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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
Top of the year to you, Glider Groupies! And welcome to the first edition of 2004 GliderVet Newsletter!
We are off and running in year three of this publication and plan on bringing you a terrific lineup in the New Year to come!
This month we will be covering some new topics that will answer two questions that we get asked
continually. First, Debbie and I will be discussing glider odor: How bad is it?
Why do gliders have the smell? Do they always smell? And most importantly, if they do smell, what can you do about it?
Next, you will hear from our resident Sugar Glider Officer, Arnold T.
Tripod) Schwarzen-glider, in another exciting episode of Dear
Arnold! Arnold gets tons of email each month and he would love to
answer each and every one in the newsletter, but we have to hold him
We don’t think you want to get a whole book sent to you each month, so
we stuff mealworms in his mouth to get him to quiet down.
It's hard to speak when you mouth is full, right? Even if your
email does not make it to
the Dear Arnold section of the newsletter, you will still get a
response from our SGO, so feel free to ask the “Wise One” or should we
say “Wise-cracking one” whenever you like!
Last, but not least, our very own Dr. C will begin a two part series
discussing some of the reasons why gliders may lose hair.
As with most health or stress related issues, there is no one clear-cut
So stay tuned and find out what types of conditions can cause glider
Before we jump in, we will briefly cover some “old business”. First off, we showed you some pictures of a new
glider color variation last month and asked for name suggestions on what this variation should be called.
Well, Susan has selected the new name. Drum roll please - this color variation will be known to all humankind as
We also featured an article last month on Raising Breeder Standards. Wow, Glider Lovers!
Thank you for such an overwhelming
response! We received quite a few very good ideas and hope to begin working proactively
with the Worldwide Sugar Glider Network to execute some of those ideas.
If you're not familiar with the WSGN, click
here to check them out. We will keep you updated as we get rolling on some of these suggestions.
The bottom line is this: if lots of people can donate small amounts of time to such efforts, we
positively impact the quality of sugar glider lives everywhere.
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 Odor
By Lisa and Debbie
We often get asked what a sugar glider smells like. Are they as bad as a ferret?
Well, we live with a lot of gliders and can tell you while they do have a smell,
it's not nearly as odiferous (is that a word?!) as the smell of a ferret.
In many cases, sugar gliders will have an unpleasant smell due to diet.
If fed incorrectly or overdosed with vitamins, they will emanate more odor than a well fed glider.
can also make the smell a bit more noticeable, but this is true with many species.
Good cage hygiene can also contribute to the
Let us give you a few guidelines about controlling glider
smell. First off, let’s discuss cage cleaning.
One thing we’ve discovered is that if you clean the whole cage, all the
toys, the sleeping pouches and every other accessory all at the same
time, the gliders will compete with your
cleaning efforts by re-marking. So what we do is split up the
In other words, we only clean the cage one day. Pouches and
sleeping areas are cleaned on another day.
Toys and accessories are cleaned on yet another day. This leaves
at least some familiar scent in the glider habitat and it makes them
feel more secure and less likely to go “overtime” on scent marking
Female gliders and neutered males tend to mark territory less than
That is not to say that the aforementioned don’t mark at all, because
sugar gliders have scent glands capable of some territory
marking. But as we said earlier, with good diet and cage hygiene,
this is not problematic for most people.
Intact males have very dominant scent glands that develop upon
They are quite obvious as one gland appears as a “bald spot” on top of
the head and a second gland appears on the sternum (on the chest right
under the neck).
Intact male gliders may also be inclined to urine mark. Like many
male animals, they seem to have the ability to conjure up something
“extra smelly” when they are in the process of marking territory.
Many people ask if they spray, as a male cat would. Sugar gliders
don’t really spray.
For lack of
a better word, it’s more like a "dribble", but it’s urine marking
Now we are well aware that all of us humans have different tolerance
levels for smell.
