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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
Greetings Glider Groupies, Glider Newbies and Glider Wanna-bes! Welcome to the February 2011 edition of the GliderVet News.
Before we glide in, just wanted to let those of you who have been looking for
the Wheel of Terror toy know it is finally
back in stock. The story we have been getting from many of our vendors is
the supply chain is very tight, meaning companies will need to hire more people
to make more products, and we're all for that! So sorry for any
inconvenience, and check out the Wheel of Terror
Usually this time of year, we try and review what we believe to be
some of the most important issues for new glider keepers to be aware of
and over the last several years, weíve repeated
these past articles to make sure that our new owners can benefit from
topics relating to safety issues and sugar gliders.
This year, rather than repeat I will simply point you toward those
articles and review
one of these topics from a slightly different angle. So for
you newbies, there are two articles that we suggest you visit.
These articles are both found in this newsletter called What Not to
Feed and Toy
Safety, click here.
We will revisit another old topic today, but in a new way: why you
should not keep sugar gliders as single pets.
It seems to me from the calls and emails we are getting these days,
more people are bringing home single sugar gliders than sets of sugar
gliders. What is behind this unhealthy trend?
Next, and I love when this happens, we have a tip from a brand new
glider keeper on a unique approach she found helpful in bonding with
her new gliders.
We will wrap up this month on the necessity of wellness visits for your sugar gliders.
After all this is the GliderVet newsletter and wellness visits are a big part of responsible pet
Please remember that this newsletter is intended to express the wishes
of the whole sugar glider community.
Every article published in this newsletter is a result of someone just
like you taking the time to write us with thoughts, ideas, stories and
Send your comments to us here.
If you ever want to find earlier issues of GliderVet News, you can access our
archives here. Fun pics of sugar gliders
sent in by our customers are found here.
If you are looking for sugar glider tested and approved products, check out our
ever expanding store here.
Are you new to sugar gliders or just in the early stages of trying to decide
if one is right for you? Questions you can ask yourself to help make this
very important and long term decision are here.
A very confusing area for those considering glider ownership (and for
some current owners too!) is diet. See what our vet has to say here.
And if you decide that a sugar glider (or two!) would become future members of
your household, then you might want to check out Arnold's great deals on starter kits,
with or without cages.
Selling Single Sugar Gliders: Ignorance or Arrogance?
We started raising and selling sugar gliders in 1999 and over the
years have had the opportunity to talk to, email and otherwise
correspond with tens of thousands of people.
Sugar gliders are the only animals we have ever raised and the only
animal we intend to ever raise.
In other words, our lives are devoted purely to the proper husbandry
and education of the fabulous pretaurus
Now Iím going to out myself. In the early days, while we
always encouraged new glider keepers to keep at least two of them,
there were exceptions that I would make based upon a personís
I was new to it all, and frankly didnít know better. People who
work from home, or are homebound are in the position to give sugar
gliders a great deal of attention, right?
So on special occasions, I used to let people get just one if they had
what I thought was a lifestyle that could afford a great deal of time
devoted to their single glider.
Quite honestly, I was acting out of ignorance and basing decisions on
that which I read and heard from others.
It didnít take long for me to realize the error of my ways. When I started seeing things
differently, I felt honoring the true nature of sugar gliders by insisting on
glider buddies was important.
One of my favorite recurring stories that Iíve heard countless times
over the years is from people who had single gliders.
In many cases, these people had ďall the time in the worldĒ to spend
with their single glider and then a lifestyle change took place which
meant less time to spend with the long lived furry one.
Of course, Iím only speaking to those people who have their own high
level of awareness and understood that their little buddy would likely
be better off with a new little buddy that looked like them.
Iím sure there are many out there that arenít involved in the online
glider community and have absolutely no idea that their sugar glider
would be a happier, better mentally adjusted little animal with a
friend of its own kind.
What makes this one of my favorite recurring stories is that in most
cases, once a new glider was identified and brought home, most people
saw dramatic and good changes in the habits of their original
I will often hear things like "my first glider, named Numero Uno is now
more playful and active, isnít such a picky eater any more, doesnít
sleep as much, seems
happier", and so on and so on.
Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again. Even with our best
intentions, there are several things that we canít do for sugar gliders
that other sugar gliders can do.
Just to name a few we canít stay up and play with them all night.
As nocturnal animals, this is a natural part of their colony
They also groom each other as monkeys do. We certainly canít do
that for them either.
When groups of sugar gliders sleep together, if you peek in the pouch,
you will be hard pressed to know which body part belongs to whom as
they are nestled in a single larger ball of fur, feet, ears, tails, and
We canít do this for them either.
Keeping exotic animals is a privilege we have, not a right!
And I think if we are to keep any sort of animal, we need to do so in a
way that best honors their true nature.
I think those who continue to sell sugar gliders as single pets may be
guilty of ignorance, or they may be subject to arrogance.
Anyone who thinks they know better than Mother Nature herself is likely
an arrogant person.
