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#41438 - 03/28/05 02:18 AM Vitamin Overdose
Anonymous
Unregistered


For those of you who do not know me, I am a glider-mom of three (3) and for the past two (2) + years of ownership I have wade in the confusion of the "diets."

However, this is NOT going to be yet ANOTHER post about "diets." Instead, I want to address the vitamin issues...again.

As many of us already know, each diet has its own specific vitamin ingredients i.e. REP-CAP is mainly for BML, Sustagen a.k.a. Ensure is in the Darcy's diet, etc.

I know. The whole world of "glider diets" is complicated at best and down right scary at worst. However, hopefully in the near future, technology, science and veterinarians will eventually catch up with the experience and knowledge of properly caring and/or raising Sugar Gliders, until then we are stuck "wading in the confusion."

Over the years, I have consulted with many proficient, experienced and knowledgeable glider guardians and no matter what diet you use, these individuals all say same thing.

Use caution with ALL vitamins. Do not overdose the vitamins. Too many vitamins can be just as harmful as not giving them at all.

However, what they fail to clarify is what EXACTLY happens to sugar gliders if you overmedicate dietary vitamins.

We all agree that it cannot possibly be good, but aside from that no one knows or at least no one is informing ME of the information.

I understand the Ca:P vitamin ratios and why too much phosphorus can be lethal. That was rule number one! Know your Ca:P ratios and know them well!

However, I have also been told that too much vitamin D3 is not healthy for sugar gliders, while other glider guardians argue that sugar gliders do not need vitamin D3 at all!

Personally, I disagree with this argument. I feel that sugar gliders DO need SOME D3 being how they are nocturnal marsupials and are not exposed to enough sunshine (a source of vitamin D3.)

However, I never understood why too much is considered unhealthy. Does this imply that if too much D3 is administered it can actually kill a sugar glider?

With humans, felines, canines, equine, etc. if consumed too much of a certain vitamin the body will only absorb what is needed and the rest is expelled via stomach juices, sweat, urine, etc.

Now this is NOT true with minerals i.e. iron. Too much iron in the body will result in iron poisoning which IS lethal.

I just wanted to bring this up in hopes that the GC community could help shed some light onto this issue.

Does anyone have any answers to vitamin overdosing, besides not to do it?

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#41439 - 03/28/05 02:31 AM Re: Vitamin Overdose [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I don't have any answers for you, but I do definitely share your frustration over vitamins. I HATE trying to figure out how much to use! I'm so scared of giving them too much, but I'm scared of not giving them enough. I emailed Lisa at Suncoast about vitamin amounts asking that if too much can be so bad, what measurements should I use. Why do they use such a [censored] VAGUE measurement as "a pinch" for how much to use?!?!? She's extremely helpful with a lot of things, but I got nothing out of this email to her. She told me that they do not pay any attention to the measurement suggestions on the labels of the vitamins and to only use "a pinch." OK THAT is what got me frustrated to begin with! What the heck is a pinch? And do I use one pinch for one glider or one pinch for two gliders? I don't understand and some precise measurements would REALLY help me out. I love everything about my gliders....except the frustrating vitamin "pinches". I really don't want to overdose my babies.

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#41440 - 03/28/05 03:12 AM Re: Vitamin Overdose [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


UHBribbitt,

Although this is not scientifically defined, my mom has always referred a "pinch," "dash," etc. as a 1/8 teaspoon which is HALF of a 1/4 teaspoon (just in case you do not have a teaspoon that small.)

To this day I am still on the lookout for a 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 teaspoon set.

Typically, the sets only come in 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon and 1 TABLEspoon.

Grrrrr! It is forever frustrating, because math (especailly fractions) are NOT my strongest suit.

However, if you want to know mathematically what a "pinch" or "dash" is, it is usually 1/8 teaspoon.

Hope that helps! Take care!