Sugar gliders make terrific pets for the right households, and for some
folks the “smell factor” is the final decision on whether gliders
should become part of your family or not.
Here at SunCoast, we are constantly on the hunt for new and effective products for sugar glider use.
We try and find “best of class” in all of our product offerings, with safety as a number one measure of quality.
And along with safety, we try to balance good pricing along with reliable availability.
Well, for the last couple of years we have been bringing you such a
product sold under the name of Premira, designed to help eliminate
sugar glider odor.
Premira also used to be sold under the name of Elimina and is a product
that has been successfully used to help and control/eliminate sugar
Much to our displeasure, the company that was making Premira has gone
out of business.
So we had to get busy and try to find a product that that was at least
effective as Premira (Elimina) was.
This has been no easy task! We’ve contacted quite a few pet odor
control product manufacturers to ask them to send over their best
available formulas for sugar gliders.
Well, not suprisingly, no one really makes a product specific for
gliders. So we tried products for ferrets, small mammals and
birds, plus a
few companies even made up special batches of stuff! But nothing
came close to Premira.
Well, lo and behold, as we were searching, we received an email from
two of our favorite community members, Marc and Suzanne of Washington
They had found a product that they were thrilled with and thought we
should check it out!
So we did. And thanks to Marc and Suzanne, not only have we been
able to procure a product as good as Premira,
in many ways
it's quite superior!
The product is called Clean+Green and it’s completely safe to use around children and
pets. Unlike Premira, which worked by spraying on the sugar glider’s food,
Clean+Green Odor Neutralizer is a 3-in-1 odor eliminator, fabric and air freshener.
Before I go into more details on this new product, I’d like to share a rather funny personal story.
All products that are tested with our sugar gliders must meet with
our vet’s approval before we will actually use it with any critter.
In the meantime, my sixteen year old cat had decided that urinating
right next to the litter box was now just as fine as actually going in
the litter box.
Holy Cow! We have 200 pairs of sugar gliders and I think the
smell of this one cat’s urine could outdo all of the sugar gliders put
Well, I just happened to have the “new product” sitting on my desk,
so without haste I sprayed it all around the cat box. After a
brief minute or two, the disgusting odor went from Pee-U, to a slightly
peppermint smell to nothing!
I mean nothing as in the smell of just pure, fresh, clean air!
After having tried an abundance of products while searching for the Premira replacement,
Clean+Green Odor Neutralizer went
immediately to the top of the
list. Not only is it the best recommendation we can give you to
control glider odors, but many other odors you may encounter in your
home as well.
Clean+Green Odor Neutralizer is a 100% food grade product with NO
disclaimers for use around small animals, children or even people with
allergies - and it costs less per ounce than Premira (Elimina) or
PureAyre. To get the full scoop on this terrific product,
Another Exciting Episode of …. DEAR ARNOLD
Some of Arnold’s 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!
I saw a suggestion on another website to use a product called “Better Bitters” to help stop gliders from biting.
do you think?
Hehehehe! That’s my mommy tree’s name too! Now to your question
... that is about the dumbest, stoopiest thing I ever heard!
Ahem ….. Arnold ... Lisa, your mommy tree, here ... and what did I tell
you about being so
rude? It is not nice to say stuff like that to
humans - we can get our feelings hurt too you know. Perhaps you
can explain why you think it’s a bad idea, but no more insults, OK?
I sowwy! OK! Let me 'splain to you why this idea is stoopid
… er sowwy again … I mean just
"not right". Us suggies get to know who our hooman friends are by
going snffff, snffff ….
see, we get to know you by your smell. Now me knows a lot of
things about lots of stuff.
For instance, some peoples will use Better Bitters on their hands to
stop ferrets from nibbling on the hooman fingers … works for ferrets
maybe … NOT works for suggies.
The whole idea is really distasteful! Literally! Why would
ya want to make yersef not appealing to gliders and smell different
when that is how we get to know ya?
