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#583599 - 07/06/08 09:45 AM Anemia
lgilbert
Unregistered


Last night my female, Rafiki, looked strange. Crouched at the bottom of the cage, dropping ears, acting like she couldn't keep her eyes open.

I immediately gave her a mixture of nectar, pellets, baby food (protein), and pedialyte. After a while, she still wasn't looking better (though she was eating) so I called the emergency exotic vet, where I've been before with my other glider (though not in an emergency, just their regular vet office.)

$400 later, and leaving the vet at 3:30 a.m., they tell me she is underweight (65 grams, where in Feb she was 76 grams.) She is also anemic, and that could be caused by any of 10-15 things. She pretty much said that there's no chance. If Rafiki can't regenerate her red blood cells, her organs will start shutting down and she'll die.

Has anyone ever encountered this before?

I am sending the test results to my regular vet. This vet said she's so surprised to see a glider who is 10 years old. She said they don't live past 5 or 6, 7 tops.

That makes me think she doesn't know anything about gliders, because their life expectancy is 10-14 years, isn't it? Or do none of her other clients take good care of their pets? I don't know.

Anyway, I'm really scared. I made my husband get up this morning to see if she was dead on the bottom of the cage - when he checked, she jumped out of the pouch as usual and started drinking the nectar concoction. She was acting pretty normal, then went back to the pouch (she usually jumps out whenever you look in the pouch, no matter what time of day it is.)

If anyone has any suggestions, they are MOST appreciated. This is a companion to my other glider (my Hamlet, who is 9) and if she passes, he will have a very hard time of it. Me too, and she doesn't even LIKE me. (But, like I told her last night, she may not like me, but I love her ...)

Thanks,
Lynette

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#583603 - 07/06/08 10:09 AM Re: Anemia [Re: ]
TracieB Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 4338
Loc: Lenexa, KS
Can you tell us what kind of diet you are feeding them?
_________________________
Tracie
1 wonderful husband - Chris
1 goofy Yorkie - Dexter
2 naughty kitties - Chloe & Alek

Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge:
1 spoiled Yorkie, Myles - April 5, 1993-June 5, 2007
1 sweet :wfb: Xavier - August 5, 2007-May 20, 2010
2 sweet :grey: :grey: Nara & Alkina - February, 2006-November, 2011





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#583626 - 07/06/08 11:02 AM Re: Anemia [Re: TracieB]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
I'm so sorry that she is going through this. They can be resilient, so I would keep searching too. I have never heard about anything like this, but I hope someone comes along with some ideas. hug2
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#583657 - 07/06/08 12:33 PM Re: Anemia [Re: sugarlope]
lgilbert
Unregistered


They eat one day of mixed veggies, one day of fruit (apple, strawberries, berries, pears, etc.), one day of protein (baby food.) They've been on the same diet forever. They also get applesauce, a calcium supplement, and nectar.

I've been checking on her periodically, and she seems fine. She is all bright-eyed, but then again, the lethargy wasn't constant, either.

I am really hoping to check with my regular vet tomorrow - see what her blood cell count was in February. I recently noticed that she seemed too light, so at least she hasn't been underweight for too long. Hopefully the protein/nectar mixture will help with that.

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#584157 - 07/07/08 01:36 AM Re: Anemia [Re: ]
glidrz5 Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 7297
Loc: Quincy, IL
Hun, last year my Meeko's bloodwork came back showing that he was anemic. He had also lost alot of weight in the previous months. We didn't know what the cause was because Meeko had been eating, playing & acting normal in every way except for the weight loss. Anyway, we put him on an antibiotic to take care of any infection that he might have and I drastically upped his protein. He got protein of some kind at every meal in addition to his normal food. In addition, I supplimented him with Ensure (to help with the weight loss) and "juiced" him with pedialite several times a day (much to his disgust). He is still going strong and even tho we never figured out what was going on, he seems to have gotten past it.
_________________________
Chris
Illusion, Malcom, Isabell, Annabelle, Zach, Isis, Aly & Indy
AND Miss Emmy & Miss Chloe kitties

:rbridge: My Angels: You are always in my heart.

You've flown to the rainbow
and wait there for me
Someday I will join you
together to be



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#584431 - 07/07/08 12:37 PM Re: Anemia [Re: glidrz5]
lgilbert
Unregistered


Wow, glidrz5, that makes me feel better. That's exactly what I've been planning to do. That's how it seemed with Rafiki, too. She was fine in every way except I noticed she was thinner. Then there was the whole incident on Saturday which scared the heck out of me. I'll also try the Ensure.

I took them both to the vet because I don't want to separate them at this point. Hamlet gained 8 grams (yay!) and Rafiki only lost about 5. So, not quite as drastic as the ER vet thought (according to her, she lost about 10.)

