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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
Efprosdektos! This is welcome from the land of the Olympics. But if you ask Arnold, he said it just sounds like Greek to him.
We are especially pleased to (finally) be bringing you this month's
issue of the GliderVet newsletter.
As many of you know, we are located in St. Petersburg, FL and recently
anticipated the arrival of Hurricane Charley.
We were more fortunate than our neighbors to the south as Charley
actually made landfall about 1.5 hours away from us.
We thank all of you who have taken the time to write and call us
wishing us well during this event.
Our area was completely unaffected by this monster storm and we know
you join us in sending best wishes to those who were not so
You'd be surprised how long it takes to "un-hurricane", it's actually
quite a bit of work!
This month we will continue our behind the scenes at some of the realities of being a sugar glider breeder.
If you missed the first two parts on this topic, click here
and here to catch up.
Next, in the spirit of the Summer Olympics, Arnold will be talking a
bit about his adventures at the Glider-lympics and will also unveil a
brand new service offered by Suncoast Sugar Gliders by direct decree
from the man (errr
Chief Executive Glider) himself.
Well, it's not really a new service, but one most people don't know we
This month Dr C will also complete her topic on putting heavy gliders
on a diet to lose weight.
To catch up on Part I on this discussion, click
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.
Becoming a Sugar Glider Breeder - Part III (Part 1
By Lisa and Debbie
For the last two months, we've shared with you some of the insider
realities of being a sugar glider breeder.
This month, we will discuss exit strategies. In other words, how
will you choose to get out of the business when the time comes.
If you missed the first two parts on this topic, click here
and here to catch up.
Consider in advance what events would trigger you leaving the
No matter how much you love sugar gliders, there will be a point in
your life when you will choose not to breed them anymore.
The very small hobby breeders should not really have issues here as its
easy to have the male gliders neutered and enjoy your gliders for the
rest of their lives as members of the family. However, as the breeding
operation gets larger, the solution to get out of the business of
breeding gets more challenging.
In an ideal world, it would be great if you could plan the timing of
getting out of the breeding business.
Unfortunately life doesn't always work that way. Consider what
you would do if you were to become critically ill or injured.
Do you have someone who can step in and care for your animals in the
You should also consider what would happen if sugar gliders were
suddenly banned because of some unknown disease that was
I know this all may sound a bit far fetched to you, but is it
really? Do you remember the monkey pox scare last year?
While this predominately affected the resale of prairie dogs, it could
have easily have affected sugar gliders and other species as well.
We have frequent discussions here at SunCoast concerning the
development of our exit strategy and if we had a fully developed plan,
we would gladly share that with you now.
Our intention is to be here for a very long time and we do have backup
personnel able to manage our breeding operation at the drop of a hat.
This is a fun and rewarding business for those who approach it with
eyes wide open and are prepared for the realities of what it all
entails. We are always happy to share our "insider" tips with you at
any time. If you think
breeding gliders is something that you would like to do, even after
reading all of the negative issues we've brought up in this series,
then go for it!
We'd like to share one more parting thought about breeding gliders. DON"T NAME the babies!
If you do, they will be much harder to part with. After all, bonding works both ways.
It can be really easy to start off thinking that you are going to be a breeder and ending up being a collector.
SPECIAL NOTICE: For a limited time only, we will be offering a few
of our established breeding pairs to small breeders.
We cautioned you earlier to make sure you know what you are getting and
we will share complete backgrounds on any pairs we offer for
Why are we doing this? We are embarking on an experimental project
to try colony breeding with four females to one male.
We have tested trio breeding over the years with good success only if
the colony grew up together.
Older gliders do not colonize as well and "joey robbing" takes place
under those conditions.
So it will take us at least two years to gather enough data to
determine how well larger colonies co-exist.
We are hoping that this type of breeding will naturally slow the
female's production rates, thus extending their overall life span,
health and well being.
Wish us luck and contact us if you have an interest in acquiring some
of our breeder
pairs. The email address for inquiries on this is:
Sorry, no longer available.
Going for the Gold: Finding the Best Glider Products ===========================================
Sowwy mates, I'm not here to bwing you another exciting episode of
Dear Arnold this month.
You see, I am attending the Glider-lympics right now, so me is sending
you a special report that I call Goin for da Gold!
I also wanna talk to ya about a new service that me is offering free to
all of my fans out there in Glider-Land called Ask
Arnold: finding Gold Medal products for your sugar gliders. But
first, I will share with you a few of the highlights going on at
I'm sure its obvious to all that us glidees exceed at many
Glider-lympic events like high jump, long jump, high dive and all
Ya already know bout these sports, so I'm gonna tell ya about few of my
faves that maybe ya dunno about.
