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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
Greetings and welcome to a brand new issue of the GliderVet Newsletter!
How time glides! Lisa here, joined by none other than Mr. Arnold T. Schwarzenglider.
Arnold wanted to help with this monthís welcome message because his favorite day of the year is
just around the corner. He wanted me to be sure to wish everyone a Happy Valentineís Day.
Why is this Arnoldís favorite day, you ask?
Well thatís easy, Arnold thinks Cupid is related to sugar
gliders because Cupid is a rather little guy that glides around
all day spreading
love and happiness, just like sugar gliders do. He also thinks
that sugar gliders are related
to a certain brand of potato chip ďcause nobody can have just one!Ē
In this monthís issue we will continue discussions on those very big topics of bonding and breeding.
Debbie and I will share with you a fun filled bonding technique that many people have employed to build
that super special relationship with their fuzzbutts. And of course Dr. C will
answer several more questions that have been submitted to us about breeding issues with sugar gliders.
But before we get there, Arnold has a lot to say about why he
thinks young two leggers (thatís what he calls people) should NOT be the primary caretaker of
The last couple of months we have shared with you some of the
good efforts of the EVF (Emergency Vet Fund).
As an all volunteer not-for-profit group, you can imagine that
it's difficult to keep funding
levels sufficient to pursue the lofty goals of this organization.
SunCoast is not affiliated with EVF, we do support their mission
and this monthís fundraiser is a raffle.
If youíve been wanting to update your sugar glidersí habitat,
hereís an excellent opportunity to try and
win the top prize! The raffle is for a completely outfitted five
cage and you can buy two chances to win for only $5.00. We
wish everyone the best of luck in winning this generous prize
As you know we like to mix things up a bit each month, so from time
to time we will be bringing you a short editorial section called
"Dear Arnold". If you have a short question or comment to share
Arnold, click here.
Q: Dear Arnold, every time I order some yogurt drops for my glider I
have to order 2 cups (jars) of them. One for my glider and one for my mom, she
loves them just as much as my glider. Nathan S.
A: Dear Nathan, yogurt drops are rich in calcium, so thatís very good
for Momís bones and choppers. And consider yourself lucky that she's not
stealing your sugar gliderís crickets, cause cricket legs can be really pesky
to get out of humanís teeth - yuk yuk yuk. And tell Mom I highly
recommend the papaya treats too! Lisa and I share a jar of them quite often.
Yummy! Love Arnold
I just want to remind everybody that this newsletter is intended to express
the wishes of the whole sugar glider community. We thank everyone
who has taken the time to write us with so many great ideas for future
topics of discussion and we thank you for making the inaugural year of
this newsletter a truly valuable resource for so many people worldwide. In
time, we hope to provide a one stop resource for every major sugar glider
question imaginable. Please continue to submit your stories of
interest, your burning questions, your funny sugar glider tails (I mean
tales) or anything else that you believe will further the education and
enjoyment of keeping sugar gliders as pets. 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.
Frequently Asked Question:
Do sugar gliders make good pets for kids?
by Arnold, with a little help from Lisa
O Boy! O Joy! What a lucky little suggie I am! I canít
believe I get two places in the newsletter this month Ö maybe we should
tell people to contact "Arnold The Great, c/o Arnold's House in
Sunshiny Florida" ... or "Mr. Arnold, c/o The Sugar Shack - the State
Arnold, Lisa here. Stop this! We are going to have to feed you a little
I like the sound of that. Yes please, letís have some pie tonight.
Arnold, it's not that kind of pie! Just once, you should try to
remember what we are supposed to be doing here!
OK, OK, alright already! As you know we raise lots of little
babies here and every week new lucky humans get to call our sugar
babies their own.
But lots of times we get calls from peoples that want to buy
sugar babies for their
little childrens and methinks thatís a bad idea! See, we need
lots of love, care and
attention and we lives a long time. Would you let your 10 year
old raise your
2 year old?! Us suggies are sorta like little kids
ourselves. We need a
good diet and kids might want to feed us stuff like chocolate, popcorn
junky foods that could make us really sick. And it's not the
little two leggers fault stuff like this happens, they are just trying
to be nice and share just like their parental beings have trained them
It's kinda like this Ö weíre not hamsters!
The biggest thing we hear from peoples that wants our sugar baby joeys is
stuff like, ďBut you donít know my kid.
My kid is the most responsible kid in the world and is going to grow up to be a
famous vet one day and loves animals the mostest in all of life.Ē We love to hear
people have fabulous little furless wonders cause we thinks the world needs
more responsible childrens to run the world some day! Now lemme try to
explain why gliders aren't a good idea for chidrens...
First, hereís a question to you big humans Ö would you trust
your young children to make good decisions on what they should
everyday if they had to prepare their own foods every night and could
have anything they wanted?
