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#39351 - 03/09/05 03:41 PM Jaundiced
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yesterday we took Deirdre to the vet because she appeared jaundiced.

Fecal smear was negative. Bloodwork came out today; the vet said it was definitely a liver issue. No sign of infection or enlargement. Red and white blood cell count were both normal. Hemoglobin was fine. AST (whatever that is, lol) was elevated, at 541, while it should be at around 150. ALT was also elevated at 826, whereas it should have been between 100-150. Billiruben (sp?) was elevated. vet suspected it was a toxicity issue, something from the environment. We are trying to locate its cause and eliminate that from the environment. Our vet is presently checking into the Veterinary database and talk with other glider-knowledgable vets and find its culprit.

Does anyone have an idea of a possible cause or if we missed any tests that we should have had done on Deirdre?


Jennifer

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#39352 - 03/09/05 03:46 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Do you have anything metal in your cage? Zinc, Lead, and Iron can all have this effect on the body. What kind of bowls do you feed out of? Are they stainless steal? If so, the first thing I would do would be to switch to plastic bowls...

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#39353 - 03/09/05 03:47 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16743
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
Wow, sorry to hear this yet thank you for sharing.

First thing that comes to mind for me personally, I would want to know what do you clean your cages with and how often and are you sure there are no types of seeds in their diet from the fruits they get.
Next thing I would ask is if you have any branches in your cages and if so what type?
When they receive their out of cage time, where is that located and how long do they get?
If in a bathroom, maybe something on the floor or nearby?
I also get concerned with Dasher because he loves to chew on my rings that I wear, and the other night I put lotion on my hand and man he went to town trying to get it all off of there. I immediately went and washed my hands as I was not sure what kind of affects it could possibly have on him.

Did you ask him if it could be from too many vitamins? Sometimes we forget that too many can be just as dangerous and deadly as none at all.

Sure do hope all works out well for you. Please know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers.
Best of luck, Keep us posted. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Peggy
Critter Love
Critter LoveŽ Diet Center

If you want to know what a person is like, watch how he treats others.

You'll never know what the outcome is if you don't step up and try.


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#39354 - 03/09/05 04:05 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Deirdre and another female are both housed in a PVC coated cage. No exposed metals, except for the water bottle. Things that are in their cages are as following: two wodent wheels, a water bottle, pouch, and a corner hammock. Would the clips on the pouch and toys and c-clips (to fasten the cage and shelves together) be questionable? We use ceramic bowls for feeding. We clean their cage once every week or two, with plain water.

No seeded fruits are fed and no branches are in the cage. Vitamins are not a concern cuz all of the gliders are fed the same amounts. We feed them BML with fruits and veggies nightly, along with some yogurt once in a while.

It is just that Deirdre is affected but not the other female or any of the others. Why is she the only one affected?

Right now Deirdre is kept separate from the other female for observation.


Jennifer

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#39355 - 03/09/05 07:36 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
the gliders angel Online   content
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/08/01
Posts: 3059
Loc: u.s.a.
i would get glass ashtrays at walmart ceramic sometimes is treated with chemicals not all but some i would switch those. just to be safe

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#39356 - 03/10/05 11:00 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi Jennifer,

I just wanted to add a couple of thoughts here. My sugar glider recently passed away and the vet made a couple of mistakes (or oversights). Either way I wanted to add my two cents worth.

You mentioned alot of the blood work that my Willow had but did they also do a CBC(Complete Blood Count)? That would mean they had two tubes of blood sent off to the lab and the CBC (which tells alot about the red blood cells in more detail) would be able to indicate closer as to what kind of toxins. For some reason some vets do not feel it is important for a CBC but as we found out with Willow it was dire that it was done and we found out when it was too late. A CBC can answer lead poisoning issues etc.

The second item to question is, when the lab work was done what values are they comparing your Deirdre with. For example, Willow's blood work was listed under Monkey(Primate) which a monkey as you can assume has very different values to be looked at than a sugar glider. Many of her numbers such as the AST and ALT were flagged as high when it was actually okay and something else was wrong.

There could be something else going on that a side effect symptom is higher liver enzymes.

