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tinkerbellesmomm

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PostSubject: SHARING STORIES   Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:58 pm

Members are encouraged to share stories of gliders who have experienced seizures 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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Something_To_Believe_In
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PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:33 am

~ ATHOS - HYPOGLYCEMIC SEIZURES ~


Athos is a glider that had lived here for over a year. He and his cage mate were here during times when there were few other cages, so they got a lot of extra attention from me. Athos & Porthos would go everywhere with me. They were very tame and very curious gliders. AND, they were VERY used to going into my tent and play room.

One night, after a few hours of play time, I was carrying Athos back to his cage. He was on my shoulder, as these boys were gliders that I could walk from room to room with and not worry about them jumping off of me - they LOVED to go see what was going to happen next.

While walking from the tent to the room where Athos' cage is, Athos suddenly reared up on his hind legs and then almost fell off of my shoulder. I caught him and noticed that he was having a seizure. Since I have other gliders who have seizures, I was quick to prepare all the materials needed for him. I checked for dehydration during the seizure - he was not dehydrated. He came out of the seizure and was disoriented for about 10 minutes following it.

As I said, he has been here for a long time. This was the first seizure for him. We went to the vet the next day. He was again checked for dehydration and was hydrated. Fecals and urinalysis run and all was well. Blood was tested and his sugar was a bit low. Otherwise, all was fine.

Dr. Pearson believes that this was a hypoglycemic seizure. So, I made adjustments for Athos and for every other glider in my home to prevent this.

Athos gets a snack in mid afternoon to help keep his blood sugar up.
EVERY glider in my home is fed earlier, to ensure that they have food in the cage when they get up and become active.
EVERY time I put gliders in the tent or play room, I put a partial serving of food in there for them as well.
I hand feed a treat to each glider upon putting them in the tent or play room.

This allows the gliders to keep blood sugar levels stable and to avoid hypoglycemic seizures.

Athos has not had another seizure since. He is watched closely and a seizure log is/will be completed each time he seizes.

Athos and Porthos now live in a new home with a wonderful new mommy. She takes them to work with her all the time and lets them out for play time every night. They are loved and spoiled. She was educated on his seizure risk and follows the same procedures I listed above. Athos has not had another seizure to this date.

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~*~ 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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jacknsally

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PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:11 pm

Melodie - Seizure Disorder

I was given Melodie as a gift when she was 8wks oop. I've raised her since then and she eventually grew to a family size of a quad. Melodie is a very sweet tame girl, loves attention and very playful. Fast forward to just over 1yr oop, Melodie started to have seizures. In the moment of her first seizure, I thought Melodie was dying- I've seen a glider in it's last moments but have never witnessed a seizure and they have a similar resemblance if one doesn't know any different. Once I realized Melodie wasn't dieing and it was a seizure, I traced all my steps leading up to the seizure. At first I thought it was something chemical in my home that may have triggered the seizure since her first was out of the blue and in an environment she has known her entire life. I couldn't narrow it down to anything and thought it was a fluke. But soon realized that every time I handled Melodie, she would have a seizure. So it was the anxiety/handling of Melodie that was bringing on her seizures. A very sad moment to realize, I was doing this to my baby.

I began tracking and adjusting Melodie's schedule to rule out or diagnosis her has possibly being hypoglycemic. But with no luck the seizures still took place despite the effort. Fecals & urinalysis were ran to rule out parasites/bacteria but no blood work. I have spoken to 3 vets about Melodie and her seizures and all 3 have felt that her seizures are the result of a seizure disorder/epilepsy or something on the brain. There are a few ways to check for that but I'm not sure if I'm willing to go that route just yet. An mri may show if there is a cyst or something on the brain, but then what?

Melodie has absent seizures. After the initial start where she suddenly jerks & thrashes her head back like she's gasping for air- she is off in a trance. There is no jerking or large movements- she just stares off, foams out the mouth and has a death grip while tightly curling her hands & feet. Her body is very limp except for her grip and her breathing varies. The seizures last anywhere from a minute to several minutes. At first Melodie would come out of the seizure completely disoriented- she wouldn't respond to me, didn't recognize her cage mates or even her home- she was completely freaked out and even violent at first. Going on over a year later and Melodie will now come out of her seizures like nothing ever happened, well except for seeming very thirsty- I always have apple juice on hand when I'm handling her. Not sure if it helps any but it helps me to feel better knowing she has it available.

I've come to the acceptance that I may one day lose Melodie during a seizure and may never have the answer to her cause until then. Knowing this, I do keep Melodie's interaction with being handled down to a minimum. We have an understanding between us and I'm grateful she understands. My heart breaks knowing that if I was to be selfish and handle her more, I'd be putting her into a seizure for my enjoyment. Despite being handled and played with less, Melodie and her cage mates are a very sweet quad.

