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Your resource for safety first, expert
advice on our sugar glider friends!
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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
Ahhh February! Love is in the air!
Have you hugged your glider today?
Or more accurately, has your glider hugged you today? Love is
enjoying it when your glider gives you one of those giant face
Hopefully you have a Nail-O-Matic for your gliders' manicure needs, because face hugs with nails can feel a bit painful.
Welcome to this month's issue of the GliderVet
This issue marks four years worth of news, fun, and community education
concerning all topics sugar glider.
Four years! In order to pay appropriate homage to this momentous
event, let us take a moment to reflect on the immortal words of one of
Arnold's great ancestors as spoken during the Glidersburg
"Four years and seven scores ago, our marsupials
brought forth to this continent a new notion, conceived in Liberty and
dedicated to the proposition that all gliders are created superior!"
Four years! It doesn't seem that long to us. But as they say, time glides when you're having fun.
So what fun do we have lined up this month? We'll start off with some fun
pictures submitted by Photoshop jockey Jonathan McCullough, click
here to see them.
Then we offer some guidelines for cleaning your
Can you clean the cage too much? Read on to find the
Arnold liked his expanded role last month so much he's insisted on some
space this month. So next up for an extended yak is the yakster
of all yaksters, our own resident expert and Chief Executive Glider,
Arnold, presenting another exciting episode of Dear Arnold.
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.
Cleaning Sugar Glider Cages
It's important to keep your pets' cage clean at all times.
Not only will this help to further the good health of your sugar
gliders, but will also help to reduce any noticeable odors that you may
experience from keeping sugar gliders.
The question of how often should you clean your glider's cage is not
really cut and
dried. You see, it really depends on several factors,
particularly how large is the cage and how many animals inhabit the
The larger the cage and fewer the animals, the less you need to clean
it. But for the sake of this article, let's take the example of
an average size habitat.
To refresh your memory, a minimum size glider cage should be at
least 3 feet high and two and a half to three feet wide.
This seems to be a generally accepted standard amongst top glider
keepers and meets with most state requirements for minimal size
Please keep in mind here that we are using the word minimal as opposed
to recommended size.
I personally keep my family fuzzbutts in a cage quite a bit larger than
Our breeding sugar gliders are also in cages larger than this and have
access to floor to ceiling playpens.
I mention this here as several well-intentioned folks have questioned
our compliance with State of Florida regulations, which
embrace legal minimum limits for cage size substantially larger than
here. However, this newsletter is received not only across the
United States, but around the world and it is our intention to provide
you with information that is most universally applicable and fairly
represents the common consensus.
Here's the cleaning schedule we follow at Suncoast:
* Food dishes and water bottles - Wash daily in hot water and dish detergent (we use Dawn)
* Cages - wipe down the wires every couple of days
* Bedding - in most of our cages we use newspaper, we freshen this every three days
* Toys - we wash them as needed. You can tell when they have glider-do buildup.
These we soak in Scooter's Choice, rinse well and return to use.
Items like Wodent Wheels, we oil with vegetable oil to keep them rust free.
Just use a modest amount of oil.
* Complete cage cleaning - we have a lot of extra cages on hand
which makes this process easier for us.
We perform this chore at least quarterly. We take the cages
outdoors (easy to manage in Florida year
round.) We spray them down generously with Scooter's Choice and
let them sit for ten minutes.
Then we hose them down thoroughly and let them dry in the sun.
Most people don't have extra cages, so if you start in the morning, the
cages should be ready to put back in use within a couple of
The gliders typically won't mind sleeping in a bonding pouch until the deed is done.
Now this is important! We don't clean everything on the same
day! We will let the gliders keep their sleeping pouches or nest box
"as is" until another day.
The reason is because if everything is washed thoroughly at once, the
gliders may not recognize it as their territory any longer.
Gliders do seem to rely heavily upon their sense of smell to determine
home base as well as other gliders in the colony.
If you clean everything at once, the gliders may go overtime on marking
to make the habitat smell like "home" again.
So split the cleaning duties up over time. If you don't, you
might find that you will have more smell than less smell after all the
cleaning is done.
Do your cleaning in a rotation because you CAN clean too much at one
Here's an idea we want to share from Chuck and Chip, Buffy, Hippolyta and Rebekah:
I ran across something that I thought might be of use to glider
A local Sears is going out of business, and I wandered over there the
other evening, looking for tools and whatnot at 50% off. While there, I
spotted something called a "Steam Shark", which I dimly (my usual state
of mind) recalled seeing advertised on
Hmmm, I thought. Just the thing for cleaning my grill.
And the countertops in the kitchen (an old fashioned textured style,
which drives me nuts as I'm sure the texture folds contain hiding
places for bacteria.
I can never get it clean enough.)
So I bought it ($51.72 after the going out of business discount),
and had fun wandering the house spraying things.
The foyer, where the huge German Shepherd stands guard (when he's not
Part of the counter-top. The linoleum floor of my downstairs
My shower stall … I spent some time chasing a soap-bar fragment around
with the pressure and steam, until it finally dissolved (I'm easily
I was quiet impressed with the steam pressure and staying power … I
must have done 40 minutes of spraying and it was still going
VERY hot steam, just as advertised, with quite a bit of pressure behind
it (do NOT let kids fool with this thing like a super-soaker.
It IS dangerous.
Then … It occurred to me! Glider Cages!
Our usual method is to keep them wiped down as best we can, then
load them up in my old K-Blazer truck, and take them over to the local
car wash when we can.
