hour debate on diets before finally she said "In the wild gliders eat..." and I cut her off again with IN THE WILD gliders have different nutritional needs than gliders in captivity so please lets not go down that path. If you want the honest TRUTH of it all we still don't SCIENTIFICALLY know what gliders dietary needs actually ARE. We ARE currently hoping the dietary study happening RIGHT NOW will tell us something about that but the study is in very early stages and it might take YEARSSSS to get any conclusive answers. So allll of the conversations you and I have already had are irrelevant and we are feeding them what we feel is working the best in the glider community UNTIL we have some answers if we ever do. NOW what is the test vet 3 said to run and can we set all this BS aside and attempt to medically treat my ILL gliders??
It seriously took a 4 page letter and me losing my sh$t for her to do her damn job. The test was a tape test, They take a piece of scotch tape, press it on the glider, drop some dye on it and look at it under the microscope. In less than a minute she saw yeast. Then she started talking like a vet!
The treatment for the yeast infection STILL didn't clear up all the gliders. So I called vet 2 and begged for the bacterial c & s test.... she didn't even know what that is and referred me to vet 3 the one she called for the consultation.
Vet 3, never once even asked what I was feeding, and never once brought up diet! He DID know what the bacterial c & s test is ANNDDDDD took samples from one of the gliders to run the test!! 3 weeks later the tests show FOUR different kinds of bacteria in high numbers, and which meds should treat it best.
We are currently still in the 21 days of antibiotics and medicated baths treatment plan. So far a couple of the gliders are showing small signs of improving 2 are not.
Now, as I said vets are not dietitians or nutritionists. However, they do sometimes feel obligated to make sure the owner is feeding the animal "properly" as per what the vets limited knowledge of proper diets go. Often the owners are not educated enough in exotic pets diets, and that is what these vets are used to dealing with. They are also used to dealing with gliders on their death beds, some are malnourished and not taken care of properly. It is rather normal for vets to look at all owners in the same light instead of recognizing the owner as an individual that did research. Personally I don't fault them for that as I have seen it first hand myself.
Vet 2 is a diet nazi
but she feels she would be doing a disservice to the animal if she didn't do her best to see that they are getting what she feels is an ideal diet.
I don't think the diet she recommends is ideal but I also don't have to feed it.
This vet now knows, I have educated myself, I can debate with her all day long, I have valid points and finally I know my gliders better than she does. But she didn't know that when I first starting going there. Vet 2 will probably be my main vet for things within her depth. Which are basic wellness exams, seroious wound care, amputations and dental extractions Vet 3 will be my go to for anything I feel vet 2 can't handle or anything she tells me she can't handle as she did with the bacterial infection.