Just try taking a kid to one of those cafeteria places and tell him or
her they can have whatever
they wants, but they have to have three different things. Cake,
and ice cream are three different things, right?!
OK, so now you might thinks to yersef I can get these sugar
babies for my short person, but Iíll take care of the feeding and
they can do
everything else. But youngster folk are supposed to do and try
things - like school, homework, little league, clubs and other
Whatís gonna happen to all the love and attention for the gliders when
human goes to high school or college? WHOíS GONNA TAKE CARE OF
We shouldnít be ignored, ya know Ö it's not good fer us. And for
the love of
mealworms, donít just think if that happens that you can just
give your suggies to someone else
cause thatís really mean. When we come to love our humans we
donít wants to go
nowhere else cause it makes us stressful, confused and sad. If ya
donít think ya can
keep us ferever, then please donít get us at all!
One time this youngster dude was talking to Lisa and she asked
him how ya gonna take care of a sugar glider when you go to
college? And he says Iíll just bring my glider with me. And
what if you go outta state and the college rules are that you have to
stay in a dorm the first year and ya canít have no critters?
And he says I just wonít go there. And she says what if you get a
full scholarship to
a top rated college? And he says I just wonít go there. Now
that sound like someone responsible enough to take care of a glider?
Listen up youngsters! Even me Arnold went to college and going to a
good college is important. Meself went to an Ivy Leaf school called
Barkvard University. I couldíve gone to Tale or Pranceton too if I
wanted Ö but I got to go cause I didnít have no little humans to take care of Ö.
yuk yuk yuk. See, if I woulda had a little human I wouldnít have had no time to enjoy me Ivy Leaf
experience to the fullest. You shouldnít load yersef up with too much responsibility when ya gotta
lotta really cool stuff to look forward to. When ya get to be a big
peoples one day, ya can have as many suggies as ya want!
Now before me signs off Iíd just like to let the big peoples know that
sharing a sugar glider experience with your young people can be a really cool thing.
But I hope you'll supervise your really little people when handling suggies cause sometimes
little people like to hug hard and that might be bad. But sharing special friends like sugar gliders
with yer whole fambly can be fun and educational if ya do it as one big ever-loving fambly.
Just let the little kids know stuff like to respect our sleepy time, and to be
gentle cause weíre so tiny, and to not feed us stuff unless you know about it, and to not let us out of our habitat
without you around, and to not spray nuttin in the air around our home unless you
know about that too. Your human famblies are like our glider colonies Ö and for the right humans, well,
us suggies can be
just bustin out proud to let you in as members of our colony, I mean fambly.
All we need is tons of love!
Kisses and face hugs to you all.
Your buddy, Arnold
Bonding with New Gliders - Part Four
By Lisa and Debbie
This is Part Four in the series on Bonding. In previous issues
of the GliderVet Newsletter, we started the topic of bonding by
discussing the importance of the human's attitude and being in the
right mindset to begin this
all important process. To review Part 1, click
Part Two in the bonding series focused more on how the sense of
smell is primary in creating that human/glider
here. Part Three focused on 2 topics concerning age of the gliders
being bonded and the length of the process; click
here. More advice on Bonding with Sugar Gliders can be found in Parts Five
This month we are going to share a very fun bonding tip called ďTent TimeĒ by many.
It's proven to be a successful way to enhance bonding with your gliders, while providing a safe place to play if you
don't have a glider proofed area.
Weíve not previously discussed glider proofing, but in a nutshell
it means having a space available for night time play time where
sugar gliders canít get themselves into anything harmful, like
small hiding places, electrical outlets, reclining chairs,
We will discuss this in more detail in a future issue.
If you donít feel you have a good glider proofed environment,
you might want to consider Tent Time as a safe alternative to
gliders prior to their being fully bonded. The technique is quite
All you need is a small inexpensive camping tent like the type they
would sell at Walmart.
They run about $20 and the smallest size is totally suitable for this
Quite a few people have told us that the small tent is really the best
as it will fit in most rooms easily.
If you have a bigger tent, you might find it difficult to put up inside
of your home.
OK Ö let the bonding begin. Put your gliders in a carry pouch if they
are not yet bonded, or bring them into the tent in their sleeping pouch.
Prior to putting yourself and the gliders in the tent, make sure you have some treats on hand.
Treats like yogurt or applesauce can be used by dipping your finger in and letting the gliders lick it off.
Or you might want to try less messy treats like Arnoldís favorites,
yogurt drops and papaya bits.
When you first get situated, invite the gliders out of the pouch
and allow them to explore the inside of the zipped up tent.
What makes this technique work so well is they canít get very far
away from you.
Bring simple toys into the tent like feathers, or string type
suggest the toys you use be the interactive type similar to
playing with a kitten.
