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#7291 - 06/12/03 09:20 AM Liver problems
Anonymous
Unregistered


Tuesday evening, when I went to take Goliath and Gracy out for playtime, Goliath's abdomen was rounded way too much to be normal. It was soft and mushy, not hard like he was impacted. He was bright-eyed,playful, wanting his treats and running around like he felt fine, only he looked like some kind of furry water-balloon. I called all the vet's I knew, no-one treated gliders at 11:00 pm except Southlake, almost 1 1/2 hrs away, so since he was acting like he felt fine and his color was good we decided to keep an eye on him until the next day when I could get him to his regular vet. Got him there at 7:00 am.
Diagnosis - liver infection/disease.
She did x-rays of his belly to see what the problem was. We were thinking gas or fluids, as he was soft. X-ray revealed fluid built up in his abdominal cavity. She pulled 6 cc (yes, 6cc) of fluid from his little belly and ran tests on it. It was yellow, the color of urine, but no odor to it. It had alot of white blood cells, a few red blood cells and a few billirueben-type cells (I don't know if that is spelled correctly). Those cells usually come in the gall bladder, from what I understand. He has either liver infection or liver failure/disease. He is not jaundiced, not at all lethargic, so we are hoping it is an infection and not failure/disease. He is on antibiotics (enrofloxican) and if it clears his swelling, we are at the infection, if not, he has liver disease. He is only about 1 yr old. Has always been on BML diet, was born in my house to Bonzai and Mattie, who were also on BML for a long while before he was born. I asked the vet if this is a genetic condition, she stated maybe, could be a fatty liver, could be he got bacteria from something he ate that caused an infection to start. I don't know how that could have happened, their diet hasn't changed, I have fed no "bad" food at all, so I dunno. The fluid build up is because the liver is not processing adequatly, and fluid is leaking into his abdominal cavity. Through all, he is a happy,playful treat-mongering little guy who definately doesn't like his meds but takes them for a mealie..lol. I was asked to post about this because maybe it will help someone to know the signs of this kind of thing.

Thank you for reading.
Melissa

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#7292 - 06/12/03 10:07 AM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Awww you and your glider family are in the prayers of mine

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#7293 - 06/12/03 10:09 AM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Gil Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 09/06/02
Posts: 890
Loc: Orlando
This has always been a concern to me since the liver can act up overnight and be deadly. I had the same concerns and I did a couple of searches in the web to discover that in all living creatures the liver can affect the hormones. In the case of a Male Glider it will affect the bald spot. Because it can flare up over night some signs may not be visible. Many of the liver problems come from over weight, no exercise and to much fat in their diets. One quick trick to ensure liver health is to keep it clean by drinking Dandelion Tea. This is mostly directed to humans but the study I read in the web was done in lab rats. Dandelion has some properties that help clean the liver.
Just remember. All of the points I am making here I read through many web-sites and articles. None of them are directed to Sugar Gliders but may apply.
I have a slightly overweight glider that I am trying to trim down mostly because I know the risks of overweight and liver complications.
I would ask the vet about Dandelion tea and the effects of too much fat in their diets. Since all gliders are unique, maybe the Chicken baby food in the BML can be slightly reduce for some gliders that have a tendency to be fat. (Just a thought)
My male Glider is almost three years old and has been on BML his entire life. I have made the mistake to overfeed him and give him human/adult yogurt and I know I am to blame in his overweight. My vet told me that he has not seen a glider as big as mine. To make things worse, Marble has never liked the wheel! (Couch Potato Glider!!!)
So. What ever you find out or anybody else, please share. Specially if Dandelion tea is safe for gliders.
I truly love my gliders and I am very grateful for this board and the wealth of information and support it provides!
_________________________
Die worn out instead of rust out!
http://www.pbase.com/gil_hidalgo

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#7294 - 06/12/03 10:42 AM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


The funny thing is, Goliath is not at all fat or even slightly overweight. His bald spot is normal for one so young as he. He's actually a pretty slim and trim little guy who loves his wheel. They have a huge cage, and are on a great diet. I am not sure about giving him dandelion tea, but it's an interesting idea. We aren't sure of the cause of this, my vet said sometimes it just happens with no apparent cause, but I know there has to be something to it as he has always been really healthy. If the antibiotics do not work, we will go further and send in fluid and/or tissue samples and see what they say.
Thanks <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#7295 - 06/12/03 10:43 AM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


