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Your resource for safety first, expert
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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
GíDay Glider and Glider Wanna-Be Humans! Welcome to the April issue of the GliderVet Newsletter!
This month we will be discussing two very related topics that we've been asked about a great deal over the last year.
Dr. C will be discussing electrolytes, what they are, what they do
and why they are important in maintaining good health, for gliders and
You may have had a veterinarian or heard of a veterinarian prescribing
Pedialyte to help treat a variety of glider illnesses. Well, now
we will all find out why.
But before we get to Dr. C's contribution this month, Debbie and I
will finally answer one of the most frequently asked questions about a
range of products that are all similar in nature, namely Sugar Glider
Nectar, Nekton, Glider Gold and Glideraid.
We've tried each of these products over time and did our best to
objectively evaluate the qualities of each.
We will present you with our evaluation and suggestions for how these
products should be properly assimilated into a glider's diet.
We chose one above the rest - read on to find out why we were compelled
to go with one brand over the others. Our answer may just surprise you.
Of course, we will be offering another exciting episode of Dear Arnold, featuring none other than
the one-of-a-kind, one-in-a-million, one-foot-too-few, sweetheart-of-a-glider, Arnold T.
Before we get to our feature articles, please remember that this
newsletter is intended to express the wishes of the whole sugar glider
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.
Sugar Glider Nectar or Glideraid?
By Lisa and Debbie
We have received a ton of email asking our opinion on the use of Sugar Glider Nectar, and
similarly branded Glideraid products. We have tried a wide variety of products
in this category, including Nekton, Glideraid, Gliderade, Glider Gold and Sugar
After testing all of these similar products, we found that the taste
tests showed no real preference for any of the previously mentioned.
Each of the formulas was well received.
We compared ingredients in each and found they had a similar base to
Basically these are all high carbohydrate powders that can be used
either as a drink when combined with water (most common usage) or as a
In addition to the high carbohydrate content, we looked at the
ingredients and noted the content of electrolytes included in the
Dr. C will discuss the importance of electrolytes later on.
Veterinarians often prescribe the use of watered down Pedialyte as
part of the treatment for sugar gliders recovering from illness or
surgery because it is loaded with electrolytes.
We've found in our testing that given the choice between diluted
Pedialyte or Sugar Glider Nectar, the gliders distinctly preferred the
taste of the nectar.
Do not take this to mean that we recommend you substitute the usage of
any of these products over a vet's recommendation of
Pedialyte as part of a treatment protocol. We will, however, use
these types of products for specific situations described in more
detail below, and as you will soon see, all of the situations are
"non-medical" in their applications.
We've ultimately chosen to use Sugar Glider Nectar at
SunCoast as the content of ingredients was acceptable to Dr. C and this formulation was quite a bit less expensive than the alternate products we tried.
Why pay more if you don't have to?
Sugar Glider Nectar is used for specific purposes here at SunCoast.
We've found it to be beneficial to the high metabolic needs of sugar
gliders and applications we've
used it for include young gliders, sick gliders, nursing gliders and
We have also received a large amount of community feedback and interest
in products of this nature and many have successfully employed the use
of Sugar Glider Nectar and similar products as an adjunct to a healthy
Let us explain. First and foremost, Sugar Glider Nectar, Glideraid, Nekton, etc. should
not be used as main course offering or as a substitute for
water. If you plan on using this or similar products, we highly
recommend that you limit its use to no more than every other day, and
offer it with a typical balanced meal, plus provide access to fresh
We always offer Sugar Glider Nectar (when using liquid form) in a two
ounce glass watering tube to limit the volume received by each
Two gliders are offered a two-ounce serving (presumably one ounce per
It is rare to find the bottle not completely empty by the next day.
Specific applications employed at SunCoast include an every two to
three day regimen of Sugar Glider Nectar for joey sugar gliders
recently separated from their parents.
We believe that baby gliders benefit from the high carbohydrate formula
that supports the high metabolism of the sugar glider.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for young gliders to have softish
stools from time to time as they are introduced to a variety of new
The added electrolytes can be very beneficial in these circumstances.
Sick sugar gliders that have shown symptoms of diarrhea will benefit
not only from the electrolytes, but also from the addition of more
fluids in the diet.
Here we are referring to gliders showing mild symptoms of diarrhea or
isolated instances of
vomiting. If the symptoms don't clear up within 24 hours, or if
the symptoms are severe, we strongly recommend a visit to the doctor's
Home remedy medication is not advisable with animals as small as
gliders. If they look sick, they may not have much time. When in
doubt, see a doctor always!