I'm attaching 2 videos of Melodie in a seizure. It may be heartbreaking to watch.

This one lasted about 2mins but I only got 1.5 minutes of the seizure. I was alone when videoing, so I couldn't capture her going in to the seizure ( I had to brace her so she wouldn't fall to the floor) or coming out of it. As you'll see, there doesn't seem like much is going on and she just looks like I'm holding her. But if you look closer, you'll see her blinking alot, she will twitch a little and she'll foam out the mouth. There is a moment when I open my hand to show how much of a death grip she has, which is different than when a glider is just normally holding on. I tried to comfort her as much as possible but it was hard to show that while holding the camera with the other hand- normally I am caressing and petting her the entire time and keeping her face clean of saliva. There is one moment where I pull her close to me to cuddle and let her know I'm still there. When I have a chance, I'll try to capture another seizure and show the initial moments going in, which to me is the scariest moment.



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Anita Rae

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PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:15 am

Nancy, these videos are no longer available. Is there a way that you can repost them. I just found this.

The reason that I am asking is this sounds a lot like what used to happened with my flyer. I never thought to post here about it because it is not glider related.

This was about 5 years ago and I could go look up what I posted on the flyer board if it would help. We kept Sissy on meds for about a year and then, after she had her first pup, we slowly weaned her from the meds and she is OK but I still watch her for signs of seizures. I guess some seizures can be hormonal.
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jacknsally

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PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:09 pm

Sure - here ya go

http://s63.photobucket.com/albums/h121/jacknsally92/?action=view&current=DSCF3178.mp4

http://s63.photobucket.com/albums/h121/jacknsally92/?action=view&current=DSCF3177.mp4
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Anita Rae

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PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:32 am

Wow! you are a lot calmer that I was when Sissy was going through that. It really freaked me out. Anyway I just went back and read all that I posted because sometimes my memory isn't very accurate and I wouldn't want to tell you anything that isn't 100%.

Here is a link to the post I made on the squirrel board if you want to read it.

Sissy is having seizures

We put Sissy on Phenobarbital. And again I don't know if that will help you or not because she is not a glider but you can use Pheno on animals that small. Full grown flyers are about 2/3 the size of gliders. The vet componded it in her office.

The vet had told me that many things can cause seizures and there was a good chance that we could run tests and not find out what the cause was. One of the things she mentioned was changes in hormones and that Sissy might be going through puberty. After Sissy had a pup, I slowly weaned her off the Pheno. I took about two months to get her off it, and I watched her like a hawk. I still watch her for any signs of the seizures coming back.

Hugs kiddo, I know how hard this is.
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Something_To_Believe_In
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PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:31 am

How did you monitor the level of phenobarbital in her blood? One of the reasons it is not recommended with gliders is because the levels have to be monitored to ensure they don't reach toxic levels, and the only way to do that is through blood draws every 6-8 weeks.
Did you have blood draws on Sissy, or did you just trust she would be OK?

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ 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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Anita Rae

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PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:19 pm

We didn't monitor it. All we did was observe her. If she was sleeping too much, then it was too much meds. If the seizures continued we would have upped the dose a little. Sissy was only about 4 months old when she had those seizure, and they were full blown bad to the bone scarey seizures , so you can imagine how small she was. I don't remember her exact weight but I'm sure it is in the vets records. The vet allowed me to monitor and do what I thought was best. But the dose that she thought would work did so I didn't have to change make any changes. I kept her on the Pheno for about a year before I started to wean her off. Like I said, I reduced the meds very slowly and watched her for any signs of trouble.

I don't know how the vet compounded the meds but I do remember them telling me that they compounded it specifically for sissy. Her Dose was 0.1 cc twice a day. I just went and looked that up to make sure that I had it correct. It was like two drops out of a tiny little syringe.

The other thing is that it is apparently much harder to get blood from a flyer. Most of the time they can't seem to get enough to do anything with it.

I don't know if any of this will help you guys but I sure hope that it does.
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jacknsally

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PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:21 pm

Anita Rae wrote:
Wow! you are a lot calmer that I was when Sissy was going through that. It really freaked me out.

They did in the beginning but she has them so often and I know what they are now, it's a little easier to handle. I don't know about the hormonal changes being the cause. She started getting them at just over a yr oop and she's now 3.5yrs oop and still having them. I knew about the pheno being used for seizures in other animals, but I've had a couple vets tell me that she would need such a small dose and calculating that right dose could be difficult. With anxiety triggering her seizures, giving her the meds alone would probably bring on a seizure and then we wouldn't know if it actually would get into her system.