The AST by the way is:aspartate aminotransferase - (taken from WebMD Health, website)
"Diseases of the liver can cause liver cells to release this enzyme into the bloodstream. When body tissue or an organ such as the heart or liver is diseased or damaged, additional AST is released into the bloodstream. The amount of AST in the blood is directly related to the extent of the tissue damage. After severe damage, AST levels rise in 6 to 10 hours and remain high for about 4 days. The AST test may be done at the same time as a test for alanine aminotransferase, or ALT. The ratio of AST to ALT (AST:ALT) sometimes can help determine whether the liver or another organ has been damaged. AST also can help determine the cause of the liver damage. Both ALT and AST levels are reliable indicators of liver damage"

I wish you all the luck and we will be saying lots of prayers for Deidre. As most people here may tell you (I won't be the first) if your vet cannot find answers, keep asking and you may need to contact another vet to get more answers. My first vet also had an online group he sent the info to in order to find out more. Then unfortunately for us when it was too late, we went for a second opinion to a specialist.

If you want to PM me, I don't know where you are located but my specialist is in the Philadelphia area.

Best of luck again! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> Let us know what happens!

-Kelly
and my <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frostyangel.gif" alt="" /> Willow

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#39357 - 03/10/05 07:38 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Several people on the board have had jaundiced gliders. Some have had a spell of jaundice where it went away, others have had gliders get sick quickly, and some have lived over a year with jaundice. Although we know that liver issues are common with gliders, we don't know the "why".

Toxicity (like lead poisoning) is often mentioned by vets, but most of the people I've known with jaundice issues have had similar circumstances to you... good cage, good diet, other gliders that are healthy, and prompt vet care.

I'm sure our situation with Ozzy is different than yours, but when he was sick with jaundice, one thing that was consistent was that we had to really work to keep Ozzy hydrated -- I don't know if it was related to the jaundice, or what -- but frequently we had to get up during the night to give him extra fluids. (you can pinch the skin on the back of the neck and if it "tents" or goes down very slowly, extra fluids may be needed).

Keep us posted on what the vet finds out.

~Lynn

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#39358 - 03/10/05 10:42 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


WillowsMom and ZacksMom, thank you so much for the information you just relayed to us. We had no idea what AST and ALT were all about, so thank you for bringing that to light. We will ask the vet what he compared the AST and ALT readings with.

Deirdre seems to spend alot of time in her pouch, though she is back in the cage with Audrey. Deirdre had not eaten much last night and she is well hydrated, thank goodness! I just checked on her and she crabbed at me, lol! Yay!!! She just climbed out of her pouch and is now eating!!!


Jennifer

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#39359 - 03/10/05 11:25 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


am new to this forum. so bear with me, til i get use to the site. with liver issues, there is also another possibility. which i just went through with my 3 gliders. live foods such as meal worms are fed with potato when shipped. this potato develops bacteria. if your glider gets this bacteria, its symptoms are similar to what you have discribed, but also, there is no medication to help your glider, and the only chance it has is for you to keep it hydrated and attempt to flush the bacteria out. this sort of thing, usually causes liver or kidney damages in gliders, and can be fatal to gliders, if not caught in time to save the little guy. personal experience, just went through this a couple weeks ago. my babies are fine, i caught the situation in time,keeping my babies hydrated every half hour, through the nite. they checked out all normal the next day at vet, with no repercussions. i no longer feed live foods to my babies, i had order the worms from petco.

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#39360 - 03/10/05 11:25 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Sheila Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/05/00
Posts: 5363
Loc: Ok
We had a couple of gliders that had this. They were about 15 feet away from a small window. The vet suggest a reptile light which was in a bulb screw in. We tried it and they came around to normal color within a week. Apparently, they didn't have enough sunlight.
_________________________
ToandFro Gliders

http://www.toandfrogliders.com

USDA Licensed breeder for 12 years and counting!

WE SELL THE STEALTH WHEEL

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#39361 - 03/10/05 11:28 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


seems with gliders, there is so many possiblities and experiences that people have, sometimes it is hard to tell what is the appropriate action to take for the wellness of gliders. i read all the responses, and they are also correct of all the possibilites that can cause this reaction/illness to gliders.

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#39362 - 03/11/05 12:14 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Uh ok..what is Jaundice? lol <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

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#39363 - 03/11/05 02:05 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


The definition of jaundice is:
1 : yellowish pigmentation of the skin, tissues, and body fluids caused by the deposition of bile pigments
2 : a disease or abnormal condition characterized by jaundice

Deirdre had a yellow tinge to her nose and feet. It was easily noticed when she was paired with another glider. I caught it in its early stages, which was a good thing, so we could do something about it and get her back to good health.