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#41441 - 03/28/05 10:16 AM Re: Vitamin Overdose [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have a teaspoon set that has 3 spoons, 1/16 is a Dash, 1/8 is a pinch and 1/32 is a sprinkle, yes it says it on the spoon. Here is the link to the company I bought them from. I hope it helps http://www1.gooseberrypatch.com/gooseber...amp;lid=is_k430

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#41442 - 03/28/05 12:33 PM Re: Vitamin Overdose [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I bought a set of measuring spoons like that at Walmart. Pinch, Dash and Smidgen.

On the D3 question, couldn't it be possible that gliders evolved not to need Vit D3 BECAUSE they are nocturnal and wouldn't be able to get it from sunlight? Just a thought.

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#41443 - 03/28/05 01:35 PM Re: Vitamin Overdose [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks so much!!!!!! That actually makes me feel a lot better. I do have one of those tiny measuring sets, and I've been using about 1/8tsp (what you said is a pinch) of the Vionate and a little less than that for the Calcium. Now I'm not as worried!! Thank you so much!!!!! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#41444 - 03/28/05 03:07 PM Re: Vitamin Overdose [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I got this recipe from Lisa's site. Since my guys love apple juice it's an easy way to make sure they are getting the proper amount of vitamins each day.

**If you are not using Leadbeater's Mix, we recommend that you prepare your own sugar glider treats by combining 32 ounces of apple juice or peach nectar and blending with 1 Teaspoon of Vionate and & 2 Teaspoons of Rep-Cal Calcium. Then pour this mixture into 30 ice cubes and freeze. Serve one cube per night for 2 sugar gliders and one cube every other night for 1 sugar glider. **[:"green"] [/]

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#41445 - 03/28/05 09:56 PM Re: Vitamin Overdose [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Vitamin D3 Overdose is something that is very real and I would bet more common than most would think.

Nocturnal animals (like our gliders) need Vitamin D3 supplementation in order for their bodies to maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorus. Diurnal animals (those that are awake and active during the day) receive UV rays from the sun, or, in the case of captive animals, special UV lights. These UV rays turn the Vitamin D that is contained in the food the animals eat into usable Vitamin D3. Therefore, diurnal animals do not normally need additional D3 supplementation.

Vitamin D3 overdoses are normally only seen in animals that have been supplemented on a long term basis with excessive amounts of D3. Some of the symptoms of Vitamin D3 toxicity include vomiting, poor appetite, weight loss and weakness. It can also cause an irregular heartbeat and confusion. Over time, D3 can build up in the body and cause liver and kidney problems and, eventually, failure.

Vit D3 is a fat soluble vitamin, which simply means that the body is not able to excrete it very well, and it tends to build up in the body's fat tissues and many times in the liver. Over time D3 can build up and build up, over many years even, before problems start to show.

In closing, I am certain that sugar gliders, being a nocturnal animal, require Vitamin D3 in order to properly metabolize calcium. However, I think that a daily dose of D3 is probably too much, and over time could be toxic. Keep in mind that I am no glider expert and this is just my opinion, based on what I have learned about Vit D3 overdoses in my nocturnal geckos.

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#41446 - 04/01/05 10:58 AM Re: Vitamin Overdose [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


So where does VD3 come from in the wild for sugar gliders?

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#41447 - 04/03/05 05:43 AM Re: Vitamin Overdose [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


That's a great question. I think they probably get some amount, though small, of UV from the sun.

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#41448 - 04/06/05 12:50 AM Re: Vitamin Overdose [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Nihm,

Sugar gliders are presumed to metabolize Vitamin D primarily through the gut (Jackson, 407). Because they are nocturnal, they do not depend as much on metabolizing through UV light. Therefore, it can be concluded that the D3 needed for calcium absorption in a glider is obtained nutritionally. It can be postulated that in the wild, the glider diet is not very high in vitamin D and is obtained from eggs and small animals. Yet, both in the wild and at zoos and sanctuaries, where there is generally no D supplement, there has been no evidence of calcium deficiency in gliders. This seems to be a problem isolated to pet gliders.

http://www.petswithhands.com/Diet.htm

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