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 Using diapers on gliders

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PostSubject: Using diapers on gliders   Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:45 pm

This topic came up recently on GC, but was closed before I got an opportunity to respond.

I will start by saying that I do NOT condone the use of diapers on gliders. But, there is a well-known mill breeder who sells them, and it seems that several in our community have found them to be a wonderful alternative for themselves.

Notice I said for "themselves" as the decision to use a diaper on a glider is NOT about the glider, but is about the owner.


Everyone is entitled to make their own decisions about their pet care. If you happen to make a decision that I do not support, then that is your right (so long as we are not talking about my gliders here). But, as I have said a million times on this site, I believe that you should make INFORMED decisions.

So, I am going to take a moment to share with you some of the health risks related to the use of diapers on gliders.

Health risk #1 - The diaper covers the cloaca (obviously) and keeps waste within the diaper. Please remember that the cloaca is a multi-purpose opening. This is why we strongly discourage the expressing of anal glands. Should any infection travel UP the cloaca as a result of sitting in waste or expressing glands, then that bacteria can cause a septic reaction in the bladder, colon, sex organs, urinary tract or anal glands (or all of the above). Since bacterial infection is currently listed as the #2 cause of death of sugar gliders (according to SUGAR Group research), I wonder why anyone would risk this. ????


Health risk #2 - Use of a diaper would mean that the glider would be sitting with his/her waste next to his/her skin for a period of time. I would like to believe that diapers would only be used for a very short time, but I am realistic and have seen people do many things that defy logic in their glider treatment. Sugar glider urine can be very acidic. We frequently see that gliders who urinate in their sleeping pouches experience what we call "urine burn" where their fur actually begins to fall out due to close and extended contact with their own urine. For some gliders, this contact does not have to be for very long at all.
Here is one glider who was recovering from urine burn:

While I am sure everyone who chooses to utilze these diapers would state that they would never leave their glider in the diaper for very long, but this remains a very real risk. We all know that you do it for 10 minutes the first time, then 10 minutes turns to 20 then to 30 and so on. This makes urine burn a very real risk.

Health risk #3 - Even human babies get diaper rash when their diapers are changed frequently. The difference there is that human children do not self mutilate themselves when they experience discomfort. Gliders do. So, should a glider receive urine burn or an infection from use of the diaper, then the risk of self-mutilation increases. Really, why increase your chances of SM when it is so easily avoided in this case? I wish someone could help me understand this.

Additionally, contact with waste without the ability to immediately groom it will result in staining. Personally, I work to ELIMINATE staining, not to create it.

These are just three of the health risks associated with use of diapers in gliders. For me, just one of these is reason enough not to do so. Diaper use is not a medical necessity and it is never about the gliders. I am having trouble seeing where the decision to use them is ever about anything other than owner desire or convenience. Maybe there are some valid reasons for using them ??????

As always, I am intersted to hear what others think.

Would you use them? If so, why? If not, why not?

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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

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Usha77
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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:36 pm

I would not use them. I don't see the point in them at all. I have absolutely no problem with my gliders urinating and defecating on me or any of my possessions. Generally, when they poop I can just let it fall to the floor and use a handheld vacuum to suck it up. When they pee on my skin, I wipe it off; when they pee on my clothes, I leave it or will change clothes if I feel it is necessary; when they pee on my things, I wipe it up and wash as needed. No big deal to me whatsoever. In fact, I am sitting here with dried urine on my arm and shirt and most likely a little bit of poop in my bra. Seeing the possible health risks associated with using diapers, it just reinforces my belief that it is unnecessary and not worth the risks. If there are valid reasons for using them, I'd love to hear about it.
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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Well, ok I was going to basically say the same. LOL (plus some & now I'm glad I waited and got coffee because I 'nicened up'.
I keep baby wipes or clorox wipes here in their room. When they pee or poop...I just take care of it in half a second. I see no positive whatsoever to them, in wearing a diaper. It is ONLY for the owner's convenience.