Jennifer

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#39364 - 03/12/05 10:05 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


We checked on Deirdre just now and weighed her. She is still jaundiced but very active and alert. She weighed in at 67 grams. She is very well hydrated. She has a yellowish-brown urine. I would think that her biliary level is increasing. She is now in the Sissy pouch with me and I am keeping a close eye on her.


Jennifer

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#39365 - 03/12/05 11:01 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Lucy Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 7354
Loc: Lexington, KY
Jen, I'm very sad to hear this. I hope Deirdre will be able to make a full recovery.

When Gladys first began to get jaundiced, my vet recommended Milk Thistle be given to her orally. I did this, and she lived for many months afterwards. I think the milk thistle did help maintain the liver, though eventually she did die from multi-organ failure...but not just from liver failure. It might be worth asking your vet about. I'd be happy to refer your vet to my vet for more information, if you want.

I think it's going to be a long time before we know for sure why gliders tend to succumb to liver related illnesses. My personal guess is that there's more than one condition impacting the liver, and that it's probably a combination of differences in environments between captive and native gliders, in addition to something we're tending to do to exacerbate the problem -- be it diet or housing or environment or enrichment, stress, or something we haven't even thought about. Or it might be that our captive gliders, through generations of a limited gene pool, have genetic susceptability to liver disease. Of course, toxins, including environmental toxins (aflatoxins being one!) are always possibilities.

I agree with Zack's Mom that one thing you'll need to keep an eye on is hydration.

I have a theory (with absolutely nothing to back it up!) that gliders who have been ill in the past tend to be more susceptible to liver failure than those who have never been ill. But I don't know this, and we haven't examined the death database for this kind of information yet. In Gladys' case, she had been ill with giardia before becoming jaundiced. I think any illness is an assault on a glider that can affect its lifespan.

Hopefully in time we will know more. In the meantime, I hope you can find answers from your vet and the lab tests, and can find a treatment that works well. And I hope that you know we're thinking about you and praying for Deirdre to keep fighting!
_________________________


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#39366 - 03/12/05 11:41 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lucy, PM sent with my vet's name and ph. nbr. Thanks a heap!


Jennifer

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#39367 - 03/12/05 12:40 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Jennifer, one other food you might try offering that "could" help is artichokes. I steam the stems when I'm cooking mine and then offer the chopped stems and some leaves (both raw and cooked). Artichokes are thought to help in the production of bile and also may help with liver regeneration. I know there are several people on this board who do feed them.

Lucy, I'm so glad you posted... you were an amazing help with Ozzy.

~Lynn

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#39368 - 03/12/05 01:29 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Lynn,
Thank you so much for the suggestion of artichokes. We will try some of that. It is greatly appreciated.

I was chatting with xfilefan's husband earlier this afternoon and I asked how Riker was doing. He filled me in and I told him about the situation with Deirdre and he suggested I try some Gerber Hawaiian Delight baby food. I will also try some of that, too.

We are awaiting a phone call from our vet on Monday to hear of any updates from the bloodwork tests. He said he was going to get in touch with other vet(s) and try to figure out what the cause was.


Jennifer

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#39369 - 03/12/05 03:57 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I was IM'ing with ScarletDove and she sent me these links about Milk Thistle and artichokes and their benefits for the liver and help those inflicted with jaundice. Here are the links:

http://www.kcweb.com/herb/milkt.htm
http://content.nhiondemand.com/dse/consu...&mtyp=1
http://www.discount-vitamins-herbs.net/Liver-cleanse.htm

Thank you very much for sending me these links, Toni! I appreciate it!


Jennifer

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#39370 - 03/13/05 08:52 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


This morning Deirdre seems more jaundiced and more lethargic. She is more dehydrated now and I am trying to keep her hydrated, offering her apple juice mixed with water, applesauce and trying to feed her some BML as a licky treat. She remains active, but not to an extent where she had been yesterday. Ohhhh, how I wish today was Monday, so I could take her to the vet!!!!


Jennifer

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#39371 - 03/13/05 04:59 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
Something that has not been mentioned in this thread as a possible cause are the fresh fruits and vegetables that are being imported from below the border. Lots of these fruits and vegetables are treated with pesticides that are now outlawed in the US. Thoroughly washing will not necessarily get rid of the pesticides if they have been absorbed by the fruit or vegs.

There is also a danger of hepatitis being transmitted by these foriegn products. I recently bought grapes at WalMart that were grown in Chile. Go figure. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nixweiss.gif" alt="" />
Charlie H
_________________________
Rescue & Rehabilation
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/glidertree/
[]glidertree@toast.net[/]

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#39372 - 03/13/05 10:23 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


If Deirdre makes it through the night tonight, we will take her in to the vet in the morning and we will ask him about hepatitis. Thanks, CharlieH, for bringing that to light. We appreciate it.

