GliderVet Newsletter  |  Sugar Glider Vet Newsletters 2006

GliderVet #58: Ferret Folly Follow-up, Gift Guide, Male Baldness, Sneezing

This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter

Greetings Glider Groupies, Glider Newbies and Glider Wanna-bes! Welcome to the December edition of the GliderVet News. Arnold, Lisa, Dr C, Jimbo and Barbi wish you all Happy Holly-Daze! This wraps up five full years of offering this newsletter and we feel as if we’ve only just begun.

We are truly grateful to be part of a terrific community. This time of year is a time when many of us reflect on the blessings in our lives and look forward to what a new year will bring. I think that most of us agree that some of the best blessings in our lives have tails! It is the common bond that unites us in this community. There are not many things that I can think of better than the connection and unconditional love between human beings and other living beings.

So let’s glide on in to this months’ lineup. Before we get into our seasonal fun, we will start this month by publicly acknowledging an apparent mistake in last month’s newsletter - that’s what I get for talking about animals other than sugar gliders! I feel as though I know sugar gliders intimately, but I’m no expert on other species and a couple of our ferret friends let me know so. So read on for my official correction of last month’s faux pas.

Then, THE Boss of SunCoast Sugar Gliders, none other than Arnold himself, will offer up a few ideas for the perfect holiday gift for your favorite sugar glider or your favorite sugar glider lover (even if that means you!)

And we’ll wrap up with our last 2006 episode of Dear Arnold as our Super Glider Guider sheds his brand of wisdom. Speaking of sheds, did you know that gliders don’t shed much at all? Fur that is, but for the shedding of the wisdom, please read on.

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. And speaking of fun pictures, here’s one of Tazzie, in the spirit of the holidays!

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.

Follow-up: Ferret Folly
by Lisa

Dear Lisa,
Sorry, I couldn't resist. I know you like dispelling sugar glider myths- I'm sort of the same way with ferrets. This is from the very reputable site:

"Domestic pet ferrets, Mustela furo (sometimes called Mustela putorius furo), are not wild animals. They have been domesticated for a very long time, perhaps two or three thousand years. They're not equipped to survive for very long on their own; escaped pets suffer from dehydration, starvation and exposure, and usually don't survive more than a few days unless someone takes them in. Unlike cats and dogs, ferrets aren't even large enough to push over garbage cans and scavenge.

Domestic ferrets are generally believed to be descended from the European polecat; they were originally used as hunting animals to catch rabbits and rodents. They weren't supposed to kill the prey, they just chased them out of their holes and the farmers (hunters) killed them. This practice is now illegal in the U.S. and Canada, but it's still fairly popular in the U.K. and some other places."

From Wikipedia:

It is unknown exactly when ferrets were first domesticated, but ferret remains have been dated to 1500 BC.[1]

So they are not "wild" (though they are sometimes classified as "exotic" for really no good reason). The rest of your article is very good. I run a ferret rescue so I do a lot of public education about ferrets. I do have sugar gliders, but they are kept far, far away from the ferrets. Both the ferrets and the sugar gliders have their own separate rooms.

Hope this might help!

Dear Heather,
I’ve received several such emails after last month’s newsletter, and well, when I’m wrong, I’m wrong! I will not try to weasel my way out of my ferret folly. I did not realize that ferrets were considered domesticated and I thank you for shedding light on this for me and for our other readers. I certainly feel more fluent in ferret-ese now.

I also appreciate that as a ferret expert, you agree that ferrets and sugar gliders should be kept very separate. I appreciate your point that ferrets weren’t intended to hunt and kill their prey, but unfortunately, that is what often happens when ferrets and sugar gliders meet.

Sugar gliders do not seem to have any natural fear of other mammals. I am also a dog lover and tend to keep large breeds. My sugar gliders have always felt bold enough to challenge the dogs. Size does not seem to intimidate gliders. So what happens is when a glider fails to run away from a potential threat because they do not have the instinctual sense to be afraid, they are simply not large enough to defend themselves.

I honestly believe that sugar gliders have no idea how small they really are. I think more often than not, the gliders meet with their untimely demise because their own natural curiosity draws them right toward a potential threat. Ferrets, dogs, cats and other animals may often just be exhibiting their own playful nature causing irreparable injury to the diminutive sugar glider.

So always play it safe. Unless you know that your other pets are going to be totally cool with smaller critters, don’t introduce them or allow them to interact.

Holiday Gift Guide

By Arnold

Crikey! It’s that time of year again, and me dunno 'bout you, but me gotta long list of pals to get sumptin' fer - and not much time left to do it! But the good news - if yer me - is that me own store is chock full of delicious treats, fun toys, and all sorts of really cool stuff. And the good news - if yer you - is that me can send ya stuff really, really fast to have in time for the big day!

But what to do? What to do?!!

OK, lemme make it all real simple. Here’s a list of those you probly need to get stuff fer.

Yer Sugar Gliders – a way to our hearts is through our bellies. How about a three pack of yummy bugs!

Mum – ya know she’s been wanting this fabulous new showpiece habitat for her babies fer years. So c’mon, how bout this year? It’d make her o so vewy happy!

