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Something_To_Believe_In
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PostSubject: Overgrooming   Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:06 pm

Overgrooming is a sign of stress. This stress can be from many different things - both physical/medical or behavioral.

Overgrooming is when the glider will continuously groom one area of the body, causing hair loss in a confined area. In severe cases, the glider will pull clumps of fur out and cause damage to the follicles, which can cause redness and/or bleeding.

Most of the time, the overgrooming pattern will result in hair thinning or loss. It may initially appear as thinning hair in one area of the body. This is followed by a small patch of baldness which may increase in size if the cause of the overgrooming is not determined.

Some of the most common causes of overgrooming are:
* illness (especially an underlying low grade infection or a parasite)
* stress from a hugely stressful event such as moving, loosing a cage mate, or being chased around if he/she has gotten out of his/her cage.
* Loneliness


Contrary to information posted on many sites, overgrooming does not always lead to self mutilation. In most cases, overgrooming is a symptom of a larger issue and stops at just overgrooming. Most often, self mutilation will start with overgrooming, but this is a different type of overgrooming. The type that comes with self mutilation will occur all day, at any time and will be confined to the area of discomfort. The overgrooming we are talking about here happens during the course of regular grooming. I sometimes think of it as Hyper-grooming - the glider is feeling anxious and reacts by grooming excessively.

WHERE DOES OVERGROOMING OCCUR?
A glider can overgroom any part of his/her body that he/she can groom. So, it is difficult to say "it occurs here or there."
However, there are some patterns that are typical (though one should be mindful that there are always exceptions to the rule).

* Gliders who are stressed or lonely will typically overgroom in the area of their eyebrows
* A glider in pain will typically overgroom the area of the body where the pain is localized OR REFERRED TO (this means that sometimes a glider might have an injury in his/her wrist, but feels the pain in the shoulder, so he/she will overgroom the shoulder)
* A glider who has a parasite infection will overgroom the base of the tail
* A glider who is experiencing an unusual or extreme amount of stress might overgroom the end of his/her tail

WHAT DO I DO IF MY GLIDER IS OVERGROOMING?

The first and most important thing that you should do is get your glider to the vet. Have fecals run and have a urinalysis. IF the skin is bald already, then you might consider having a skin scraping done. You should also check for mites and review the diet you feed with your vet. Be sure to ask your vet how much experience he has with glider nutrition, and if he is not well versed, then be sure to return to this community for diet advice from experienced members.

Also, be sure to consult with your vet about any other symptoms you may be noticing. If there are ANY combination of symptoms that would indicate a parasite or infection, as to have the glider treated even if tests are negative. Better safe than sorry.

If the vet visit checks out clear, then you have to begin the process of analyzing what might be causing the glider's stress. There are so many things that a might cause stress to a glider. It can take weeks or months to narrow down the cause of your glider's stress. I had one glider who was overgrooming excessively for over a year. I thought we had tried everything possible, and still he overgroomed. I finally found that he was stressed from sharing play space with other gliders. So, he got his own, dedicated play space and the overgrooming stopped.
So, if you are facing overgrooming, but the glider is healthy, then you are welcome to present your case here for discussion. This community is amazing at helping you to explore the many things that may or may not be causing your glider to stress.


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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.


Last edited by Something_To_Believe_In on Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Overgrooming   Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:26 am

Kinda like some people bite their fingernails or pull out their eyelashes or bite the top layers of loose skin off their lip???? Cause to me that too is overgrooming.
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MyBonnie

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PostSubject: Re: Overgrooming   Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:44 pm

Thank you so much for this post Val! I've printed it out and will take it to the vet with me tomorrow!

Good analogy Cora!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Overgrooming   Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:43 pm

My new girl Peanut has been alone for 2 years and was on a poor diet. I noticed when she came to me she had thinning hair in her eye brow area well it has gotten worse. She is stressed about coming to a new place so she is over grooming the area more. there is no bald spots Yet but the thinning area is now going into her stripe on her for head by her brows. Does anyone know what I can do to help relive her stress I have not tried to handle her other than when I took her to the vet. She eats treats from my hand but is so skittish. I know she is lonely but we still have 33 days left of quarrintine and one more fecal to go before I can move her to the glider room. any suggestions would be helpful. I want to put her in a bonding pouch and carry her on me, but somthing inside me tells me it will only stress her out more am I wrong should I try it? Thanks so much.


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PostSubject: Re: Overgrooming   Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:21 pm

Routine & consistency.
Don't push yourself on her, no matter how much you want to show her love. Remember, the most loving thing we can do for them is make them feel SAFE. If she is stressing from the move, she does not feel safe.
So, have a very strict routine - lights out at same time, food in cage at same time, treats in the morning at same time, etc... Do not stray from the schedule, and she will begin to feel safe and comfortable because she will know what to expect. Once she begins to behave as if she FEELS safe and comfortable, THEN you can begin trying to interact with her.

Some gliders are just more sensitive to stress than others. I see this with rescues a lot. Once they get used to the routine here, they begin to do better and to be more open to me working with them. They stress when they don't know if you are going to stick your hands in their cage each time you enter the room. They stress when they don't know what to expect. So, get a routine, and they will then know what to expect.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ 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 Mar 01, 2010 4:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Overgrooming   Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:25 pm

Thanks Val, I will come up with a set schedual for her right now.
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PostSubject: Re: Overgrooming   Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:30 pm

OK I have a female glider whom has been here for a few years now. She came to me as a single glider but once in he previous home had cage mates when she lost them she did not want another cage mate. She would fight and insist on not having one. Just ask Mary H.

Well she came here with every intention of being a single glider except after several months of being housed next to a single guy SHE decided he needed to move into her cage as she called to him every night and sat on that side of the cage just staring at him all the time. They only bad thing that happened was he gave her several mating wounds even thought he was neutered. After healing up a few wounds and a very bad o ne the last time I decided they could no longer be together. So then we found her another cage mate whom she tolerates but I honestly do not think she loves him. She has been over grooming ever since they have been together maybe 8/9 months. She has over groomed almost 1/2 of her body.

So my question is do I leave her in with him?? Is she truly unhappy? He fecal's and urine are fine. What would you do? There are no wounds just a lot of missing fur. If she keeps it up she will look like a Spinx Glider pretty soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Overgrooming   Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:38 pm

If it were me, I would not leave her with him. I would give her some more time alone, as it seems she was happier/less stressed alone than she is with him. But, I would think she is missing the old cage mate.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
~*~ 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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