The Sweet Spot

INFORMATION concerning sugar glider health and husbandry matters
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Posts : 238
Join date : 2009-12-10
Age : 41
Location : Maryland

PostSubject: SHARING STORIES   Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:52 pm

Members are encouraged to share stories of gliders who have experienced issues with anal glands so that others can learn from it. Please share with us anecdotal information that is useful for owners or veterinarians, including:

* Symptoms you first noticed
* Tests vet ran to come to this diagnosis
* The treatment prescribed by vet
* Aftercare provided by yourself (include any help you received from community members if you like)
* Recovery information or notes that might be helpful to others
* The results of treatment.

Photos are encouraged IF they help to teach or provide examples.
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Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-03-01

PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:27 am

Badger was making a very light shhh sound last summer on and off when he had to poo. He seemed to be going fine but still made the sound. I checked his bum and saw it was swollen. We went to the vet, he had an anal gland very swollen and one a little swollen. Dr. Williams was able to express one. No parasites, UTI or anything was present. He was put on Baytril.

Anal glands went back to normal.

Last week, his anal glands swelled up again. (he couldn't poo either except one piece I took to a new vet that was dry, discolored and almost "hollow" inside, yes, I broke it in half)

Badger was seen by a new vet (only because it was closer due to sight issues etc.,) This vet was not able to express the anal glands at all but he did poo A LOT and it was normal poo. It also showed no parasites, urine, no UTI or bacteria. Fluid inside the "lump" was sent off to see what it is. (I am praying it is not cancer!!!!)

He has a large lump around one anal gland that has a "stem" going upward towards his gut that has yet another lump attached.

He is on Baytril in case there is infection and has pain meds. (Torb)

Am waiting on results....
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Posts : 3
Join date : 2011-02-03
Age : 43
Location : Charlotte NC

PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:32 am

Hi I know this a month late but maybe it can help you or others out there....My glider Charlie had swollen glands that started in October of last year. he was only about 3months old at the time and my vet had never seen that in such a young glider. October - January he was a ton of meds trying to solve this problem his anal glands were also expressed every two the three weeks (looked like he was trying to pass a blueberry, i am unable to upload images to this site but you can see my images on GG under Charliebear)..He was on Beytril for 21days and he stayed steady but his swelling started up. My vet was talking surgery!....I then met Val (something_to_belive_in) After discussing my problems with her we put him on Convenia (its a shot that last two weeks) and changed his diet (i use her Vals Green Diet...i think thats what she calls it)....he was doing great. I brought him in for one more shot and my vet decided to express the anal glands and he went down hill...NOTE: don't let your vet express the anal glands, it seems to make it worse and can back up and cause other problems.....We left him alone and i also did a food journal....I found Grapes and processed dry food brought the symptoms on (now this may not be true but!!!!!) after no more expressions and being on Convenia and changing his diet he no longer has swollen gland issues and never had his surgery! is now April and he his a happy happy guy.....

I know you seem to have other issues that charlie does not but again i hope some of this can help....
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Posts : 8
Join date : 2011-08-02

PostSubject: Simba' Story: Anal Gland Removal   Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:47 pm

I adopted Simba as an adult. When I recieved him I noticed he had a "big butt" I assumed this was his natural body shape, but it was actually a symptom, swollen anal glands. The first symptom that I recognized was hissing when he pooped. When I took him in he had impacted and infected paracloacal glands. Treatment was long and unsuccesful. We gave several antibiotics over the course of about 3 months before deciding to remove the glands. Hissing and pain had continued, glider was distressed and was crying every night due to pain and discomfort. It was a heartbreaking sound.

The surgery was done by Dr. Nye at Ness Exotic Wellness Center and went remarkably well, healing time for the skin was about 1 week. The glands are supposed to be the size of a grain of rice, but were sollen to the size of large peas. Dr. Ness gave me pemission to share the photos of the surgery to help other vets and share my experience. I also have photos of the recovery process: {Will add later, need permission for external link}

Weight loss and sleep depravation was a problem during treatment and continued during recovery. He lost 10 grams the week after surgery and was down to 90 grams. Ecollar caused depression and weight loss, but was needed to prevent self mutilation. Simba was allowed out of the collar when under direct supervision if he behaved and left alone his surgery site.

Simba gained weight quickly after being free from the ecollar and was happier, healthier, and more active post surgery. He never cried or hissed after they were removed, even during recovory. I changed his diet to HPW during recovory and a modified HPW after, he needed a softer diet that he could eat with th ecollar. Eventually he was weaned back onto the Priscilla Price diet, easy on the oatmeal to help things move smoothly, as the anal glands lubricate. He is still looking and doing great now over three years later and is at a chubby 160 grams :) We have not had any issues since removing the glands!
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Posts : 4565
Join date : 2009-12-10
Age : 44
Location : Texas

PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:46 pm


During a conversation with Dr. Walsh today, he reminded me that I have not posted about Apollo.

Apollo's anal gland issues began before he came to me. He had experienced two impactions prior and had had his anal glands expressed each time. Apollo also had health issues related to a separate issue (excessive scar tissue build up).

Apollo was brought to the SGGA in Tulsa several years ago. During the event, he began to experience issues again. So, he was taken to Dr. Walsh for an emergency visit. Dr. Walsh explained to us that a sugar glider's anal glands should never be expressed because the cloaca is a multi-purpose opening and expressing the glands into the cloaca has been known to cause infection to travel up the cloaca to other organs, resulting in widespread infection.
He said that he could aspirate the glands (with a needle) and prescribe antibiotics or he could remove the glands. After discussing the options and the prognosis with each, Apollo's owner agreed to have the glands removed.

It was a quick and simple surgery and Apollo did well. He was immediately put on antibiotics and on a modified diet to keep the stool soft to make it easier to pass. The decision was made that Apollo would stay with me and continue his care with Dr. Walsh. Apollo stayed in a cut down (very small) e-collar for 7 days, with time out of the collar each day. He healed well and began to thrive. No complications were noted related to the anal gland removal.

Approx. two months after his surgery, Apollo began to have difficulty related to the scar tissue build up. Unfortunately, he did not survive. His necropsy showed that his death was not related to the anal gland removal months before.

Here are a few photos of Apollo in the weeks after his surgery:

His bum 3 days after surgery:

getting a treat:

~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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Posts : 1
Join date : 2013-02-10

PostSubject: Swollen anus   Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:34 pm

I wanted to share my story so this does not happen to anyone else. I had a 2 yr old glider, Niko - neutered male. One week I noticed he was smelling a little fishy. A day later, I noticed he was making the shhhh noise like when he urinates, but was doing it excessively and was not able to urinate. His anus was very swollen. I took him to the vet who took him to the back room and then brought him back stating that he was able to make him go to the bathroom (he may have expressed or extended his anus - which I'm reading is not a good thing to do.) The vet stated he had no blockage and sent me home with antibiotics and a pain med. I brought Niko home and his swollen anus was now deep red and his eyes were glossy. It was obvious he was very uncomfortable. A couple hours later, he died. I was devastated. I had a necropsy and they said there was no blockage - it came back inconclusive.
My other glider Zoey is extremely depressed without Niko. I am a nervous mess constantly checking Zoey to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to him. It is horrible not knowing what caused this to happen and not being able to prevent it from happening to my other glider. Any advise? If not, please take this seriously if your glider experiences this.
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