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#1002417 - 09/09/10 03:04 AM We need a list of...
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Questions to ask a new vet before bringing your gliders to them. I will start the list, and we can add and modify until we have a good basis to screen a vet. Most of these should be leading questions for the doctor to fill in their knowledge... or correct the false statements:

1. Which type of neuters do you perform on sugar gliders? Should know Pom-on of pom-off
2. How many gliders have you had in the office this year? This will rule out the ones who don't know them, and let you know a general experience level
3. Do you anesthetize a glider for an exam? If yes, RUN
4. Do you take care of filing their teeth? Trick question, a good vet will let you know that it isn't required and is actually harmful
5. Will you spay my female for me? Only ask if they seem to not know too much... if the answer is yes RUN!
6. What medications do you give for pain after a neuter? A vet that is comfortable with glider neuters knows what meds they give.
7. What is your opinion on the necessity of e-collars for gliders after neuters? Gliders should be in an e-collar right after while they wake up, and the risk of SM is real, the vet should know that
8. What is your emergency policy? It's good to know what they advise you to do
9. Does the emergency clinic take gliders? If you are directed to use an emergency clinic, the vet should know if they take them, and what to do if they don't.
10. Can I contact you directly in case of emergency? This is important, as some vets are willing to respond to the 2am emergencies. NEVER use the number unless it is a true emergency
11. Are the other vets here (at this office) familliar with gliders as well? The vet could go on vacation, or have days off or out of office, it helps if their co-workers also know gliders.
12. What is the cost of fecals? Is that a float or smear or both? Some offices charge a LOT for each of these, and some charge a little for both... make sure you know what they regularly do, and what the price is.
13. What is the price and availability for a SNAP test for giardia? This is important because giardia is VERY difficult to see on a microscope, and you need to know that they can/will check
14. What is the cost for an office visit? Is there a discount for multiple animals? What about if I bring in 7 gliders at once? If your vet gives discounts... it helps a LOT, especially if you have multiple gliders. Also, being aware of the costs helps
15. What diets are you familliar with? If you are on HPW it is important that the vet be able to distinguish the bee pollen from roundworms.


Edited by wildlifeangel (09/09/10 03:05 AM)
Edit Reason: bolded
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#1002422 - 09/09/10 03:46 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
Gizmogirl Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 13454
Loc: South Africa
All great questions, and a great idea to compile a list Nadine. thumb

I think we should not forget that there are a lot of suggie owners who train their local vets.

Most important question to me is whether or not you are dealing with a qualified or un-knowledgeable vet , "is this vet willing to listen to you the owner and be prepared to learn as they go"? I have a very knowledgeable exotic vet, and we help each other, not once did she "know better".
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A glider's eyes have the power to speak a great language

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#1002432 - 09/09/10 05:19 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Absolutely, I was trying to figure out how to include that. Many vets are more than willing to listen and learn about our fuzzies. laugh
IF you like a vet and they are willing to learn, their current lack of knowledge can be overcome.
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#1002435 - 09/09/10 06:49 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
DCMuffin Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 28202
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro Area
All good things...I only disagree with one thing in the list. I actually feel the opposite about neuters. It's not necessary for gliders to be in e-collars after a neuter, and to me, it's an issue if they automatically put them in one or explain the "necessity" of one. There should not be a higher level of expected pain from a neuter. Do I think everyone ought to have an e-collar readily handy? Absolutely. But I don't believe that they ought to wake up with one or go home with one. It should only be on a case by case basis, and if a vet says they're necessary, I'd continue looking around.
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#1002475 - 09/09/10 08:54 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
Bhubezi
Unregistered


Great questions but as some of us are really new here and to the Sugar glider fraternity, how about adding the "right" answers he / she should give to those questions too! LOL

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#1002476 - 09/09/10 09:03 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
DCMuffin Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 28202
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro Area
LOL...good point!

Well, let's see...gliders should never have their teeth filed. EVER!

A vet should not have to use any sort of anesthesia during a regular wellness exam. For special circumstances (i.e. drawing blood), they may choose to do so.