This is not good, as it's time consuming. Even as big as the
truck is, I can only get one cage at a time in them (we have big
cages), and there is a definite reluctance to mess with this during a
But this gadget looks like it would be perfect. It's portable,
so it should be easy to move the cages to the driveway, soap 'em with
the regular hose, steam 'em again and bring 'em inside.
I think I should be able to do two cages in half an hour, to a
cleanliness standard that satisfies me.
It's electric, but that's not a problem, as I have long extension cords
… but I think that once it heated up, based on the length of time it
takes to cool down you could even be free of an outlet, if
It will get it's first test Saturday. I think it will be perfect,
from what I've seen so far.
Thanks for the tip Chuck and Chip, Buffy, Hippolyta and
Rebekah! We too keep a steam cleaner on hand and it is a great
way to get into those cracks and crevices for a really good deep
Some people like this approach as well because it can be done chemical
It may also save the hassle of bringing cages outdoors and will dry
quickly to get the cage back in operation
ASAP. This can be a very valuable tip for those who have built in
custom cages or cages too large to pass through doors in the
You may want to put a tarp underneath to catch drips and other gunk
that will drop as a result of steam cleaning.
We also employ the use of a pressure washer. Some of our cages at the
sugar shack are custom built PVC-coated cages (see PVC warning here).
Our floor to ceiling playpens are made of this fabric as well.
Using Scooter's Choice and a pressure washer, we feel that we can do a
great job getting rid of the oily buildup on the cages.
This may be helpful for those who have a lot of cages, but for the
average glider keeper, a hose with a good spray nozzle will do the
Some other interesting suggestions we've heard over the years
include putting the cage in the back of a pickup truck and going to the
neighborhood self car wash.
This is a great tip for those who live in condos or apartments where
washing right in your own yard is not a good option.
And a few of our subscribers have told us that they actually clean
their cages in the shower!
We have one last tip to offer on how to control odor in between washings.
On a daily basis I walk by all my cages on a "Clean+Green
This is a very, very safe and very effective product to use often as an
Do not confuse this with a disinfecting type product like Scooter's
Choice, but rather as something to control unpleasant smells as
I mist the cage area each day, spray the inside of the Wodent Wheels (I
find a lot of odor is held here), I spray the outside of the sleeping
pouches (while the gliders are asleep inside) and any other toys,
branches, etc that may be odor catchers.
Upon spraying, you will smell a different smell for a few moments as
the odor eating enzymes go to work.
You may also detect a faint hint of peppermint. But after a few
minutes, this should all give way to the smell of just pure clean air.
Clean cages not only support the well being of happy healthy sugar gliders, but clean cages also go a long way to keeping humans
Another Exciting Episode of … DEAR ARNOLD
Note: 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!
And now … for more "thinking outside of the pouch" advice … here's
I only have 2 gliders. Is the cage I ordered "overdoing it?"
Could you recommend an appropriate size?
Also, the smell of the 2 rascals is aggravating my hubby. Is
there a spray I could get that may help the odor yet not harm the
One is a male and is not fixed, would fixing him help the odor? (the
glider silly, not my husband!!)
Yikes! Is your glider broken? Is that why you want him
fixed? And if your husband gets broke, will you get him fixed
Me really must admit that I don't have clue what you are talking about.
Pssst … Arnold, Lisa here. Fixing is another term for neutering.
Ahhhhh! Thanks Lees for clearing that up. I was confused
for a moment.
Okey Dokey then, now to yer answer. First, you can't get a cage
Big is good. Small is bad! But ya need big cage with small
bars, cuz big and big is bad, but big and small is good!
And well, methinks Lisa already covered the smelly thing in her news today.
But getting yer boy fixed (that's a funny word) will help too.
Mr GoodStench …. Arnold
I am a new Glider mom, I have a male Joey approx 9 weeks OOP. I
have a question regarding glider dreams, yes, I know that sounds
strange. Loki (my joey) seems to have dreams, like dogs or cats,
while he is asleep.
I'd like to know if this is normal behavior or if this may be a medical
Yesterday I was holding him while he was asleep, and he partially opened his eyes and twitched alot but was
limp at the same time and it scared me, I placed him back on his blanket carefully and he chirped and woke up.
I am worried that this may be seizure. He does tremble from time to time, although I associated that with being
woken up when he wasn't ready. There is no other abnormal behavior I have noticed, so I thought I would ask you.
Could you please enlighten me as to whether or not I should worry.
Cheryl & Loki
Dear Cheryl and Loki,
You've come to the right place, toots! It must be normal 'cuz
I do it
to sometimes. If yer little fellar is otherwise doing good with
everything else, we do kind of twitch sometimes when we dream.
We can also do another normal thing fer us which I heard a hewman call
possum". We get all limp and relaxed and even though ya pick us
up, we stay limp and asleep.
Then ALL OF A SUDDEN we wake up. But the ALL OF A SUDDEN part
might take a couple of minutes to happen.
If this stuff only happens from time to time and isn't sumptin he does
all the time, methinks he's just
Maybe he's dreamin' of become a great aviator like me great uncle (and
he was really really great), Igor
And jes remember that deep philosophical quote from that mega movie Flashdance … "when yer lose yer dreams, ya die".
So keep on dreamin'!
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.
Arnold T Schwarzenglider … signing off … I approve of this message!
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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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Viva La Glider!
SunCoast Sugar Gliders
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© CopyRight 2006 SunCoast Sugar Gliders
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