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#4595 - 01/08/03 08:50 PM Pouch Perils

I wanted to wait and see what the outcome of my glider's mishap was before I posted my story here. Just to set the tone, this story has a happy ending as Gadget aka Brother Gadget, is alive and well this evening sleeping in my shirt (as usual).

On the evening of December 4th, 2002 while driving through a big winter storm on my way to Washington D.C. I decided to call home and see how everyone, including the gliders (whom we consider family) were doing. My wife answered the telephone and simply blurted out "There is a problem with the gliders!" and hung up. Now usually this means one of them has disappeared and is playing hide and seek, or that they have moved to a new sleeping place in the cage. So I waited a while and called back to hear that Gadget was stuck in the pouch and could not be removed. It was determined that he had chewed a hole in one of the smaller pouches inside the big hanging pouch and become entangled in some of the exposed threads. His left hind foot was badly swollen, and had turned a sick-looking shade of dark purple. When found he was lying half in and half out of the hanging pouch, where it appeared he had been for some time and seemed to be simply passed out from exhaustion. Luckily we have an emergency animal clinic one mile from the house and the local exotic vet a phone call away. So off they went to get the threads cut and extract poor Gadget from the damaged pouch.

Once at the emergency clinic the technicians there carefully removed the tightly wound threads from his foot and leg. There was some damage to his leg, fur, and his foot was swollen to about five times it's normal size. The vet techs said that some of the color was returning to his blood-starved foot and they thought he would be okay. Still my wife was concerned and I was also not convinced. We decided (she went) to take him to the exotic vet and the University of Tennessee first thing in the morning. Keep in mind all this is being relayed to me via cell phone on the road, in the snow at night with traffic accidents all around me. I am also VERY bonded to my two little fuzz butts and this was the first time either of them had ever had any sort of problem.

Gadget was seen first thing the next morning prescribed an antibiotic and received treatment for his torn fur. We then received a mixed report and their outlook wasn't quite as optimistic as the first group of caregivers. We were told that he may regain full use of the leg and foot, or he may regain circulation but no feeling in the extremity, or all may go well and the foot may simply die and "fall off" in a week or two. Now we we really concerned and began a very long two week vigil.

I arrived home late in the evening having driven straight back home after my meeting in D.C.. I checked Gadget and he actually seemed to be okay, but very tired. His foot was horribly distorted, unbelievably ugly and swollen. It was so sad to see him trying to play but not having control over his foot or movements. This is a glider who runs non-stop flex wheel marathons each and every night; he is very athletic and playful. Gaget was set up in the travel cage in our living room (it is actually a tent) to keep him low to the ground in case he fell and provide a softer environment than his regular cage. He did okay and even tried to run in his wheel some that first night.

This went on for two weeks with my wife keeping watch over Gadget all night and most of the day with me taking over after work until 1:00 am or so. Gradually he got better and the foot's color and use returned. He went back to the U.T. exotic vet after two weeks and they determined he would probably make a full recovery.

Today Gadget still does not have 100 percent use of the foot, but it is much better and the nails which all fell off are growing back. He actually gained some needed weight since I think his nightly marathons were interrupted. I am still a little concerned about him as he does not stay up very long at playtime. He used to get up with his male "brother" Gizmo around 11:00 pm and play at least an hour and a half. These days he still gets up at the same time, but usually looks for a sleeping spot after about forty-five minutes. I have not seem him play on his wheel as much either, so things are not quite the same. I am hoping that perhaps his pattern has changed due to the onset of colder weather, or that he may still be healing and doesn't have all his strength back yet. Anyway I am very grateful that he is alive and doing better.

So what is the point of this story? Well let me say that I doubt you will find a more dedicated, bonded human-to-glider person than me. I spend an average of six to seven hours a day during the week (unless traveling) and twelve to fourteen hours a day on the weekends with my two fuzz butts. I prepare fresh food nightly, stress over every aspect of their cage and comfort, even take them frequently on trips so they have never been glidersat. And still someting bad happened in the space of a few for all of us fortunate enough to have happy endings and especially for those that did not, we can not control everything and sometimes tragedy and harm to these sweet little creatures will simply happen.

If anyone has had a similar accident or if someone can add any insight as to why Gadget's behavior may have changed, and if it will change back I would like to hear from you.

Take care.

<small>[ 01-08-2003, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: GliderGuys ]</small>

#4596 - 01/08/03 09:24 PM Re: Pouch Perils [Re: ]
Judie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 9173
Loc: Edwardsville, Kansas 66113
Your glider is very lucky to say the least. Many a glider has lost his life due to his bed.

Only thing I can suggest for those who use to trim the nails reg. every two weeks. Also not use lined pouches...and if insistant on using them...check pouches daily. Some gliders are diggers so the lined pouches become worn on the inside while looking nice on the outside. Couple pieces of cut fleese might help inside so the gliders can sort of dig till comfortable.