Rafiki does seem to have anemia, but it could be caused by many things. Right now, the doctor is hoping that it's being caused by the fact that she is battling protozols again (some kind of bacterial infection - apparently, gliders can pick this up when they are babies and always have it, but when they get old their body can't fight off the bacteria anymore.) The doctor thinks that possibly, what is happening is that because her body is trying to fight the protozols, she's somehow killing off her red blood cells in the process.

I have meds to get rid of the bacteria, I have to also give it to Hamlet. I have to feed them protein every day to get her weight back up. I also have to continue giving the pedialyte and calcium, and I have to feed her iron-rich foods (which I started last night because she was licking all the exposed metal in the cage.)

Hopefully this will help her at least get through the protozol crisis as well as help build up her red blood cells. She goes back next Monday for a blood test (didn't want to do it today and deplete her more.)

I am still preparing myself for the worst, but at least I feel like she's had a more complete diagnosis and at least a tiny thread of hope.

The vet also said that she looks nothing like I described her on Saturday, so that's really good, which means that she is more healthy today than she was a few days ago.

Thanks everyone!

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#584434 - 07/07/08 12:40 PM Re: Anemia [Re: ]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
Thank you Chris! I'm glad someone could offer some advice.

You and Rafiki are in my thoughts and prayers. hug2
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#584571 - 07/07/08 03:22 PM Re: Anemia [Re: sugarlope]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Quote:
This vet said she's so surprised to see a glider who is 10 years old. She said they don't live past 5 or 6, 7 tops.


Wild gliders only have a 5-7 year life span but I have here at my house a glider who is over 12 years old. PacMan lived to be 15 years 4 months old.

Don't give up. While 10 years is a good life, it doesn't have to be the end either.

In addition to other protien sources, you might want to offer a pinky mouse every two weeks. You can buy them from the pet store frozen. Just let them thaw before feeding them.
_________________________
620-704-9109
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.

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#584702 - 07/07/08 07:02 PM Re: Anemia [Re: Dancing]
glidrz5 Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 7297
Loc: Quincy, IL
I forgot about the pinkies Teresa. Thanks for reminding me that I gave Meek those also. He really seemed to enjoy them tho it was gross to give them to him.
Glad to hear she looked better for the vet. With the Ensure as a suppliment, just be sure that she is getting plenty of fluids also, as it isn't good if they are dehydrated. Keep us up to date on how she is doing.


Edited by glidrz5 (07/07/08 07:04 PM)
_________________________
Chris
Illusion, Malcom, Isabell, Annabelle, Zach, Isis, Aly & Indy
AND Miss Emmy & Miss Chloe kitties

:rbridge: My Angels: You are always in my heart.

You've flown to the rainbow
and wait there for me
Someday I will join you
together to be



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#589682 - 07/15/08 08:17 AM Re: Anemia [Re: glidrz5]
lgilbert
Unregistered


UPDATE - We went back to the vet yesterday. Her red blood cell level shot up from 17 (last week, when she was really sick) to 32. The vet says normal is in the low 40's, so that's really good news.

She hasn't gained any weight, but she hasn't lost any, either. She's still at 70 grams, which is too light. But, the good thing is that she's staying at 70 grams.

We'll be going back after another round of meds for a fecal to see if the protozols are gone. Rafiki has scratched out a lot of fur behind her ears, her arms, and there is a spot on her neck. It's not noticeable unless you're looking for it, so I don't have a hairless glider or anything ... anyway, that's a result of the protozol bacteria stuff. When she feels better, she should stop scratching.

The vet also said that she looks much better, is more alert, feisty, etc. Also, she hasn't done the "hunch over" thing since last Monday, so I've been able to relax a bit.

Oh, and Hamlet gained 10 grams in the last week, so now he's a bit overweight. It appears that Rafiki wasn't the only one partaking of the Ensure and other high protein foods! So now I have to really monitor what he's eating, too!

Lynette


Edited by lgilbert (07/15/08 08:18 AM)

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#589787 - 07/15/08 10:40 AM Re: Anemia [Re: ]
TracieB Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 4338
Loc: Lenexa, KS
Thanks for the update Lynette. wink That's great that Rafiki's red blood cell level is up and that the vet even thinks she looks better! clap sounds like Hamlet is taking advantage of her need for extra protein. roflmao

Please continue to let us know how things are going. hug2
_________________________
Tracie
1 wonderful husband - Chris
1 goofy Yorkie - Dexter
2 naughty kitties - Chloe & Alek

Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge:
1 spoiled Yorkie, Myles - April 5, 1993-June 5, 2007
1 sweet :wfb: Xavier - August 5, 2007-May 20, 2010
2 sweet :grey: :grey: Nara & Alkina - February, 2006-November, 2011





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