Right now, she is not doing real good. I have been trying to keep her hydrated but she just lets it run out of her mouth. I got some Gerber Hawaiian Delight baby food and she loves it, but she isn't eating as much as I would have liked her to. I have also given her some Pedialyte, apple juice mixed with water, some watered down BML, and she would take a few licks of the drinks and none of the BML.

She is very lethargic and very yellow right now. She loves being close to my heart. It breaks my heart.


Jennifer

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#39373 - 03/13/05 10:36 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Sheila Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/05/00
Posts: 5363
Loc: Ok
Jennifer, I would consider the light. My gliders did not eat BML or worms, boiled chicken for one year, nor did they breed. I had to feed them yogurt to keep their weight up. I put the light on them and within a week, they were eating the BML, worms. They bred within the two week period and had two joeys. This was last June. They have had two more joeys on Valentines day. Never a sign of it again. I think it is worth a try. Here is the link. You can get one at Petco probably or have Marvin call for you to find one. I put mine in a swing arm lamp that I purchased that was less than $10. I would send you mine, but I dropped it and they are fragile. Reptile light
You will have to hand feed her because she won't want to come out to eat for two days, but the light can also go through the pouch, you just have to make sure it is one layered.
_________________________
ToandFro Gliders

http://www.toandfrogliders.com

USDA Licensed breeder for 12 years and counting!

WE SELL THE STEALTH WHEEL

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#39374 - 03/13/05 10:54 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have been handfeeding her since the discovery. I have given her some apple-flavored Pedialyte, watered down BML, Gerber Hawaiian Delight, yogurt, and a mixture of apple juice and water. We bought some kitten bottles so I could squeeze some of the juice out and some syringes for the BML.

Her cage is under a window and there is plenty of sunlight there. Perhaps not enough, but we will look into getting a reptile light tomorrow morning.

Right now I am brewing some artichoke leaves with boiling water and will give her some of the "artichoke tea," mixed with some honey, when cooled. I hope she will take it. Anything to save my little girl!

Thank you, everyone, for your help. I appreciate it.



Jennifer

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#39375 - 03/13/05 11:56 PM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Jennifer, I wish there was an easy "fix" for Dierdre. I know how hard this is. You (and she) will be in my thoughts tonite.

I just remembered something I learned earlier about jaundice. Prolonged jaundice in newborns can cause hypocalcemia (low calcium levels). I know your big issue right now is just to keep Dierdre hydrated and to keep some nutrients in her -- but if she'll take them, high calcium foods or calcium supplementation probably wouldn't hurt.

Hugs,
~Lynn

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#39376 - 03/14/05 12:07 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Jennifer, I've prayed a few times tonight for you and your baby. I hope the artichoke tea really performs a miracle tonight! That would be amazing... PM me on AIM if you need to talk... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#39377 - 03/14/05 12:56 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Awwww, Mikey!!! You are such a sweetie to send your prayers our way! Thank you so much!

Deirdre is still hanging in there. She took the artichoke tea mixed with honey pretty well, better than I expected. However, she is still very dehydrated and is not drinking as much as I would have liked her to. She refuses to eat anything but Gerber Hawaiian Delight baby food (thanks to xfilefan's husband for the suggestion). That is the only thing she eats right now. I have been giving her lots of fluids but alot of it has run off of her mouth.

When given fluids/baby food, she seems to get a surge of energy and tries to climb out of wherever she may be, and then succumbs to a lethargic state. How do I keep her from going into a lethargic state at this point?


Jennifer

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#39378 - 03/14/05 01:02 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> Talking to you right now Jennifer on IMs...but...gosh, again, i am SO sorry...just keep that baby held tight and hold onto her as long as you can <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> Ill check back in the morning and see how everything went....Im so sorry... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crying.gif" alt="" />

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#39379 - 03/14/05 01:06 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just keep doing what you're doing. What are you offering her for fluids? Gliderade is our guys fluid of choice, but just keep giving her whatever you can get her to take. You may need to get up every hour and a half during the night to give her fluids.

~Lynn

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#39380 - 03/14/05 01:19 AM Re: Jaundiced [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


The fluids I had been giving her are as follows: Gliderade, apple-flavored Pedialyte, 50/50 apple juice and water, and artichoke tea. Anything else I should try?

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