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 Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014

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GliderNursery

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PostSubject: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:04 pm

You asked for it...you got it!! A new diet study is currently underway with Dr. Ellen Dierenfeld, PhD.

A diet trial has begun to determine the efficacy of select common current diets used in feeding sugar gliders. This portion of the overall diet study includes the trials of 3 different diets, including HPW Complete™, Pocket Pets™ diet and Glider Kids Reduced Honey Staple. These diets were selected based on the ease of preparation and feeding. Digestion trials will have an adaptation period of approximately 10 days, followed by 5 day intake and excretion data collection. Two other diets will be analyzed on paper only (due to complexity and time constraints) - we'd like your suggestions of which two should be included in this calculated evaluation.

To get your suggestions in for the two diets please complete this http://glidernursery.polldaddy.com/s/sugar-glider-diet-study-poll . Posting suggestions on FaceBook will not get them into the poll; they must be done through the online poll so the information can be downloaded ans submitted to Dr. Dierenfeld.

Simultaneously, soluble fiber fermentation ability in sugar gliders, and its potential impact on gut microbiota and health will be evaluated. Sugar glider’s gastrointestinal tract anatomy suggests that they have a large capacity to harbor beneficial microbial populations, and their feeding ecology is heavily dependent on ingestion of plant gums to meet energy needs. This diet study is estimated at a cost of approximately $15,000, which includes habitats, diet ingredients, multiple laboratory analyses of diets, fecals, and labor. The final results are to be published in animal nutrition and/or veterinary journals. Preliminary study results will be presented by Dr. Dierenfeld via a pre-recorded presentation at the 2014 OSGA in Columbus, Ohio.

To get answers to the diet questions we all have, we need your help! Please donate to this project via https://www.youcaring.com/sugargliderdietstudy
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:50 pm

How is the trial being handled? Are the gliders in their own homes and the owners sending in samples? Or are the gliders all at one controlled site (which is better for testing, but not great for gliders)?
If the testing is already underway, how are we affecting the testing with our survey choices?

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GliderNursery

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:13 am

The gliders are in Dr. Dierenfeld's controlled site. All work is being conducted by professionals in their field. :)

The survey choices are simply to have 2 additional diets evaluated on paper. The survey choices aren't actually affecting the testing that will be conducted. The paper evaluation of these additional 2 diets will give us more information on the adequacy of those particular diets.
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:56 pm

So, who's gliders are these? Was there some sort of testing done ahead of time to be sure they were healthy (no parasites, etc..) ahead of time? And what will be done with the information from the study?
Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to see how it all works. :)

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:29 pm

I'm interested in that information, too. :)
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GliderNursery

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:26 am

The gliders came from sources that requested to be anonymous. And yes, all of the gliders were properly vetted.

The results of the study will be made public so each of us will have an opportunity to see/read the results. The study will also be published in animal nutrition and/or veterinary journals. The hope is that we continue to do more research and take the information learned to improve their captive diets and overall health.
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GliderNursery

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:22 am

We still have over $13,000 to raise for this diet study. That's a lot of money, but we can do it! We all know how important these little fuzzies are to us, and we all know how important their diets are to them. This study is going to help is in improving their diets. We NEED to learn more about them and what nutrients they need. Want to continue giving your baby the best you can? Then donate a few dollars to this study so we can do just that.

https://www.youcaring.com/sugargliderdietstudy
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GliderNursery

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:45 pm

You're vote has been counted! The poll has ended and the results are tallied. Start the drum roll please...

The two diets that will be evaluated on paper by Dr. Dierenfeld, PhD as part of the Sugar Glider diet Study 2014 are......










Original HPW™
The Pet Glider Nutrition System

Thank you for taking the time to place your votes! Don't forget to donate today!
https://www.youcaring.com/sugargliderdietstudy
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GliderNursery

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:46 pm

Poll Results:
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:07 pm

When it says that BML was "previously tested," does that mean in the study that Dr. Dierenfeld did in 2006? And if so, does that mean that this study is no different than that one in terms of scope and goals?

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GliderNursery

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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Glider Diet Study 2014   Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:33 am

Yes, that is the study that is being referred to pertaining to BML. And no, this study is different. There is a much bigger part of this study than just the diets being used. The soluble fiber fermentation ability portion of the study is the biggest goal here.

In order to know exactly what nutrients are needed in a diet, we have to look first at the gliders to fully understand their system. Once we understand more about that (what nutrients they need and how their bodies process), then in the future, we can look much more closely at the individual diets and improve on them.

So basically, the previous study in which BML was evaluated in was step 1. This one is step 2. Between those two, we will have more information on a total of 8 different diets, and that is information we currently do not have. Additionally we'll have more understanding about the soluble fiber fermentation.

Evaluating a diet alone without knowing the nutrients needed still isn't going to tell us if a diet is sufficient or not. However, there are some things that are known and these diets can be looked at for that. For example, with the first study, she found that some diets had too much calcium and phosphorus in them as well as elevated levels of vitamin D and iron. However, as she points out in her publication,

"To complete an understanding of sugar glider’s dietary needs, several areas still need to be investigated:

Mineral content of native Acacia gums consumed by gliders should be quantified.
Methods and products to increase gum feeding by captive gliders must be developed to enhance digestive function, as well as to highlight natural behaviors.
Sugar glider’s ability to ferment soluble fiber (gum) should be investigated. Their gastrointestinal tract anatomy suggests that they have a large capacity to harbor beneficial microbial populations, and their feeding ecology is heavily dependent
on ingestion of plant gums to meet energy needs.
Limiting amino acids in captive sugar glider diets should be identified, and balance in commercial products should be adjusted to optimize protein nutrition.
Vitamin D metabolism should be examined in detail through controlled feeding studies.
Incidence and health implications of hemosiderosis should be surveyed in captive sugar glider populations."

So, as you can see, there is a lot of information that is still needed to understand the sugar gliders digestive system. My hope is to complete this study, then move on the step 3. What will that be? The list above contains several things that we need to know, so I would love to see us come together to make this happen. We need to have this researched properly by the appropriate professionals so that we can come up with optimal diets. Then, and only then will we truly be able to say "This is a good diet" and know for sure it is optimal for our sugar gliders. Honestly, we owe this to them.
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