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#1368941 - 04/25/14 01:19 PM Sugar Glider Alopecia
Kelsie Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/25/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Tennessee
I need help!

I've had my sugar glider, Miley since October 2013. In January, she met a boy glider for a play date and fun. In February, she started losing a little hair. Now it is really bad, all over her back and has proceeded behind her neck. I work at a vet school and asked one of the vets here about this problem. He told me it was probably her nutrition. So I have improved that. She gets mealworms in the morning, a couple fruit treats throughout the day, leadbeaters or baby food (vegetables) at night, and she gets her regular pelleted food throughout the day and night. She is ten/eleven months and was 47g, now she's up to 60g. Well unfortunately, her hair loss has not gotten any better, it has just continued to grow all over her body. We did a skin scrape, it's not mites or anything like that based off the results. Her husbandry is well off. The only option I can think off is that she is lonely or stressed. I keep her with me most of the day everyday and she used to be very active (even though they are nocturnal). She is very social, one of the nicest gliders my vet says he's met. However, recently I have noticed her water intake has gone down because I am not filling her nozzle nearly as much and she seems to be lethargic. Doesn't exemplify as much energy as she used to, even at night I don't hear her jumping as much. She is also shaking a lot, but I have a blanket in her pouch to keep her warm. I cannot get another glider, so that is not an option.

I tried posting pictures for yall to see how much it has spread. Please let me know what you could think it is! I need all the help I can get.



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#1368943 - 04/25/14 06:24 PM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 12057
Loc: Wisconsin
She needs to be seen by a veterinarian and you need to get her on one the accepted diets.

Shaking is not good, her overall condition is terrible and she is getting worse.

Check out the diets, pick one that works for you and follow it as it is written. She needs a good source of protein and fruits and vegetables.

She needs to be seen by a vet and have them run a fecal on her.

I can't stress this enough, you need to make changes and get her to a vet.
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & Maharet :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ, Khayman & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1368945 - 04/25/14 06:37 PM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Feather]
Kelsie Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/25/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Tennessee
She is on a new diet that is followed pretty religiously that two different vets have recommended me.. And again, I work at a vet school, the vet looks at her daily and tells me it is stress or loneliness. There is not much more I can do with a vet. He's been very nice in examining her daily for free and giving me that information.

As for the fecal, she hasn't had one; that is a possibility, however a vet tech told me she had good looking stool.

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#1368946 - 04/25/14 08:00 PM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 12057
Loc: Wisconsin
I would not say that being shaky is a sign of loneliness.

Sherri on this board is in Tennessee and she has a large colony of rescues that she is rehoming. I believe her rehoming fee is 45.00.

Here is a link to her profile: Sherri She is in Big Sandy TN. See if she can help you out.
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & Maharet :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ, Khayman & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1368947 - 04/25/14 09:52 PM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
CandyOtte Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 5138
Loc: Lutz Florida
Quote:
So I have improved that. She gets mealworms in the morning, a couple fruit treats throughout the day, leadbeaters or baby food (vegetables) at night, and she gets her regular pelleted food throughout the day and night.


Pellets are not a good primary source of nutrients for your glider. Leadbeaters or baby food vegetables may not provide the vitamins she needs - I see no calcium sources in this plan. She needs more fruits than just a few pieces as a snack. The hair loss and skin problems could be due to a vitamin deficiency - she needs fruits and vegetables that will provide vitamin C.

What recipe are you using for the Leadbeaters? How much of that is she offered each night.

I strongly suggest you try one of the recognized glider feeding plans that provide a nectar like staple which contains the appropriate amounts of protein, vitamins and calcium for your glider.

She also needs a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to bring a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals to the overall feeding.

I think you will begin to see improvement once you make this change and eliminate the pellet food from her diet. A few pieces for snacking are OK but not as a main food.
_________________________
Candy Otte
& the Glider Kids
Sassy, Corky, Mehitabel & Missy
Wacco, Yacco, & Dot
Mindy, Kanobles, Elmo, & Chipper

http://www.gliderkids-diet.com

CandyOtte@aol.com

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#1368949 - 04/25/14 10:06 PM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
Let me start by saying I am going to be blunt. I have dealt with a loss of fur similar to this. In my glider's case, it ended up being adrenal cancer. I have known other gliders with similar fur loss patterns being caused by cancer as well. This does not mean that is what is wrong with your glider, but I wouldn't rule it out.

