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Your resource for safety first, expert
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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
Greetings Glider Groupies, Glider Newbies and Glider Wanna-bes! Welcome to the
March edition of the GliderVet News.
Rumor has it that the Easter Bunny is coming earlier this year and
Arnold thinks this year we should all ďthink outside the basketĒ.
He thinks it is time to retire the Bunny and replace the usual peeps
and hollow bunnies with
sugar glider plush toys and yogurt drops Ė good for animals and humans alike!
And remember, as the weather gets warmer, yogurt drops may melt, so you might want to stock up before the weather gets too
This month weíre giving the floor to Arnold first (as usual) to answer some of his mail.
Heíll talk about the bald spot male gliders get that a lot of people donít really know
about, and briefly revisit the topic of bugs in homes that gliders may get a hold of and try to eat.
I think after last monthís article, a bit of further clarification may be needed, particularly on the topic of roaches.
And last, but not least, Iíll tell you a bit more about the gliders that own me!
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.
Dear Arnold: Wet Spot on my Gliderís Chest?
Hi Lisa (and Arnold),
We always enjoy your newsletter. So sorry to hear about Janine but that was a lovely
When our two gliders get out of bed, we sometimes notice a damp spot
in the center of the chest of one of them.
The fur is parted and kind of brown. I figured it was from
sleeping with his nose tucked into his chest, but what do you think?
Heya there Kathy,
Did ya know that boy gliders actually get two ďbald spotsĒ when they
grow up to big boys?
Methinks most people know about the one on top of the head 'cuz it
really is bald looking.
These spots are really musk glands which males use to color their world
with their own personal perfume.
They get one on top of the head and one on the upper chest. The
chest gland kinda looks like a dirty grease spot and us gliders think
itís really rather
Methinks ya just have a normal healthy boy glider who is sporting his manly musk with pride!
Luv and nose kisses,
Arnie, the Muskless Wonder
Gliders catching and eating bugs in the home
After reading your latest information on the feeding of bugs
(which I rarely, if ever, feed them), Iím wondering about insects that
my two gliders have caught and devour, right from inside the
A few times, my gliders have leaped so fast and grabbed flying bugs
It has really only been a Mayfly or two (seasonal) and a moth once
or twice (in the summer time).
I did worry a bit (after I got over my excitement of witnessing them in
full predator mode!) that the bugs might make them sick.
But they are fine and never got sick. They were beside themselves
with excitement, chirping and clicking, very proud of themselves!
It was fun to watch but what are the dangers of them eating bugs from
Molly Emery, SugarBabee & SugarBean
Dear Molly and Gang!
The bugs we talked about last month are bugs raised specifically to
be fed to other animals.
Household bugs are never a good idea because the bug itself may be
toxic or it may have come in contact with pesticides or other chemicals.
But, and this is a big BUT, if a bug gets near the
glider cage, itís now a meal and there is little we can do to prevent
So I think the best we can do is to try and keep the environment as
free from pest bugs as we can, understanding that sometimes its just
impossible to control that completely.
I tried to get a wild lizard away from two gliders one time and simply
put, I lost.
Once the gliders get a hold of something like that, they will not let
I am a fairly new owner of sugar gliders (less than 1 year) and recently signed up to receive your newsletter.
The section about using roaches (palmetto bugs) to feed to gliders caught my attention.
We had an indoor cat that once ate a palmetto roach when we lived in Florida.
At the time, we did not know what it was and so put it in a jar to have it ID'd at the vet.
Along with the roach were some rubber
bands that the cat had also eaten and these also went into the jar.
When the rubber bands started moving, we realized that they were
very large worms.
The vet immediately knew that the worms had come from the roach that
the cat had eaten.
After this experience, I don't think I would ever want to feed my
gliders Palmetto roaches, even if they were considered okay to use as
Oh my. I was not suggesting that you feed palmetto bugs.
I better clarify that for you and for anyone else who may have
misunderstood the intention of that article.
Just like mealworms that are farm raised to be fed to other animals,
there is a class of "feeders" called feeder roaches, which are raised
in a more sterile environment.
Our vet does not recommend feeding any kind of "wild bug" even ones
that are known to be ok because they can come into contact with
many things that are not healthy, like worms, nematodes, and pesticides.
I don't even think the feeder roaches are of the palmetto bug
variety. I was really just talking about my own personal experience
with roaches (and aversion to them).