Nursing sugar gliders will benefit not only from the addition of
fluids, but from the extra energy supported by the carbohydrates found
in this supplement.
Newly relocated gliders may experience some stress-related diarrhea,
reduced appetites or other symptoms related to acclimation.
How many of you have brought a new sugar glider into your home and all
it seemed to want to do is crab for the first week?
That big noise generated from such a small body seems like it could use
up quite a bit of energy, so an energy booster drink like Sugar Glider
Nectar may be just the ticket.
In addition to offering Sugar Glider Nectar in liquid form, you can
also use as a food sprinkle or licky treat.
We tried it and it's really quite tasty!
Do you have a picky eater on your hands? We've found offering
sugar glider nectar in its dry form sprinkled on top of that food they
just won't eat
transforms the old yucky food into a delectable delight!
For healthy gliders, we recommend using the nectar up to a maximum
of 4 times per week, in other words no more than every other day
The reason we recommend how often Sugar Glider Nectar is offered and
how much is offered (portion control) is because this product and its
similar counterparts all include some variety of additional
We do not believe this is a suitable substitute for regular vitamin
dosages that are given as part of the good dietary plan.
However, some vitamins (and minerals) in excess can be
Additionally, overdosing of vitamins can increase the normal odor of
a sugar glider.
Please keep in mind that portion control with all parts of glider's
plan of nutrition is important and while we like this product very
much, we strongly urge you to use in a manner that is supportive to
Overuse of this or any other type of supplemental formula may be
ultimately harmful to the good health of your
And remember, no drink supplements offered to your sugar glider can
be considered a substitute for clean, fresh water. In addition to
Sugar Glider Nectar, your gliders should also have access to 8 ounces of water, changed daily.
Another Exciting Episode of DEAR ARNOLD
Note: Some of Arnoldís fan mail may be edited cause Arnold wants
some of them to be shorter so he can have more space all to himself!
Yuk Yuk Yuk!
After reading every word on your website, I have gathered you guys
really do care about the
suggies and their well being. With that said, I feel I should
share my special story of how Hoover, our Sugar Glider, came into our
Last Saturday morning I was cleaning out my ShopVac that
had been outside overnight from a neighbor borrowing it. To my
surprise, inside one of the attachment extension tubes was a wet,
disoriented Sugar Glider.
At the time I had heard of them, but could not tell what it was
since it was soaked and freaked out.
I immediately caught the little one and rushed it to an emergency vet
After the vet cleaned her up and gave her an exam, we became the proud
owners of Hoover. Later that day we went to a local pet store and
bought Hoover the biggest cage we could find,
including all the amenities.
She has surprised us on how well she has adapted to us as new owners.
Considering how we found her, she's very tame with a sweet disposition. We simply love her!
Unfortunately, we could not find her original
owners and have no idea about her past. Since we want to make her life as happy as possible,
we think getting her a female buddy seems like the right thing to do.
Wow! That really "sucks" what happened to Hoover! I am
so happy to know that she chose your ShopVac to jump into!
This whole story really blows me away! I hope you are able to
find her the perfect buddy.
I know you been on the speaky device with Lisa about this, and for all
of my loyal fans out there, just remember this Ö if ya need a buddy for
an older glider, you canít just put a baby glider in and
expect it will always go poifectly Ö.
It's always an option to try and find a same-age-glider. Good luck Hoover and fambly!
And Hoovs Babe! I think you are beyoootiful, even if ya hair did get a little mussed
Your buddy, Arnold
It has been brought to my attention (and my "hooman's") that you are
now offering a stuffed sugar glider for purchase. We're
concerned. Please tell us that a distant relative has not
been slaughtered in the name of fun. We's just a tad bit
worry-ed. Mom works hard on the whole glider safety issue (new
commit-tea - SGTA safety
review comings soon) and we's wants to make sure this is a real
toy. Arnold, is there any
fambly resemblances? Please respond. I can't sleep until I know
we're all safe in our snuggly
The Grinch and his mom, Charie
Dearest Grinch and Charie Hooman,
Yukity yukity yuk! Methinks the Arnold T Schwarzenglider action figure
strikes a remarkable resemblance to me ....
Xcept he's a lot bigger than me ... but otherwise looks just like me Ö
Xcept he has all four feet ... heís got my handsome good looks Ö.
