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#1409109 - 04/18/17 08:47 PM New to forum. Dexter lost Rita :-(
Nema69 Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/01/17
Posts: 4
Loc: USA
Hi, Everyone! I'm so sorry to join and jump in with a sad post but sadly I'm finding and joining this forum for advice after losing one of our suggies.

A brief history. My husband and I are fairly new at the sugar glider experience. I am an extreme animal lover and have lots of animal experience but none with exotics. My husband, although fond of animals does not have that "connection" with them that I have always had. All of our animals seem to flock to me lol. Whenever I've asked for another animal the reaction is usually not positive so you can imagine my pleasant surprise when he became infatuated with sugars after a coworker acquired 3 neutered males.
Now, I am a researcher and a worrier so I immediately tried to start learning about these little creatures but that was short lived. When my husband gets an idea he is gung ho and doesn't always think. I wish I could say we bought from a reputable breeder and knew all there was to know but I would be lying. In late October of 2016 he jumped in and bought a "breeding pair" from a young couple about an hour away from us. They claimed they were sweet but not handled much. They claimed the male was about 1 and a half and the female around 1 year.
We named them Dexter and Rita and had high hopes of giving them a much better home than they had come from..it was not a healthy one at all.
It became apparent early on that the previous owners were not truthful with us. Dexter was unapproachable and terrified. He would lunge at you when you came anywhere near and bite for blood. Even if just giving him a treat he would jump at you and scratch you and knock it out of your hand and then run and tremble in fear while eating. Rita was more calm...not a biter...but seemed small and always cold. We live in the south and it is not cold in our house but we bought a small heat rock for her and she loved it. diet wise they were doing well although Dexter was so much bigger than Rita. bonding went slowly and although Dexter was not excited about being handled we did get them to where they would crawl on us at tent time and the bites from Dex turned to nips instead of piranha bites. Still, they were clearly not used to being handled or socialized with.
The main thing we noticed is that even though Dexter is clearly not neutered they never attempted to mate. Dexter started gaining more weight and Rita seemed to get smaller. They still seemed to be bonded and happy together until early this year. We noticed Dexter started to attack her occasionally when food was put out. He didn't injure her but there was a big show and it always worked and she would give in to him. We started separating their food and it seemed to work but around February or so it just seemed like Rita seemed to look even smaller. I'll add here also that in these months we were also dealing with vet bills and extreme heart break from our long term pet cat Niko who died from cancer in March so there was a lot going on and I was beside myself with grief from losing him.
Shortly after losing Niko we noticed that Rita seemed to eat even less but she would always eat and seemed happy when she came out to be with us. I told my husband we needed to keep a close eye on her and we did. Sadly, we learned just how well they are at hiding illness....much like cats. My husband found that Dexter had attacked Rita. She had a bite on her face and was out of the pouch alone. She was breathing heavy. My husband thought it was from him biting her but I heard the tell tale signs of her popping while she was breathing and saw her purplish nose and knew it was respiratory. We rushed her to the vet and they did oxygen chamber and antibiotics. We kept her close and warm and hydrated and fed her with a syringe and she perked up and was breathing normal within about 4 days...but she never seemed to get "well". We separated them after the incident also which was so sad but I'm sure his instinct once he figured out just how sick she was. We planned to see if it would be possible to put them together again once she got well but no matter what we did she declined. Breathing was fine but she began to stumble and fall and was very lethargic. We found out that she had lesions on her brain and spine and also that she was more than likely much older than the previous owners had told us. Sadly, we let her sweet little body rest and glide over the Rainbow Bridge the first week in April.
Wow....that was not brief lol but now needless to say we have Dexter here who is all alone and though he is still eating well and doesn't seem to be too broken up about Rita being gone, I am of course worried and not sure where to go from here. He has not gone back to lunging and scratching and biting but he is back to shaking in fear. We're trying to give him extra love and cuddles but he was never truly bonded with us yet anyway. Given the fact that he has been aggressive and that I can assume that he is older than we were told, just like the case with Rita, I am worried about introducing a new glider or gliders. Rita passed 12 days ago and he hasn't shown any extreme signs of depression but I don't want to go too long without taking care of the situation. I do NOT like to give up on animals so i'm in it for the long haul with him. However, if it would be best for him to go to a new home with more experienced glider owners I would do that for him also. And although we do have the funds to find him a new cagemate I am of course worried about spending a fair amount of money for a new friend that he rejects.
I know you guys are way more experienced and versed in this subject than we are so I'm hoping for any kind of advice or good will that any of you may have. Please, fire away lol. And my apologies for writing a novel Haha!

