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TheJadeFlower

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:19 am

Hi folks, so I could some guidance. I adopted two baby girls about 10 weeks ago. While bonding has come a long way it is still going pretty slow. More specifically with one of them. Stella began eating her own tail about 4 weeks ago. She's on pain meds nightly and now antibiotics which she hates and struggles for twice a day. As well as having her tail disinfected and quickderm applied 3X a day. She has to be separated from her sister so she is alone colony wise all day except for the 1.5 - 2 hours tent time with her sister a day. I make sure to have them both on me ( in separate bags) or other family members for a minimum of 3 hours a day. We hand feed treats and mealies throughout that time as well. So all that being said, Stella is really so sensitive. She shakes in fear constantly, crabs and just seems so scared of me all the time. When she sleeps or is really into a treat I will stroke her head and back and she's fine. So I guess long story long: is there anything I can do to help comfort her? Having to do all this medical stuff feels like its set the bonding back. If she does decide to leave the pouch it's to run away as far and fast as she can go so despite my efforts to go slow and be gentle she doesn't seem to be gaining much trust. Ok. Sorry for the novel. I'm obviously one worried mama. Please help.
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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:17 pm

First things first - you have to find the cause for her chewing on her tail. Which part of the tail? This usually gives us some indication of what the cause is. Did you have x-rays? Fecal exams? What tests were run?

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TheJadeFlower

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:09 pm

She is eating it from the tip down. She has about three inches left. She lost almost all that over like two days. All of a sudden it was gone. She's been examined and part of her tail hair trimmed down. If trauma was the original culprit she has eaten that and now just can't leave the wound alone. Doc thinks that and possible psychological. On pain meds she seems to be leaving it most the time. It began to infect and she went at it again. I just got the quickderm so I'm hopeful that will help. If she goes at it again ill have to collar her but we are trying our hardest to avoid that
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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:24 pm

If you use an e-collar, you will need to use a fairly large collar, otherwise she will still be able to reach the tail. With a large collar like that you will need to either hand feed her, or remove the collar for supervised feeding (then get it back on her). You're in a tough spot. She probably started with an injury, and is now messing with it out of pain. I had a girl like that, and we were not able to stop it until she got to her body, and I had to suck it up and put her in the collar for about 6 solid weeks. No breaks. Not even for 5 minutes. So, you may want to seriously consider the collar. It's tough, but may be worth it.

Some major differences, Priss was a rescue with severe stress issues. Your girl may have some stress issues due to the separation from her family. If the family isn't bothering the tail during play time, you may test putting them together for cage time during a time when you can be right there to supervise. You'll do this by leaving them alone--only go into the cage if you need to investigate something that you can't see, but can hear. As you become more comfortable, you can let them stay together longer. The second you discover that a cage mate is causing harm, you HAVE to separate them. I can't remember how many cage mates she has, but if there are multiples, it would be possible to cage her with just one of her cagemates for a time, so she isn't lonely.

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TheJadeFlower

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:34 pm

We did try to let them stay together at first but her cage mate went for her tail right away. Tent time I can intervene right away. I'm not 100% sure it wasn't her sister that ate most of it to begin with especially since they made such quick work of it. I've got two more joeys I'm adopting in September in hopes to grow the colony and give Stella ( and Jezebel) a better sense of safety and comfort. I have all the same concerns with the collar you mentioned which is why I've been doing all I can to avoid it. I fear since she isn't trusting a collar could push her to refuse food. I'm really banking on the pain meds and quickderm to get the healing jumping so we can move past this. But even in tent time now Stella generally finds a corner or flap of canvas etc to cower in. She positions herself on her back too which is bizarre to me. She looks like a fearful submissive dog that gets beatings. It's heartbreaking. How can I comfort her?
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PostSubject: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:12 pm

Lots of time and patience.  It is a very slow process.  Base your behavior on hers.  If she is acting terrified, she probably is, so you need to show her that there is nothing to be afraid of.  You need to do this by keeping your movements very nonthreatening.  
I used to keep a travel cage or two in the tent/play room and when I was ready to move them out, I'd bait it with treats.  When glider moved into the cage, close it, and do the same with the next until all are caught.  Then you can easily transport to home cage without having to chase anyone down.  Chasing increases their fear of you.  Eliminate that activity anytime you can.  Be sneaky, be inventive.  Bribery is an amazing tool.  Who cares about bribery right now?  Heck, I tried fresh fruits and veggies as treats with Priss, as hers was such a long process, turns out orange bell peppers were her crack.  She'd snatch them out of my hand like I stole them from her.  So try different treats until you find the one.  Pine nuts, chunks of veggie (fresh), chunks of fruit, yogurt on a spoon, meal worms, dried fruit, yougurt drops, honey on a spoon, some of Holley's fudge (it's glider safe), egg, chicken, avacado, anything glider safe that you can think of.  When you find something that works, offer it frequently when you see her out and about.  She will soon start to associate you with good stuff.