What I was more upset about in that thread on GC was that the glider owner admitted beforehand that where she was thinking about buying the diapers...was a mill breeder. She knew that. Then she bought them and basically said her giving the mill breeder $20 was not really supporting them. Yes it is. Very much so. She said she had multiple people pming her to see how the diapers fare with her gliders. So in essence....she will promote them if she likes them, then those people will buy them...from the mill...that is big time supporting and promoting. It's silly to say that it isn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:06 am

I didn't get to see the GC thread but I absoutly agree with everyone on this thread so far. I also keep wetnaps, baby wipes, what ever ya want to call them and even sometimes just a dampened paper towel with me in the glider room and at the cage. I also just scoop it up or wet whatever or vacuum as necessary. I have NO issues with my gliders doing their business on me. I take this as a great opportunity to see that each one of them has pee'd or pooped. Sometimes when you clean the tray you don't know whose pee or poop is whose when you have more than 1 glider in a cage.
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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:10 am

I wasn't sure I was reading the title of this thread right. I can't believe someone would actually make a diaper for gliders.
There is no way I would ever even consider using one on my gliders. I have baby wipes, Kleenex or roll of toilet paper with me when ever my gliders are out. Having gliders you have to get use to the fact that they are going to go potty whenever and wherever. I just think the diaper would do more harm than good to their little bodies.
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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:01 pm

I wish you would have been able to post that on GC Val. That knowledge may have persuaded her to NOT buy the diaper.

I agree with everyone else, if you don't like to be peed & pooped on, then a sugar glider is not a good choice for you. Diapers will never be in my house!!

Now, to answer Val's question "Would you use them? If so, why? If not, why not?" According to the post on GC, her friend uses them because she has an allergic reaction to the urine. The friend has "successfully" used them for quite some time.

The OP wanted to try one so when her friends wanted to hold the glider, it wouldn't eliminate on them. My suggestion was to not let her friends hold the gliders if it was a problem.

Just posting this info here in case you didn't read the thread. I do not condone the use of a diaper for a sugar glider for any reason. Even with allergies, I feel you have to make a good decision ~ either deal with the reaction, or find a different home for the gliders if the reaction is unbearable. That may be a very difficult decision for someone to make, but IMO I would risk the heartbreak rather than put my gliders in harms way.
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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:18 pm

Any time I have friends or family who would like to see the gliders, I first warn them that there is a very strong likelihood that they will be eliminated on. A few have declined to hold them or allow them to jump on them, but most have said that is fine and when my gliders do jump onto them and then urinate or defecate, they have never had a problem with it, either. I always apologize and everyone says they don't mind and they do not act disgusted or uncomfortable. I'm in such a habit of apologizing for it that when I have glider friends who get peed or pooped on, I apologize and they just look at me like I'm crazy!
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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:36 pm

ROFL Brenda! That just reminded me of when my 76 year old stepmom came down here to visit and wanted to hang with me while I let my gliders out to play. I warned her that they pee and poop (which they did not do on her) and that they would crawl all over her. She said, "Ok let's get them out, they are so cute, I'm not afraid". So there we sat, on my futon in the glider room....the quad crawling all over us and one started to give her a sweet 'pedicure'. She started jerking her foot all over the place and almost kicked my girl across the room and for the first time in my life, I almost popped my 76 year old stepmom in the side of the head out of instinct.

Off topic, I know....sorry. LOL The moral is....it's not always best to let guests and friends handle your gliders.

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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:55 pm

If you have allergies - then the loving thing to do is for YOU to change your routine, behavior or dress, rather than force your pet to do so. Heavens, you could wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt. Or, you can take medication like people who are allergic to cats but insist on keeping them as pets do. Or you could treat yourself with quickderm! LOL

The point I am trying to make is that we should not get a pet if we cannot make decisions that are, at all times, best for the pet. They depend upon us to care for them. We are charged with caring for them to the very best of our ability. Taking health risks such as the above with them just for our own comfort or convenience is a slap in the cute furry face to the trust they give to us.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ 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

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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:35 am

OK, while I would never consider putting a diaper on my gliders, I just had this vision of what a bloody mess I would be trying to diaper 5 unwilling gliders so they could come out of the cage to play! I think the bites from my insulted gliders would be much worse than the pee, that cleans up with a tissue, or poo that can be brushed off and cleaned up later.

Play time would not be much fun for me with bandaids all over my fingers.

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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:30 pm

If I want to use diapers I would have another baby.
I would think trying to put a diaper on most gliders would result in more of a bad experience and you could loose your gliders trust then you would be doing any good with it.

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PostSubject: Re: Using diapers on gliders   Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:20 am

I would not use diapers.

One reson why I tried to get people to calm down in that thread is I knew it was a "touchy" subject. In instances like that, people need to state the facts and let the person decide for them self. Because of a few not keeping it in check, that member and all the others reading there did not get the benefit of Val's information here. THAT is a shame.

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