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 Zero ~ Intestinal / Colon Problems

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jacknsally

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Join date : 2009-12-30
Age : 44
Location : DFW, TX

PostSubject: Zero ~ Intestinal / Colon Problems   Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:46 am

A little history on Zero first.

Zero was a 5yr old intact male that made his way to me Nov 2008. He was a childs pet who once moving away from home was left with the parents. The parents listed Zero on craigslist for $25.00. I don't normally answer ads on craigslist that are selling gliders but there was a hint of something may have been going on. The ad mentioned that he was losing the hair on his tail. I answered the ad and the lister said they others who were interested in him but would let me know. Despite pleading my case of helping him, I was denied and didn't hear anything else, till a month later. Turns out those interested never showed up and he was still needing a home and Zero made his way to me.

He was said to have been aggressive & to never accept another glider. Zero was 5yrs old and weighed 50grams. He was housed in a fairly nice size cage but for some reason was moved to a smaller one recently. I'm not sure for how long, maybe his entire life but was being fed dog training treats & banana chips. His tail was nearly bald, had lots of over grooming going on, was overly thin and showed mild HLP.

Zero took well to a healthy diet switch and started to put on weight & the signs of HLP diminished, though Zero still walked funny. There were no signs of injury to his tail so the belief of hair loss was due to poor nutrition. After about 2wks of Zero arriving, he showed signs of bloating. I tempted to treat the bloating and offer Zero relief but to no avail- at this same time Zero also stopped defecating. At the 1st vet visit the x-rays showed 2 areas of question and we thought we were dealing with constipation or a mass/blockage. There was a bit of gas and 1 area around his intestines & the other lower down, towards the bladder but not involving the bladder. There was very little stool in his system at this time so it wasn't constipation blocking him up. Blood was drawn and sent off. We are sent home with some meds and a special fiber diet to feed in hopes of moving the mass/blockage along. The x-rays also showed that Zero had experienced several fractures during his life and was the cause of what made him to walk funny.

A couple days go by and no improvements and Zero has now lossed his appetite. Off to our 2nd vet visit. 2nd Xrays show no movement with the blockage/mass and an increase in gas around the intestines. We were now facing what we feared, exploratory surgery. A consult was done with Dr Antinoff in Houston and she recommended trying a Barium before we tried the surgery. So a barium was scheduled and performed. We go home in hopes of the barium moving along what we are dealing with. Follow up after the barium and still nothing has changed- the obstruction was still present & hadn't moved & Zero was still not defecating. Nothing out of the ordinary showed on the blood panel. There were some high numbers & low numbers that were all associated with diet.

Exploratory surgery was scheduled. Dr D has done an abdominal surgery involving the intestines before but not on a sugar glider. I have faith in Dr D that if anything can be done to help Zero, he was the one who could help him. Zero's dr also became very attached to him and had wanted to do everything he could for Zero. A few hours later Dr D calls to update me. Zero was doing well and handling surgery nicely. But once he was in the abdominal cavity, there was alot of gas surrounding the intestines, which we knew from the xrays. His intestines had alot of stool in them all the way down to the colon. He started palpating/massaging his small intestines in hopes of stimulating the stool to move on- the lower area of his small intestines was extremely thin (thinking because of the gas pressure) and bursted with the first touch of massage. Dr D repaired the small intestine area and continued on with the exploratory. While moving forward, the repaired area of the intestine didn't hold the stitches and bursted again. He repaired it a 2nd time and felt it was probably holding but deceided to make the call to me to suggest, we don't wake Zero up from this. It was too risky of those stitches not holding again and he'd be worse off if we let him go through that out of surgery. In observation of the exploratory, Dr D noticed nothing was passing the colon but also knew he couldn't access the colon that deep in the pelvic canal with Zero still being here. So with the small intestines issues and not being able to access the colon, it was time to let Zero go. With the current situation, together we were reassured this was the best decision we made for Zero- there was NO other answer or help for him. There was the question of if we should have done an emema but with the amount of time Zero had been this way and not defecating, we thought we should skip it and go straight to surgery. We now learned that was the best decision we could have made. An enema would have most likely caused the intestines to burst and Zero would have been worst off.

Dr D now helps Zero across the rainbow bridge and moves forward on to a necropsy. During the necropsy there were only a few questionable physical things and we are still left wondering what started all this. Could it have been the effects of poor nutrition all these years? There was no blockage anywhere in the intestines, what we were seeing was just stool throughout. There was no blockage in the colon, stool was normal color, texture and size. We just don't know why it wasn't passing the colon. Dr D did a reverse through the cloaca to see how far he could go and he was able to go up into his intestines so the cloaca path was clear. He feels his adrenal gland and his anal glands may have been enlarged but didn't have a normal size to compare to.

In my state of mind and this only being my 2nd necropsy, I didn't think to ask about a pathology to be sent off. So that opportunity was missed to see if we could have learned more and had more questions answered. Dr D was gracious enough to photograph the entire necropsy where he captured some great graphic anatomy pictures.

Zero was one of the sweetest little boys who ever had the opportunity to capture my heart. Despite everything he was going through, he had the sweetest personality and even showed the signs of physically and emotionally improving. Zero did not continue to over groom once I brought him home, he actually had lots of new fur growth coming in. Zero also came around to learning to play. It truly warmed my heart the first time I saw him experiencing play. We only had a short month together but we both loved and learned so much about each other
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jacknsally

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Location : DFW, TX

PostSubject: Re: Zero ~ Intestinal / Colon Problems   Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:59 am

Photos of Zero












After his bald spot was cleaned up and moisturized with Vit E


Last edited by jacknsally on Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jacknsally

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Age : 44
Location : DFW, TX

PostSubject: Re: Zero ~ Intestinal / Colon Problems   Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:02 pm

And this his how I remember my little Zero Reminds me everytime, regardless of what their going through, they still have that little sugar glider personality





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