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#39874 - 03/14/05 03:26 PM sudden torpor then death

well, I put Franky to sleep this morning so this is more of a, has this ever happened to anyone you know kind of post.

Franky is 5 1/2 year old neutered male glider. He has appeared to be otherwise healthy for the past few days (and every day up until then). Last night when I went to feed them i noticed he was in "torpor" on the side of the cage and very unresponsive.

I experienced this a year ago when one of my other gliders had a tumor under her eye and became very ill. The main difference was that I took him from the cage and warmed him up (he was freezing to the touch) (the room was near 70-where i always keep it for them) and tried to coax him into drinking some nectar (which had worked wonders in as soon as 15 minutes with Binca during her illness)... it didn't work. He was slightly responsive and seemed to feel better with me petting him. He ate some. I set him up in a hospice cage with heat and water and some crickets and gliderade. He seemed to be stablizing and i left him for the night around 3am.

I could not get in touch with my regular glider vet in the AM. Since I am a vet tech (just started 2 weeks ago...) at a cats/dogs/ferrets/etc (but not sugargliders!) vet, I brought him to work with me. We gave him fluids and tried to bring his body temperature back up. (Still not producing his own body heat). His color was terrible, bluish in the nose and gums. I noticed he was grasping at things with his hands and not being able to let go, kind of seizing up. He was totally not responsive to me. Didn't know where he was. I examined his eye and noticed it was injured. (I thought oh no this is Binca all over again!) Then i witnessed him grab his own mouth with his hand and not be able to let go. From observing him, it seemed like he had injured his own eye from these fits he was having. We drew blood but it all happened too fast to get any results in. Then his whole body started spasming and flailing, all legs and tail out, membrane out, flailing. His heart has been irregular and fast and his little lungs were working very hard to keep him breathing. The doctor and I came to an agreement that he was suffering too much and at that point was completely unresponsive to anything near his face. So we sedated him and then put him to sleep.

it was so sad. I know youre not supposed to have favorites, but he was mine! So sweet and so gentle. He never even bit me once in 5 years except for when he was neutered and when he was having one of his spasms today. I do feel at peace about it because last night I got to say good bye and he knew it was me when i pet him and massaged his little body. also after he was injected with the sedative before it really took hold, he made the little chirping noise they make when they are contently cuddling. It was really nice that he said goodbye like that. I couldn't stay when the Dr. put him to sleep.

anyway, back tot he point of my post. does anyone have any ideas about this? has anyone seen this before? we were workin with the theory that he had gone septic.



spooky <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" />
tarzan <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" />
thumbelina <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" />
franky <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/gliderangel.gif" alt="" />
binca <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/gliderangel.gif" alt="" />

#39875 - 03/14/05 03:39 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]

I have no idea what it was, but I'm very sorry for your loss...

#39876 - 03/14/05 03:41 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
I am going to move this to real stories.
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.

#39877 - 03/14/05 03:42 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]

I am sorry that Franky is gone...

#39878 - 03/14/05 03:42 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]

i am thinking more and more it was bacterial in nature... going over the cage with a finetoothedcomb so to speak. other gliders appear fine, normal coloration, active, bright eyed and bushy tailed. any suggestions for the rest of them?


#39879 - 03/14/05 03:45 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]
Xglider Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 11157
Loc: Tampa, FL
so sorry for your loss...
* ~ * John * ~ * Sorry store is closed at this time.. <br>
Link -> ~~ XtremeGlider ~~ Home of the original Re~set Toys! ~~ <br>
Oct 2012 update.. miss my gliders and my
glider family and think of my friends often!!!

#39880 - 03/14/05 03:55 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]
Candy Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 666
Loc: Xenia, Oh
I'm sorry for the loss of your sweet Franky. I can't help you with what may have been a problem. Are you able to get a necoropsy (sp) done?

Mom to 2 skin kids, Jace and Jaxon

#39881 - 03/14/05 03:58 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]
Judie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 9173
Loc: Edwardsville, Kansas 66113
I am so sorry you have lost your little friend.

Unless you had a necropsy done...or at a min a direct fecal with cytology is difficult to tell what was wrong with your little one. I am guessing....but more than likely your little one had a bacterial illness.

From experience...most illnesses will cause dehydration which is a secondary issue and usually this is the cause of most deaths. Reason being...the electrolytes are out of balance in the gliders system and the glider usually becomes shocky.

Seizers alone will cause an animal to be confused or non responsive from a few mins to fifteen minutes or longer.

With other gliders in your suggestion is to have them vet checked to be sure all is well with them.

Sending a big hug to you for comfort. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />
Web site:

#39882 - 03/14/05 04:11 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]

thanks everyone.
does anyone have experience with antibiotics and sugargliders. my boss is suggesting putting the survivors on antibiotics as a precautionary measure. i have always been a bit nervous of sugargliders and antibiotics simply because they are so small and it takes to little to throw of their digestion....

