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enra2



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PostSubject: Dying glider   Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:11 pm

Hello,

This is a repost of what I just sent to glidergossip, as a user recommended me to post here instead. I chose this forum instead of a specific subcategory since the pet doctor doesn't know for sure what the glider has.

My younger glider is currently at animal clinic, dying.

I first noticed something was really wrong on Sunday evening. As I went to the glider's cage, he was on his back, breathing heavily. Taking him, I noticed he was very cold to the touch.

(Retrospectively, I could have noticed a few hours earlier when I took him with me for a nap. He was mostly fine but slower than usual. At the time I simply thought he was sleepy and not used to waking up during the day, since even though I work at home, I very rarely bother him during the daytime)

Too late to call the pet doctor, I kept him with me in the bed. I didn't sleep that night, checking often whether he died yet as he looked like he was about to. Sometime he would seem better, accepting to eat and drink tiny bits from syringe, moving around, not being so noisy at breathing. Most of the time, he just lied on his back, refusing food, getting up only to vomit in my hand.

He made it through the morning and I got him to the pet doctor.

Since I didn't have appointment (there is 3+ weeks waiting list), all they agreed to do is keeping him under an oxygen tent until they had time to look at him. Later that day, they called me to explain he was dehydrated, has diarrhea (with blood inside), and some severe lung problem. They suspect the cause to be over-heating.

The stubborn little thing is still alive after 2 days and nights at the clinic, (with no improvement whatsoever though), the doctors themselves seem surprised.

I finally got a phone call today asking me to take him back home, as they explained there is nothing that can be done when a sugar glider gets sick. So basically, they are sending it home to die, after charging a hefty bill. When I asked if he was in pain and if they recommend putting him down, they explained they did not make any recommendation.

It's the only "exotic pet" doctor in the city, and even to them a glider seemed to be too exotic. (they are not native to my country)

Now, I am wondering how he got too hot and how to prevent it for my other glider. Sure it's hot here, but the room they are in have AC set at 27` (celcius) during the day. No AC during the night though as it is not that warm.

They drink from a water bottle, with two bottles inside the cage because I didn't think the first water bottle we got was so good - it kept leaking - and got a second one, but didn't remove it and refill both every day since that younger glider never seemed to care about the new one. Point is: water is always available and they know how to use it.

Another thing is, the glider was very young and apparently the younger they are the more they are sensitive to temperature. All the pet shops here sell them much too young. The salesperson mentioned he was "a few weeks old" when we got him, and excluding the case he was basically the size of a wine bottle's cork. At the moment, he is between 2 and 3 months old.

Anyhow, I am getting home in a few hours with a dying and possibly suffering sugar glider, with basically no information or suggestion from the pet doctor on what to do.

Is there a way to tell if he is suffering? Reading that, do you believe there is even a small possibility he could make it ? Should I ask the doctor to put him down ?

Any advice is appreciated.
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BCChins
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PostSubject: Re: Dying glider   Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:04 am

My suggestion is for them to test fecal and urine. He might have parasites.
If he is only the size of a wine bottle cork he may need to be hand fed every few hours as he might not be eating enough to keep him hydrated and nourished. Is he eating the food you put in his cage? I would be syringe or eye dropper feeding him with water to get him hydrated. Only place tiny drops on his mouth and let him lick it off.

He is not hopeless but you need to help him rehydrate him then get some milk replacer into him. Make sure he is warm and not cold before feeding him.

I would also consider an antibiotic for him. Can not hurt at this point.

Hoping this little one makes it. Please update when you can.

Edited to add ~~ I see on Glider Gossip you have him housed with a Hedgehog?? This is not an acceptable housing situation as they feed on different diets and they could kill one another. I am not sure why people are all of the sudden housing their exotic pets together?

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Brenda
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kyro298
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PostSubject: Re: Dying glider   Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:20 am

I can also only speculate, but if he's only a few weeks old (possibly younger than they even told you), the dehydration could be from not eating. It's hard without knowing the actual age because he might still be needing to have Joey formula/food. As for the blood in the stool, I'm afraid that's beyond my scope. I personally feel that if he's not eating or drinking at this point, he will die of starvation or dehydration and that would certainly have to cause some suffering.

Unfortunately, without getting him to a more knowledgeable vet, there's just no way to know for sure.

Will he eat or drink if you hand feed with a dropper or syringe? He will need to be kept warm also.

I have no idea if he will make it or if he's suffering. Do you have a way to call someone in the U.S. or no?

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PostSubject: Re: Dying glider   Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:23 am

You might give this a read:
http://thesweetspot.forumotion.net/t1606-how-will-i-know-the-end-is-near

You surely should NOT have this glider housed with a hedgehog, if you do.

What testing DID the vet complete?

Gliders do not develop bloody stool and respiratory issues from overheating. So, that is not the cause of this issue. You must have testing run on your pets to determine what is causing the symptoms you see.

Now, for the tough love portion of the day, if this glider has been 3 days with these symptoms with no improvement, it is unlikely that he will recover. Are you sure you are seeing NO improvement?
Is he peeing and pooping regularly?
Are you seeing blood in his stool?

None of us will ever fault you for TRYING to save him, but you have to try with something other than fluids. Fluids don't cure infections or organ failure. You have to have a diagnosis and treat with appropriate medications. Gliders of all ages can tolerate milk replacer, so you might try feeding him as a rejected joey for a few days and see if there is improvement.

