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#1133 - 12/08/02 02:56 AM Ear problem - pictures, please look!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi everyone,

I just noticed my cutie Bitsy is having a bit of a problem. I called three 24-hour vets in the area, and none of them has seen exotics before, let alone sugar gliders. So any help that can get me through the night would be appreciated.

Tonight I noticed that Bitsy's ears are damaged. The tips are blackened and hard feeling, and she seems to be very sensitive to me touching them. The inside of her ears seem to be fine, I can't see any inflamation or signs of mites. Since I have had her out in the past few hours part of her ear has either shrivled further or fallen off altogether.

She is active and alert, and has been eating like a pig. Personality-wise, she seems okay. I did notice that she seemed to be experiencing some loss of control of her limbs--she was acting a little spastic for about 30 minutes. After watching that, I gave her a little liquid calcium, and she seems to be behaving normally.

Here's a pic that shows her ears quite well:
Bitsy's ears

And here is the directory of a few more pictures:
Bitsy pictures

I've moved to a new area that doesn't have many exotics doctors, and although I have spoken to a vet (but not ever seen in person) that has worked with gliders, I don't have a relationship with this doctor. So I am afraid I will not be able to see a glider-friendly vet until Monday.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm afraid to go to sleep. <img border="0" alt="worried" title="" src="graemlins/worried2.gif" />

Thanks in advance.

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#1134 - 12/08/02 03:07 AM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


AAAAAWWWWWWWWWWW. <img border="0" alt="cry" title="" src="graemlins/crying.gif" /> That first picture of her just pulled at my heart. What a little doll. I have never seen anything like that before, and I wish I could help more. The only thing I can think to do is maybe dab a little polysporin on, but I don't know if thats ok for gliders? <img border="0" alt="worried" title="" src="graemlins/worried2.gif" /> Anyone??? She doesn't have any lights too close to her does she, it almost looks like burns. I can't imagine a glider would stay close to any source of heat that high for long enough to cause that much damage though. How suddenly did it appear? She's so precious...I hope someone can offer some better advise. With pictures like that there'll be 40 post by tomorrow.

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#1135 - 12/08/02 03:21 AM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: lillysmomma]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lina,

Bitsy is such a beautiful glider. I really hope that someone can help you from looking at those pictures you took, they are really great and offer great help.
I have never seen or heard of anything like this happening to their ears so I can not offer much help. I don't even think I could guess what it could be.
I really hope you get many replies that will help you out and I hope everything goes well with Bitsy.

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#1136 - 12/08/02 03:56 AM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Glider Greetings, Lina <img border="0" alt="wave" title="" src="graemlins/wave.gif" />

I don't know what's wrong with your little guy; but check out the thread on this forum by Charlee called Mystery Injury. It talks about ear mites. Sure looks like a possibility even though you didn't see any.

The pictures sort of remind me of frostbite damage. You aren't somewhere that could have gotten very cold...are you???

I know that it is hard to get vet help on the weekends; but, I would not wait until Monday. Any vet is better than no vet at all.

Have you looked at the list of vets on GC for a vet in your area???

Even if a local vet is not experienced with gliders, he/she could consult by phone with one of the vets on the list.

Can't think of much else. Good luck and hope things work out for you and the little one!! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

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#1137 - 12/08/02 06:14 AM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I am so sorry bitsy is having problems. They almost look like they were burned. I hope some one will give you Bourbons Number to get ahold of her. She might be able to help you. Good luck and I hope Bitsy gets well. I will keep her in my prayers. <img border="0" alt="[Glider Angel]" title="" src="graemlins/gliderangel.gif" />

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#1138 - 12/08/02 08:02 AM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
KarenE Online   /gc/lgc
Owner

Registered: 03/25/00
Posts: 41158
Loc: LittleRock, AR USA
I do remember some time ago a post regarding ear mites that sounded like your Bitsy's ears look.