I do plan to do more research on the concept of feeder roaches and hope
to share this in the future, but household roaches are a definite
The Gliders That Own Me
Over the years, weíve covered lots of topics. Some of these topics
were brand new to the glider community, some of them controversial and in all of the years doing this, Iíve never seen such huge
e-mail response as I did with last monthís newsletter about the passing of my sugar glider,
I thank you all deeply for your kind words and loving outreach.
I am truly touched by it all. In addition to the tremendous
influence of so many kind people, Iíve also managed a new diversion
that Iíd like share with you now.
You canít ever replace a lost soul. But I have found that new babies have at least helped fill the void in my life.
This is the story of Boudreaux (Boo-droe) and Thibodeaux (Tibby-doe) and how theyíve come to be part of the family.
A few months before Janine became ill, I had a very disheartening
event with one of my trios of breeding gliders.
Paul, a white faced male lived with Ginger and Maryann. One day I
was checking on them and Maryann had a rather large wound on her
Weíve seen this before and is often the result of some overzealous
So we went to the vet to get an antibiotic ointment and have Maryann
While the wound was fairly large, it did not require stitching at
Well long story short, I had separated Maryann, but she went into a
She was very lethargic and much less responsive than usual. So
under a cautious warning, we decided to let her go back in with Paul
Things were fine for a few days, but then it got severe. The
other gliders were likely
over-grooming the wound area and it was not much better and starting to
show infection in spite of the treatment, so I had to separate
Within 24 hours, she had passed and I know deep in my heart that
the separation anxiety got to her.
I could have left her with Ginger, but in the meantime Ginger has two
joeys out of pouch and the tips of both of their tails had been bitten
off and both had bad scabbing on the right side of their faces.
These joeys are now Boudreaux and Thibodeaux. I took the
babies early as this is often an early sign of cannibalization and
chose to hand rear these little guys.
As a good friend of mine put it, it seems that ďGinger snappedĒ and Iím
not sure that it was not Gingerís doing that led to Maryannís untimely
Boudreaux and Thibodeaux were about three weeks out of pouch when I
decided to take them from Ginger and amazingly started to eat much on
their own within days.
Thibodeaux was much smaller than Boudreaux and gave me the most cause
for concern, but heís a spunky little guy and in perfect health today.
The little guys started off in a small "plastic hospital aquarium"
set up like an incubator, and within a few days outgrew that.
I then put them in a small parakeet cage and that lasted only a week
before they graduated to a big boy cage which was still on the small
side for active little gliders.
On Valentineís Day I moved Boudreaux and Thibodeaux into our
rectangular deluxe cage with a much older retired female (Vivian) and a
year old female (Dora the Explorer).
Introducing colonies is not always an easy thing to do and I felt
that Vivian would be ok with the little guys, but Dora
is a very curious and quite active young female. Much to my
delight, it was love at first sight all the way around.
I didnít hear a single crab as the curious young males begged for
piggyback rides and snuggled super close with the two older
The females taught the young gliders how to groom themselves and did
things in the learning stages for sugar gliders that I simply could not
do as a surrogate mother.
I wish things always went this easy with introductions, but I must warn
you that is not always the
Iíve also learned from this experience that itís never too late for
gliders to learn new things.
You see, weíre guessing Vivianís age at about 12 years old and sheís
always had a nest box, not a sleeping pouch.
It took a few days of Vivi sleeping in her box and the other three in
the warm cozy pouch, but by day four, I found the foursome all sleeping
peacefully together in one pouch, even though they had a choice of
three in the habitat.
Boudreaux and Thibodeaux have since been neutered and although they
are brothers, they have two very different personalities.
Iím delighted to see that Thibodeaux is emerging in very much the same
outgoing way his Uncle Arnold did as a young glider.
Thibodeaux is outgoing, curious and super friendly. Boudreaux is
friendly, but not nearly as silly as his littler brother. They
donít even look alike.
Boudreaux is a big boned normal gray glider and Thibodeaux is a smaller
in stature, but larger than life, white faced blonde.
And while no number of new gliders can replace Janine and who she
was, having new babies as part of the permanent family has brought
great joy to us.
Itís been awhile since Iíve kept any new gliders for myself, and little
did I know that when Boudreaux and Thibodeaux entered under such sad
circumstances, that Janine was going to get sick and pass on.
I think someone was looking out for me and gave me a gift before my
Arnold lives in his house just about five feet away from the new
glider family and Iíve caught him trying to sneak into their
He really likes his new neighbors, a lot! This too is not always
typical of sugar gliders in established colonies.
Arnoldís colony mate Buddy is not so enamored with the new neighbors
and does not like when the babies jump on his house, so we do maintain
separate handling times to
keep peace and balance with the seven living in the big house.
'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
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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
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