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Shawna--momma to lots of fur-kids, 2 skin-kids and a beautiful grandbaby! Plant your hope with good seeds, don't cover yourself with thistle and wees--Mumford and Sons--Thistle and Weeds

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:51 am

Ok so I need help. In a serious way. I am new to all of this and naturally my first glider has issues right away. Her name is Stella and she is eating her tail. We are doing antibiotics, quickderm, and pain meds. Her tail was starting to show signs of healing but this morning I find her with freshly chewed flesh again. Appointment with vet to collar her is made for tomorrow. I could cry. I'm trying everything I can to be a good and informed glider parent but here's the thing. First - I always keep a savings for vet emergencies but I'm quickly going through it with weekly vet visits. I'm not sure how long I can keep up. Also I work 2 jobs. I always make time for them but I simply can't be on watch 24 hrs a day. Stella is not bonded and any progress we made pre injury is just moot. I fear a collar will result in refusal to eat and stress overload since she has to be separated from her sister who insists on helping her eat the tail. I want what's best but since I'm learning as I go I fear I might be making too many mistakes. Very overwhelmed. Please help!
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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:51 am

It is stressful, where you are right now. However, you need to reduce your stress level around your gliders. You have to be conscious of your stress level around them. They feel it and it makes them stressed, too.

First thing, it will not cause her to refuse to eat. It may make it difficult for her to eat, and you will have to help her. There are bird water dishes that you can get that hang on the side of the cage, for her to eat out of. She will need to be on a fairly liquid diet for them to work well. You will need one for water only, and one for food. You can also give her yogurt on the tip of your finger, or the end of a spoon, during your play time.

Where are you located?

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Shawna--momma to lots of fur-kids, 2 skin-kids and a beautiful grandbaby! Plant your hope with good seeds, don't cover yourself with thistle and wees--Mumford and Sons--Thistle and Weeds

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PostSubject: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:51 am

I am trying to stay positive and calm around her but its that same concept of telling a new mom to relax when their baby is crying...easier said than done. I'm in St. Louis. How do they get around with the collars on? From what I understand due to it being her tail which is hard to restrict access to, it'll need to be a fairly big collar. How will she get in and move around in a pouch? She's so freightend and sad now I'm scared what putting her through this will do.
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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:10 pm

****Moderator Note****
I have moved all of TheJadeFlowers current posts to this thread so that we can better assist her, and keep all of the notes together. This topic may be moved, once this situation is resolved, to a more suitable forum within this site.

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
Shawna--momma to lots of fur-kids, 2 skin-kids and a beautiful grandbaby! Plant your hope with good seeds, don't cover yourself with thistle and wees--Mumford and Sons--Thistle and Weeds

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:14 pm

Okay, back to being me :) I sent you a PM with my phone number, so you can call me, if you'd like some one on one help with this.

A couple of questions so I can make 100% sure we are all on the same page.

Is Stella still going after her own tail? Or is it only the sister that goes after it now?

When she goes after it, what behavior do you see and what is the result of the behavior? (Could she be cleaning it, and you are being very sensitive to any attention she pays to her tail?)

If it is more than cleaning, is there something noticeable that triggers it, like sudden noises, new smells, different lighting, a different animal in the room, or maybe you carrying her, versus her in the cage?

-----------♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-----------
Shawna--momma to lots of fur-kids, 2 skin-kids and a beautiful grandbaby! Plant your hope with good seeds, don't cover yourself with thistle and wees--Mumford and Sons--Thistle and Weeds

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:27 pm

Just reiterating what Shawna is telling you.
Relax and breathe.
An E Collar is not the end of the world. You might loose a little of the bonding you have already done but you need to do what is best for her health first as she could die from infection or if she looses too much tail she could loose anal tone or go too far and do internal damage to herself. I would take the wrath of the e collar and get her well, then start working on her bonding issues with you. You will not loose as much as you thing as she will learn to depend on you for help during this. You just might need to spoil her a bit more  
You will hand feed her more things and she will learn your fingers are helping her and bringing her yummy treats like boiled chicken and yogurt licks from your fingers.  
Just try to relax and take things on her Q as to her needs. She will get around with the collar you will just need to adapt a few things for her.

