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#1391988 - 07/16/15 04:46 PM 11-12 Year Old Lily Passed this AM
MissDallas Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/16/15
Posts: 2
Loc: Texas
I have had sugar gliders for about 15 years. It started with an unplanned rescue when I saved the life of a glider who was pulled from it's mommy too soon. He needed cage-mates, and before I knew it, I had added glider to my list of animal rescue work I do. That era of my life ended this morning, with the death of our last glider, Lily.

Lily was the sweetest, gentlest soul you could imagine. We rescued her 10 years ago and at that time, the glider rescue we got her from had had her for 1-2 years. Lily was kept with her mom, dad and siblings until we adopted her. They were parents who never rejected their joeys, or tried to push them out. The rescue place said dad never tried to mate with the daughters either.

In her life, Lily never knew a harsh word, or hard hand. Spoiled rotten, she was always treated with absolute gentleness, and she in turn, treated us with gentleness. In all her years, she never once bit anyone - ever! I can't say the same for her cage-mates (4 of them) whom she outlived by several years. While Lily was gentle, she was also the boss and didn't put up with any nonsense from her cage-mates. She was, to use the perfect word, a lady.

I want to share what happened, in case it helps others in the future: A few weeks ago, she started sleeping on the bottom of her cage instead of inside one of her many pouches and hammock type things hung for her to choose from. She's done this before, usually during Summer (we're in TX and it gets HOT during July no matter what we crank the A/C down to!) so we didn't think much of it. Then, last Friday, when we greeted her, instead of coming up to eye level and talking to us as she usually did through the bars (yes, her cage is that big), Lily was just laying on the bottom, not moving. I was immediately concerned and got her out, wrapped her in a hand towel and held her close to keep her warm. I offered her water, which she drank a scary amount of. She was extremely thirsty. I offered her everything under the sun to get her to eat. She was too weak to hold food in her hands. She lapped up some yogurt with honey, but only as I held it up to her mouth on a spoon. She couldn't move her back legs very well. In fact, she couldn't support her own weight. Fast forward 30 minutes. Lily was crawling around and looking for a place to glide/land off me and the hand towel she'd had enough of. I put some worms in front of her and she leapt into action, full of energy and vigor, eating them as fast as she could. She did tire out and take frequent naps, but she seemed otherwise okay. Her back legs were working just fine. I kept her with me until I was exhausted and around 4am when she still seemed okay (except for the frequent napping), I put her back in her cage and got some sleep myself.

The next morning, Saturday, she was up about 5ft high in her cage, where she had crawled into one of her favorite sleeping places. Whatever happened Friday seemed to be over. I checked on her throughout the day and she seemed fine, sleeping normally, color good, etc.

Sunday afternoon, she was still 'okay'. Monday and Tuesday, she wasn't very active and took lots of naps, but otherwise seemed okay (warm on her own, color good, able to move around, as normally talkative as she ever was, eyes clear, ears almost all the way up, eating, drinking, peeing, and pooping normally - which means all over mommy!).

Tuesday night she was weak again. I thought we were in for a repeat of Friday. I did everything the same, offering her a variety of food and drink choices. She got worse as the night got later. She couldn't hold food in her hands; didn't have the strength to eat corn or peas (her favorites to eat the innards of) so I squeezed the kernels, one by one and made a mash, then added vitamins and calcium. She did a nose dive into the spoon and sucked it down! At some point, she started refusing water, so I switched to apple juice, which she gladly drank (with me holding the water bottle at just the right angle for her to drink). I stayed up almost all night with her and she didn't improve or get worse before I put her to bed around 4am in her travel cage which I placed next to my bed.

Wednesday. Yesterday. Our family buried both my grandparents yesterday. I got up early, took care of Lily, then went to the funeral. As soon as it was over, we came home, explaining to my parents and everyone else that we had a sick furry family member at home and had to go. Lily was laying in the same position she was in when I put her down in the morning. I picked her up and held to my chest. Unable to move, or even lift her head (yet her ears were up!!), she promptly peed and pooped on me. She couldn't even raise her tail, so I had to clean her up. Of course, I called the vet. The vet we've used in the past who knows sugar glider care retired, so we turned to the internet to find alternatives. That's how I found this board.