There are a few different medications that a vet will give after a neuter. As I said, an e-collar should NOT be a standard thing for your vet, at least in my opinion. That says to me that he expects a level of pain that I wouldn't want my glider to deal with. Of course, there are always special circumstances, I'm just speaking in a general sense. Medications...some vets will say they gave your glider a shot of medication that should last for 24 hours. Again, my personal opinion...if they won't allow you to take pain meds home, I'd go elsewhere. I feel that we need the "authority" to make the call if our glider is hurting.

The other questions on the list above are pretty well answered. Are there other questions you have?
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#1002477 - 09/09/10 09:07 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Okay, here is how I just put all that together (and added it to my website's FAQ)

1. Which type of neuters do you perform on sugar gliders?
The veterinarian should be able to tell you if they perform pom-on or pom-off and why.
2. How many gliders have you had in the office in the past year?
The answer can vary significantly, but it lets you know if they truly treat gliders, or they just agreed to see them.
3. Do you anesthetize a glider for an exam?
If the veterinarian puts the animal under anesthesia for an exam, this is a clear indication that they are not comfortable handling a glider, and this vet needs to be avoided!
Do you take care of filing their teeth?
This is a question you can start with, or if you are skeptical of the vet. Any vet that is AT ALL familliar with gliders will immediately let you know that it is not necessary. They are not rodents, and a vet that does not know better needs to be avoided.
Will you spay my female for me?
This question should be reserved for only the vets that you are truly having trouble with believing. A female glider should NEVER be spayed unless it is a medical emergency and there is no other options to save her life. A vet that says they are willing to do a spay is not at all knowledgable about gliders and should be avoided.
What medications do you give for pain after a neuter?
There is no clear-cut answer for this one, but a veterinarian who is comfortable with neuters should be able to tell you what they normally prescribe for pain management after a neuter.
What is your opinion on the necessity of e-collars for gliders after neuters?
There are two acceptable answers to this question:
They should be placed into and kept in an e-collar for at least 12 hours after the neuter, then watched VERY carefully to see if it is safe to take it off.
The owner should have an e-collar on hand and observe the glider closely to watch for signs of SM and put the collar on if needed.

What is your emergency policy?
Every vet has procedure for the clients to use when they have an emergency. Many will direct you to a local emergency clinic, some are willing to take the calls themselves.
Does the emergency clinic take gliders?
If you are directed to use an emergency clinic, the vet should advise you of one that does accept and treat gliders.
Can I contact you directly in case of emergency?
This is important to ask, as some vets are willing to respond to the 2am emergencies. If they do give you that number, or their personal phone numbers, NEVER use the number unless it is a true emergency
Are the other vets here (at this office) familliar with gliders as well?
Every veterinarian has time that they go on vacations, or are ill, or for some reason or another can't see your animals. It is very helpful if there are other vets in the office that are familliar with the gliders.
What is the cost of fecals? Is that a float or smear or both?
You should know the costs up front. Some vets only do smears, some only do floats, and many do both. You need to know to request both done, and you need to be prepared for the price tag on the fecals. Costs can vary significantly.
What is the price and availability for a SNAP (aka Eliza) test for giardia?
Giardia is extremely difficult to detect on a microscope, and not everyone can see them. That is why a SNAP (aka Eliza) test is important. The cost ranges a lot, so you need to be prepared for it.
A vet that is not familliar with gliders will not understand the question, or tell you that the SNAP test is only effective for cats and dogs, or that you don't need it for them.

What is the cost for an office visit? Is there a discount for multiple animals? What about if I bring in several gliders at once?
Office visits vary significantly in price, knowing it before going in is very helpful.
Some offices give discounts for clients that bring in multiple animals for a single visit. Otherwise you may end up paying a $50 office charge for each of your gliders...

What diets are you familliar with?
A VERY good vet will be familliar with their dietary needs. They may know the different diets. This is ESPECIALLY important for those who feed the HPW diet. The bee pollen in the diet is commonly excreted in stool and looks simmilar to roundworms on a fecal. The vet needs to be able to tell the difference or you may treat your gliders for a parasite they don't have.

