It is best if one has a Wellness Check by a Vet.... a few days after the sugar glider has gone to his new home. The Wellness Check ensures you have a healthy glider now or if there is an underlying problem that may go undetected until a crisis developes. This Client and Vet relationship is very important...if one has a glider who is in a crisis. Many vets will refuse to see a glider and especially one who is ill.
Be sure to ask if clinic has a lab. Smaller vets do not have the stains necessary for doing a fecal cytology. So, find a clinic who has a lab as there may come a time....you may need this service.
Suggest printing out this information and take with you for questions you may need to ask or suggest.
Wellness Check...what to expect as to first exam.
A first time exam....should consist of a fecal smear and float. Vet should also check the animal's weight,fur,eyes, nose,mouth...gums and teeth, ears, feet and nails and base of the tail area and listen to the heart and lungs. This simple check can tell a good vet...the healthyness of any animal as well as your glider.
Under no circumstances should a vet "float (trim) the teeth". Sugar Gliders are not rodents and thus their teeth no not continue to grow throughout thier lifetime. This practice of "floating teeth" is outdated and is inhumane to the Sugar Glider.
This is the time to ask about Emergency Care should a problem arise....especially after hours as this is often the time when a glider is seen ill...due to the glider being nocturnal.
Glider in a Crisis....
Vet should do a fecal smear, float and cytology along with a UA. If the glider has symptoms of HLP and is diet related...an xray needs to be done if all of the other tests are negative. If the glider is on a proven diet...has HLP symptoms...this is a secondary problem and Primary Issue needs to be found. *Calcium is being lost due to infection be it parasitic or protozoian. Vet will need to treat for the illness and for Calcium deficency at time of visit and for after care at home as well.
If these tests..... fecal float, smear, urine analysis and cytology....are negative then a Culture and Sensitivity needs to be done at this time. The C&S takes between 4 to 7 days for results...so usually meds are given. If the Senstivity report shows another med to be more effective....then a switch can be made at that time if no improvement is seen with the sick glider. C&S will save valuabe time and may save the life of your pet if done early on the first visit of illness.
If glider is dehydrated during initial visit....sub q fluids must be given. Follow up care with the vet will be needed to keep the animal hydrated till he is eating and drinking on his own. This can get expensive ....so, have the vet show you how to sub q the animal as needed....at home for a few days to a week. I also suggest...have the vet demonstrate to you as ....how to hold and give meds to your glider.
Calcionate Syrup is a calcium supplement and should be given if glider is showing HLP symptoms...especially if on a proven diet. Along with meds for a bacterial or protozian infection. Sub q fluids to combat dehydration.
During illness...keep your glider warm. If need be...give more blankies inside his pouch or carry him on you to keep him warm. One can also use a critter keeper with a small heating pad on one end to help for warmth. Keep heating pad on warm and check for warmth of glider. He should not be hot nor cold.
With good supportive care between the Vet and Caregiver...most sugar gliders in a crisis survive. However, without the two hand in hand...the glider will not which often leaves the owner devastated.
*Remember...in a time of crisis...any vet can help your glider. However, you will need a contact to link him to as for doing consulting over the phone. This contact's phone number.....needs to be taken with you to the new vet...as an inexperienced vet, who is willing to learn...will not know what is normal in the routine tests that are done. He will also need help as to what meds are effective...as well as ratios. Print out the information above so vet will know what tests are required and phone numbers of contact if consulting is needed.
Do not accept lesser care if vet is unwilling to do simple proceedures as outlined above. After all...you are paying for the vet's services and your glider's life depends on you.
I wish you as your glider....Good Health.
Neutering .....and what to expect from a Vet.
With neutering....choose your vet carefully. Have him discuss the proceedure with you as to befor and as to aftercare post-op.
1) There are various ways for altering the male...however, the best method seems to be....isoflorin for gas, an incision to remove the testicals and tie and snip and leave the scrotum. No glue or stitches. The incision will close up within a couple of days. Torb and an antibiotic is administerd after surgery.
2) Discuss Pain Management at home. Cannot over emphasize this one. "Torb" to be given orally or by injection every three to four hours. If the glider is uncomfortable and their are indications he is messing with his site...this med can be bumped to every two hours as it is short lived and contact your vet ASAP.
Babies 8 weeks oop. to four months oop. .....torb for the first 24 hours. For males over four months oop. .....torb is given for the first 36 hours.
Remember....your vet is doing a "service for you". If he is "unwilling" to be openminded to the (1)method of neutering with (2)pain management with "Torb" to follow for post-op care at home...."then find a vet who will" even if the second vet is inexperienced. This surgery is simple as it is the same procedure used for a cat or dog and an experienced vet can fax the info to help any vet who is unsure as to how to neuter the male glider as well as help with the ratios of how to do the meds.
3) And lastly...ask for phone number if in a crisis. If the vet refers you to an after hours emerg clinic...ask your vet if he is on their call list and wither or not the emerg clinic will be able to contact him at home. Since the emerg clinics see very few gliders...make sure you have a phone number of a knowledgable vet.
From my experience with neutering of the male glider....most do fine after the surgery. However....there is a small percentage that do not. By eleiminating the use of glue and/or stitches and leaving the PomPom and post-op pain management of Torb...the risks of neutering with a crisis to follow is almost zero. Always keep an e-collar on hand...and remove the wheel post-op. for a few days.
4) Remember...you have the right to expect the best care for your glider. And if your vet is unwilling to do the neutering procedure that is prefered by you....then get a vet who will. With the proper proceedure...and proper pain med administered for after care at home...neutering is very Safe for the male glider.