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 The Wombaroo High Protein Diet

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PostSubject: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:41 pm

This diet was presented to us at the RRRoundup as yet another option for feeding our gliders. It was then offered to RRRoundup participants as one of the 3 diets we could feed our gliders (VGV and HPW Complete being the other two).

I wish to thank the Wombaroo company for their generosity in providing all of the food for this demonstration and in making it available to the participants of the RRRoundup. I also want to thank Gordon Rich personally for taking the time to offer suggested alternatives that we can feed here in the states while awaiting some of the ingredients for this diet to be available here. Thank you also to TGI for preparing the presentation and for presenting to us.

******************
That being said, I wanted to open up a discussion here for those that wish to discuss it in a place where it will not get nasty and where it will not get locked. It seems that discussions are getting heated on other boards. This is a legitimate diet being fed to gliders in Australia and steps are being made to make it fully available here in the states, so I think that owners should be aware of it and get the information they need to make a decision on their own.

I found the presentation informative and interesting. I tasted everything (even the solution) and offered it to my own gliders that night as their meal. Personally, the presentation and the trial feeding to my gliders did not convince me to change diets. But there are some that I believe were seriously considering it.

I am looking into the arrowroot cookie thing, but I was not under the impression that the feeding of the cookie was necessary. Perhaps I misunderstood that part. As I said, I don't feed this diet and was there learning along with everyone else, so I'm not in a position to answer questions or to speak with any authority on this particular diet.

When I have time and am not at the hospital with my sister, I will post the diet instructions (or perhaps someone else could post them????). One of the more compelling things for consideration IMO is the length of time this diet has been fed with success in Australia. Is that something that is important when you choose a diet? Those of you that were there, what did YOU think of the presentation and the diet? Those of you reading and studying on other boards or through your conversations with the Wombaroo company, what are your thoughts?

Please discuss! I pray we all learn a bit from this discussion.

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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:23 pm

I only heard of the demo as hearsay, I wasn't available for the online party for the RRR this year, How exactly was it presented without having the Small Carnivore Diet? Has it been accurately passed around that the use of the Gerber cookie recommended against using by Mr. Rich was used?

I have an email into Mr. Rich about this diet asking some questions. I'll share details when I hear back from him. I promise to be a good girl here. I look forward to hearing from those who fed it and how their gliders responded to it in terms of liking it and their thoughts on it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:02 pm

It was presented with yogurt being used in place of the Small Carnivore Diet until it's available here. If you look at the pictures from the Roundup, you can see the picture of the Gerber cookie bag used during the demo.


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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:21 pm

I have been in contact with Gordon and Geoff about this diet. The Gerber Arrowroot cookie is recommend for us in the states. When asked about the Small Carnivore Diet not being available yet in the states I was told to use yogurt. Geoff is in the process of getting the required license to import it. It should be in the next shipment due in the US May or June. You will only be able to buy it from Perfect Pets (Geoff) or The Pampered Glider (me) since you need a license to get it in this country.
I can answer any question you may have since I have been using this diet for 13yr. the only thing I have not feed is the Small Carnivore Diet I use yogurt.
My gliders have loved it. I have never had any health issues with the gliders that have been on it their whole life. The are very active. Their coats are not cracked. They lick their bowls clean every night.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:37 pm

Why did Alden report that the arrowroot cookie is NOT recommended?
And, is this going to be one of those things that is nit picked to death here? Just trying to get myself ready. Honestly, if not comfortable with this cookie use, then feed something else. Isn't that what we are always telling people?

I am happy to openly share my experience with the diet. I fed it to most of my gliders as it was presented at the RRRoundup presentation.

To be honest, my gliders who are NOT picky eaters were very much not impressed. This was my first experience in 4+ years of my gliders not eating what was served to them. That was discouraging to me.
My gliders did not eat any of the fruits and veggies that were topped with the powder. To be honest, I have sprinkled powders on their food before and they HAVE eaten it - even when sprinkled with the HPS powder from Wombaroo. But, the amount we were instructed to serve was not a sprinkling. As a person who works to use a diet that does not include powdered supplements, I was not happy with the volume of powder served over the veggies/fruits.
I gave some of my gliders extra fruits/veggies on the side and they ate every bit of that but did not eat the powder coated ones. The option was given to moisten the powder and toss the veggies and fruits in it and I wish I had done that. As I served it, it was not very palatable to my gliders.

