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GliderVet # 68: Should cages be covered?; Are sugar gliders messy?; Do gliders Make Noise?; Rare Colored Gliders Available

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GliderVet Newsletter
Your resource for safety first, expert
advice on our sugar glider friends!
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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter

Greetings Glider Groupies, Glider Newbies and Glider Wanna-bes!
Welcome to the October 07 edition of the GliderVet News.  Arnold has been decked out all month in his spooktacular October attire.  Along with Arnold, we wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween.

This month weíre going to talk about our messy, noisy little friends.  OR are they really all that?  Read on to see how gliders compare to other pets in both the noise and mess departments.

Weíll share another exciting episode of Dear Arnold, as our favorite marsupial reaches into his mailbag to answer another commonly asked question.

In addition, weíll present to you several opportunities to acquire some of those highly sought after, rare colored sugar gliders.  Weíll give you a brief list of sugar gliders available from SunCoast, as well as two other breeders.  This is all part of our efforts to expand the cooperativeness amongst breeders.    And finally, be sure to get a head start on the holidays and check out our newest holiday toy for your favorite fuzzbutts.  Now, are you ready to glide on in?

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 questions.  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.


Dear Arnold:
Should Sugar Glider Cages be Covered?                   
By Arnold

Hey Arnold,

Do you guys sell cage covers like they have for bird cages?  I think I need to keep my little guys covered up.  What say ye, Great Glider Guru?  Terri

Dear Terri,

Well, uh, no we donít sell any cage covers.  Me donít thinks you really need a cage cover.  And Miss Peeple Person, me wants you to know that a whole lotta other peeps have asked me about this too.  So let me 'splain.

Ya donít wanna cover us in the day, cuz we need to know its light out so we knows its time to sleep.  Now at me house here in Florida, Mum keeps my room dark at night.  The only light on is the big TV thingy.  We watch a lot of stuff that looks like flat animals to me. They donít seem to be able to come out of the TV thingy box, which suits me just fine, 'cuz some of 'em look pretty feroshus.

Now Iíve heard if your house is lit up a lot at night, that some peeps do cover the cages at night so its dark in the cage while the peeple lights are still on.  That way me fellow fuzzbutts will come out to play more, cuz we wonít if thereís too much light.  But if ya do this, Terri, donít use terry cloth!  Ya wanna use a cover made from sumptin that wonít snag to our little claws.  That could hurt us real bad.

And other peeps will cover the sugar glider habitats on one side only. This will prevent us from splattering food over the wall, which is a bummer that anyone would try and suppress our creative expression, but thatís how it goes sometimes.

But covers just for the sake of covers?  Nah, ya donít really need it. Some folks have asked if this will be good to prevent draftiness.  To that I say, move the cage boy!  Donít keeps us near drafts.  The question is not about using a cover, but rather about putting our home in the right location that is warm enough and not drafty.  See?

Love Arnold


How Messy are Sugar Gliders?
by Lisa 

On a scale of 1-10, with my nephew being an 11, I will give the sugar gliders a rating of 4 on the mess-o-meter.  And seeing that you probably donít know my nephew, Iíll try and give you a better description of the types of messes to expect with sugar gliders.

In comparison to birds, sugar gliders are not that bad.  Birds will throw seeds and food, lose feathers, spill water and sometimes make their poops outside of the boundary of the cage.

Sugar gliders will also throw food, but you can minimize that a couple of ways.  One way is to feed them lower in the cage; another is to use a feeding dish with an extended arm that sits more in the center of the cage.  And some people have made their own feed dish covers by using plastic food storage containers cut out on one side as a dining room entrance with a weighted food dish situated on the cage bottom.  Not only will this help minimize food mess, but it will help to prevent potty in the food as well (unless your gliders sit on the feed dish while they go, which some will do).

I tend to feed my gliders up high with food dishes that clip on the side of the cage.  I find the mess is nothing that a quick sweep up in the AM won't take care of.

Sugar gliders also tend to contain their potty habits to the cage interior as well.  Gliders do not ďsprayĒ, but rather dribble when urinating.  Over the years, Iíve met a small handful of males that will try their best to spray.  These have all been intact males who are more alpha in personality.  I have not seen similar behavior with females, neutered males or non-breeding intact males.  But of the ones who do try, they do not have much success getting past the cage perimeter.  I have only met one that actually could do it, and I think in most situations, there will be that special overachiever that will defy that which we typically know about glider behavior.