Thank you guys so very much for any help you can give us. And by all means if the mods need to move this thread for more exposure please feel free to do what you need to do.

~Nema

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#1409118 - 04/19/17 09:08 AM Re: New to forum. Dexter lost Rita :-( [Re: Nema69]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 11820
Loc: Wisconsin
I would start with getting him neutered or seeing if he was neutered and you were misinformed.

If you click on the word breeder it will take you to the breeder database, you can get a glider from a reputable breeder.

Seeing as you don't know Dexter's true age I would get two gliders.

Hopefully adding more gliders to his life will calm him.

Please keep us posted. I am moving this to bonding & Relations.
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Widget, Gadget, Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Flower & Pappy :bb: T'Pol, Pandora, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ & 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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#1409137 - 04/19/17 02:09 PM Re: New to forum. Dexter lost Rita :-( [Re: Nema69]
Ladymagyver Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 10/07/14
Posts: 1737
Loc: SW Missouri
I agree with Kim, but you might need a second cage in order to have a place for them. Introductions will need to be done slowly. It also gives time for the gliders to adjust to new sights and smells. Since you are introducing a trio, it gives you a "time out" cage if things don't go well.

In the meantime, you have been given an opportunity to spend more time with your single and bond.
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Dawn

https://www.facebook.com/uptilldawngliders/

Inhale the future...
Exhale the past...




Fiona :grey:
Dot :grey:

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#1409165 - 04/20/17 01:54 PM Re: New to forum. Dexter lost Rita :-( [Re: Nema69]
Nema69 Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/01/17
Posts: 4
Loc: USA
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm trying to decide what would be the best decision. So...getting two more gliders may be easier than just one? Is this because he may be less likely to try to gang up on two? Would they gang up on him??

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#1409166 - 04/20/17 03:03 PM Re: New to forum. Dexter lost Rita :-( [Re: Nema69]
Ladymagyver Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 10/07/14
Posts: 1737
Loc: SW Missouri
Introductions from what I've read are all about patience, and personality. Since each glider is unique, it's hard to say. He might just need some alone time to think it over. And yes, a bonded pair might bully him. Same age helps. sounds like he is stressed. He may have to be a single glider.

Keep in mind he doesn't have a choice here to who his new friends are not like in the wild where he can find a new colony if it doesn't work out.


Edited by Ladymagyver (04/20/17 03:04 PM)
_________________________
Dawn

https://www.facebook.com/uptilldawngliders/

Inhale the future...
Exhale the past...




Fiona :grey:
Dot :grey:

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#1409169 - 04/20/17 03:36 PM Re: New to forum. Dexter lost Rita :-( [Re: Nema69]
Nema69 Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/01/17
Posts: 4
Loc: USA
Right...good point Ladymagyver. I think I will make the vet visit first. I wanted to make one anyway to make sure he had not caught anything that Rita had. He seems perfectly fine but it needs to be done not just for that but to determine age and see whether or not we were lied to about him being neutered. He has a clear and distinct bald spot/ scent gland on his head and a visible pom. Could those things still remain even after a male was neutered?

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#1409174 - 04/20/17 06:12 PM Re: New to forum. Dexter lost Rita :-( [Re: Nema69]
Ladymagyver Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 10/07/14
Posts: 1737
Loc: SW Missouri
Yes. It's called pom on neuter. However the bald spot goes away, or is less prominent.
_________________________
Dawn

https://www.facebook.com/uptilldawngliders/

Inhale the future...
Exhale the past...




Fiona :grey:
Dot :grey:

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#1409729 - 05/09/17 09:23 PM Re: New to forum. Dexter lost Rita :-( [Re: Nema69]
Nema69 Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/01/17
Posts: 4
Loc: USA
Thanks for everyone's replies a few weeks ago. Dexter is still doing okay. He eats well and has bonded more with my husband and I but we know he is lonely as he is barking at night and seems to be looking for companionship. We had to wait for an appointment with the exotic vet but finally got in to get him checked out.

The verdict is that he is still intact and a young adult. He couldn't give us an exact age of course but said he is most likely young because his teeth look excellent. He is healthy besides being too chunky lol. He needs to lose about 20 grams.

So, now we will look into neutering and a new cagemate or 2 for this little troublemaker. He bit 2 vet techs yesterday....oopsie. Happy to report though that he definitely sees us as his "safe people" and was very relieved and happy to be back with us. No setbacks with us or biting. :-)

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