I also felt that the portions of fruits and veggies served were much smaller than what I usually give.

I personally tried the cookie dunked in the solution. It was pretty tasty. I thought that my gliders would like it, but I was wrong. The cookie turned hard as cement when soaked in the solution and it was difficult getting it off our plates the next morning. So, I would like to see a different cookie used.

My gliders ate every bit of the yogurt and all of the solution that was not soaked into the cookie. Other than that, they did not eat much.

As I said, I will not be switching diets. But, I did also read the information presented and I do not fault anyone else if they DO feed it.

Quote :
I have an email into Mr. Rich about this diet asking some questions. I'll share details when I hear back from him.
I honestly hope that you do. I want for us all to have as much information as possible about this diet.

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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:50 pm

This is what Alden told me and I quote:

Quote :
"No, he specifically said NOT fortified for babies. Gerber specifically is what I asked him about and the Iron content was too high."


http://www.sugarglider.com/glidergossip/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=41600&whichpage=2

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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:40 pm

I'm not gonna nit pick I'm just asking about this as Gordon made a direct comment and a ISD warning was posted.

Quote :
Plain Biscuit (supplemented with HPS™ solution*) - 5 g plain Biscuit/Cookie (eg ½ an arrowroot or tea biscuit) with 2 ml of Wombaroo HPS Solution* poured over it. - 15% NOT a fortified toddler arrowroot cookie.

From the email
Quote :
Arrowroot "cookies" in America are something made for toddlers.
Americans love to put iron in anything that is intended for a baby! Do you feel that the amount of iron is acceptable for a glider? Are the other values acceptable?

I wouldn’t recommend using a fortified baby biscuit as food for gliders. Just a normal plain cookie wouldn’t have as much iron. The arrowroot biscuits we get here in Australia are not fortified for babies – I probably should delete reference to them for our US customers
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:44 pm

About the cookies, this is what Alden received from Mr.Rich when asked about it.

Quote :
Hi Alden,

I wouldn’t recommend using a fortified baby biscuit as food for gliders. Just a normal plain cookie wouldn’t have as much iron. The arrowroot biscuits we get here in Australia are not fortified for babies – I probably should delete reference to them for our US customers!

Regards,

Gordon.
(can be found in this thread: http://www.glidercentral.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/1239633/2)

They are worried about ISD (Iron storage disease)

But he did indeed also state they were not a *must have* it was just to make the glider more apt to eat it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:19 pm

Quote :
I probably should delete reference to them for our US customers!
I can see from this statement where people might have gotten confused or lead in this direction. I'm glad there was some clarification saught on the matter.

Finnessa, I don't mind questions and discussion on any matter. But, if we have clarification and accurate information now, I just don't want to see it become a dead horse that we all beat. Does that make sense?

Is ISD something that they see in gliders over there? Are we seeing it here in the US?

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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

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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:29 pm

From: ness [mailto:fiestyangel18@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, 19 March 2012 2:24 AM
To: wombaroo@adelaide.on.net
Subject: Sugar Glider Diet

Hello Mr. Rich,
1.) Would you be so kind as to send me the guideline used for your recommended Sugar Glider diet? Alden only posted as a copy and paste with her own "notes"
2.) Alden has posted you agreed that the Green juice can replace the water in your recommended diet either by whole or partial. I do not see this recommendation in the emails. Would you agree that this was recommended?
3.) Alden has also posted that you recommended the Mazuri Insectivore Diet as a substitute for your Small Carnivore Diet, I do not see this in the emails either. Would you agree that this was recommended?
4.) Do you have any studies or testing that would support the use of this diet for captive bred/raised Sugar Gliders?
5.) Would you be so kind as to answer whether or not Sugar Gliders in the wild/zoos vs. Sugar gliders kept in smaller cages would/would not need as much food/vitamin/nutrient wise?
6.) Can you answer if all or some of this is accurate? This was posted by Alden which I can't seem to find all of these things listed publicly. " just in the Rich family alone you have a biochemist, a hospital scientist specialising in microbiology and haematology, a pathologist, an ornithologist and aviculturist, and a Chemical Engineer."
7.) In reading your emails I see that you refer to your product as HPS and not HPW, would this be the correct acronym used by your company in the selling of your product?