TMarie820,
Thank you. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Losing Bonzai Sunday, and now this, it hasn't been a very good week so far. It will get better tho, I am sure we will kick this and he will be fine. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Edited by Bonzai (06/12/03 10:45 AM)

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#7296 - 06/12/03 01:02 PM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oh Melissa - I'm so sorry! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" /> You are having more than you share of problems.... Know that I will be watching for updates and praying that the wee one will be fine! Hang in there <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/exclamation.gif" alt="" />

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#7297 - 06/12/03 01:27 PM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
Melissa, ask your vet about a bacteria culture, I know that once anti-biotics are started the tests may be inconclusive, but what I am looking at is losing Bonzai saturday, and now this one here being sick, is very common with an infectious problem, or maybe aflatoxins?? do you feed crickets or mealies? a toxin in the system, could be anything from a bacterial infection, to even some fruit that may have been tainted. Something small and simple that could be easily overlooked, someone in the home that may have had been sick, not bad but a little. sprayed branches, this is the time of year many people treat for insects around the home, a nearby plant that they may have played on.. The liver filters toxins, usually with it being dietary, you may have one get sick now, another at a much later time, since each animal metabolizes differently. usually with a contagion, bacterial or viral infections, you generally see more than one go down in close proximities of each other. Also if there was a toxin, aflatoxin, pesticdes etc.. you may also see a few go down in close proximities.

My prayers are with you all at this time. Please keep us posted..
_________________________
Baybe,My Roots

SGGA

CustomCruiser

BML

Sugar Glider Genetic Project

321-331-1608

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#7298 - 06/12/03 03:24 PM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Bourbon,
My vet did a culture looking for Giardia and such and found nothing abnormal there as far as I know. I will call her for more details. She is leaning towards a bacterial infection/hepatitis. We are going to send a fluid culture if we can't get the swelling down soon. The next step is a liver biopsy. I haven't fed crickets since the aflatoxin scare, but do feed mealies and just recently bought a new container, but Bonzai never even got 1 from it. I asked her about the closeness of Bonzai's death, and Goliath's illnes, but without her seeing Bonzai recently, or a necropsy, she couldn't give a "for sure" answer, and he's buried now, so... I only know Bonzai was not bloated as Goliath is, and showed no signs of anything like this prior to his death, but it is something I am worried about, even though my vet doesn't think this is a contagious thing. My hubby has had a cough lately, but he doesn't go anywhere near the gliders, they have no access to any live plants and we have our house treated with a "exotic friendly treatment" and I do not allow them to treat anywhere near the glider cages, no matter how "friendly" they say it is. We haven't had it treated since last fall, anyway. I recently bought some white peaches and gave them last Friday, but that's really the only thing different in the diet that I know of. The others in my crew are all eating, playing, defecating well and show no signs of illness or anything, but now I am nervous and am watching them all carefully. <sigh> I couldn't bear it to lose any more so suddenly. We will continue to watch Goliath and I will post any new tests or results that we do/get.

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#7299 - 06/12/03 05:57 PM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
a fecal smear is usually done for the giardia, a simple test that vets can do in their office, the bacterial culture, is usually sent out and takes days to get back. I do understand your fear and apprehension, I am only trying to hopefully help shed some light at a dark period. Again I am so very sorry...
_________________________
Baybe,My Roots

SGGA

CustomCruiser

BML

Sugar Glider Genetic Project

321-331-1608

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#7300 - 06/13/03 12:30 AM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Melissa private IM sent to you.

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#7301 - 06/13/03 11:19 AM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oh Melissa hun I am SOO sorry you are having to go threw this ... You are still in my thoughts and prayers and and now so is Goliath. *hugs and glider wishes your way*

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#7302 - 06/16/03 02:08 PM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ok, I am going to try one more time to post an update on Goliath..lol. This makes the third attempt.

