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#656216 - 10/14/08 11:26 AM Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders?
GlideyLousMom Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/08/08
Posts: 17
Loc: USA
I haven't heard anything about the possibility of any illnesses passing between gliders and other pets, and haven't had a lot of luck with google. My glider seems to be perfectly healthy, but there is some kind of mysterious cold passing around between my cats. They get down in the dumps and lethargic, feel feverish from time to time, sneeze and cough,have exaggerated respiration, and have clear discharge from nose and eyes.
Since several of them have this at once, it seems communicable to me. But my household is a "closed circuit" with no outside animals visiting the house, and no animals allowed to go outside, so where would this come from? Glidey Lou has been in our house less than two months, and I keep her in a closed study so that I can control cat access. When we use the study, we allow certain well-behaved cats to come in and hang out part of the time. The cats who are sick are the cats who are allowed in the glider room, and NONE of the cats who are banned from the glider room are sick.
I don't feel like I can ignore this connection in puzzling out what's happening with the cats. But on the other hand, I don't want to get the vets all riled up about there being an exotic pet around, unless I have good information that this could be the cause. I don't think any of our cat vets know much about gliders and I don't want to stir up any unnecessary paranoia. Can anyone help?

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#656222 - 10/14/08 11:32 AM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: GlideyLousMom]
Monster
Unregistered


Keep in mind that your air ducts make it impossible to keep your cats completely separate from your gliders - anything they breathe, your gliders will also breathe. Also, unless you are changing clothes/shoes/washing/showering, etc each time you enter the room where your glider is, you are potentially carrying in anything that is in any other part of the house or anywhere you have traveled. I would definately get a vet involved at this point, and I would let them know you have a glider that you want to prevent from getting ill. I would not suspect that the glider is causing this, but I WOULD be worried about what IS...

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#656225 - 10/14/08 11:35 AM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: GlideyLousMom]
LSardou Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 21060
Loc: Kansas
First and foremost you MUST contain all the cats in one isolated area in your home. Without knowing the cause of your cats getting sick, the danger of exposing your gliders is a high risk!
You mentioned that you've had the one kitty of a couple of months. Where did you get this one from? Is there a chance that this kitty was sick prior to coming into your home?
I also suggest that you wash everything thoroughly of your gliders, and whenever you go into their area, make sure that you wash thoroughly before preparing food and handling them.
It would be wise to take your kittys in to see a vet to find out exactly what is going on with them.
I hope that they will be alright.

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#656253 - 10/14/08 12:11 PM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: LSardou]
BCChins Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 3089
Loc: Central Connecticut
Your cats need to see a vet ASAP. You have something contagious and unless you get proper medication you will not get rid of this. It can be anything from an Upper Respiratory Infection to Calici (spelling ?) Virus or something else. Some of these things could be contagious to the gliders but no one really knows. Plus the cats are never going to get better unless you treat them with vet care.
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#656341 - 10/14/08 03:27 PM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: BCChins]
mommabear82
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: BCChins
Your cats need to see a vet ASAP. You have something contagious and unless you get proper medication you will not get rid of this. It can be anything from an Upper Respiratory Infection to Calici (spelling ?) Virus or something else. Some of these things could be contagious to the gliders but no one really knows. Plus the cats are never going to get better unless you treat them with vet care.

That's exactly what it sounds like. The cats need antibiotics. I don't think your gliders can catch it, but it's not worth the risk. Please get your cats to the vet, so that they can be treated and feel better. Best wishes.

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#656389 - 10/14/08 04:46 PM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: ]
josefine Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 2713
Loc: Perry, Iowa
could the cats maybe be allergic? if the only ones sick are those that went into the room w/you to be w/them.
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#656399 - 10/14/08 04:59 PM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: josefine]
sugarglidersuz Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 14788
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I may be mistaken, but from the way I read the originator's post, the concern is not about gliders getting sick from the cats but vice versa. It seems like the concern is that the cats may be getting sick because they are exposed to the gliders...

So, to answer that question - I have never heard of any type of illness that can pass from gliders to cats. Since I do have both in my home and my cats have free access to both rooms my gliders are housed in, I would think if that was the case that my cats would have become ill by now after 10 years of owning gliders. Also, as Linda/LSardou pointed out, there is no way to totally isolate the gliders from the cats and if the gliders were the cause of the illness in the cats then all the cats in household should be sick, not just the ones allowed into the glider room.

Definitely check with the vet and have your cats examined. They may be fighting a viral or bacterial respiratory problem that needs medication to be cleared up.
_________________________
Suz Enyedy
:bb: Carina & Coobah
Allira & Gizmo :grey:
:grey: Picasso, Trinity Joy & Luna
:rbridge: DaisyMae; Darwin; Mareki; Mambo; Pika; Cricky; Reggie & Bobo, Pepe & Bittah


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#656568 - 10/14/08 10:39 PM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: sugarglidersuz]
GlideyLousMom Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/08/08
Posts: 17
Loc: USA
Thanks everyone for your concern. I was specifically asking if the CATS could catch anything from the glider. I've had the glider about two months, and everything I know of her background is hearsay from her previous caretaker. My cats have been with me for a range of 18 months up to 16 1/2 years so I know much more about their health.
Ever since I got my glider, people keep "helpfully" reporting to me that they heard on the news or read in the paper that people can catch diseases from exotic pets like gliders, hedgehogs, etc. I'm more the type to kiss-n-cuddle first, ask questions later, so I usually don't worry too much as long as basic common sense like clean dishes and handwashing is followed.
I just wondered if I was remiss in not telling the vets about the intro of the glider to the household. I wanted to find out whether there was any genuine cause for concern that something could be passed between these species. One of my vets is the type to be very doom-and-gloom and always look for the worst, so I like to be prepared!
But for an update, we had a vet visit and only one cat is deemed serious enough for treatment. He is on steroids for an immune problem right now, so that may have made him vulnerable to an opportunistic infection. I'm taking my "special needs" cat in again tomorrow for a follow-up visit, because her problems are lifelong and usually unrelated to anyone else's.
Thanks again everyone for your prompt concern. Just making sure I wasn't ignoring an important link - for all I knew it could be a documented issue that these species can infect each other. It's good to be able to turn to everyone here and know you'll get a well-informed answer.