Thank you for your time and Effort,

Sincerely,
Finnessa

Hi Finnessa,

Thanks for your enquiry regarding our feeding guidelines for Sugar Gliders. In answer to your questions:
1) Please find attached our feeding guidelines
2) We don’t specifically recommend the use of “Green Juice”. However this could be used as a “vehicle” for creating an artificial nectar, as blended fruit juice is mainly composed of water and carbohydrate – if you add some Wombaroo High Protein Supplement to this, it will provide the essential protein, fatty acids, vitamins & minerals.
3) We don’t specifically recommend the use of Mazuri Insectivore Diet – although they are well respected company in the zoo industry and this product looks reasonable at first glance. But we’re not in the business of critically analysing other company’s products. However, this product is quite high in Iron (335ppm compared to Wombaroo Small Carnivore which has <70ppm). I would question as to whether this level of iron is required for Sugar Gliders, however it may not be a problem if it is only a small portion of the diet.
4) We don’t have any published studies on the use of this diet for captive Sugar Gliders – there would be very few diets that do. However we do have over 25 years experience in formulating food products for native Australian animals. Remember we don’t manufacture a 100% complete diet for Sugar Gliders, we make a useful supplement that can be applied to a range of common food items to provide a more balanced diet.
5) Our recommendations are based on an energy usage of 2.5xBMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), which takes into account the lower energy needs of captive animals. Wild gliders can have energy intakes of about 4xBMR – ie would require significantly more energy. However, many nutrient requirements (eg vitamins, minerals and most essential amino acids) are not directly related to energy intake. Therefore to meet requirements, captive diets need to have higher concentrations of such nutrients than wild diets.
6) I hope these answers clarify your queries.
7) Our product is called Wombaroo High Protein Supplement or HPS for short. We’ve never referred to it as HPW.

Kind Regards,

Gordon Rich.

Wombaroo Food Products / Passwell Pty Ltd
PO Box 151
Glen Osmond
SA 5064
Ph 08 8391 1713
Fax 08 8391 1713
www.wombaroo.com.au


Here is a download link to the guideline he sent me.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11023898/Sugar_Glider_-_Wombaroo_Feeding_Guidelines.docx
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:08 pm

I did participate in the RRRoundup online but I don't remember this being discussed. Maybe I missed this part or maybe the demonstration only took place at the physical gathering. Posting here to watch it as now I'm interested.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:11 pm

It was Friday night, Davie. I wish it had been webcast!

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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:12 pm

Oh. ;)
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:18 pm

Does anyone have the handout about the diet from the meeting available I can get a copy of?
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:36 pm

Quote :
Is ISD something that they see in gliders over there? Are we seeing it here in the US?

Do you remember years back when we were loosing a lot of gliders to liver problems and/or liver cancer? ISD can also be a cause to liver cancer and other organ failure.

Here is write up in the Merck Vet Manual, although it covers horses and cattles.
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/22828.htm

I have an email out to Tim to ask him if he has any reports showing this specifically or if it has to be tested for during a histo. Maybe Dr. Walsh would know more about it as well.

I dont know if it is something they see over there.


Last edited by srlb on Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:37 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : forgot to add link)
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:07 pm

I asked because it is not coming up as a specific diagnosis on necropsies. However, we do still have liver disease as the leading cause of death in sugar gliders. So, this is very interesting.

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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:24 pm

I have to email back for something anyway, I'll ask in my email and let you know his response.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:47 pm

Okay from what I've read & remember from the demo, I do believe the cookie was just a "vehicle" to encourage the gliders to eat the suspension.