Xcept his eyes are always open ... and his fur is not nearly as silky
as mine ... and I think that we both just appeared into the world one
Xcept I was born in a pouch he was born in sumptin' called a factry
.... but I'm glad you thought he was so lifelike that ya had to write
Can't believe I fooled you, Grinch! Yuk yuk yuk!
I did a watercoloring of one of my gliders, Trinity, and wanted to
know if you'd like to use it for the "Glider Art" section of your
Katie, age 15
Wow! What a beyooootiful picture, I had the humans put it right
Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. You are quite
I canít believe you did this and are only 15! Thatís only 2 years
old in glider years Ö. Hehehehehe!
I wish I had so much
talent. But methinks talent does still run in my fambly - stay
tuned next month to hear my cousin, Arnold Osmond, sing his latest hit
single ÖGo Away Little
Donít forget, you can share your short comments or fun questions with
me by clicking here.
Exotic Pet Vet
What Dr. C says .... on Electrolytes
By Dr. C., of course!
Based on several emails weíve received over time, it seems there are many questions concerning electrolytes.
What are they? What do they do? Why are they important? And why may your veterinarian
sometimes suggest a liquid, such as Pedialyte, to replace electrolytes?
To explain electrolytes, we have to consider the body from both a chemical
and biological perspective. Biochemistry is complicated, but we will keep this explanation as simple as possible.
Bodies (yours, your sugar gliderís, your catís, etc.) are composed
of chemicals and those chemicals have electrical charges.
Electrolytes are charged chemicals known as ions. Many are salts
and they can be negatively or positively charged.
Cells use electrolytes to maintain voltages across their membranes
and to carry electric impulses (such as nerve impulses and muscle
The different ion charges (i.e., positive and negative) also are
involved in moving body fluids such as blood and plasma.
Some of the major electrolytes are sodium, potassium, chloride and calcium.
There are other electrolytes, but for the sake of this article, we will focus on these for now.
Organs, such as the kidney, work to keep the electrolyte concentration in the blood constant.
Sodium is a major mineral element in the body. It is often
combined with chloride forming sodium chloride, commonly known as salt.
Sodium is involved in all aspects of cell functioning
and one of the most important jobs it has is to regulate water in the
It does this by changing the permeability of cell membranes.
Basically, it opens and closes gates (like floodgates in a dam),
letting liquid in and out of cells.
In a state of dehydration, there is actually more water than sodium so
water leaves the cells. The cells need sodium to keep the water
In severe dehydration, water leaves the brain cells causing weakness,
confusion and even seizures.
Potassium is a major component inside cells. It is very
important in regulating muscle contractions.
The most important muscle being the heart. Electrolytes,
including potassium, must be maintained in a delicate balance.
For instance, too much potassium can lead to abnormal heart rhythms,
while too little can lead to abnormal rhythms and muscle weakness.
Chloride is also important in maintaining electrical charges in
muscle and nerve cells.
An excessive loss of chloride, which usually occurs at the same time
sodium is lost, can cause the body to become acidic, which disrupts the
normal functioning of tissues and organs.
Calcium is another very important electrolyte. It does more
than just build bones and keep bones strong.
It also plays a major role in nerve impulse and muscle contraction,
facilitates the body's use of energy and certain vitamins, and
acts to stabilize cell membranes.
As you can see, for a body to function in a healthy manner it must be in balance both chemically and electrically.
The electrolytes play a key role in this equation. Many illnesses can cause electrolytes to become unbalanced.
Fixing chemical imbalances is one of the main factors your veterinarian considers every time your glider is treated.
Minor diarrhea and vomiting can cause electrolyte disturbances and
veterinarians will often suggest giving your pet
Pedialyte. This liquid drink helps replenish sodium, chloride and
potassium, as well as replenishing fluid loss.
In severe cases, your vet may hospitalize your glider and administer IO
This means putting fluids into the bone marrow cavity. It is
similar to giving IV (intervenous) fluids, but much easier to
accomplish in small animals.
The type of fluid administered will depend on what was discovered from
a blood profile (a test which measures the concentration of
and provides information concerning liver and kidney function).
Since electrolytes are so important in all aspects of physiology, it
is important you contact your veterinarian as soon as any illness is
It is much easier to
correct or treat imbalances early before they become a life threatening
Tune back in next month for a brand new topic! These topics
are driven by your requests, so send your questions about glider health
by clicking here 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. (Janine M Cianciolo, DVM)
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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
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SunCoast Sugar Gliders
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