If I remember correctly, the glider did lose the damaged portion of the ear but definitely required vet care to remove the damaged portion.

I would make an appointment as quickly as possible to get Bitsy taken care of.
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#1139 - 12/08/02 11:18 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Maybe since she has problems until she gets calceim she is getting hind leg parelisis (spell?) and biting ears is just a symptom for her because she feels bad. At least shes eating well. You shouldnt be a glider owner if you dont have a glider vet for emergencies like this. <img border="0" alt="worried" title="" src="graemlins/worried2.gif" />

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#1140 - 12/08/02 01:53 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Krystal, Candiflip, Randy, KarenE and Kellie thank you for your suggestions and support.
Lil' Lady Glider, I sent you an email regarding your comments.

I spoke to a vet first thing this morning. He agreed that there is only a very minimal chance that she has mites. I don't take my gliders outside and there are no other animals in the house, so it would be hard to introduce mites in to to the mix.

I put Bitsy on an antibiotic (ciprofloxacin) and am continuting with the liquid calcium. I have a 7:30 am appointment for tomorrow morning. She seems okay, she's eating and being louder than usual.

Thanks again.

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#1141 - 12/08/02 01:56 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
KarenE Online   /gc/lgc
Owner

Registered: 03/25/00
Posts: 41158
Loc: LittleRock, AR USA
Lina,
Please let us know what the vet says about Bitsy's ears.
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#1142 - 12/08/02 02:08 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lina,
do you happen to have a lot of flies in the house?
If it's not likely to be earmites, then could it be fly bites ?

Or maybe something like mange ? Do gliders even get that ?

It looks a lot like flybites to me, or like she scratched and sratched at her ears ?
Well i'm really curious to know what the vets says, please keep us posted.

Tanja

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#1143 - 12/08/02 02:15 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


There are no flies here at all. Or any kind of bugs that I have seen! Except a spider I saw yesterday, lol.

There aren't any lights or anything else she could have burned herself on, I can't imagine that she could have frostbite, it's not that cold!

The vet gave a number of options. One is mites. One is a parasitic or bacterial infection. Another is a circulatory problem that isn't allowing enough blood to get to her ears. We will see.

<img border="0" alt="worried" title="" src="graemlins/worried2.gif" />

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#1144 - 12/08/02 02:21 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lina - you and Bitsy will be in my thoughts!! Looking forward to a positive update! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

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#1145 - 12/08/02 03:00 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lina,

Is she housed with other gliders. I looked through you pictures which were very cute BTW and saw other gliders. It really looks like someone is chewing on her ears. It seems like the most logical explanation. Please, if she is housed w/ others, separate her ASAP or watch her and them play and see if they are ganging up on her.

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#1146 - 12/08/02 03:13 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm so sorry that Bitsy is having these problems, and I really hope she gets better soon. My heart hurt when I looked at her poor little ears. Please keep us updated.. <img border="0" alt="heart" title="" src="graemlins/heartpump.gif" />

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#1147 - 12/08/02 03:30 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lina,
i had the same thought as instigater, after i saw that you have plenty housed together, that maybe someone or more than one is chewing on her ears ?

It's worth checking into.

By the way bitsy is soo cute, and so are all the others,i just feel for her tho !!

Tanja

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#1148 - 12/08/02 03:31 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Bitsy is housed with two other girls. She has been with them since she was born 2 years ago. They don't fight, they are very amiable with each other.

Last year I had a glider lose an ear in a fight/mating mishap. It looked totally different. It looked more like a normal flesh wound, the ear was torn off and the tip was a little scabby. But not black and shriveled looking. So I tend to think that it isn't the result of other glider-interference. But that was my first thought too.

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#1149 - 12/08/02 03:35 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Judie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 9173
Loc: Edwardsville, Kansas 66113
Gosh, this little one does have ear mites. The mites bite the thin tissue. The tissue becomes dry and crusty and due to the brittleness just sort of crumble and fall off. If left untreated her ears will be no more and she will only have tuffs of hair.