It is okay to work with a vet that doesn't know a lot, as long as they are willing to learn.
_________________________
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#1002486 - 09/09/10 09:32 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: ]
Gizmogirl Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 13454
Loc: South Africa
Originally Posted By: Bhubezi
Great questions but as some of us are really new here and to the Sugar glider fraternity, how about adding the "right" answers he / she should give to those questions too! LOL


Originally Posted By: wildlifeangel


1. Which type of neuters do you perform on sugar gliders? Should know Pom-on of pom-off

In SA it is mostly pom off.

2. How many gliders have you had in the office this year? This will rule out the ones who don't know them, and let you know a general experience level

The most knowledgeable exotic vet in SA is Dr, Doreanne Elliot, you are welcome to PM me for her contact details. Mostly in SA you will need to find a vet that is willing to be educated and also do phone consultations with Dr Elliot.

3. Do you anesthetize a glider for an exam? If yes, RUN

As Aimee said, they should not anesthetize unless they are doing procedures like bloodwork, a normal health check should include urinalysis, both fecal float and direct smear, checking overall appearance, weight, lungs, eyes, nose, mouth, ears as well as anal glands.

4. Do you take care of filing their teeth? Trick question, a good vet will let you know that it isn't required and is actually harmful

A vet should NEVER do this or see the need to do it.


5. Will you spay my female for me? Only ask if they seem to not know too much... if the answer is yes RUN!

Female gliders CAN be spayed BUT, it is a very invasive procedure and is only recommended as a last resort for a life threatening medical condition, not used as a form of birth control. Spaying a female does not guarantee they will die but it is extremely risky due to their anatomy and their size.


6. What medications do you give for pain after a neuter? A vet that is comfortable with glider neuters knows what meds they give.

7. What is your opinion on the necessity of e-collars for gliders after neuters? Gliders should be in an e-collar right after while they wake up, and the risk of SM is real, the vet should know that

I have been through a few neuters and in SA(pom off) it is best to have your glider in an e-collar, I have seen with my own eyes that they destroy the site within seconds.

8. What is your emergency policy? It's good to know what they advise you to do

You need to have the after hour number available on your phone and the vet should not have a problem with you calling after hours.

9. Does the emergency clinic take gliders? If you are directed to use an emergency clinic, the vet should know if they take them, and what to do if they don't.

This is your responsibility, to find several after hour emergency vet that will take sugar gliders. Not many take sugar gliders.

10. Can I contact you directly in case of emergency? This is important, as some vets are willing to respond to the 2am emergencies. NEVER use the number unless it is a true emergency

Same as 8.

11. Are the other vets here (at this office) familliar with gliders as well? The vet could go on vacation, or have days off or out of office, it helps if their co-workers also know gliders.


12. What is the cost of fecals? Is that a float or smear or both? Some offices charge a LOT for each of these, and some charge a little for both... make sure you know what they regularly do, and what the price is.

I pay R130 for 5 gliders's fecals.

13. What is the price and availability for a SNAP test for giardia? This is important because giardia is VERY difficult to see on a microscope, and you need to know that they can/will check

R80

14. What is the cost for an office visit? Is there a discount for multiple animals? What about if I bring in 7 gliders at once? If your vet gives discounts... it helps a LOT, especially if you have multiple gliders. Also, being aware of the costs helps

I have built a relationship with my vet, I have a reduced price with my local vet.

15. What diets are you familliar with? If you are on HPW it is important that the vet be able to distinguish the bee pollen from roundworms. This area I needed to educate the local vets, Dr Elliot knows this, and it is clear she is the best exotic vet in SA.
_________________________
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:grey:Gizzy, Boesman, Muchu, Kiamon, Sky & Boog:grey:
A glider's eyes have the power to speak a great language

RIP Sugar 2009 & Kaida 2013

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#1002487 - 09/09/10 09:33 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
I would suggest just asking questions in a straight forward manner (no trick questions). You want to have a good relationship with the vet you are working with and if you ask them questions designed to trip them up, 1) either you end up looking like someone who hasn't bothered to do the research or 2) the vet feels like you are wasting their time by being dishonest.

Ask them if they float/shave/clip glider teeth. A knowledgeable vet will say no, if they say that they can, it is the perfect opportunity to explain why glider teeth should not be clipped (in a nice manner, not a 'you idiot' manner).