See what I mean? Try an experiment if ya don’t believe me.
Pick out sumptin that you think smells good … methinks you calls it
Arnold, Lisa here again, I think you mean cologne?
Yeah, whatever! Cologne. Spray some on yerself, then handle your
They will HATE you for it! Well, hate might be a strong word, but
we won’t know who you are and will treat you like a stranger and fuss
and crab and guess what?
Maybe me more likely to bite!
Here’s the scoop Mates: not all stores really give a hoot about sugar gliders.
As for stores that tell ya stuff like this, methinks they don’t care. Same goes for stores that sell glider leashes …
for more about that see here ... or stores that sell heat rocks
for gliders … see here.
If ya really luv yer gliders, then buy their goodies from companies that luv yer gliders too.
There are lots of them out there and of course me little store ONLY sells stuff that’s good for me fine fuzzy
Lisa, me really is sowwy for being so hard on ya. It just makes me hoppin mad to hear stuff like
this! If ya wanna know how to help with biting stuff, then click
here to read me past article called “love bites”. Maybe that will help ya solve yer problem.
With all my love, and I do mean it cuz you have my mommy’s name too!
Well, That’s all Blokes! Tune in again next month for another exciting episode of Dear Arnold!
Don’t forget, you can share your short
comments or fun questions with
me by clicking here.
Exotic Pet Vet
What Dr. C Says On...Glider Hair Loss - Part I (Part II here)
By Dr. C., of course!
I’ve received quite a lot of emails over the last couple of years asking why gliders sometimes lose their hair.
This can be a somewhat complicated topic, as many different issues can contribute to hair loss.
I will give you some of the reasons why this may occur. As you may recall from
a previous issue of the GliderVet Newsletter, some signs (such as hair loss) can be indicative of a wide variety of health-related issues.
First off, the condition of an animal’s coat and skin can often reflect
the status of that animal’s health.
Sugar gliders who are sick often have flat looking fur. “Bright
eyed and bushy tailed” is an old saying that applies well to sugar
If a glider looks sick, I can pretty much guarantee the animal is sick.
Now let’s get to some of the reasons why hair loss can occur with
My first question to any client who has a glider that is losing its fur
would be to examine the diet.
Poor diet and / or the lack of certain vitamins and minerals could
certainly contribute to hair loss.
Let me give you a case in point on how much diet can affect the
appearance of an animal’s coat.
While this example does not directly relate to the loss of fur, it is
an excellent example of just how much diet can affect coat appearance.
Back in the days when Debbie and Lisa were doing some limited rescue
work, they encountered an individual that needed approximately 20
The woman who owned these gliders was convinced that she had some
rather special and rare color variations in her breeding colony.
Lisa and Debbie made the arrangements to find a new home for this
colony and one of the more interesting looking gliders came back to
After getting the glider transferred over to the diet plan used at
SunCoast, the “multi colored” coat on the glider started to even out and appear more typically gray.
Now Butterscotch is as normal (and healthy) looking as one would expect a glider to be.
Needless to say, the previous owner of these gliders had a poor diet plan.
Part of what they were fed was Raviol-O’s. I don’t think I need to tell you again
this just is not the appropriate type of food for a sugar glider.
I’ve heard speculation in the glider keeper community that hair loss
attributed to a thyroid condition. While it is true that in many
species, endocrine conditions (a thyroid condition is a type of
endocrine problem) can cause hair loss, there has been little to no
research yet conducted on these diseases in sugar gliders.
Research and laboratory values for thyroid and other hormones must
first be initiated and results evaluated before such claims can be
Now that we’ve laid some initial groundwork on this topic, we will continue this article next month.
We will discuss more possible causes for hair loss in adult gliders as well as joeys.
We will also discuss some of the types of tests that your veterinarian may perform to properly diagnose the condition.
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 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!
(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
GliderVet newsletter, please send them here.
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SunCoast Sugar Gliders
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