Sugar Gliders – a way to our hearts is through our bellies. How 'bout a three pack of me favorite dessert, yogurt drops! These things ship much better in the winter cuz they get all melted in Brown’s trucks in the summer, so load up on a years supply. Now that’s a present!!

Pop – forget the neck tie! He hates them things - get him sumptin' a real man wears around his neck and try this camo bonding pouch!

Sugar Gliders – Hey! After all those treats and yummies ya just got fer me - errr - I mean, your suggies, how 'bout a nice new soft fuzzy sleeping pouch. All this food can make us little ones sleepy, ya know?

Sis – aw, that’s easy! Sugar glider charms, sugar glider plush toy and sugar glider magnets will decorate her world, cuz she wants the whole world to know that she has the glider fever!

Sugar Gliders – HEY! I’m trying to nap in here and it’s a little chilly - brrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! Ya could get me me own warming kit!

Bro – Hey, bro likes those sugar glider earrings too! One for his ear, one for his hat! Sugar glider charms make a really cool zipper pull for jackets, knapsacks and all sorts of things! And sugar glider tattoos are way cool for bros!

Sugar Gliders – Hey! Thanks for the treats, and the nap and the warm comfy space, but all this luxury is making me a little pudgy. So how bout throwin' in some new toys, like this really cool holiday thingy. And errrrr - I could use a new set of wheels. And while ya at it, buy us a both a li'l sumptin' - like a Nail-O-Matic - to go in me new wheel! You won't get scratched and me nails will be perfectly manicured for 'da season! So many choices! So little time!

OK, so now did we ferget anyone? Oh yeah - the twins! They’re so cute. You know how much they love to see yer suggies every time they come over. So how about getting them a suggie of their own. No silly, not a real suggie, but a real life-like Arnold T Schwarzenglider action figure!

OK, well that should wrap things up, which is all ya will need to do after ya complete yer holiday shopping from me little ole store. Ferget silly ole stores - it's easy to order any time and have yer goodies just show up at yer home!

Me thanks ya a whole bunch! Me wishes all a very Happy Holly Daze and an Ooohsome New Year! May Sandy Claws leave a million mealworms in yer stocking this year!

Gotta go now. Me and me pal Digeree Duke are giving flight lessons to a few grounded reindeer. All ya gotta do is climb a really tall tree, but do you know how hard it is to teach a reindeer to do that? Geesh! Methinks we got our work cut out fer us.

Another Exciting Episode of Dear Arnold -
Male Baldness and Sugar Glider Sneezing
by Arnold (of course!)

Hi Arnold,

I have a quick question regarding male baldness - when does it happen? My kids - Chuck and Bob - are turning a year old this month. They haven't started losing their hair. Do you know when the baldness typically happens?


Hi Mel,

Wow! Are ya sure they are really a year old? It should have happened already! Most guys get their bald spot when about five to six months old. Any chance Chuck and Bob have been neutered? Write back, OK?

Hi Again!

I adopted them at 8 months old and the previous parents were sure they had not been neutered (which they had them from 3 months old). Could they have been neutered when they were 3 months old? That seems so young. Is there any health concerns that would prevent them from losing their hair that you know of?


Hi again Mel!

They could have been neutered at 3 months old, but seems like ya would have known about it. It’s kind of a big deal. We get over it pretty quick like, but it’s expensive and most humans would remember this. Do they have a white fuzzy pompom where you would expect to see a belly button? That’s something only boyz have. And we dunno of no health issues that would prevent the guys from getting bald. So that’s probly not the problem! Are ya sure they are boyz?


OK Arnold,

I see they have a little fuzzy worm, should there be an additional pompom if they are not neutered?



Methinks we’re getting somewhere now! If you see like a fuzzy bumpy thing at the base of the tail, that is called a cloaca and boyz and girlz have this same fuzzy bumpy thing. Where ya would expect to see a belly button, the girls have a little “U” shaped pouch and the boyz have the fuzzy white pompom. Now if the boyz are neutered, they mights have a pompom still and they might not! BUT! I think all along, we’ve been on the wrong track. Ya see, I think Chuck and Bob are really Charlene and Roberta! Case closed! Next?


Dear Arnold

Debby and Ken in upstate New York here. Hope all is well. Hanna Banana is on her fifth joey! Joey Bean - Ben and Jerry Bean - and Jilly Bean. We don't know what this Bean will be yet, but what ever it is, two things for sure, it will be cute and a Bean!

I'm writing because every night for the last month or so, when Hanna wakes up she sneezes and sneezes and sneezes. She rubs her nose and sneezes more. The other Beans don't but little Hanna does. Do you have any clue what it could be? No changes in diet or home - a little drier air and I have humidifiers running at all times.

Anything I should look for? Other than the sneezes all is great, just a bit worried.

Debby F

Hi Debby!

Good to hear from ya! How ya bean? Gliders do make a natural sneezie sound when cleaning. Maybe Hanna Banana is extra clean. She’s keeping herself tidy and the new little Bean clean. If she has a cold, she would likely have a runny nose or watery looking eyes. Just keep close tabs on her. She may just being going overtime on caring for her coiffure.

Bean nice hearing from ya!

Arnold “Bean There, Done That” Schwarzenglider

'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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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! Arnold

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