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#214299 - 02/07/07 10:04 AM bacteria found in sugar

Hi,I am writing you from Mexico, I have been reading your forum a lot and found lots of information. I am writing today because I just got back the feces analysis result for my two sugars and it came positive for Klebsiella oxytoca, this is a bacteria. I am a little concern because I am 5 months pregnant and I read that the bacteria is a health hazard for new born and people with suppressed immune systems (which I think woman are after giving birth) and I really don`t know what to do. My Sugars come from the US, they are 8 months old and have had them (two females) since they were 3 months old. There is no vet speciallised in sugar gliders here in town. Has any one of you have had this kind of problem?

Edited by alealfaro (02/07/07 10:05 AM)

#214354 - 02/07/07 12:12 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: ]
TracieB Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 4338
Loc: Lenexa, KS
I'm sorry your suggies are sick. I'm not familiar with that type of bacteria - just be sure to wash your hands (or any place they have peed or pooed on you) each time after handling, be sure to use a tissue or something besides bare hands to pick up any droppings, etc. Hopefully someone will be along that has more info on this.

Did the vet give anitbiotics? And did you ask the vet about your concerns?
1 wonderful husband - Chris
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2 naughty kitties - Chloe & Alek

Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge:
1 spoiled Yorkie, Myles - April 5, 1993-June 5, 2007
1 sweet :wfb: Xavier - August 5, 2007-May 20, 2010
2 sweet :grey: :grey: Nara & Alkina - February, 2006-November, 2011

#216957 - 02/12/07 02:30 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: TracieB]

Hi Tracie, thanks for answering. They are actually not sick, they are just "carriers" I read an article called "Variations in antibiotic resistance profile in Enterobacteriaceae isolated from wild Australian mammals" ( )

and it says that the bacteria can be found in animals from Australia. My question really is if it is normal to find this bacteria in sugar gliders as intestinal bacteria, or if it is something to be concerned about.

#216959 - 02/12/07 02:33 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
there is many bacteria that is common in normal feces.. however it is when they are in overabundance that it becomes a problem.
Baybe,My Roots




Sugar Glider Genetic Project


#216966 - 02/12/07 02:47 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: Bourbon]

I just read the study you refer to in your post. It seems to be looking at how bacteria adapt to their environment as they travel from species to species.

It seems to be studying a number of bacteria that are common in the intestines of many animals. Many animals and people too carry these bacteria in their gut without exhibiting any symptoms.

When these bacteria contaminate our food, they can cause problems. That is why sanitation is so important. I would recommend that you are careful about hand washing before and after handling your suggies and that you use one of the hand sanitizing gels. I keep a bottle of it near the cage and it is very convenient to just use it whenever I handle the suggies or the items in the cage.

Your suggies probably contracted the bacteria from food or water they ate. If you test your family members, you may find that you all carry it, as you probably have eaten the same food products you have fed your suggies, especially fresh fruits and veggies. You also share the same water supply.

Keep us posted on your suggies and your baby.


#216971 - 02/12/07 02:57 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Some bacteria in the gut is beneficial and necessary for any species of animal to digest their food. When a glider get sick and is put on antibiotics, it is recommended to give the glider yogurt with active cultures to help keep the good bacteria in balance (the antibiotics will kill all bacteria, even the good kind).

There have been many many many pregnant women with gliders and I've never heard of any problems related to illness to the mom or the baby caused by the gliders. Proper hygene is important all the time but perhaps more so when you are pregnant.

Congrats on the new little baby too!
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

#217000 - 02/12/07 04:25 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: Dancing]
SugarBlossoms Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 5830
Loc: USA
If you can purchase Spring Water for your suggies, that would be best. Scrub all fruits and veggies and peel them before feeding them to the suggies. Hope everyone is okay and congrats!
Keeper of Handprints on my Heart, You left your Footprints on my soul.
My precious loves that left to quickly, Peanut, Katie
Isabella, Kiwi, Bonnie and Monroe.

Spread your wings and glide free of pain,
Until the day I see you again.

God speed my precious angels. I love you. Mama.