I stayed up with Lily until 5am, plying her with smashed food and liquids, until there was virtually no "tent" when pinched behind the shoulders. At some point, I switched to a syringe when she could no longer hold her head to eat from a spoon. Starting to nod off myself, I put her down after she ate/drank/peed/pooped again and had fallen asleep. Noteworthy, is that her color was normal and her ears were still almost all the way up. I set my alarm for 7:50am to call some vets and get seen first thing in the morning. She woke me up with her whimpering at 9:15 (I'd slept through my alarm). Poor thing had poop half way out her butt and couldn't move. I cleaned her up and held her close. She took three licks of apple juice, then refused anything more. Closed her mouth shut tight. Juice, water, applesauce, smushed corn and peas... she let it all run down her chin on the towel I had her wrapped in. Her ears were down and she was cold.

VALLEY VIEW PET HEALTH CENTER IN DALLAS TX (Dr. David Landers' office) said they had an opening at 11am. I told them I didn't think she'd live that long. The lady who answered the phone didn't care. 90 minutes as the soonest they could see her. I got dressed while holding her to my chest for warmth (it was quite a circus act!) and bundled her up in a washcloth to keep the sun out of her eyes, for the drive to the vet.

That awful moment I'll never forget. Walking through the front door, I realized I forgot my sunglasses and asked my husband to run back upstairs and grab them for me. I headed for the car to get the A/C started (remember it's HOT in Texas during Summer). I'm holding her in my hands, cradling her, talking to her, asking her to hold on for just a little bit longer. Her nose turned blue. Not bluish, not non-pink. B-L-U-E. At that second, I knew I we weren't going to make it to the vet. As my husband got in the car, she took her last breath, and quietly, gently, ever-so-serenely, our precious Lily took her last breath.

The should've and could've. I should have acted faster. I should have taken her to an emergency vet over the weekend. I should've skipped my grandparents double burial to take care of the living. I could have not overslept and been standing at the vet door before they opened instead of just calling and asked how quickly they could see my "dying" sugar glider. I should have... I could have... The list is long. I hope Lily's story helps someone; helps other gliders. She was 11-12 years old and had never been sick a day in her life (that we know of).

Heaven is a better place with her in it.

#1391991 - 07/16/15 07:28 PM Re: 11-12 Year Old Lily Passed this AM [Re: MissDallas]
KarenE Offline

Registered: 03/25/00
Posts: 41382
Loc: LittleRock, AR USA
My heart breaks for you as the loss of these wonderful senior creatures is so very hard, isn't it.

Eleven or twelve years sounds like a long time to some, but for those of us who have had them live that long or even a little longer, the time has gone too quick.

I have known the pain of holding that small little one as that last breath slipped away knowing there was nothing more I could do, just as you did.

Your Lily is with so many of our precious little ones who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She is safe now, and you are here among friends who understand your pain hug2
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#1391997 - 07/16/15 10:55 PM Re: 11-12 Year Old Lily Passed this AM [Re: MissDallas]
sweetoothglider Offline
In Pouch

Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 35
Loc: Usa
I'm so sorry for your lost. I know how you feel when you lost a "pet" or as I call them my family. I wish All pets could live the life like a macaw. So they could be your life long companion.

Just remember Lilly is in a good place now. She is probably playing around with her family and with other gliders. She just a smiling and very happy. She will never have to drink, eat, or be sleepy ever again. She is in paradise.

Now I'm really sorry for your loss. Just remember she is in paradise.
Wanting a :leu: and a :grey:
While I glide over a :rbridge: into the sunset

"You dream and create. That's what inspires me." ~ Walt Disney

#1392006 - 07/17/15 11:32 AM Re: 11-12 Year Old Lily Passed this AM [Re: MissDallas]
Feather Online   sleep

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 12170
Loc: Wisconsin
I am very sorry for your loss. May you find peace and comfort in your memories of her.

Glide Free Little Lily :rbridge:
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:

#1392059 - 07/18/15 06:05 PM Re: 11-12 Year Old Lily Passed this AM [Re: KarenE]
MissDallas Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/16/15
Posts: 2
Loc: Texas
Thank you so very much for your kind words.


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