It is a hard thing indeed for most of us to really understand the full
power, beauty and brilliance of nature.
And there are those who think they can do better than nature, the
results are often disastrous.
We should accept nature as it is, and bending the rules of nature to
accommodate our own goals is not in anyoneís best interests,
human or animal.
In parting, I hope to say to those of you who have been misled by an
ignorant or arrogant breeder, broker, pet store, etc, please take to
heart what Iím telling you.
Sugar gliders need other sugar gliders. Do what is right for
their sake and you will be rewarded with happier, better adjusted
You might even hear some veterinarians say they are ok alone, but even
Doctors are not anywhere near the intelligence of nature and can be
prone to the human conditions of ignorance or arrogance as well.
If your vet tells you this, I encourage you to find a new vet.
One that is in tune with the true Nature of the animals we love.
Bonding Tip: Can Earplugs Help?
Experience can be a great teacher. I shared with you in the
previous article how experience was extremely beneficial to me in
learning more about sugar gliders.
Having the personal experience far exceeds what Iíve learned from
books, websites and chat rooms.
Inexperience can also be a great teacher. Have you ever looked
at life through the eyes of a child?
Have you ever heard it said that kidís can say the darndest
things? When looking at life with uninfluenced views, people will
see things that are so obvious at times, that the whole rest of the
world seems to miss.
Case in point, I got a call from a young lady named Sara. When
she got her sugar gliders, she was very intimidated by the ďcrabbingĒ
sound and could not help but jump and get startled when she heard
She called me and told me that she decided to use ear plugs as she was
clearly in tune with the fact that the sound made her startle, so she
just got rid of the sound in a simple and effective way.
This tool worked well in her case and I think itís brilliant.
When bonding with gliders, the calmer we are in the process, the
quicker results will happen in the whole trust building exercise.
I usually like to test ideas myself before I share the idea with
others, but Iím not startled by the crabbing.
Iím not a good candidate to test this theory, but it makes perfect
Earplugs are very inexpensive and if you get startled by sugar
glider fussiness, get some ear plugs.
They are safe for you, safe for sugar gliders and might be just the
edge you need to stay calm and focused in the bonding process.
Weíd love feedback from new glider keepers if this simple trick helps you toward better
There are many articles about bonding on our site; review by going here.
Itís not really about having a single trick in your tactical approach, but
trying ideas that bring the best progress. You might want to start with
our six part series on bonding, which starts
Why Veterinary Wellness Visits are Important
I love getting questions and I love being in a position to answer
However, there is one question that I get fairly often that I donít
find particularly pleasant.
It goes a bit like this. ďI understand that sugar gliders do not need
vet visits because they donít need shots or vaccines.
Is this true?Ē
How does stuff like this get out there and why do so many people
Yes it is true that sugar gliders do not need shots or vaccines, but
this does not let us off the hook for having a good, knowledgeable vet
lined up for our pets not only in the event of emergency, but also for
annual wellness visits.
This is part, a big part of responsible pet keeping.
Why are annual wellness visits necessary? I can think of two really good reasons off the top of my head.
First off, if your vet does not have familiarity with your pets as
healthy little ones, it is harder to treat them when sick.
It is helpful to the veterinarian to have a baseline understanding of
who your healthy pet is.
This is particularly true with species that have wide ranging
personalities like sugar gliders.
dogs and cats, etc. One may be just ďlaid backĒ and this can be
misread as lethargic which could indicate a serious health
Same thing could be true with a hyperactive pet. The personality
of the pet can easily become part of the vetís assessment in trying to
reach a good diagnosis.
If your vet knows your animals in advance, then it eliminates
personality traits as part of the
diagnosis when problems arrive.
Many people complain that there are not many experienced vets out
Fact is, most people donít seek a vet until they need one, so many, if
not most of the sugar gliders that veterinarians see are very sick
Unlike dogs, where we must bring them in for shots and vaccines, most
people ignore the importance of regular (at least annual) vet
Not only does it benefit the animal should it come down with a medical
condition, but it also helps broaden the experience of vets treating
Veterinarians can often see when medical conditions start to
most people cannot. Using basic diagnostic techniques like urine
and fecal samples, checking ears, nose and mouth, and gently palpating
the animal can often indicate that there is a beginning to some medical
When caught early, the results are often pleasing. When caught
too late, the results are often morbid.
It is our responsibility to take the very best care of our animals that
Part of that is bringing them in for regular wellness exams. If
its good enough for Fido, it should be good enough for Sugar Plum
'Til next time - in good health for you and your gliders, we sign off
in appreciation of all of you who share great glider adventures with
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Your resource for safety first, expert
advice on our sugar glider friends!
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That's it for this month's GliderVet Newsletter. I hope you liked what
we had to offer! If you have any stories, questions, pictures, suggestions
for topics - anything glider - you would like to share or see covered in the
GliderVet newsletter, please send them here.
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