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#656591 - 10/14/08 11:19 PM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: GlideyLousMom]
7glider7
Unregistered


My vet has said that very few (if any, she knows of none) zoonotic diseases can be passed from gliders to humans, and also didn't mention any that could go back and forth between gliders and other animals.

Since gliders are marsupials they are in an entirely different class of mammals than placental mammals (like us and cats). Their resting body temp is way lower, and most diseases in general are pretty species specific.

Unless you have a general parasite going around (and I agree it sounds much more like a virus), chances of the gliders passing it to cats or vice versa are probably really low.

That said, I'd still isolate the sick cats and take them all in for treatment.

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#656677 - 10/15/08 05:18 AM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: ]
sugarglidersuz Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 14788
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Originally Posted By: GlideyLousMom
Ever since I got my glider, people keep "helpfully" reporting to me that they heard on the news or read in the paper that people can catch diseases from exotic pets like gliders, hedgehogs, etc.
This is untrue and totally off base. A number of years ago there was a Monkey Pox epidemic. Widespread panic ensued and some state legislations banned all exotic animals even though there was no factual data to back up the ban. This is probably the basis of the reports you have heard and is completely untrue.
HTH
_________________________
Suz Enyedy
:bb: Carina & Coobah
Allira & Gizmo :grey:
:grey: Picasso, Trinity Joy & Luna
:rbridge: DaisyMae; Darwin; Mareki; Mambo; Pika; Cricky; Reggie & Bobo, Pepe & Bittah


Suz' Sugar Gliders

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#657030 - 10/15/08 03:29 PM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: ]
Marz Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 708
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Originally Posted By: 7glider7
My vet has said that very few (if any, she knows of none) zoonotic diseases can be passed from gliders to humans


Whilst I agree that the cats in question in this thread are probably not sick from the gliders, your vet's statement about zoonotics transmission to humans worries me.

Every course/workshop I have attended on Australia wildlife, wildlife care and management etc STRONGLY emphasises prevention of zoonoses and strict hygiene practices. Whilst the exotic zoonotic diseases are not common, it can happen and people must be made aware of the steps to prevent this. Zoonotic diseases don't have to be exotic either. Transmission of ringworm,hydatid diseases,other parasites etc from pets also fall under the zoonotic catergory and are much more common. To minimalise such things, is just asking for people to become slack in their husbandry practices.

Mostly it's commonsense and strict hygiene procedures but one of the top wildlife vets in Australia spoke in a course only last weekend that she was victim to a nasty zoonotic disease from a possum! She described it as the most painful experience and one should would never ever want to repeat. She is also a big exponent of amazingly strict hygiene practices and you can understand why.

As for gliders in particular, zoonotic concerns include Salmonella, Giardia, leptospirosis, and toxoplasmosis as all of these have been known to occur in sugar gliders. This fact came directly from the Merck Veterinary manual. Again probably quite rare but documented and owners should be mindful.

Considering Giardia has been recorded in mill bred gliders, then this would be of definite concern in itself.

I guess the bottom line is, if you handle or have animals of any sort, then you need to be informed and do the right thing. We should never become complacent.

I also agree gliders should not be singled out as it is something that needs to be considered by anyone in contact with animals of any species.


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#657048 - 10/15/08 04:00 PM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: Marz]
lindayaks
Unregistered


Kudos to Australia. Everything you said makes sense. I wasn't thinking of parasites as I read this topic, just more of diseases. Parasites can always be transmitted, and ringworm is very commonly passed. Except for Giardia, I haven't heard of any Gliders with any of the other things you mentioned, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.

The vet that got a painful disease from a possum....what kind of possum, and what was the disease?

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#657368 - 10/16/08 06:09 AM Re: Help! Diseases passed between cats and gliders? [Re: ]
sugarglidersuz Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 14788
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Originally Posted By: Marz
As for gliders in particular, zoonotic concerns include Salmonella, Giardia, leptospirosis, and toxoplasmosis as all of these have been known to occur in sugar gliders. This fact came directly from the Merck Veterinary manual. Again probably quite rare but documented and owners should be mindful.
When my Pika and my Cricky both came down with neurological damage, it was strongly suspected that the cause was toxoplasmosis from the cat's litter box (which was in the next room over from their cage). I never had a necropsy done to determine the actual cause of the neuro-damage but have been very cautious about the cat's litter box ever since...
_________________________
Suz Enyedy
:bb: Carina & Coobah
Allira & Gizmo :grey:
:grey: Picasso, Trinity Joy & Luna
:rbridge: DaisyMae; Darwin; Mareki; Mambo; Pika; Cricky; Reggie & Bobo, Pepe & Bittah


Suz' Sugar Gliders

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