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Sugar Gliders
Male Sugar Gliders and Neutering
Male Sugar Gliders and Neutering
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Oct 03 2018
04:31:16 PM
Greetings all!
Please bare with me, I have had very limited practice with posting onto online forums. I've posted here once or twice before and really that's the extent of my experience. I have greatly come to appreciate this community though; the information I have found has been of great help along my journey. I am however at a point where I'd like some feedback on our current situation. I will try and be brief. I currently have three colonies in my care - One consisting of 5 males, another consisting of 3 females and the last consisting of 2 females. I have considered attempting to merge the two female colonies however the smaller of the two is not technically mine so such a decision is not mine alone. In any event my issue is with my male colony.
My oldest male Axle (about 5 yrs) and father to 3 others in his colony is insistent on attempting to mate with my youngest male Chester (about 3 yrs). This was discovered after an injury was found on Chester consistent with that of a mating wound. I suspected Axle at that time but thought (hoped) the wound was either an accident or a misunderstanding. Typically there is little to no conflict in the cage and no one else had so much as a scratch. Chester himself is exceptionally passive and is more likely to be picked on for health reasons then to be a challenge for male dominance yet no one has ever picked on him. Anyway Chester was removed from the colony and his wounds treated to a full recovery. I observed... keeping the medical cage first next to then inside the main cage. No incidents no conflicts. Axle himself spent some time hanging on the side of the medical cage with Chester on the same bars many times without incident. Based on those observations and complete healing (fur returned) I reintroduced Chester to the colony. Further observation for two weeks with not incidents. Then today a commotion. Sure enough I found Axle latched on to Chester with Chester attempting to walk and or climb away. Once I got the two separated both were removed from the colony, Chester to be checked for injury and Axle to settle down a bit while I assessed the situation. Chester seemed to be uninjured and the commotion had passed so he was allowed back. Axle remain in one of the medical cages placed next to the main cage.
So I think the obvious answer here is to neuter the males. This is my dilemma and the reason for my post. I have a few vets I can go to. My vet of choice, who I both respect and trust implicitly expressed great concern about neutering my boys. I wont bore you with the detail but the man is a better man than I and is both very well educated and experienced. His view, and one that I share in concept, is that unnecessarily putting my guys at risk and or stress should be a last resort. Then there are the various methods of neutering to be considered plus the recovery. So the core of the post is this - anyone see any other options here? What's your experience with neutering? *IF* I were to neuter only Axle would that likely resolve the issue or just trigger off another of the boys to press for dominance thus causing a different conflict? Lastly... is it possible the issue lies with Chester? Chester has always been (in my loving estimation) very passive and a little abnormally submissive since birth.
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Oct 04 2018
02:22:42 PM
Pearson Joey 32 Posts
Honestly your situation is really weird and there is no really good solution for it? As someone who has 8 males if this started happening I would cry.

Neutering is the only way to stop it that I've heard of. But like your vet said it causes a lot of stress on their bodies.

One of my females received a mating wound and I had to take her to the vet. And when the vet brought up the possibility of surgery if the wound got really infected he said gliders bodies are so small and get so cold when under. He didn't want to have to do any surgery on a sugar glider.

If possible, and it's not the greatest idea, try spitting the made colony into two? Spitting up the two males that are having issues and watching them closey just to see if that fixes the issue at all

Edited by - Pearson on Oct 04 2018 02:26:02 PM
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Oct 05 2018
08:35:20 AM
Leela Goofy Gorillatoes Gliderpedia Editor Visit Leela's Photo Album Leela's Journal 2843 Posts
neck wounds are not just "mating wounds" that is just a term that was used so often it stuck... it's a neck wound and they can be from males and females and sometimes have nothing to do with mating.

Sometimes colonies that have always gotten along stop getting along and when that happens the human needs to intervene and make some changes. You actually have more options than you think.

Personally the first option I would look at is neutering ( and wellness check ) the male that received the neck wound and introducing him to one of your female colonies.

It sounds to me that there is some dominance issues or change in hierarchy within the colony and Chester is going to continue to be a target in the male colony.... However, Chester could have and underlying medical issue that Axle is sensing and you are not yet.

Or you can neuter Axle and keep him separated until his hormones reduce which usually takes about 30 days or so then reintroduce him to the male colony and see if that resolves the issue ( it may or may not ) if not put him in one of the female colonies.



Neuters are very routine and if the vet is experienced in the procedure there really isn't a lot of stress on the gliders the human usually suffers the stress more than the gliders do. Personally I prefer lazer pom off neuters because they typically heal faster with little to no complications.

If your vet isn't experienced in glider neuters ( despite all his knowledge and your respect for him it doesn't sound like he is or he doesn't have the proper equipment to perform neuters on small animals) find another vet that is experienced in glider neuters that is more confident. There is nothing wrong with utilizing more than one vet. I use 3 vets depending on what my gliders needs are and what the vets abilities are and equipment the vets office has to work with.





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Oct 05 2018
10:23:25 PM
Glides Starting Member 5 Posts
Pearson, Leela, thank you both for your input. It is a delicate situation for me and splitting the boys up seems to be a viable option if avoiding neutering is the path I go. Of course there's the nagging mental anguish of "who am I to decide to break up a family" but we do what we must and not always what we want to in life. If go the other way and do neuter I had pondered doing so to Chester and he'd happily go back with his mother. Question... If Axel has taken issue with Chester can I safely assume once Chester is out he will settle and not simply take issue up with another of the boys? Obviously an assumption isn't fool proof but I should say is it unlikely he'll start issue with another? Also Leela could you expand a little on what medically could be going on with Chester that might have brought this on? He's been to the vet twice (pre and post wound healing) but no issues came up. Could this be hormonal on Chester's end?
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Oct 06 2018
06:41:19 AM
Leela Goofy Gorillatoes Gliderpedia Editor Visit Leela's Photo Album Leela's Journal 2843 Posts
Don't let it be a mental anguish.... We humans tend to believe that a colony or even a pair bonded to each other will remain so for life, that isn't true. Things change, dynamics change, gliders change, environments change etc...

In the wild when colony dynamics change the gliders are free to leave or are forced to leave the colony, in captivity they do not have that luxury. In captivity all they can do is give the human signs whether that is bickering, fighting, wounds, etc.... the human has to be aware enough to see these signs and make the changes needed to restore harmony since the gliders are imprisoned in a cage and can not do it themselves. It really isn't that uncommon to have to remove a glider from a colony and repair them to another.

The other thing to the " who am I to decide" is... you ( or some other human ) already decided they were going to be a family so you also have to be the one to decide when it's time to readjust that same dynamic.

As for will Axle taking issue with one of the others after Chester is removed... I won't assume, but in my experience I'd say no I don't think that is likely.

I've had experience with 2 girls not getting along once they were separated the others in the colony got a long fine.

I've also had one with a neck wound that once repaired had no more issues.

Underlying medical issues could be anything, gliders hide their symptoms very well because if one is ill the others in the colony can and do either run them out of the colony or try to kill them. By the time you actually see symptoms it can often already be to late.

Edited by - Leela on Oct 06 2018 06:44:33 AM
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Male Sugar Gliders and Neutering

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Sugar Gliders
Male Sugar Gliders and Neutering