GliderVet Newsletter  |  Sugar Glider Vet Newsletters 2011

GliderVet #116: Non-Glider Animal Companions for Gliders; Separating a Breeding Pair; Thanks to You

This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
"No heaven will not ever Heaven be; unless my pets are there to welcome me." ~ Anonymous

Greetings Glider Groupies, Glider Newbies and Glider Wanna-bes! Welcome to the December 2011 edition of the GliderVet News. Our very first newsletter flew into cyberspace exactly ten years ago! We feel so blessed to still be here with you all celebrating this time of year and we’re ready to “bring it” for another ten years (at least!)

Before glidin' in, just a few announcements about the online store. If you haven't had time yet to get your suggie presents, check out our new selection of toys. And there's even a little sumptin' new just for the humans - our exclusive sugar glider pendant. We are excited to have Deluxe Rectangular Cages back in stock! Lastly, it’s been a long time since we’ve offered a new cage because most items we test fail testing. For cages, failure usually happens in the paint / rust area. But we did find the larger version of our super reliable Sturdy Cage made the cut. Check out this new cage here.

If you're a new sugar glider owner, or are in the process of potentially becoming a sugar glider owner, we encourage you to check out the SunCoast YouTube channel here. You can also see the new cage featured in these videos.

And if you don’t have any sugar gliders yet, but are interested in becoming a glider owner, we have a very few open spots on our reservation list. We also have some new up and coming platinum joeys and champagne joeys. Mother Nature is in charge around here, and while we have joeys born weekly, we don’t increase our breeding this time of year just to turn a quick buck. That's not what we are about - more about that in a minute. For gliders, please contact Lisa:

(Sorry, no longer available)

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 – Non-Glider Animal Companions for Gliders
by Arnold

Dear Arnold,

I am a mommy of a teenager male Sugar Glider, Charles. I am planning to adopt a friend for him but a different species. It is commonly known that Sugar Gliders are great with some other animals in the family. Is a hamster one of the "other animals" that Sugar Gliders can get along with?

If I am convinced that hamsters can be good playdates for Charles, only then I would get hamsters, or else, I would get the next best option, another Sugar Glider.

Thanks, Patricia
Dear Patty Cakes!

Oh no … nuh uh … say it isn’t sooooo! 'Tis not a good idea at all. Some people actually feed pinky mice to their sugar gliders …. methinks hamster babies not looky so different to us suggies!

And the biggest problemo is if we don’t decide to have hamster for dinner, what if hamster eats our dinner and we eat hamsters dinner? We're sposed to eat diff’rent stuff! Ya think if ya put our names on the bowls that would help? Nope, we don’t care … if it’s there, it’s fair!

K, here’s the scoop me fine furless friend … ya sound like a nice kid, a smart kid, a fun kid and all that jazzamatazz …. How would ya like to not be around any other kids? Any peeps at all? We suggies need suggie friends! Period! Exclamation point! Get me point?!

And lemme let ya in on sumptin else here. Us suggies think we're big. Lisa keeps saying stuff like little fellar and what the hey? Why she calls me li’l?

I think I’m as big as Georgia, the labr-adorable retriever! I’m as big as Breesy, Lisa says she’s a mutt. I know nuttin about no mutt-in …. And she never calls them li’l.

They are my friends, and still the Mommy Tree hovers over those Sisters of mine like I can’t defend meself …. Yet I’ve heard her call several of me sugar glider pals Mr Myogi! He knows karate’. We all know karate’ …. Yet she won’t let me take care of meself cuz she says I’m little. *sniff sniff* Yeah, big boys do cry sumtime and I would really cry if I didn’t have me sugar pals around.

There’s an old song that goes … peeple … peeple who need peeple … are the luckiest peeple in the world! I wrote me own song …. It goes like this …. Suggies, suggies who need suggies are the luckiest suggies in the universe! Nyuk nyuk nyuk .. pretty clever eh?

Ok, me outta here .. Mum just put Ratatouille on the flat screen … hope this song gets stuck in yer head!

Mr Arnold Myogi …. Hiiiii-yaaah!
How often should breeding pairs be separated?
by Lisa

Hi Lisa,

Should breeding pairs be separated once a year, or at another interval?

Pat C

Dear Pat,

Thank you for this wonderful question. It seems to make logical sense that controlling the breeding patterns of animals is in their best interest. Those who breed animals like dogs, cats, horses and all sorts of other warm blooded mammals see the reason in this. We should be mindful of not over-breeding any animals.