#39883 - 03/14/05 04:12 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]
Carrie T Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 06/10/01
Posts: 4049
Loc: Doniphan Mo
How sad, I'm sorry I have no answers for you. Please take comfort that your little one is at peace. How sweet that he chirped his good by. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" />

#39884 - 03/14/05 05:11 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]
Judie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 9173
Loc: Edwardsville, Kansas 66113
I would not put the others on antibiotics without first checking them for wellness unless the vet knows the cause of the deceased glider's illness or the remaining gliders are showing symptoms of being ill as well.

Bacterial, Fungial and Parasitic issues are usually responsible for most illnesses. All of which would require different meds. Therefor testing should be done befor treatment.

Edited by Judie (03/14/05 05:15 PM)

#39885 - 03/14/05 05:38 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]

I know several people on this board have wonderful glider vets who are willing to do consults with other vets. Perhaps the vet you work with could consult with them on what to look for in the fecal and do that on your other gliders.

I, too would be a little hesitant to put them all on antibiotics when we don't even know what happened to Franky. I'd be afraid one of them might have a reaction to it or have liver or kidney problems with eliminating the medication.

#39886 - 03/14/05 05:59 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]

I forgot to say, I am sorry for your loss of Franky. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />:

#39887 - 03/14/05 08:17 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]

thanks everyone! other gliders appear to be well at the moment.. running about acting happy playing..... still im keeping a careful watch... it doesnt take much time for a big change to happen in these guys! as far as the antibiotics, the vet i work for is going to consult with the vet i usually go to. the veet i usually go to is a wildlife vet and only holds certain office hours which is totally useless for emergencies and i dont much care for the emergency place i went to in my last experience with binca... SO.. hopefully my boss will get some answers from the wildlife vet. I have complete faith in him even tho hes never dealt with sugargliders. He is an amazing vet. Totally saved my dogs life after i rescued her and is just really in tune with all things furry. anyway. thanks for your kind words everyone.

mainly i just thought it was such a strange thing to see. ive never seen anything like it and i was wondering if anyone else had seen that bizarre blind-grabbing behavior...


#39888 - 03/14/05 09:39 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]

Unfortunately, I have seen what you are talking about several times before. Smegal, after his mate Shmi died was like that almost every day for several months. He would just be sitting in his cage, usually hanging off of the cage bars or his pouch and cold to the touch. He would be come very insecure and cling to almost anything he could get his claws on. You mentioned thinking it was some type of spazem, but over the years, I've delt with several gliders doing this and it's more of a security issue. Since they don't really understand what's going on and often loose thier balance when very ill, they become very clingy. My guess is it's a natural responce to a fear of falling. Anyways, I delt with it first with sub-q fluids, hand feedings, antibiotics, and round the clock care. Smegal was with me 24/7 for almost a month. He never showed any signs of infection, but we put him on antibotics as a precautionary messure. We never figured out the actual cause of Smegal's illness, but he began to get progressively better after about a month. He even still have seizures from time to time, but for the most part he is a happy and healthy glider. There are a few things that I personally recommend if you ever discover your glider like that.

**The best thing to do is to take your glider to a glider knowledgable vet! But, if that is not an option, here are my suggestions**

Firstly, sugar first. I keep a bottle of dextros on hand at all times. .2 cc's is usually enough to perk them up and get thier body to start moving again.

Secondly warm them up. Once they have the dextros in their system, their body will start to warm up on it's own, but it will need help. I usually put my gliders in my bra when they are sick so I can keep a good eye on them. Once they start feeling better, they will often start moving around and trying to peek out.

Once they start to perk up, offer a 50/50 juice water mix. It will help rehydrate the glider while again, increasing it's blood sugar. As the glider inproves, try hand feeding sweet, easy to eat foods. Ensure is one of the easiest things to feed that is nutritionally balanced.

*If a glider is seizing for excessive periods of time, small amounts of valium can be used. I've only ever had to use valium twice and both times my vet used .02 cc's, which is more or less 1 drop.

#39889 - 03/14/05 11:27 PM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]
Karin Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/06/01
Posts: 11583
Loc: Sycamore Illinois
I just want to say how sorry I am at the loss of Franky, and I hope your heart heals in time <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />. What a sweet baby to chirp his goodnight to you.

Miss Lily and Bud
Prada and Armani
Tessa, Deuce and Cami

Tira and Misu angel Deja and Vu

Glider Daydreams

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass...It is about learning to
dance in the rain!"

#39890 - 03/17/05 04:30 AM Re: sudden torpor then death [Re: ]
Xfilefan Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 8899
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Is there any chance of an intestinal perforation? When my William died (I had him put to sleep because of the agony he was in, and because there was no saving him at that point, just prolonging his pain)-he had an intestinal blockage and perforation that leaked fecal matter into the abdominal cavity, poisoning him. He showed no signs of being ill until about two hours before he died. He was thrashing in pain, and doing what the vet called 'agonal breathing'-very hard and opening his mouth wide. It took a necropsy to find out what killed him. He suddenly became very sluggish/lethargic, and by the time I got him to the vet, was in agony and dying. We could never find what might have caused it-no missing pieces of toys/bedding, etc, no hard foods, he was never allowed to run the house, etc. I'm so sorry you lost your little guy! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />
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


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