Other than food and potty issues, sugar gliders are not typically too messy.  Iíve met a few over the years that will reach down and pull up bedding material and relocate it (either inside or outside the cage).  Iíve also met a few that will pull up newspaper from beneath bottom grills and tear it up and use it for nesting material.  But again, these are exceptional situations and not typical of the average glider.

For gliders that have extreme tendencies toward gathering nesting material, I offer them safer and cleaner alternatives.  We get a lot of fleece scraps from the company that produces our sleeping / bonding pouches.  Iíve found this works well for nesting material.  I just toss a handful of 1" x 6"fleece strips into the habitat and let the gliders decorate away!  There are certainly other safe products to use for nesting, and those gliders that tend to rip up paper, or try and grab up bedding materials, could be dissuaded with other alternatives to grab their attention.

Sugar gliders will let us know what they want and need if we just pay attention to their behaviors and habits in many cases.  So if you are concerned about getting your good housekeeping kudos, gliders can work in your home much better than my nephew!


How Noisy are Sugar Gliders?
by Lisa

Sugar gliders make a variety of vocalizations.  The first sound most of us are introduced to is crabbing, which I believe to be one of their two loudest sounds.  Crabbing typically happens when they are disturbed, scared or trying to intimidate.  They wonít typically just sit in the home and crab all the time.  Something or someone will cause them to voice themselves this way.

The other sound in order of loudness is their bark which sounds like a high pitched puppy yip.  I personally find it very cute.  But if the gliders are in your bedroom, it is likely to wake you up.

Other vocalizations range from clicking, hissing, popping - a sound that is sort of like ďzzzzzzzzzzĒ - and other soft sounds that are not really loud at all.

Actually, none of the sounds are that loud.  The crab can be disarming that such a ďlargeĒ sound comes from such a small critter.  But again, in comparison to other animals we are familiar with, sugar gliders come nowhere near the decibel level of birds.  And I donít mean when birds are trying to be loud and screechy.  The loudest glider sounds might be equated to the happy chirp chirp of parakeets.

If you are light sleeper, donít keep the gliders in your bedroom.  I would say Iím a medium sleeper - not too light, not too heavy.  I kept gliders in my bedroom for years and the sound of the wheel was more disruptive than the actual sounds of the gliders.  These li'l guys make great apartment pals because the level of their vocalizations is not something the neighbors are likely to hear, even if the walls are on the thin side.

And I canít help but add at this point, gliders are much much quieter than my now famous nephew!


Community Co-op Ė Color Gliders Seeking Kind Humans

As we are just testing the waters to see how this idea will work, I will simply list the sugar gliders available that we know about.  For more information, please email me directly at (Sorry, no longer available) and I will be happy to provide you with more information about these rare and special gliders.  Duh!  What am I saying here!  They are all special, but these are just dressed a bit differently.

White Face Male: Multi generation; mother is half sister to creamino glider; asking $600.00; Special Note: Super outgoing and friendly

White Face Female: Sister to above described male; asking $600.00

Two Males Het to Creamino: At least 50% probability; father 100% het; mother is white faced with a 33% probability of creamino; asking $500.00 each

Male Creamino: Asking $10,000.00 (yup, you read that right, thatís ten thousand dollars!)

Male White Faced Blonde: 100% het to creamino; asking $4,000.00

Female White Faced Blonde: 100% het to creamino; asking $3,850.00

Female White Faced Blonde: Possible to creamino on both sides and possible to platinum on motherís side; asking $800.00

'Til next time, in good health for you and your gliders, we sign off in appreciation of all of you who share great glider adventures with us! 

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GliderVet Newsletter
Your resource for safety first, expert
advice on our sugar glider friends!
>=<---- >=<---- >=<---- >=<----

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

If you liked the newsletter and know someone who might benefit from reading it, why don't you forward this one to them right now while you are thinking of it?  Instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing are:

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Viva La Glider!  Arnold

SunCoast Sugar Gliders

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