Thank you Shawna for giving her one on one help

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:34 pm

You can turn it around and think of it this way, as a time to do some serious spoiling.

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Shawna--momma to lots of fur-kids, 2 skin-kids and a beautiful grandbaby! Plant your hope with good seeds, don't cover yourself with thistle and wees--Mumford and Sons--Thistle and Weeds

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:23 pm

You don't have to use a huge collar. You can use a smaller collar and a straw on her tail. Feel free to call me any time for help or just talking through. Been through this more times than I can count. My number can be found in all of the "who to call for help" sections at the top of each forum. :)

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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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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:29 pm

Very good point, Val!

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Shawna--momma to lots of fur-kids, 2 skin-kids and a beautiful grandbaby! Plant your hope with good seeds, don't cover yourself with thistle and wees--Mumford and Sons--Thistle and Weeds

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:50 pm

Thank you very much. Dealing with this as such a new mom is the worst part. Stella has now been in a collar for nearly 24 hours And her tail has been wrapped by the vet. She's more than upset. I'm hand feeding her every 4 to 5 hours for now And I made a makeshift bowl that she can get to with her collar on. At the moment I'm most concerned about doing the grooming for her. How often and what ways is it commonly done. I want to do it in a way that is the least stressful for her
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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:18 pm

For a few day's until she gets used to everything I would leave her alone only making sure she does not have any food stuff on her or any potty matter on her bum.
Then after a few days of getting used to everything you can take a soft tooth brush and gently brush her like you would any other pet. She might fight or try to grab and play with the tooth brush as you do it but she might find she really likes this. Just take everything slow. Try to use this time to bond with her by hand feeding her and gently grooming her.

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:43 pm

A damp q tip will work on her bottom if she gets any fecal matter on it. I bet she will really start loving feeding time with you.

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Shawna--momma to lots of fur-kids, 2 skin-kids and a beautiful grandbaby! Plant your hope with good seeds, don't cover yourself with thistle and wees--Mumford and Sons--Thistle and Weeds

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:57 pm

I really hope she does start to like feeding time. Due to her not being able to use her hands to eat I made a womparoo/ fruit mixture with crushed up mealies to spoon feed her every 4 hours or so today. Does that sound good?
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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:34 am

As long as she likes it :)

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:27 am

Often, when I have a glider in an e-collar, I'll blend all of their food into liquid so it's okay that they can't use their hands to eat.  I then use a small, flatter bowl they can get to with the collar on or bird fountain feeders like this: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11147486&f=PAD%2FpsNotAvailInUS%2FNo.  

I'll also just reiterate what others have said here: relax, breathe, take it slow and easy and steady and all will be well.  I have had two tail amputations in my home due to self-mutilation and they are just fine now.  The first one actually happened within a week of me getting my first gliders, so I know your pain and panic and stress!  The second happened some years later and was actually the son of the boy who did it the first time, but at least I knew what to do and had dealt with it before.  Good luck!
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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:30 pm

Stella is doing ok. She has now had a small portion of her tail amputated and its healing ok. Adjustment to the collar has gone ok. As well as to be expected. I'm very nervous about giving her access to her tail again in the near future. Is it common for them to go at it again?
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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:35 pm

Thank you for posting to tell us how she is doing! Once the tail is healed, they will usually leave it alone. Keep her in the collar until it's healed, since you know she will mess with it. Then, as it gets to be healed up, you'll do gradual release from the collar, with supervised time out of the collar.

How is she eating and acting? Is she enjoying her one on one attention?

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Shawna--momma to lots of fur-kids, 2 skin-kids and a beautiful grandbaby! Plant your hope with good seeds, don't cover yourself with thistle and wees--Mumford and Sons--Thistle and Weeds

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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:30 am

I can't seem to get anywhere. The vet did not overlap the wrap well enough and Stella was able to separate two layers and eat into her tail. Now the tip is stitched up but she has another wound about a 3/4 inch below that! I'm so upset! I've been to the vet twice a week for some time now. I am completely tapped out financially. I can no longer afford all of her medical needs. Is there anyone in or around st louis? Please help.
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PostSubject: Re: TheJadeFlower Tail SM   Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:11 am

What are you saying? Are you wanting to surrender her or just needing someone to help you care for her physically? Or wanting recommendations for a different vet? What kind of help are you wanting/needing?

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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

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