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#266502 - 04/19/07 11:22 PM Signs of loneliness?
BKaylor74 Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 208
Loc: Columbia SC
We've had Gonzo nearly a month now (he's my avatar pic), and while he's still rather crabby, he's coming around. Still quite shy tho, and he acts like he doesn't want any attention, but as soon as we leave him alone he comes out and looks at us like "where'd you go?" I think he's starting to respond to his name too. If I call him, and he's in his pouch or ball pit, he'll either crab, or pop his head up and look at me.

We've been trying to spend as much time with him as we can, but we don't want to overdo it and stress him, so we're letting him go at his pace. we can pet and rub him from outside of his pouch and he usually doesn't crab at all. Earlier tonight he was even letting us pet him IN his pouch, with our hand in there. He grumbled a little bit, but mealies kept him content.

But he seems lonely. He runs in his wheel a lot, and sleeps in his ball pit after playing around in it a while. He looks very healthy, he's even filled out a bit since we got him. He's on the BML diet, as are the rest of our gliders, and he's probably the best eater we have. His dish is empty or nearly empty every morning.

But last night he was barking while he was in his pouch. It was sad, because it sounded like a lonely bark, like there was a little whining or crying in it. Not a painful noise, just very lonely sounding. And now today we discovered he has a bald spot on his tail, about 2 inches down from the tip. It's almost a complete bald ring around it, but more on one side than the other. There's also two bald spots (or one in the shape of a figure-eight) on the back of his head. They're small, and for a while we thought maybe it was from the way he tucks his head down in the corner of his pouch, just rubbed thin from that. But now that we've spotted the ring on his tail, I'm certain it's from overgrooming. This is a sign of loneliness, isn't it?

I'm concerned about it, afraid that he'll get worse, or possibly escalate to SM, which would just be a nightmare.

So I'm thinking it might be a good idea to find him a companion. We wanted to wait on this until he was more friendly and social with us, but now I'm not sure if waiting is a good idea, so I wanted to see what people's opinions here are. If we get him a companion now, will it prevent him from becoming more friendly with us? I know I've answered other posts here, when other people ask about the bonding issues with two gliders instead of one and how that shouldn't make it any more difficult to bond with them, but I think the case with Gonzo is a bit different, because as far as I know he's spent his entire life alone. So I'm not sure here.

So, my hypothesis is that if we found another glider that was super friendly with us, Gonzo would see this and it would help him become more friendly as well.


Edited by BKaylor74 (04/19/07 11:28 PM)

#266516 - 04/19/07 11:46 PM Re: Signs of loneliness? [Re: BKaylor74]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
The baldness on his tail is a concern to me as it isn't typical "over grooming" behavior. I would have a wellness check done with a fecal float and smear to check for bacterial or parasitic infection. If he tests healthy, I would really look for a companion for him. Although you may be spending tons of time with him, there is still time when he is alone with no one to cuddle with. If he isn't neutered yet, the wellness check would be a good time to schedule that.

You might also, until you get him a live companion, provide him with a little suggle buddy. Just a very small stuffed toy (that is glider safe) that he can claim as his. While they don't replace the real thing, they often help curb some of the loneliness.

Also, you have other gliders. Are any of them likely to be good play mates for him. Perhaps letting him atleast play for a while with one of the other gliders will help.

From my experience, I really do not believe having a companion will hurt the bonding with you. Considering the alternative of him being lonely, I say the benefits of a companion win out.
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.

#266522 - 04/20/07 12:05 AM Re: Signs of loneliness? [Re: Dancing]
BKaylor74 Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 208
Loc: Columbia SC
If not over grooming, what does bald spots on their tails usually mean then?

I'll have to check on the vet costs for that tomorrow then. I know it's a minimum of $45 just to be seen, not including any tests or exams done. $150 for neutering which we don't want to do unless absolutely necessary.

We've tried introducing him to Sophie once and he attacked her, but I think that was because he was already stressed at that point. It wasn't really an attack, he just lunged and crabbed and she ran. We'd only had him about a week at that point. There's no way he'd get along with our other boys because none of them are neutered, and I don't want to stress Chloe and Darcia because we think they have babies in pouch again... So Sophie as a temporary play-mate is really our only in-house option at the moment, until another companion can be found for him.