Some mites are very difficult to see. My vet could not see them under her microscope but it may not have been adjusted just right. But we treated the rescue anyway.

Treatment was....Ivamectin administered by the vet. Then when I got her home I used a bird spray for mites and spayed her down as well as the new cage I was to house her in. The bird spray can be found at any pet store..it was 8 in 1 or something and made by Four Paws. When using....cover the eyes of the animal.

If you have other pets who are housed in the same room or gliders you need to treat all. If not, and they have mites they will just reinfect each other.

Check your bedding you use inside the cages. Cheap bedding can harbor mites. Throw it out and use only Kaytee Aspen.

<small>[ 12-08-2002, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: Judie ]</small>
_________________________
Web site: www.MyLittleGremlin.com

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#1150 - 12/08/02 03:45 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Judie I just sent you an email. Thank you for your opinion!

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#1151 - 12/09/02 10:27 AM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi everyone, thank you for all the support.

I just got back from the vet--Bitsy is going to be fine. She *did* have mites. The vet told me some interesting things that contradicted what I had previously believed.

He said that all animals (even us!) have mites on them all the time. That's the normal state. But sometimes with animals something can happen--like their immune system is lowered--and it upsets the balance and the mites can "take over," as it were. Because this is glider specific, he said that it isn't contagious, which is why my other two girls who were in the cage with Bitsy were fine. He also said that she didn't get it from newspaper bedding.

Unrelated but interesting: He also told me that he treats sugar gliders at a nearby ashram where they are in an outdoor aviary sort of thing, and that they have gliders there that are over 10 years old. He thinks that the reason most captive gliders aren't living out their potential lifespan is due to massive inbreeding (as new gliders aren't being imported from Australia)and dietary reasons. Which I think we had already speculated about, but it was interesting to hear it from a vet.

Thank you again for your help everyone, I got atopical med for Bitsy (tresaderm) and the vet gave her an oral med as well. He says she will be fine, but I will go back in 2 weeks to make sure.

<img border="0" alt="clap" title="" src="graemlins/yelclap.gif" />

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#1152 - 12/09/02 11:06 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Judie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 9173
Loc: Edwardsville, Kansas 66113
Yes, mites can be "host specific". So glad you have caught this problem befor all of her ears were gone. <img border="0" alt="heart" title="" src="graemlins/heartpump.gif" />
_________________________
Web site: www.MyLittleGremlin.com

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#1153 - 12/09/02 11:21 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Great news, Lina!!! Poor Bitsy, she will be 100% real soon! <img border="0" alt="clap" title="" src="graemlins/yelclap.gif" />

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#1154 - 12/09/02 11:43 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lina,
i'm so glad that you finally know what befell Bitsy, and now sshe can be on her way to healing.

I have a question for you, you stated that your vet said that an individual's immunesystem is lowered and then plagued by this ?

Does that mean Bitsy is sickly? or that she's more prone to getting ill ?

Please let me know, asd i'm curious to find out.
Tanja

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#1155 - 12/09/02 12:15 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Judie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 9173
Loc: Edwardsville, Kansas 66113
I think what the vet was refering to...the glider is suffering from stress and thus the population explosion of mites that normally would not bother the glider if stress free. Now as to what is causing the stress this will have to be addressed.
_________________________
Web site: www.MyLittleGremlin.com

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#1156 - 12/09/02 01:16 PM Re: Ear problem - pictures, please look! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yes, Judie has is right. I'm sorry I didn't explain that better.

My only idea of what it might be is the temperature. I moved recently to a much colder house (my last place was HOT all year!), so I am thinking maybe the chill has stressed little Bitsy out. I am getting legs for the cage so it won't be directly on the floor, and maybe I should get a thermometer too? That way I could regulate the temperature better. Does anyone know offhand what the optimal temp for gliders is?

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