Took him back to the vet's on Saturday and had another 6cc's of fluids drawn from his abdomen, almost florescent yellow in color, but still no odor to it. He looked like a different glider afterwards. It builds up so fast, I will be taking him back tomorrow to do it again. It is all we can do, along with his antibiotics, to keep him comfortable until we get him better. He is losing weight, he is not eating as well as we'd like, but alot is due to the pressure internally. I am enticing him with anything I can think of just to get something in his little belly. His activity level is also down, but to be expected, as he gets so full, he's uncomfortable and not energetic. Poor little guy, he is fighting with all he's got right now. We will continue the antibiotics for another two weeks and see where to go from there. There is almost no chance a culture would reveal much now that he has been taking his meds for a week, but if something doesn't resolve soon, I will ask her to do so anyway. Another blow was to lose Graci on Sunday, but we have been expecting that for almost 2 years now. Hopefully, Goliath won't lose his incredible will to live and we will see some changes for the good soon. He is quarantined in my room away from all the other gliders now, so I can keep a closer eye on him and keeping my fingers crossed this isn't something that could affect the rest. The vet doesn't think so, but it's too hard to lose anymore and I am not taking any further chances. Thank you to all who have sent thought and prayers for him. It is very much appreciated.

Melissa

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#7303 - 06/18/03 02:17 PM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just an update on the little guy...It looks like he is pulling out of this. He has not gained in fluids as fast as before, though he is still "chubby", he is not yet stretched tight as he has been. I have actually seen no noticable gain in fluids for a couple of days, thank goodness. He is eating alot better and his activity level has increased as well. The thing I am concerned about is his urine has darkened in color and now has an odor to it. I have a call into his vet to get her opinion on it. Thanks again to everyone. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#7304 - 06/18/03 03:31 PM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


That's great Melissa - I hope the little guy continues to improve and is back to his old self very soon! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />

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#7305 - 06/18/03 04:54 PM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
melissa, the darker urine could be because he is dehydrated and the urine is more concentrated without the extra fluids (lets keep our fingers crossed that is the case). what all tests have they run on him?
_________________________
Baybe,My Roots

SGGA

CustomCruiser

BML

Sugar Glider Genetic Project

321-331-1608

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#7306 - 06/18/03 04:55 PM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
melissa, the darker urine could be because he is dehydrated and the urine is more concentrated without the extra fluids (lets keep our fingers crossed that is the case). what all tests have they run on him?

ask her to do a urinalysis on him as well.
_________________________
Baybe,My Roots

SGGA

CustomCruiser

BML

Sugar Glider Genetic Project

321-331-1608

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#7307 - 06/19/03 10:32 AM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well, he is back at the vet's today for her to look at him. She is going to check his urine, drain him again (he filled back up). He didn't "tent" when I checked him for dehydration at any time, so if he is dehydrated, it's not noticable to me. <sigh> I have iv fluids at home in case of an emergency. The only tests I can think of right now was she "spun" the fluids last week and came up with the red, white and ballirueben cell counts. She did a fecal and checked him out for parasites. She also did x-rays to look at his insides to figure out if it was fluids or gas, and his liver is enlarged. His heart and all look ok in the x-rays, but it was kind of difficult to tell with all the "cloudiness" from the fluids. Since he's been on antibiotics for a week, a culture probably won't come up with anything specific, (I asked) but if it doesn't abate soon, I will have her do it anyway. I will know more by this afternoon about his urine and the state of his liver.

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#7308 - 06/19/03 11:26 AM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just to say I'm pullin' for you and Goliath!! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" />

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#7309 - 06/20/03 07:37 AM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well, spoke to the vet last night and we are pretty much stumped by what is going on here. She "spun" the fluids she drew again, same cell count as before, she checked his urine and said it looked clear and fine to her, but it's not unusual to fluctuate like that. She said there looked like trace amounts of blood in it, but not enough she was extremely worried about it. We will keep an eye on that, as well. She tipped a nail while he was under and drew a tiny, tiny bit of blood to test his protien levels. They are at 4.8, which is slightly under what she would like, but nowhere near as low as an animal with so much abdominal fluid "should" be. It seems that with that much fluid, they usually are way, way low. So we are upping his protien intake and just keeping an eye on him. Once he has finished this round of antibiotics, we will not put him on any more. It looks like he is improving, the fluids she drew from him yesterday were not quite 12 cc's, (I was wrong about how much she had been taking off him, it's been 12 cc's or more each time.) and was a couple days longer between withdrawals, but we won't get hopeful until he can go at least a week without having to do it again. He is not suffering, his weight is holding steady and he is active and playing. He doesn't much love his momma right now, constantly forcing icky medicine down him...lol. But I can live with that, as long as HE lives. That is the latest on him. If anyone has any ideas, or anything happen similar, any advice or veiws would be appreciated. Thanks again to all who are pulling for him.
Melissa

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#7310 - 06/20/03 04:41 PM Re: Liver problems [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Awwww you are both in my prayers.

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