Fleese pouches are best and with a couple of pieces of 12 or 14 inch cut squares work nicely. As the nails start to grow out and become sharp..their nails with sort of catch the fabric of the blankies and they will pull out and then drop to the bottom of the cage. Thus a FLAG that the nails need tipping.

As for his leg....the muscles and tendons I imagine are still sore. So, dispite looking well healed....can still be uncomfortable. This will take more time to heal.

Good Luck. Send my best to your little ones.


<small>[ 01-08-2003, 10:26 PM: Message edited by: Judie ]</small>
Web site:

#4597 - 01/08/03 09:40 PM Re: Pouch Perils [Re: ]

<img border="0" alt="wave" title="" src="graemlins/wave.gif" /> Gadget is lucky to have a dedicated human family. <img border="0" alt="thumb" title="" src="graemlins/thumb.gif" /> I am sorry for his peril, but happy to hear that he could not have had better love and care. <img border="0" alt="heart" title="" src="graemlins/heartpump.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="glider" title="" src="graemlins/littleglider.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="heart" title="" src="graemlins/heartpump.gif" />

Thanks for sharing his story. <img border="0" alt="clap" title="" src="graemlins/yelclap.gif" />

#4598 - 01/10/03 01:53 PM Re: Pouch Perils [Re: ]

I'm just now reading this post, and I'm so sorry about Gadget's accident. Around the same time this was happening, I had a similar situation almost happen.
I had my hand in the pouch that I knew contained a pair of gliders, and when I reached in, I could only feel one of them. The second glider had chewed or dug through the fleece -- not the lining, but the fleece itself (see Judie's note above). He wasn't stuck, but that's by the grace of God. I'm not sure he could have gotten back out, and could have become entangled or suffocated from the lack of air.

I feel very fortunate the same thing didn't happen to me. And I know how much you love those guys -- I'm glad it had a happy ending, and I'll bet Gadget is back to normal soon. Like Judie, my guess is that he's just a little sore and is resting to get well.

Please let us know when he's back to normal, and thanks so much for sharing this important story.

<small>[ 01-10-2003, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: Lucy ]</small>

#4599 - 01/10/03 06:35 PM Re: Pouch Perils [Re: Anonymous]

I am happy to hear everything turned out well with your sugar glider and that he is back well and healthy. I had a similar thing happen with one of my sugar gliders. They had a pouch, and one night I went to the cage and noticed they hadn't run to the front of the cage , I looked inside their pouch to find that they had chewed a whole in the pouch not all the way through though. I guess it had layers to but they had crawled into the hole they chewed and were Actually INSIDE the pouch, I tried to see if they would come out but they wouldnt come out. So finally I took it out and felt around were they were at and cut a whole in it big enough I could reach my hand in and get them out.... I was so Scared they had gotten trapped inside it and something bad had happened to them, but when I finally got to them, they were perfectly fine, but they were kind of upset I took their new home away... Sneaky little guys : )

#4600 - 01/12/03 05:17 PM Re: Pouch Perils [Re: ]

<img border="0" alt="wave" title="" src="graemlins/wave.gif" /> Gliderguys...So Happy to hear everything turned out well...I had a similar experience last week...In my "Glider n Flight" enclosure, I have thick clear plastic on the flooring...My Chippie & Sammie (I love them all, but they're my favorites) always greet me in the morning when I serve their crickets & mealies...Sometimes they run across the flooring to greet me, and then sit on my lap to eat their treats...I always check when I crawl into their enclosure, so that I don't step on them or sit on them...Well, I checked, and didn't notice a glider...I crawled over to the cage & sat down to start hand feeding their crickets & mealies...All of a sudden I felt movement nearly under me...OMG...One of the gliders had somehow crawled UNDER one of the pieces of plastic...I had two pieces on the floor overlapping, and he entered at the overlap...I don't know how long he was under the plastic or how in the world he didn't smother under there, and I am so very thankful that I didn't crush him...Frantically, I clawed under the plastic to reach him, and thankfully, the was OK...I have found that accidents can happen no matter how careful we are...I have since re-done the plastic flooring so that this can't happen again...But I was, indeed, relieved...Had I hurt or crushed him, I would have been devastated!

<img border="0" alt="heart" title="" src="graemlins/heartpump.gif" /> Sassie, Cassie, "JJ", Sammie, Chippie Opie & twins M/F OOP 12/23 <img border="0" alt="heart" title="" src="graemlins/heartpump.gif" />

#4601 - 01/28/03 01:13 PM Re: Pouch Perils [Re: ]

well he is lucky, at least he gained back use of his foot, though it is still probably very sore and will be for a while I imagine.

#4602 - 01/28/03 07:46 PM Re: Pouch Perils [Re: ]

Thanks again to everyone who responded. Gadget is slowly getting back to a normal routine. I am glad to see the stories emerging and hope they will serve to educate other glider people without having to learn the hard way.


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