Val I did toss my glider's food best I could before putting it in their cages so most of the powder was absorbed. My new platty boy ate it all! Even the powder I couldn't get mixed in (it is more than a "sprinkle") My other 2 cages had nursing mothers so I feed for 3 rather than 2. One cage I felt ate their 2 portions & the other cage I felt ate closer to 1 portion. BUT these gliders have always been picky about fruits ~ hence my further conversations w/Suz Saturday evening about feeding optional fruits & veggies. She said the list was not set in stone & that variety was most important (each night.)

Melinda I can scan & email you the diet sheets we were given.

If I can get confirmation that the cookie is not needed I would consider this diet when the other component becomes available.

My concern is calcium content. And to be honest if it's on the info sheets given to us I overlooked it trying to hear all of what Suz was saying during the demo (have to read lips) & I have not looked @ them since.

My personal plan for the powder if I decide to feed HPS, is to cut my fruits/veggies & place them in a container w/the powder, shake & set while I gather plates & foragers & clean them. Then scoop the servings appropriately. I think w/juicy melons & slightly wet leafy greens the powder should soak in well & Suz agreed, but I don't know what Wombaroo would say.

Thank you so much for starting this thread!

Oh! Another thing I am interested in is if they do full necropsy/hyst. & also how often & how long have they been doing them. I just want to know that we are making good comparisons if that makes sense.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:52 am

Melinda the hand out will be available on the TGI website this week end as a PDF
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:48 am

From: ness [mailto:fiestyangel18@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 21 March 2012 11:17 AM
To: wombaroo@adelaide.on.net
Subject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet

Thank you for your response, it helps greatly in learning more of the diet side of things and making sure it gets done properly here in the states. I do have a few more questions though.

1. I see the mention of ISD in your dialog with Alden. You recommend against using the fortified toddler cookies. Do you see ISD often in Sugar gliders in Australia? There are owners currently looking into seeing if this is common here as well.
2. Would you happen to know of any special testing done there to determine ISD in Sugar Gliders?
3. Would you happen to know if your diet recommendations in your guideline are widely used in Australia?
4. Do you think the use of "natural food supplies" would vary from Sugar gliders in Australia vs. Indonesian ones? Ours are believed to have originated from Indonesia. Would the requirements be similar and not risky to use something not truly "native" to our own?
5. Do you mind if I pass these questions/answer correspondings along to other owners?

Thank you for your time,
Finnessa


Hi Finnessa,

We are always happy to answer questions about animal nutrition. In response to your news questions:

1. No we do not have clinically diagnosed ISD reported often in Sugar Gliders here in Australia, and we are not suggesting that it is a widespread problem. But we have certainly heard of reports of high levels of circulating iron as well as tissue deposition of iron in necropsied animals kept in captivity. ISD may be under-reported because very few people get necropsies done of dead animals. The main point is that these animals have low levels of iron in their natural diet so why should we be feeding them a high content of iron in a captive diet?. As many human foods are fortified with iron then it makes sense to avoid them as dietary items for gliders.

2. There is no special testing done for ISD in Sugar Gliders in Australia – its not really considered a major problem here. Most vets should be able to diagnose ISD, or at least the precursor condition of hemosiderosis (iron accumulation in body tissue).

3. We’ve been feeding Gliders in captivity for over 25 years. As in the US, there are many variations to glider diets also in Australia, but the majority probably use Wombaroo HPS as part of their diet. We are not telling people what to feed – we are simply providing guidelines for how to supply a balanced diet to captive animals.

4. The digestive physiology and nutritional requirements of Australian and Indonesian gliders would be very similar.

5. No problems!

Kind regards,

Gordon Rich.

Wombaroo Food Products / Passwell Pty Ltd
PO Box 151
Glen Osmond
SA 5064
Ph 08 8391 1713
Fax 08 8391 1713
www.wombaroo.com.au
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PostSubject: Re: The Wombaroo High Protein Diet   Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:26 am

sugeebaby wrote:
Melinda the hand out will be available on the TGI website this week end as a PDF

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