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#4130 - 10/26/02 12:13 AM Bedding Material Horror Story
Anonymous
Unregistered


I will have had my gliders Tassie and Aussie for two years coming up on December 22. I have had to do a lot of overtime lately and have had my parents caring for and feeding my gliders. In my chosen profession I am required to do overnights and have not been home for five days in a row the last 2 months but my schedule has returned to normal this past Friday. Last Wednesday night I get a frantic call from my Mother telling me they found Aussie with cotton wrapped around her leg. Apparently she tried to chew her leg off as the cotton was wrapped so tight it was cutting off her circulation. They tried to cut off as much cotton as they could but were unable to cut what was cutting off her circulation without destroying the leg. I immediately called my vets emergency number and they told me to get the sugar glider there as soon as possible. Once my parents got her to the vet's they took her right into emergency surgery. They sedated her and cut the cotton off and cleaned the wound. They them administered antibiotics in a dose that was as large as they could with out causing more complications. They kept her overnight. They called me and told me that my parents could pick her up but were not sure if the leg would survive or have to be amputated. They did not want to administer her anymore antibiotics as it would just harm her more. The vet told me to return her on Monday and she would be able to tell if the leg would survive or have to be amputated. I return home on Friday and would not let Aussie out of the cage for fear of her hurting the leg more. I checked on her every 15 minutes both Friday and Saturday all night. Sunday I returned to work, but was granted permission to take my client with me to my house to pick up Aussie and go to the vet on Monday. When we got to the vet the vet removed her from the pouch and to my horror again had the cotton bedding wrapped around her injured paw. The vet cut it off and removed the cotton and told me NOT to use the cotton ever again. The vet placed non-toxic newspaper in the pouch. The good news is that the paw is healing nicely and she has gained full use of it. The vet said she will most likely not grow back her fur but the circulation is normal and the leg is fully functional. I will deal with the scars on her leg but am having difficulty dealing with the scars of guilt in my heart. I have used the cotton since the day I brought them home from the breeders in December of 2000. I purchased cotton that was approved and considered safe for sugar gliders. It is called "bedding/nesting FLUFF, 100% pure raw cotton. Ideal for sugar gliders, flying squirrels, and other small critters." It is distributed by Brisky Pet Products. Prior to getting my sugar gliders I did 2 months of intense research. All my research indicated that using raw cotton was the best substance to place in the bottom of my glides pouch. Boy was I wrong. I nearly cost my sugar glider her leg. My vet told me it is a miracle that the leg is healing. She felt that it was due in large part to the proper diet and proper calcium and vitamin supplements they were receiving. While I told her that was high praise coming from her it did not make up for the fact I harmed my girls instead of keeping them safe. The vet also said that in her years of treating sugar gliders this was the first time she has seen or even heard of cotton harming gliders. I have been doing hours of research looking for a new bedding material as I do not like using non-toxic newspaper. It is still a mystery as to why and how this happened but please be aware that if you are using cotton in your gliders pouch and/or nesting box this is a possibility. Please let me know if any of you wonderful glider owners have ever heard of this happening before or have personally experienced this. I pray I am the only one!

<small>[ 10-26-2002, 01:14 AM: Message edited by: David M. Rotta ]</small>

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#4131 - 10/26/02 12:35 AM Re: Bedding Material Horror Story [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow, David, quite the experience there! Welcome to GC! I don't remember anyone else experiencing this with the cotton. Most of us use fleece and flannel, and watch for loose threads very closely. There have been other incidences of gliders losing limbs due to being caught in some thread. Your little girl is very lucky! Not only to have you but that you also have your parents taking care of them when you can't. I was so relieved to read that they saved her little leg. Hope to see lot's more of you on the board, hopefully with better stories tho!
Chey

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#4132 - 10/26/02 09:59 AM Re: Bedding Material Horror Story [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


David, I am so sorry you and your little girl had to go through this. Please know that this is not your fault...as you said, only the best glider owners would spend hours and months and years trying to keep updated on new research. You did what you believed to be the best for your babies. Are you referring to he cotton fluff that is also used for hamsters and gerbils that they shred up?

I personally use a soft fleece or flannel blankie in the pouch or nest box with my babies. this way they can wrap up like they are in a cocoon and they love it.

Good luck with your little girl! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

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