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 To hand raise or not to hand raise....What a question!??!

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DoubleBogey

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PostSubject: To hand raise or not to hand raise....What a question!??!   Sun May 27, 2012 10:24 am

Hello my friends,

I know that some of you know about my recent tragedy with a glider that I hand raised. I won't go into the heart wrenching story but suffice it to say - my heart is still in a million pieces.

I am coming here to petition the thoughts of experienced gliders for future potential situations. My little guy was successfully hand raised - yet he SM'd so bad at a later date, we lost him. Now, I know that hand raised babies are at an increased risk for self mutilation and I certainly understand that we do not have all of the answers as of yet.

What is your opinion of hand raising rejected joeys? Do you believe that we should let nature take it's course? I personally had a very hard time just "leaving it be" - I am an "intervener"...a "fixer"...a "helper". However, had I known this was his fate, I might have changed my course. I feel fading out to death is much better than the traumatized, fear smattered, painful death that he experienced. And the guilt...it is intense. I am not asking for anyone to assuage that. It's impossible. But I do want to know what to consider for the future.

I won't lie, this question has been eating at me to the extent that I am considering no more joeys period. The question is just a bit much. While I have only had the one set rejected, I am mortified to be faced with this question again knowing the potential outcome could be even worse.

Please share your thoughts as gently as you can given the situation. I don't expect to be bashed, but I can assure you all - I have beaten myself up worse than you can imagine for potentially causing unnecessary suffering to a sweet man that I loved dearly.

What would you do in the same situation? Do we always hand raise? If not, what variables do YOU consider when making the decision? Do we assume responsibility for the risk and do all we can - or assume there is something underlying? And if we do let nature take it's course and they survive, what's next? Does anyone have stats that show what percentage of hand raised joeys end up in health demise?

Thank you all for any information. I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and opinions.
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GliderNursery

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PostSubject: Re: To hand raise or not to hand raise....What a question!??!   Sun May 27, 2012 10:23 pm

This is my post from LGG:

I feel both ways (if that's possible). I think the idea of trying to hand raise a joey depends on a couple of things.

One - do you have the time? Can you physically handle the demanding time and loss of sleep hand raising requires during those first few weeks?

Two - how far along is the joey? Many times if its a preemy, they can't be saved. Does that mean you shouldn't try?

Three - why is it being rejected? Of course, this we normally never know. But in some cases it's because mom has an infection. Whereas if there wasn't an infection, the joey likely wouldn't have been rejected in the first place.

Whether you feel nature should take its course or not is a very personal decision/opinion. I do believe that in certain situations, the mom knows better than us. But unfortunately, we don't usually know the reasons for rejection. Is there a problem with the joey we can't see? Does mom have enough milk? Young mom? We can question forever and still never find the exact answer.

I think, in your particular situation from what you posted above, that something was likely wrong with the joey from birth. The parents were just doing what comes natural. I've gone through a couple of rejections and cannibalization ~ it's not easy.

In one situation where I had a joey rejected, I drove over 5 hours to take it to Nancy to try to hand raise. With my job, it wasn't possible for me to even try. That particular joey didn't make it, and I feel its because there was something not quite right to begin with.

I'm so sorry for what you and your joey went through. Just remember, what I feel is right for me to do in my breeding program (whether its to hand raise or not) may not be right for someone else in theirs. And I don't believe that anyone should judge us for the decisions we feel are best for our joeys.
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Something_To_Believe_In
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PostSubject: Re: To hand raise or not to hand raise....What a question!??!   Mon May 28, 2012 8:11 am

This is one of those things for which there is NO right or wrong answer - there is only different opinions. In this situation, it is important for one to know themselves well so that they can make a determination about what is best for THEM.

I know people on both sides of this fence. Neither of them are wrong. I find that I admire the person who says "I can't do this for these reasons" just as much as I admire the one who says "I must try for these reasons." So long as someone has thought things out and is not just regurgitating what they have heard/read someone else say, I respect their decisions - even when they differ from mine.

Quote :
Now, I know that hand raised babies are at an increased risk for self mutilation
????? Increased risk as compared to those that are not hand raised? Are there statistics or a study regarding this?

I do not think this is an accurate statement. The statistics that the SUGAR Group has about SM indicate only that it is very rare. I have never seen any statistics to indicate that hand raised gliders are more apt to SM. That certainly has not been true in my home. Having said that, rejected joeys ARE sometimes rejected because they have health issues that we cannot see, so there is, perhaps, an increased chance of underlying health issues in those that we choose to try to save after rejection.

Quote :
What would you do in the same situation? Do we always hand raise? If not, what variables do YOU consider when making the decision? Do we assume responsibility for the risk and do all we can - or assume there is something underlying? And if we do let nature take it's course and they survive, what's next?
For ME personally, I know myself first. I am a rescuer and an emergency medical responder by CHOICE in my life. I have a career that allows me to help/rehab those in need. My very nature is to try to save life first and improve the quality of it second. So, that is what I do. I will always TRY. But, I try with realistic expectations and understanding of all possible outcomes.

Because we know there are many reasons for rejection, I will do my best to discover the reason. I will take mom to the vet ASAP and run all applicable tests. If I can rule out that it is a problem on mom's end, then I can guess that either she did not want to be a mom, that she was significantly stressed and felt this was best, or that there is something wrong with the joey. I don't have a test for any of those things, so I continue my hand-raising efforts with that understanding. If the joey makes it to the age of 8 or 9 weeks, I then get him in to Dr. Walsh for a full exam including x-rays. This may not reveal anything useful, but it does fit into the "everything I can do" range, and it does make me feel a bit better.
If the joey does not make it, or if we end up in a terrible situation like you faced, then I have a full necropsy and histopathology performed so that we can get all information we can from the situation in hopes that, combined with others, one day answers will emerge that will allow us to decrease this risk in the future.

That is how *I* have handled things in the past and how I would do so again in the future. For others, it is different. Again, no real "right or wrong" here.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ 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.


Last edited by Something_To_Believe_In on Mon May 28, 2012 11:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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DoubleBogey

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PostSubject: Re: To hand raise or not to hand raise....What a question!??!   Mon May 28, 2012 10:12 am

I appreciate all of your answers and opinions. My statement about an increased risk for SMing should not have been included. Please understand that this is not an area of intense research for me and I was just repeating what I thought I heard.

In the middle of the night and in the throws of an emergency, I guess we can make mistakes and misunderstand a statement. I certainly do not want to put incorrect information out there. So please disregard that single statement from my post. Just to be clear, I misunderstood a statement that was made to me about an increased risk in overall health issues in rejected joeys (that could or could not lead to SM) and inadvertently correlated that to the increased risk of SM and did not realize until last night. I hope that I have not caused anyone any confusion and that this post clears that piece up.

I am feeling pretty solid about the future of my decision. I know myself better than this and probably never really "needed" to post the topic in retrospect - perhaps affirmation was was on the menu. Either way, I DO appreciate the conversation and reading your thoughts. Thank you again!

I hope that you all have a great Memorial Day.


Last edited by DoubleBogey on Mon May 28, 2012 12:13 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : clarity)
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