Also, depending on the type of exam, a vet may or may not anesthetize a glider and that does not make them a vet to avoid. If you cannot handle your own glider, you should not expect your vet to take the bites for you. For some gliders (that are not trusting of people) anesthesia is the only way the vet is going to be able to complete a thorough exam.

Now, I know how to handle every single glider I own (even the fussy one) so that no one gets bit - especially not the vet. I would be upset if a vet were to insist on anesthesia when I can keep them under control. But for new glider owners with gliders that have not tamed/bonded yet, circumstances may be different.

Just my 2 cents.
_________________________
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Maia & Squish
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#1002490 - 09/09/10 09:58 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Okay, here is what I corrected:

Do you anesthetize a sugar glider for an exam?
If the veterinarian regularly puts the animal under anesthesia for an exam, this is a clear indication that they are not comfortable handling a glider, and this vet needs to be avoided! However, If you have trouble handling the gliders, don't expect the vet not to.
Do you float, shave, or clip sugar glider teeth?
This is an important question that needs to be asked. A vet that answers yes does not have experience with gliders. Gliders should NEVER need their teeth clipped, and a vet who will perform this needs to be educated.
Do you spay sugar gliders?
A female glider should NEVER be spayed unless it is a medical emergency and there is no other options to save her life. A vet that says they are willing to do a spay is not at all knowledgable about gliders and should be either avoided or educated (nicely).
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#1002492 - 09/09/10 10:18 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
DCMuffin Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 28202
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro Area
Again, the information about anesthetizing a glider...it does NOT make them a vet to avoid. We're just saying that it should not be common practice for them to do this during an exam, but every situation should be looked at. Even knowledgeable vets will sometimes have trouble handling certain gliders so don't rule out a vet just for this reason.
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#1002495 - 09/09/10 10:33 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
josefine Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 2713
Loc: Perry, Iowa
i felt better once my vet was willing to call both Tristan & Walsh. they both gave him advice on neuters.
he did not know that a good thing a vet could do to turn the glider away from the incision site, is to keep them busy w/putting surgical glue on their hands. they will work on getting it off their hands, & not pay attention to the neuter site smile smile
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#1002496 - 09/09/10 10:33 AM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
CandyOtte Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 5138
Loc: Lutz Florida
On neutering -

Ask what their procedure is, not just pom on or off. Also ask they how many neuters they have done (or how often do they do neuters).

A key question, I feel, is to ask how many (or a percentage) of the gliders they have neutered have had SM issues that required an E-collar or additional surgery to correct an injury. If they say they have never had a glider SM and do not routinely use an e-collar - that would be an indication to me that they are experienced in performing the surgery. If they say 30% of gliders SM after surgery, or if they ALWAYS put a glider in an E-collar for several days - That would be a red flag to me that their particular technique in doing the surgery leaves the glider with a good bit of discomfort.
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#1002520 - 09/09/10 12:27 PM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
GliderNursery Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 20049
Loc: North Central Ohio
I'm going to go a bit against the grain here on the neuter and e-collar theory. I don't see it as a major red flag if a vet would automatically put an e-collar on a glider after a neuter. I would prefer it as preventative maintenance.

It could also be more of an indication with the vets comfort level of the owner's post surgical care than his ability to perform a neuter with a low risk of SM-ing. dunno

Why take the chance knowing in mere seconds a glider can do significant damage by self mutilating ~ even with the most experienced glider owner "watching"?

It doesn't harm a glider to be in an e-collar for a couple of days. I realize they may stress a bit at first and I would take it off, if possible, during dinner time and to give a break. But if I'm not able to be watching that glider 24/7, I would feel better with a collar on him.

I also think that this would be a better approach for newbies. I would think that they would be so apprehensive after a first neuter anyway; and they may not know what to look for until its too late.

JMHO smile
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#1002539 - 09/09/10 01:14 PM Re: We need a list of... [Re: wildlifeangel]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
I agree with Shelly. The fact that the vet KNOWS how to put an ecollar on a glider speaks volumns to me. My vet has neutered NUMEROUS gliders for me (almost 35 now) and he still can not put an ecollar on a glider.

For new owners or those who have little experience with having gliders neutered, I strongly recommend an ecollar at first. It is definately better to be safe than sorry.
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