#217025 - 02/12/07 04:54 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: SugarBlossoms]
Msdoolittle Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 10/15/06
Posts: 582
Loc: Lake Worth, FL
I work in a hospital microbiology lab. We see quite a bit of K oxytoca and consider it normal flora in the intestinal tract. When we find it in wounds or the respiratory tract, it is harder to treat because it has become more resistant to the usual antibiotics. Hope this helps and congratulations!
Mom to 2 daughters (Laura & Kayla)
4 suggies (Scooter & Snickers, Coral,& Portia)
3 birds (Prince,Lucy,Sidney)
1 dog (Sammy)

#217057 - 02/12/07 05:46 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: Msdoolittle]

Hi Msdoolittle, YES it does help. I knew some bacteria are normal flora in the intestinal tract but I wasn´s sure about the Klebsyella, I have asked my doctor, but since he is a OBGYN he wasn´t sure abut it being a regular in the intestinal tract. Do you know how does it goes from there to wounds or to the respiratory tract? Does it travel through the blood?

#217108 - 02/12/07 07:19 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: ]
Msdoolittle Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 10/15/06
Posts: 582
Loc: Lake Worth, FL
The intestinal bacteria like to stay in the intestinal tract. Hand washing helps. Blood is usually sterile. Kleb can cause pneumonia, but we usually just see that in really sick people who are in intensive care on ventilators. When we find it in wounds, it is in older people who are confined to a bed. Sometimes they are not cleaned as well as they should be and their intestinal flora ends up in bedsores. Try not to worry-
even though K oxytoca has become more resistant there are antibiotics which will kill it. Chances are if you have become colonized with it, you will never know it.:)
Mom to 2 daughters (Laura & Kayla)
4 suggies (Scooter & Snickers, Coral,& Portia)
3 birds (Prince,Lucy,Sidney)
1 dog (Sammy)

#217113 - 02/12/07 07:33 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: ]

You don't want to eliminate this normal gut bacteria from your suggies' intestines. You, too, have it in your intestinal tract and it is part of the gut flora that digests your food.

People who get K oxytoca infections are generally in the hospital when they contract this bacteria. It can be spread via fecal contact or through contact with an infected person's bodily secretions.

You should not be a high risk for contracting disease from this bacteria but you should use good hygiene practices and wash your hands after holding your gliders and after cleaning the cage. Wearing plastic gloves when dealing with any fecal matter is always a good precaution.

I've heard of checking gliders' fecal material for parasites but never analyzing for bacterial content. How did you come to do this analysis?

#217136 - 02/12/07 08:06 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: ]

The main mode of transmission is hand to mouth or hand to wound. If fecal material is not properly disposed of, or if the person handling the material does not wash their hands afterward, they can spread the bacteria to things they touch. And then you touch those things and put your fingers in your mouth and the cycle has been completed.

Another mode of transmission is through contaminated food or water.

If human or animal manure is not completely composted or sterilized before being used as fertilizer, bacteria will be deposited on the growing food crop. When you eat the food, the bacteria can enter your body. Parasites can also be transmitted this way.

That is why fresh produce needs to be well washed and peeled, if possible, or cooked.

There are parts of Mexico that use human nightsoil, or sewage as fertilizer.

Sewage or manure can contaminate drinking or irrigation water sources, and the water becomes a source of infection.

Some parts of the world are not blessed with modern methods to insure safe food and water supplies. If you live or travel in those areas, you will need to take extra precautions.


#217260 - 02/12/07 11:08 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: ]
the gliders angel Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/08/01
Posts: 3058
Loc: u.s.a.
i fear more what i can catch from people more than my gliders. people can carry more dangerous things than our gliders. just wash your hands all the time as i do. i fear more what my gliders can catch from me. thats why i wash my hands before i handle them or their food. since we can make them sicker than they can make us.

#217268 - 02/12/07 11:27 PM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: the gliders angel]

you are so right.

#217544 - 02/13/07 11:02 AM Re: bacteria found in sugar [Re: ]

Thanks for all your answers, I took my sugars yesterday with this vet who was the head of the city´s zoo´s medical team for 14 years, he read the bacterial analysis the laboratory gave me and told me that klebsyella are part of normal human an animal intestinal flora and that the results didn´t indicate an abnormal colony growth. That put my mind at ease. Jungleflockmom, there this lab that performs all kinds of tests in animal fluids in search for virus and bacterias, actually the vet told me that it is the one the zoo uses in their animal health screening, I really didn´t knew that, I just went there and asked for a bacterial and virus exam. They gave me this little sterile container filled with refrigerated gel to put an sterile swab (wich they also gave me)in with the sample, I did it, kept it cool and returned it to the lab, in a few days they had the results. The vet also gave me this disinfectant safe for animals (I had been using Chlorine in water) that can be sprayed after washing the cage and in the surrounding area, he just told me to come back in about six months so he can give me a different one, to avoid the bacterias become resistan to it.

Edited by alealfaro (02/13/07 12:00 PM)


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