Nutrition can absolutely be a causative factor, here, though. You did not mention what her diet was like before the hair loss started (or else I overlooked it). Unfortunately, the diet you are describing now, may not be enough, particularly with an ill glider, to turn her around. Baby food is not a good long term/regular option to be feeding. I don't know what kind of pellet you are using, nor do I know what recipe of leadbeaters you are using, but either or both could be part of the problem as well. If she is not improving (over the past couple of months, as you said) and it is a nutritional issue, then clearly the diet is still a problem whether 2 vets have agreed with it or not.

For a glider in this condition, with the low weight, fur loss and depressed attitude, you may want to consider feeding Darcy's diet. It worked wonders for my girl when she was low weight and losing fur all over. If you would like to know more specifically, I will be happy to walk you through, just shoot me a PM. It is supportive of low weight gliders as well as gliders with cancer (if that might be part of the problem). It was formulated by vets at Cornell University for a glider that had non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He lived for many years on it...so did my glider.

Normally, loneliness/stress fur loss is overgrooming - and it looks different than this. Let me be clear in saying that does NOT mean this couldn't be caused by loneliness. Given the fact that the fur loss started after she was introduced to another glider, may mean she realizes what she has been missing and it is too much for her. She could be so lonely and stressed that it is making her physically ill. I know you said another glider is not an option, but particularly when a glider is ill, having another to 'take care' of them can be very important. My girl survived as long as she did in part because of her relationship to me, but also in part to her relationship to her mate, who did everything for her when she didn't feel good. You may want to re-evaluate your reasons for not being able to have another glider.

No matter what, from what you have told us, what you have been doing is not working. There are several possible causes, but all of them will require a change from you.

I know how scary and frustrating something like this can be. I was lucky in that my girl was an adult when she started having trouble and a heavier glider than your girl is, so I had more time to try to figure out what to do to help her. I changed diets many times trying to determine if that was the cause. I tried a lot of things.
hug2
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#1368952 - 04/25/14 11:23 PM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
Kelsie Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/25/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Tennessee
Hey guys, thanks for all your input. I called the breeder that she came from and she and I are going to meet up in about two weeks to really get down to the problem.

However, for the time being, I will try and make some more changes to her diet. I am interested in the Darcy's diet and will try that ( I PMed you ) and as for the pelleted food.. I have a calcium booster added with it and it's in her cage at night time for her to eat. It's the breeder's special and it is actually good for her. I really have tried changing things in her diet and in general, but I needed more advice from you expert handlers!

I'm glad to hear it is more than likely NOT stress/loneliness, however, I do not want it to be an endocrine problem or anything like that either. Hopefully, if it is a nutritional problem, I can try more things and fix it for her!

Question though: Why would she all the sudden begin to lose hair if I've had her on the same diet since October? I only began changing her diet recently when noticing hair loss. Really, the only things I changed were the amounts of food I was giving her (increased amounts) and then I added the Leadbeaters and baby food. I also bought a bag of treats, a Vitamin C pack, to try to up her Vitamin C and I have been giving her more of those.

Thanks so much for all of yall's expertise; I really needed it as I kinda jumped into owning her. I will try to keep yall updated on her behavior and overall condition. Tonight, for instance, she was more like her old self, she was more playful than she has been and finally up and moving around her cage, but she's sleeping again now..

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#1368958 - 04/26/14 09:33 AM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
CandyOtte Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 5138
Loc: Lutz Florida
Quote:
Why would she all the sudden begin to lose hair if I've had her on the same diet since October?


Nutritional deficiency is a cumulative problem. Symptoms do not appear immediately but begin gradually over time as the body's natural stores are depleted and not replenished by the diet.

Sprinkling a calcium booster on the pellets (that may actually be very bad for your glider) is not the best way to administer calcium. The tiny daily dosage AMOUNT provided by calcium supplement that is added to a nectar-like staple and divided into a month's worth of feedings cannot be administered by sprinkling a random amount on foods.

For example the BML diet calls for 2 teaspoons Calcium per batch which feeds 2 gliders about a month. That is 1/15 teaspoon calcium supplement per glider daily - and that diet has the largest amount of calcium compared to most other staples and requires high phosphorus vegetables to balance that dosage.