First off, the 100 yard crash! This exciting event features those
long distance gliders who try and go 300 feet or more in a single
And while us suggies are quite agile, graceful and fast, we tend to
land with a splat
hence the crash part.
Next, one of me best personal sports is the Snatch and Jerk. This
involves strength, dexterity and a whole lotta mealworms!
The next event is one that many gliders overachieve and its called
Here style points are awarded for a good wrist flick, amount of
gobblety gook tossed, and symmetry of the wall splatter.
But my favorite of all Glider-lympic sports is Synchonized Gliding.
Here's a picture of me practice squad warming up for the finals coming
soon, click here!
Alrighty then, mates .. now that ya know what me has been up to , lemme
tell ya bout me new service.
Well, its not really new cuz we've been doing this all along as a top
secret, double silent, hardly known at all til now service called Ask
We've been doin this lots with our customers who buy baby gliders from
us and I asked my Glider Gang, "Why aren't we doing this for
And my Gang responded
we dunno????". Ya see,
that is why I'm the Chief Executive Glider and they are merely my
helpers. What WOOD they do without me?
Here's how Ask Arnold works. When you are busy shopping for your
gliders, and you are not sure about a particular thang or two, just
send a link to what you want an opinion on to:
One of me helpers will get back to you with a fair and unbiased
review of that product.
Of course, ya know that I luvs it when you buys stuff from me little
But there are other little ole stores that has some good stuff
to. I can promise ya that me staff will not pester you to buy my
We often send folks to other sites where we know they has stuff we
don't. This is just like the Santy Claws in me favorite movie,
that ole classic, Miracle on 34th St.
If Macy's didn't have exactly what someone was looking for, Santy would
send them to another store down the street! Heheheheh
I think that is
What I look for in products is this: First and foremost, it must be safe for suggies.
Then its gotta be fun for suggies. And its gotta be a good value for the hoomans who love the suggies.
And that's that.
Now lemme tell ya bout stuff you need to know when buying suggie stuff.
We have lots of peoples we talk to that go out and buy a bunch of things from a place called Pet Store.
Pet Store doesn't sell suggies, doesn't know suggies BUT still say they have good suggie stuff.
how do they know? Lots of folks come home with oodles of stuff for ferrets!
Well listen up ferret breath, a well bred sugar glider has no
bizness hanging out in a weasel abode.
Ferrets are gigantic and we suggies are tiny. Back in the olden
days before gliders decided to live with hoomans, there wasn't much
so the hoomans had to make do with what was out there.
But now there are many products made just for sugar gliders.
Here's anutter of me favorite stories for you. Goes like this
and chinchilla stuff is too big!
Hamster stuff is too small. Sugar glider stuff is just right.
Be wary of companies that offer stuff that is known to be unsafe for
Let me give you a few X-Zamples. Sugar glider leashes and
harnesses are not only unpleasant for gliders, but could hurt the ole
patagium (gliding membrane).
Food and treats that contain nuts and seeds not a good idea
either. Nuts are too high in fat for us and seeds!
Yikes! Do we look like birds to you? Birds have a special
thing in their body that helps digest seeds.
We don't have that same gullet thing and should NOT be given seeds at
all. Heat rocks are anutter thing we get asked about a lot and they can
burn a glider really bad and should not be used.
If someone is trying to sell ya stuff like this, my advice - don't buy
OK, now I don't want ya to think Ask Arnold is just a service to
warn you from bad things, but we can also help you find good
One thing we do a lot is help people who want to build their own cages.
We can help you find good sources to buy the materials and give you
advice on how to go about making a good cage.
Some people really want cages made of PVC or vinyl coated wire (see
PVC warning here).
Like the powder coated cages I have in me store, these are also good
cages for gliders and many companies that sell them build them
We don't really build stuff here, but we know who the good companies
are that do and if ya need to know more,
Ta ta for now and I'll be back next month with another exciting episode of "Dear Arnold".
The Gold Medal Gentleman
Exotic Pet Vet
What Dr. C Says On... Putting Sugar Gliders On A Diet II
by Dr. C., of course!
For those of you who missed the beginning of our discussion on overweight gliders and encouraging weight loss, please
click here to read Part I of this
And now, as promised, we will proceed into some of the specifics of
things you can do to help your glider maintain a healthy weight.