In my opinion, there are more compelling reasons to keep sugar gliders together than separating them, which over-ride the general good sense husbandry thoughts of controlled breeding.

Let’s start at the beginning. Many animals are controlled in breeding by bringing the male (stud) in for a brief period of time for mating purposes and then off he goes back to his home, never to think about it again.

Sugar glider males are great daddies. They are an integral part of helping to rear the young they helped to produce. I think it puts a real hardship on the female to remove her male companion to raise the young by herself. There is a point in time where the female will start to wander, leaving the young with the male, so she can stretch, exercise, eat in peace, and just generally get a break from the babies. While she is off doing her thing, the male typically will stay in the nest, keep the babies warm, and clean them.

As the joeys get older, the joeys will “piggyback” on the shoulders of both the Mama and Papa sugar gliders. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of many species of animal where the male is so involved in rearing young (except maybe seahorses).

The process of breeding in sugar gliders starts with mating. The joeys are “born” after a little over two weeks when they “paddle” under their own volition out of the female sugar glider until they reach the safety of the pouch. It is in the pouch where most of the growth takes place. At this point in time, the female is not technically pregnant anymore. The developing joeys will continue to grow inside of the marsupium (pouch) for about 10.5 weeks until they are simply too large to stay contained within. The out of pouch experience can take a couple of days as the joeys continue to try and squeeze their now too large bodies back inside of the female’s pouch.

It is at the point of pouch emergence that the male role becomes increasingly more active. At this point, remember the female is not really pregnant any more and has not been for awhile. The male and female may have done that breeding deed again by this point in time, although it usually happens once joeys are out of pouch (and often happens again before the joeys are fully weaned). Since the male does play an important role in the rearing, separation deprives the female of having this extra help which is a natural part of Nature itself.

Here’s another very interesting fact that I’ve had a chance to see firsthand with sugar gliders. Sometimes we hear things, or read things that sound so incredulous it is hard to believe. I’ve heard that sugar gliders can store fertilized eggs. Hold on to this thought.

When we “retire” our females, we do so permanently. We’ve discussed the criteria we use in making retirement decisions in a previous newsletter. It is not necessarily based on age as we look at a variety of factors. When the females are retired, we keep them in all female colonies or re-home them to non-breeding homes.

Many years ago, we had a retired female show with “peanuts” (joeys in pouch) after being in an all female colony for nearly six months. The moral of the story is this. Separation is not an effective method of birth control. Separation causes stress on the separated, bonded to each other sugar gliders. Stress during young rearing is less than ideal. Sugar glider males are wonderful fathers and contribute to the growth and learning that their offspring need to develop into healthy adult sugar gliders themselves.
Thank you for Ten Years of Support!
by Lisa on behalf of all of us at Suncoast (and approved by Arnold)

My goodness, it is amazing to see that ten years have gone by and we’ve not run out of things to say! Who in Whoville would’ve thought that there is that much to say about sugar gliders?! It is often said that life is about the journey, and this is simply a milepost on a most enjoyable ride!

We are very grateful for all of the community support, feedback, suggestions, opinions and input to keep this project going strong. It would not be possible without you. Also, many thanks to all of the animal rescue organizations, to those who take their time and energy to volunteer, educate, nurse the sick, the young, and the elderly furry friends. And we appreciate the message board community for creating independent forums where anyone can go to seek advice, support, reviews, camaraderie and friendships that last a lifetime.

We are honored to have the chance to bring our passion to all who share our love of sugar gliders. We started Suncoast Sugar Gliders in 1999; and in 2001 we launched our website. Now in 2011, my oh my how the internet has grown. And we will do our very best to grow along with changing times. For example, for those new to gliders, we launched a YouTube channel, featuring yours truly along with three new companions of mine named Kyle, Tweety and Amor.

We’ve had a waiting list for our sugar gliders nearly non-stop for seven years now! If this were merely “a business” to us, we would have decided long ago to increase our supply to meet demand. This is much more than an occupation, it is a heart centered mission and we are so delighted every single time we meet a like minded human!

From all of us, to all of you, we send you our sincerest wishes for a safe and joyous holiday season! Thank you for all you do and for helping us in our small way contribute to the betterment of sugar glider lives everywhere!

'Til next year - 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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Viva La Glider! Arnold

SunCoast Sugar Gliders

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