You know you are making progress when the gliders choose to
interact with you and your game.
Also, they will have a difficult time exploring without having to
walk across you Ö this one
on one touch will make them feel more and more comfortable with
you the more they realize that you are a safe place.
Some people play with their gliders exclusively in a tent as they
just donít have
appropriate play space in their home or it's too difficult to glider
Weíve mentioned in a previous article on bonding that bonding time
is best done during the day, while the gliders are inclined to
This is usually the easiest time to handle an un-bonded glider.
However, some peopleís lifestyles and work schedules do not permit
daytime to spend bonding. So tent time is a really good
Give it a try and if you have some interesting tent stories to share
concerning your personal experience,
Now one last word of caution. Never leave gliders in a tent
unsupervised and please do not consider using a tent as a
habitat or even as a travel cage. The tent seams and windows
could be a nail catching hazard and a freaked out glider is not
going to feel
much like bonding.
Exotic Pet Vet
What Dr. C Says On... Breeding Sugar Gliders, Part Four
By Dr. C., of course! And with a little
help from Debbie...
If you missed Part One of the article on breeding sugar gliders, click
here to review. For Part Two, click
here; for part three, click here. This month we will again continue in the question and answer format.
So let's jump right in:
Q: How can you tell if your sugar glider is pregnant?
A: It's really hard to tell when a glider is pregnant at first.
Even after the babies are born and crawl into the pouch, it's hard to detect.
I don't recommend peeking in the pouch ... it could harm the joeys.
Her abdomen will continue to expand and you can expect her to get quite
large. Remember that expansion on one side of her body indicates one joey
in the pouch, while expansion on both sides indicates two joeys in the pouch.
Q: Do sugar gliders mate for life?
A: No, they do not. In the wild, it may be likely
that a dominant
male in a colony of mixed males and females is the primary
breeder. While free range research is still very limited, we can
share experiences from our activities at
SunCoast. It happens from time to time that sugar gliders will
lose a mate.
It is our goal to find a new mate or companion for these newly
singled gliders as soon as
possible. Living in solo conditions is not suitable to the
socialized nature. With proper introduction procedures, newly
gliders become bonded companions in a rather short time frame.
These new pairs will often breed soon after the introduction.
Q: Do the joeys still nurse once out of the pouch or do they come out to eat
A: Joeys will continue to nurse up to 8 weeks or
Some time between the fifth and sixth week, the joeys may begin
offerings meant for the adult gliders. It is not uncommon to see
a rather young joey tasting an apple or sneaking a lick of
but then return to the mother to nurse. Even though the joeys
are out of pouch, the head can still fit in the pouch to
When you see your joeys beginning to sample regular food
servings, then you
know that the weaning process has begun.
Q: Do the parents leave the babies alone to eat normally?
A: In general, with very young just out of pouch joeys,
will stay with the young while the other goes out of the nest for
nourishment and exercise.
But it is not unusual or uncommon for both parents to leave the
joey(s) unattended for short periods of
time. This is not a sign of abandonment. Allow the parent
adequate time to return to the nest. We will further
discuss abandonment in a future newsletter as itís a full topic
of discussion on
Q: I have a female glider and my friend has a male. How is the best way to breed them?
A: Using male sugar gliders as studs is not really
Male sugar gliders will play a role in child rearing that is beneficial
female glider and to the joey(s). He will help care for the
clean them and babysit when the mother glider needs a break. So
if you bring two gliders together, are you prepared to leave
together for the duration? Allowing them to merely breed and
then subsequently separate them to return to their original
likely put undue and unnecessary strain on the female as the
natural course is for male participation in rearing the young.
Next, if you bring the gliders together and then decide to let
them remain together until the young are fully weaned, you now
bonded colony and separation will be harsh on an emotional level
for all of the sugar gliders involved.
Also, due to the territorial nature of sugar gliders, it is not
advisable to just put two adults together in a cage without advance
and expect it to be love at first sight. Love at first sight is
but so are negative reactions and to see sugar gliders fight is
brutal and promotes increased possibilities of injury and/or
We offered information on introducing sugar gliders in a previous
To read, click here.
The bottom line is that happy and healthy sugar gliders are more likely to have happy and healthy babies.
Setting up more unnatural situations like stud service goes against the nature of this animal and
is to be avoided.
Go to: Part One
Part Two Part
Tune back in next month for a brand new topic. If you have any
questions about breeding or glider health care issues, send them
and we will do our best to include them in a future edition of
the GliderVet Newsletter.
I send my wishes for good health to both you and your sugar gliders. I'll see you again next month!
Dr. C. ... and thanks Deb!
Dr. Janine M. Cianciolo
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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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SunCoast Sugar Gliders
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