Let's take the easiest diet scenario first. Once you are sure
that the cage is large enough and toys are glider appropriate, if all
the gliders in the cage are overweight, then you need to cut back on
your meal portions.
This is rather uncomplicated if the weight problem is universal.
If your gliders are breeding, you want to balance your fruit and veggie
servings and your protein servings in accordance with my recommended
dietary guidelines found
here. The protein level should account
for 45-50% of the total food intake.
If you find that this level supports the females weight level well, but
the male is getting fat, then cut back on the food you leave in the
cage and give extra protein to the female outside of the cage.
Don't just hand feed her while in the cage as she may have a cage mate
inclined to steal food.
Separate her away from the male so that she can get the extra nutrition
that her body requires.
If your sugar gliders are non-breeding, then approximately 35% protein
should be sufficient.
Now let's jump back to our case study from last month. In this
cage, Janine is severely overweight at 185 grams.
Buddy is slightly overweight at nearly 200 grams. Naomi is the
perfect picture of health at 120 grams and Arnold is a bit on the
scrawny side at 105 grams.
A common question we get asked here at SunCoast is how much should a
Well, unfortunately there is no clear-cut answer to this. You
see, just as people weight ranges are best targeted based upon height
and frame structure, sugar glider weight ranges should also be
determined based upon build.
You might notice that I said Buddy is only slightly overweight yet
he weighs more than Janine by 15 grams.
He is a large glider with a significantly larger bone structure than
any of the others he lives with. My best advice to you in determining a
suitable weight for your glider is to find a veterinarian familiar with
The sugar glider Buddy is a solid glider. Janine, on the other
hand, has a softer feel to her body mass.
The best way I can describe this to you in ordinary terms is that she
feels as if she has no muscle tone.
This is a sign of obesity. Additionally she has obvious rolls of
fat under her chin.
She looks fat and a healthy sugar glider should not look fat.
Here is the regimen I've asked Lisa and Debbie to follow in feeding
this cage of gliders.
They are to give a base meal with minimal portions comprised of one
fresh fruit or vegetable per night and 35% low fat protein.
A single glider serving will be set in the normal feeding area.
This feeding station will be Janine's.
A second feed station will be set up in another part of the cage with
the other three gliders portions set up accordingly.
During playtime, Buddy, Arnold, and Naomi will be selectively hand
fed, in accordance with their weight needs.
Arnold and Naomi will be allowed to eat as much via the hand feeding as
they choose to as both of these gliders seem to burn off their calories
with exercise and do not have weight problems.
Buddy will be allowed a standard portion. Due to the fact he is
larger than most gliders, this should help him lose a little bit of
Janine will not be hand fed any additional foods except for maybe a
small occasional treat that is low in
calories. Most people keep two sugar gliders.
If you have one that is at a good weight and one that is chubby, then
follow a similar plan as this one.
In addition, the cage has been re-arranged to better accommodate exercise.
There have been two large Wodent Wheels
in the cage for some time now and with four gliders, they all take
turns in the wheels.
Janine will sit in the wheel, however, and let the others push her
So I've suggested to go with three wheels in the cage to see if Janine
won't be encouraged to actually use the wheel and get some badly needed
It will be interesting to see how this test pans out.
Also, pay attention to the caloric count of the foods you are
Many people feed nuts to gliders. I do not recommend nuts, as I
believe they are too high in fat.
My advice is to eliminate such items from the diet. Another food
that can contribute to obesity is honey in the diet.
Lisa and Debbie used to mix up honey with some cereal with boiled eggs
for a protein meal.
They've discontinued using honey quite awhile back in favor of less
caloric apple juice.
They discovered that the whole colony of breeding gliders seemed to be
gaining too much weight.
This one simple change helped normalize average weights to a more
Also, protein items can tend toward high caloric values. Remember to keep the fat level low.
This is why I recommend items like chicken and eggs and to avoid items like beef and pork.
Mealworms should be given in moderate amounts as well. If you follow my recommended diet
you will see that I recommend mealworms no more than twice per
If you are feeding 5-10 mealworms each and every day that single issue
alone could be the contributing factor to glider weight problems as
mealworms are a bit fatty.
I hope this information helps you develop a more healthful dietary plan
for your sugar gliders.
It really boils down to part knowledge and part common sense.
Each animal is an individual and will have genetic predisposition and
varying metabolic rates requiring somewhat individual attention.
If you are successful in maintaining your pets at healthy weights, you
can expect them to live a longer and happier life!
As always, these topics are driven by your requests, so send your questions about glider health care issues
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
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SunCoast Sugar Gliders
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