Any sprinkled amount greater than 1/15 teaspoon may actually be an overdose of the calcium which may also cause glider health issues.
_________________________
Candy Otte
& the Glider Kids
Sassy, Corky, Mehitabel & Missy
Wacco, Yacco, & Dot
Mindy, Kanobles, Elmo, & Chipper

http://www.gliderkids-diet.com

CandyOtte@aol.com

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#1368959 - 04/26/14 10:51 AM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 12057
Loc: Wisconsin
I am going to put this out here and will probably get slapped for saying it,but:

NOT ALL vets CAN TREAT SUGAR GLIDERS!!!!!!!!

I have met veterinarians that don't even know what a sugar glider is! Just because you work for one doesn't mean he knows how to properly take care of and feed a glider.

Suggiebabylover got a glider from a friend that worked for a vet. The vet had a glider and she wanted to get rid of it.

This glider was in a RUSTY CAGE, NO toys, NEVER FED A LIVE MEALWORM, UNDERWEIGHT, UNSAFE POUCH TO SLEEP IN, AND KEPT IN THE CAT ROOM AT THE vets OFFICE!

Not all veterinarians can treat a glider, that is why we stress that you have an exotic vet.

I would give your vet the list of vets that will consult and start there. Here is the list: Vets that consult.
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & Maharet :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ, Khayman & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1368969 - 04/26/14 05:24 PM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
I agree with Feather, in that not all vets are going to be able to treat a sick glider. She gave you a great option to see if one of the vets that has seen your girl will consult with a sugar glider experienced vet. thumb
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#1368988 - 04/27/14 07:57 AM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
kittybaran Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 09/29/08
Posts: 202
Loc: arizona
Blood work, blood work, blood work. I saw someone mention adreana cancer above. Also consider running thyroid levels.

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#1369037 - 04/28/14 07:25 AM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
yiyo Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 06/08/11
Posts: 7560
Loc: Long Island, NY
You've gotten good advice so far.

I also just want to add that seeing the breeder in two weeks probably isn't going to do any good unless your breeder happens to be an exotic vet; which I'm guessing she is not.

There's no way for her to be able to determine what's wrong. You'll need tests completed by a vet that is familiar with gliders.

When gliders start showing signs of illness, they typically go down hill VERY quickly. I'd strongly urge you to get to an experienced sugar glider vet very soon. Sherri, mentioned above, may be able to recommend someone for you. Or click on the word vet, and it will link you to the database and you can do a search in your area.

Best wishes for your little one hug2 hug2
_________________________
Alyssa

"Moving on is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard."

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#1369053 - 04/28/14 12:08 PM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
Given how small/low weight she is, I would question how helpful bloodwork would be. Just because I would be concerned to put her under at this point and not sure how much blood they would be able to get. dunno If you can get her weight up and make SURE she is not dehydrated, then bloodwork may be an option.

Quote:
I'm glad to hear it is more than likely NOT stress/loneliness, however, I do not want it to be an endocrine problem or anything like that either. Hopefully, if it is a nutritional problem, I can try more things and fix it for her!
Just to clarify - I said this kind of fur loss is not the overgrooming behavior we usually see in loneliness/stress...I did NOT suggest that you rule out the possibility that it IS stress/loneliness, as this started after she met another glider and she could be showing these signs because stress has made her body react this way (versus overgrooming, when they do it themselves). Just like humans under high stress can sometimes experience hair loss.

My point - I wouldn't rule ANYthing out at this point, but you do want to be looking for causes and working with someone (meaning: experienced glider vet) that will help you look in the right places.
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#1369941 - 05/13/14 05:06 PM Re: Sugar Glider Alopecia [Re: Kelsie]
Kelsie Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/25/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Tennessee
Hello everyone! I just wanted to thank everyone for their input and advice. It has been extremely helpful!

I just wanted to give y'all an update on her health! She is improving so much! Her hair has grown back and she just has a small patch missing that I am sure will continue to grow back.

As for the vet issue, the vet I work with does have sugar glider experience, so his input was helpful, but I wanted y'all's input as well which is why I posted here. I think it was really just her nutrition. I must not have been feeding her correctly. I don't think I was feeding her enough. Her weight has increased and now she's eating more slowly like she isn't as hungry (which is good). Her belly has even whitened and she's not as shaky anymore. I'm still going to the breeder this weekend to get supplements and another overview. Thanks for everyone's input again! It's been more than appreciated!

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