Could be something to look into though.
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angelic4296

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PostSubject: Gizzy's seizure   Mon May 09, 2011 3:52 pm

Background:
I purchased Gizzy on 9/4/05 from a petstore in Melbourne, FL. He was being kept alone in a CRITTER CARRIER (yes, you read that right) and I couldn't allow him to remain in those cruel conditions. He had been returned to the petstore by his first family because he was "vicious" - well when young children pull on a glider's tail and grab at him with rough hands - what would YOU do if you were him???? I took him home that very day, along with lots of supplies and a good cage. Within a week he was on BML (I had found GC), had brand new pouches and toys, a wheel, tons of attention and playtime etc....basically everything a good and caring owner provides for their glider. He was EXACTLY 3 months OOP when I brought him home (his OOP date was 6/4/05).

The Issue:
On 12/3/05 at around 10:30pm, Gizzy had a seizure. The symptoms/behaviors he exhibited were:
- his body became very stiff and rigid
- his eyes became fixed and spacey
- he started twitching/spasming violently
- when he came out of it, he was extremely disoriented and confused and also very uncoordinated and slow moving, not sure of his footing

The seizure lasted maybe a minute or so. I took Gizzy to the vet the next day. My regular vet referred me to a specialist, who worked with complex health issues in exotics. His name is Dr. Orlando Diaz-Figueroa (he was at Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Maitland, FL when I saw him; he now has a practice with his wife called Lake Howell Animal Clinic in Maitland, FL). I just want to add that he is FABULOUS - really knows his stuff and is very very kind. Dr. Diaz-Figueroa said that the seizure was related to not enough calcium (he was fed pellets at his first home, pellets at the petstore, and had been put on BML within a week of him being with me, so he had been on BML just a tad under 3 months) and immediately put him on an oral calcium supplement for 2 weeks.

Gizzy never had a seizure again and today, at 6 years old next month, is a happy and health boy :) The biggest lessons I took away from that experience are A) prior history and care really can have a massive impact on a glider's life, even months or years after the fact, no matter how short a time that poor care was given for and B) do not panic when something serious like this happens because your glider will feel and feed off that stress thereby making the glider more stressed and anxiety-ridden.
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Usha77
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PostSubject: Re: SHARING STORIES   Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:24 am

About 5 months ago, I was showing my gliders to a friend's 12 year old son.  I took Tika out of the pouch as she has always been my friendliest and most adventurous glider who loved to meet new people.  She was sitting on my arm and became very stiff and still as though she were nervous.  A bit of clear liquid came out of her mouth and she started shaking her head.  I thought maybe she had just drank some water or she was spitting up a bit.  I was worried, but she seemed fine shortly after that and so I thought it must have been a fluke or something.  A few months later, the same thing happened when I was showing my gliders to another person.  Both of these instances happened in the evening before the gliders were fed so I thought maybe that was the problem.  A few weeks ago, I attempted to introduce Tika and Tas to a new glider.  I made sure they all had plenty of treats and everything was going fine for several minutes.  Then, Tika had another episode and I was then pretty well convinced that it was a seizure.  I read about seizures on here and then really knew that is what had been happening and knew I needed to make an appointment to see the vet.  I hadn't done that yet when I decided to clean the glider room and their cages last Sunday.  I wanted to clean everything, so I took all of the gliders out of their pouches and put them into small travel cages.  As soon as I placed Tika in the travel cage, she had another seizure.  I went and got their pouch and put that in with them, thinking that would make things less stressful.  On Monday, I finally made a vet appointment and know I should have done that long before. 

Our vet visit went great on Monday afternoon even though I had thought that if the seizures were brought on by stress or anxiety, she would definitely have one at the vet.  She did great with the exam and the vet said she looked very healthy.  We had a fecal and urinalysis done and the only thing out of the ordinary was a trace amount of blood in the urine and more than the usual amount of white blood cells.  We were given TMZ-SMP for a possible UTI and decided that we would wait to do any blood work to see how things go on the new diet (I switched to VGV a few days before the vet visit).  If Tika's seizures become more severe or more frequent or if she starts losing weight, we are to go back right away.  The vet was leaning toward idiopathic reasons for the seizures, but we are definitely keeping an eye on her. 

As we were leaving the exam room, there was some commotion in the hall and dogs barking.  Tika started seizing and I called the vet over and she saw what was happening.  We are definitely leaning towards stress and anxiety being the causes of these seizures, so I will be doing everything in my power to keep Tika away from stressful situations.  I will also be keeping a log of the seizures and will be going back to the vet if they get any worse or if she starts acting ill.
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