#267447 - 04/21/07 11:32 AM Re: Signs of loneliness? [Re: BKaylor74]
melek007 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 3874
Loc: Eastern NC
You need to get the vet to check him out. I paid $52 for my girl's exam (which is decent).
You really should get him neutered. It will reduce aggression and scent marking, and also will be better for you when he gets a friend. First, because an intact male will only accept a female, and second, if he gets paired with a female they WILL have joeys and gliders are known to show more interest in their 'family' than you. I know $150 is a lot, but that is expected for a glider.
~ I miss my Alev, Nese & Levent ~

#267450 - 04/21/07 11:46 AM Re: Signs of loneliness? [Re: melek007]

I just wanted to assure you that loneliness will not escalate to SM. Potentially overgrooming, as you mentioned, CAN be a sign of stress. It can also be a sign of infection or illness. SM is a natural reaction to pain. The only reason a glider will SM is because it is hurt and wants the pain to go away.

I agree that $150 for neutering is reasonable. Have you checked other vets for other pricing? Mine charged $90 just for the neutering, but I still had to tack on the meds, take home meds, AND the exam. It cost a bit more than $150, but I couldn't be happier. I believe costs range from $35 to over $300.

#267551 - 04/21/07 03:21 PM Re: Signs of loneliness? [Re: BKaylor74]
pappy1264 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 11015
Loc: MA
I was facing the same with Petey (he was overgrooming his head, before I even got him, although he seems to be leaving it alone, as it starting to come back in.) I got two females yesterday (he is already neutered) and in time, I hope they will be a threesome. I suggest you try to find a friend for your guy. MOST gliders would prefer to have a friend, even though some times they need to work the logistics out and they can squabble a bit (Timmy and Gidget still have their squabbles every night, but it is all noise). I would get him checked, just to rule out a medical reason, but it most likely is overgrooming and most likely from stress/loneliness.

Good luck!
Timmy, Gidget(RIP), Bandit, Petey(RIP), Phoebe, Jake (RIP) Piper(RIP), Pru(RIP), Paige, Cole, Molly(RIP), Oliver, Wyatt, Roo(RIP), Romeo, Pennie, Mandy(RIP), Madison, Garth, Kikipoo, Stasia, Bella, Petunia(RIP), Helen, Sydney, Kizzy and Sweet Pea's mom,

#267902 - 04/22/07 02:37 AM Re: Signs of loneliness? [Re: pappy1264]
Xfilefan Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 8899
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Other than stress, a bald tail (the more common area is the head) can indicate an infection in there. The 'wound' could be too small for you to see, or have healed over, and what you see is the result. Big enough for bacteria to enter, but not for you to see. Is there anything he could have hurt it on? Keep in mind they can also do it to themselves with overgrooming gone too far.

A vet check would be a good idea. Since this can lead to SM, necrotic tissue, amputation, and even death if an infection goes systemic...if unsure as to cause and he were one of mine, I'd shotgun treat with antibiotics for 10-14 days now just to ensure that if any bacteria are setting up shop, that's taken care of early-it's much harder once it's apparent it's there, on both of you.

Hope this helps, and keep us updated on your little one.
Jen/Colin :bb: Commander Riker 12 16 02-10 04 12 you will be FOREVER missed :wfb: Sinbad, :wfb: Gabby, :grey: Baby, and :grey: Alley

#268161 - 04/22/07 04:42 PM Re: Signs of loneliness? [Re: Xfilefan]
minkasmom Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 5965
Loc: Northeast Indiana
I have to agree with the majority here, Bryan: I know it's a bit costly to have an exam done, but is there truly a price you can put on peace of mind? (not in my books)

Could there be a chance that one of the other gliders got hold of his tail during a recent playtime? Or do you eliminate that possibility by using a tent or having a COMPLETELY separate room for playing? I've had a glider inside the cage pull fur out of the tail from the outside glider simply because they were "in the mood to fight".

If all the health issues are ruled out, then finding a companion who's been LOVED TO THE MAX by its prior owner will be your ticket to solving the problem. I've had several "newcomers" watch how their cagemates interact with me, and it's a REAL icebreaker & fast-track to having the new glider accepting you faster.

I wish I had a young man/lady available for your lonesome sweetie right now, but I just don't. You need a pal much sooner than I can help. Sorry.

But I will wish you luck & wait to see what happens here.
Minkasmom (Papillon Kisses)
Slave to:
28 gliders,
5 cats,
and ONE husband (can't handle two, lol!)
gangel Remembering all my lost loves cry


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