As for suffering, none of us have the ability to ask questions of gliders and receive answers. So, we use our common sense and observation to know what our pets are going through. No doubt about it, the process of dying is uncomfortable and can become very painful and/or agonizing. ONLY YOU can make the decision about whether or not you think euthanasia is necessary. Here is a discussion we had about this once, if you want to know what others are thinking. But, in the end, you have to make a decision YOU can live with.
http://thesweetspot.forumotion.net/t1783-a-euthanasia-discussion?highlight=euthanasia

In the future, please don't wait even two days before coming here for assistance. A little guidance with testing and treatment and many things can be treated in gliders. Also, you can always send your vet here for info:
http://www.sugarglidervetinfo.com/

IF your little one cannot be treated and does not make it, please consider a necropsy and histopathology in order to determine the cause of death. Sharing those reports with The SUGAR Group will help all gliders in the future as we strive to better understand sugar glider health and treatment.

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~*~ Val ~*~
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USMom
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PostSubject: Re: Dying glider   Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:49 pm

The poster did say the glider is now a couple of months old, so is no longer the size of a wine cork.

Where are you located, what country? We have members globally, that we can possibly put you in contact with, if we know about a problem early enough.

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srlb

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PostSubject: Re: Dying glider   Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:49 pm

Quote :
Gliders do not develop bloody stool and respiratory issues from overheating. So, that is not the cause of this issue. You must have testing run on your pets to determine what is causing the symptoms you see.

I just wanted to point out that Bloody stool and respiratory issues can indeed come from overheating:

Know the Warning Signs
Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

I think knowing where this person is from is very important. Although I would think it is probably something more involved then overheating, I wanted to point out that these are indeed warning signs.
I also wanted to add, IF it were from heat and the body temperature was not brought down properly or quickly enough (water is not going to do it), this could also cause the glider to have kidney failure and wind up being fatal.
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CandyOtte

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PostSubject: Re: Dying glider   Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:57 pm

She lives in southern China according to her post on Glider Gossip.

http://www.sugarglider.com/glidergossip/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=50451

The temperatures she posted for their area were not realistic -
Quote :
go as low as 35 during rainy night and 50ish degrees

Which translates from Celsius to Fahrenheit as 35 C = 95 F 50 C = 122 F but this does not fit the description of the climate for the region - which is similar to the temperature range here in Florida but with more humidity.

There seems to be more to this story than has been posted.
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PostSubject: Re: Dying glider   Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:32 pm

CandyOtte wrote:

There seems to be more to this story than has been posted.

I love knowing that most in this community are able to realize this. In most stories like this, there is more than is posted. When you work with people "behind the scenes" you get a more complete picture, but many times you never really know the whole story.


I can't say it enough (and I know here on TSS it is preaching to the choir), but when you have a sick glider, please, please, PLEASE have some tests run on that first vet visit. Don't guess or speculate on what is causing the symptoms you see, but instead, run tests and get some answers. Then you don't waste valuable time that could be spent treating. The SUGAR Group sees a lot of cases in which the cause of death could have been treated had the glider been tested when first taken to the vet. It is very difficult for a loving parent to deal with the passing of one of their babies and then finding out the prevailing cause of death could have been treated if it had been accurately diagnosed. :(

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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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enra2



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PostSubject: Re: Dying glider   Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:42 am

Hello,

I am very sorry for the lack of replying. Busy days, bad memory, and let's face it after the death of the poor thing I didn't really wanted to get back on this topic again. Not right again anyway.

So, he died. I first notice something was really wrong on a sunday evening (although thinking back, on morning he wasn't his usual self), and got it to the clinic on monday morning.

They kept it under oxygen chamber until the next Thursday. He had a first stroke on monday after I left (they only told me after he died), then a second on Thursday that left him unconscious. As per my instruction, they decided to let it go after that second stroke even though he was still breathing. I had asked them to do so if they reached a point they believed there was no real chance he could make it.

I asked for a necropsy (and paid for it) to know for sure if it was anything my other glider could get. They never came back to me even though they said they would. Not sure if they even performed one at all. He told me the cause of death was dehydration though.

I took a picture of its "medical sheet" when he was in the oxygen chamber. You can probably make more sense of it than I can, I will post later. (most are product names, in english letters)

The doctor told me there shouldn't be any glider in this country because they can't stand the weather and most die this way, especially young. Unlike what he told me (and what I thought) though I checked and they are legal to own here. Maybe just a trick from people wanting bribe to "keep the secret".

The symptoms I could see was:

- Very cold to the touch (at first especially, then not so much)
- Heavy breathing
- Vomiting during the first night, then refusing to eat anything at all
- Very very weak, not moving much, laying on its back most of the time

Even the day before he died, he still tried to climb on me and hide in my pocket. Doctors told me it was obvious he fought until the end (sometime they would just "give up").



Also, I don't know what is or isnt realistic temperature for where I live, but I am the one living there and passing by the temperature display every day... Those temperature I gave you are from the AC (so inside, and under shadow), under the sun is probably even more.

edit: to reply a post above: yes he still needed "pet milk".

He was eating other food (bml at first, then a mix of many stuff including dry meat, cereals, dry fruit and vegetable, tiny fish, fresh fruit/vegetable, and occasionally as treat mealworms, nuts, corns, and "pet mango smoothies". All of those come from pet shop except fresh fruits/vegetable, and worms that I raise myself).

No matter what else he had, he also had pet milk 3 times a day. I didn't use syringe though, tried the first few days, was annoying, and days after I got it he already manage to drink all from teaspoon. 3 times/day, and since he always leave some/pour some away each time the quantity he really eat would be around 2 teaspoons/day in total.
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