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 The Effects of Stress on Healing

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Join date : 2009-12-10
Age : 43
Location : Texas

PostSubject: The Effects of Stress on Healing   Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:42 pm

Many, many studies have been done on the effects of stress on healing in humans and in animals. In social animals (such as humans and sugar gliders), the results are always the same: STRESS DELAYS HEALING. Significantly stressing events can delay healing up to 50%!

Think about that! That means that any time you stress your glider out, you could be causing their healing time to be 50% longer than it would normally be. WOW. There are so many things that we do to "help" our gliders that are so stressful for them (e-collars, forcing meds, separating from family, wrapping wounds, etc). So, this got me to thinking about how many of these things are ALWAYS necessary and how many do we do "just in case." And, for those "just in case" stressing events, how many could be modified or tweaked to make them less stressful?

FYI - in every test on social animals, the MOST STRESSFUL event (i.e. the one that caused the longest delay in healing and the most behavioral changes) was REMOVING FROM THEIR FAMILY UNIT.

We could talk for hours about the gliders recovering from injury or illness in my home. I'll save you the boredom. LOL. But, I can tell you that since I have paid close attention to stress and eliminating as much of it as possible, gliders are getting well even faster in my home!!!

So, here are some ways you can decrease stress in a recovering glider:

* Consult with yoiur vet about using CONVENIA as an antibiotic rather than an oral antibiotic. This eliminates the stress of having to give antibiotics orally

* STAY CALM! A stressed momma/daddy = a stressed baby. Be prepared (with emergency kit and procedures) and be networked (so you have people whom you can call to consult with) BEFORE you need these things and then stay calm - ESP. when handling the glider.

* USE a hospital cage

* For a glider with a physical injury (esp. broken leg) feed in a very shallow dish in the same place every night - close to the pouch

* Do not leave gliders at the vet office overnight. Ever. They need the safety and comfort of home, and no one can care for them overnight like you can. Have the vet train you and YOU stay with your baby over night.

* Hand feed. Sometimes the need to move to their food causes stress when they are ill or injured. Bring the food to them.

* Keep hospital cage in a quite area away from heavy traffic

* If glider has to be separated from family, give the injured/ill glider the dirty/smelly pouch from the cage so that he/she can smell family and has something familiar.

* Even if the glider is in an e-collar, you can provide floor toys and switch them out daily to keep the glider from being bored

* You can keep the hospital cage right next to the family cage

* If anesthesia is used to treat or examine the ill/injured glider, then have the glider’s nails clipped very short (or ask if you can do it) while they are still under anesthesia. This eliminates the need to stress the glider by clipping nails during the first 10 days of healing.

* Try utilizing the same “style” of cage for a hospital cage if you can. (I.e. if the glider normally lives in a rept, use a rept for a hospital cage).

* Use the same cleaning products, including laundry detergent, to prevent introducing unfamiliar scents

* Allow the glider to REST - do not take the glider out 1000 times during the day to check on him/her. Give them ample (and QUIET) rest time between checks. Ample rest time = 4-6 HOURS.

* Use a cage cover

* If the glider is bonded to you, spend time holding the glider. IF he/she is not bonded to you, judge your actions by their reactions. Do not hold if they get upset, only hold them if they are comforted by you.

* If you have to give oral meds, do it the easiest way possible - inject in mealie, mix with favorite treat, etc.

* TALK with your VET AND your NETWORK. TALK!!! Eliminate options before putting the glider through a procedure or test. This helps prevent un-necessary tests, procedures or medications on an already stressed baby.

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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.
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