GliderVet Newsletter  |  Sugar Glider Vet Newsletters 2009

GliderVet #86: New Bonding Potion, Sugar Glider Kitchens, Starter Cages for Joeys, Stop HR 669

This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
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Greetings Glider Groupies, Glider Newbies and Glider Wanna-bes! Welcome to the April 2009 edition of the GliderVet News.

SunCoast is constantly working behind the scenes to develop new and innovative products with experts from a variety of fields. Our newest addition, which we've been working on for several years, is called Original Bonding Potion and is a totally new concept for the sugar glider community. The safe, plant-based formula helps de-stress animals and humans alike. Along with many customers who have provided us with wonderful feedback, we have personally had great success with this product. More on this product below.

On a less pleasant note, we have recently started receiving an alarming number of communications about a new pending bill the U.S. Congress is considering passing into law. My first inclination was that the concept of this proposed legislation was too “out there” for Congress to even consider. But as we have continued to research the issue, this proposed legislation is something we need to really pay attention to. And not only do we need to pay attention, but each one of us needs to act with a sense of urgency to ensure sure this bill does NOT get out of the committee stage because CONGRESS IS POSITIONING TO TAKE OUR PETS AWAY!

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.
New Product Announcement: Original Bonding Potion
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By Lisa

You might not know this about SunCoast, but we are not the kind of people who refuse to take calls from glider owners who did not purchase from us, and we always try to help people the best we can. Many new glider keepers are intimidated; especially when they purchased a sugar glider spontaneously and did not really know what they were getting into. It is heartbreaking to listen to these stories.

Here in SunCoast's Sugar Shack, we experience some of the same issues with the more feisty babies. Now, we all know that time, patience, and love are the keys to the bonding process, and there is no substitute for following the proven methods (see here for more).

But some babies don't respond well initially to the bonding effort, and the folks who help take care of and handle the babies every day are sometimes afraid of certain babies, which makes them nervous too. So we've always been on the hunt for some kind of "potion" we could use to help de-stress the sugar gliders and calm them down - without otherwise affecting their behavior - so the traditional bonding methods could take place.

Several years ago we met with a person highly experienced in using botanicals in the animal arena, who said she would like to try creating an all-natural solution to this problem for us. When we first started testing, I myself was a bit skeptical because of the smell of the product. The thought had occurred to me that introducing a new scent might interfere or be a big turnoff to the sugar gliders. But the product did not mask our smell as perfume or cologne would. It just adds a temporary scent to the process.

And it worked for us. When using the bonding potion, we found:
· Less crabbing and biting
· A calmer demeanour
· Licking you when they did not before
· Comfortably sleeping in your hands (during the daytime)

Back to those intimidated new glider owners who call us desperate to bond with their new glider friends. We thought, why not see if we can help these people? So we had a group of glider keepers nationwide try the product. The group was selected by sending free product to people who were calling us and begging for help with bonding, and we simply asked for their feedback in return. These were mostly people we did not know, and the majority did not even get gliders from us.

We'd like to thank each and every one of these testers, located all over the country, for testing the product and providing us feedback. In the final analysis, 90% of the testers indicated this "Bonding Potion" significantly improved the process by creating conditions more conducive to bonding between humans and sugar gliders.

So we decided to offer this original Bonding Potion as a product anyone could purchase. Full product details are here.

The Bonding Potion is not a drug, will not make the gliders groggy, will not affect their appetite or change their activity levels. The product is not a substitute for time, patience and love (get the details in our 6 part series on sugar glider bonding here), but if we can help gliders be less stressed, don’t you agree that would help them trust us more?

The Original Bonding Potion formula only uses ingredients certified to be free of carcinogens and other hazardous substances such as extenders commonly found in synthetic fragrances. It's not a magic bullet. The Bonding Potion is just one more tool you can use with stressed, rescued, previously ignored, or even a younger sugar glider coming to you from a stressful sales environment.

Plus, anxious and frustrated humans have a much harder time bonding than those of us who are calm and relaxed - the Original Bonding Potion works on you too! It’s not just for sugar gliders and this is why we recommend spraying in the bonding pouch, AND on the palms of your hands as well. Directions for use are here.

If you have any questions on this product, please let me know.

Dear Arnold: Glider Kitchens
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By Arnold (with Lisa)


Dear Arnold,

I was hoping that you had seen a cage with a seed guard around it because my female glider loves to dig in her food bowl and loves to throw food around. Well, it seems that way but really she just drops what she does not want. Thank you for your help!

Carol
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Arnold, I'm taking this one. There is no way I can trust you to answer this with honesty, you fast ball artist! - Lisa

Hi Carol,

I don’t think a seed guard will solve your problem. Some gliders actually toss their food; many of us are just in the habit of sweeping up every day. Some gliders will actually hit the wall with the sticky stuff and seed guards will not help with that.

If you have a glider that is ready to try out for Major League Baseball, then try using what many refer to as a "glider kitchen". It's a little hut type of thing made of plastic that sits on the floor of the cage with the feed dishes (crock type) placed right on the bottom of the cage with the hut over it, so it takes care of the super messy glider problem. Just search "glider kitchen" (with the quotes) on Google or see this thread on the Glider Central message boards:

Glider Kitchen - Good idea?

Hope this helps!

Lisa

Dear Arnold: No Starter Cages?
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By Arnold


Dear Arnold,

Why don’t you guys offer any "starter cages"? We were told that sugar glider joeys should have a starter cage. What’s the deal?

Adam
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Hiya Adam Ole Boy!

Here at SunCoast, we don’t beleeve starter cages (cages smaller than a normal glider cage) are a good idea. Ya see, even da just weaned little scrappers are quite good at navigating even super duper large cages like our big ole mansion house, which by the way are back in stock. Me never really understood why a hooman would tell another hooman to spend money on a little home for littler gliders, then in a cupple o months have to buy a bigger home for the little scrappers when they grow up a bit.

Jes cuz you hoomans buy starter homes when ya have ya first baby doesn’t mean we needs the same thing. What happens when you hoomans have your fifth baby, do you move back to the little house, or do you stay in your big new family home?

Don’t waste yer moola! Get the right size cage from the get-go. Not only does it take the stress of yer household budget, but changing homes is stressful fer us too, so don’t stress nobody and jes get the right size cage from the start.

It’s a bunch o baloney that a little home will help us bond quicker or that we can’t get around all that space. We much happier with lots 'o space and to bond, well that’s got nuttin to do with the size of our home. It has to do with you hoomans being nice and kind and gentle and patient and all that good stuff.

Lord of the Manor
Sir Arnold

Pending Legislation ALERT: H.R. 669 ==========================
by Lisa

Doesn’t our government have more important things to concern themselves with than what type of pets we keep? H.R. 669 proposes sweeping changes that could potentially make all of us criminals in the eyes of the law. While this resolution still has a ways to go before becoming law, now is the time for us all to speak up and make sure this resolution does not get out of the committee stage.

This legislation may not only impact the right to keep exotic animals, but ANY animal that is not native to the United States. The hearing will take place on April 23, 2009, so PLEASE access the list of Congress members linked to this article and LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD. Here are details on the proposed legislation known as H.R. 669 and what WE ALL NEED TO DO to stop the insanity!

I found a very good summary of the resolution on the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) website (copied below):

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

Anyone with pet fish, birds, reptiles, or small mammals will be affected by this bill. Any company selling product or services for pet fish, birds, reptiles or small mammals will be affected by this bill.
Would you be impacted by “The Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act”?

· Virtually all fish in an aquarium are not native to the United States
· Most pet birds are species not native to the US
· Most reptiles kept as pets are not native to the US
· Hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, ferrets (Lisa adds: and sugar gliders) are not native to the US

This bill would ban nonnative species not specifically approved by US Fish & Wildlife Service. AND, it does NOT only ban their importation, it also bans sales, transportation and breeding of these animals.

· If you own a bird, reptile (or sugar glider) and your specialized veterinarian is located across the state line from your home, you would be prohibited from taking your pet to its veterinarian.

· If you own two fish and they have babies, you would be in violation of this law and your pets could be confiscated and destroyed

· Don’t plan on moving to another state with your pet. Crossing state lines with your hamster, fish, bird, snake or other nonnative animal will be illegal.

I can understand restrictions AND bans on species that are dangerous. Here’s the reality of the situation. Should a bill of this nature pass, there are a lot of people that would rather set their animals free than risk having them all put down. It seems to me like legislation of this nature is akin to using a nuclear bomb to kill a cockroach. So there are a few irresponsible people out there who’ve done something either knowingly wrong, or did not understand the consequences of their actions. And now our government wants to intervene on one of our most basic and fulfilling freedoms.

I can’t imagine a life without pets. Sure the bill does not appear to affect the keeping of dogs, cats, rabbits and livestock, but where does it stop? If this government committee gets its way on this, then who’s to say that certain breeds of dogs commonly pointed to as untrustworthy, such as Rottweilers and Pit Bulls, aren't next? What about dogs that have mixed breed backgrounds and have some percentage of “bad dog blood” in them?

I’m sorry to pick on the rotties and pits, as I don’t personally feel this way. I’m an avid dog lover and I suspect my “mostly Labrador” may have a smidgen of chow chow in her as her dad, who looked all lab, had a few black speckles on his tongue.

PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO WRITE LETTERS TO THE COMMITTEE IN CHARGE OF THIS RESOLUTION. REMIND OUR CONGRESS MEMBERS THAT THEY SHOULD FOCUS ON MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS OVERSHADOWING OUR COUNTRY RIGHT NOW, NAMELY THE ECONOMY. REMIND OUR CONGRESS MEMBERS THAT THE PET INDUSTRY IS A MULTI BILLION DOLLAR CONTRIBUTOR TO OUR ECONOMY. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, REMIND THEM THAT OUR PETS ARE OUR BEST FRIENDS AND THEY STICK WITH US IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD. THEY BRING US COMFORT, JOY AND UNCONDITIONAL AFFECTION. OUR PETS MAKE EVERYTHING FEEL RIGHT WHEN OUR CORNER OF THE WORLD DOESN’T FEEL SO RIGHT!

Please access this document on the PIJAC website for a list of the Congressional members on the Committee involved with this bill, and e-mail or write them your thoughts on this bill - here's the link. Also, please let your own representatives (if not on this list) know how you feel about the direction of this legislation.

'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

Lisa
SunCoast Sugar Gliders

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