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#748928 - 03/13/09 02:06 AM Aflatoxin question
JillMarie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 7748
Loc: New Jersey
I have a question about aflatoxins...everyone is so concerned because they are such a danger to our gliders and other pets. What are the symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning? when an animal ingests an aflatoxin how long does it take for symptoms to occur? What can be done, if anything, to help the animal at that point or is all lost? We know what to do to HELP prevent poisoning but what do you do if it does occur?

I would also like to see more of THAT kind of information on gliders as well...information not just to prevent sickness and injury but what we can do to help them if it occurs and there are no vets available or we need to just get them "stabalized" until we can get them to a vet. Perhaps that info is here and I just missed it.....
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#748939 - 03/13/09 05:24 AM Re: Aflatoxin question [Re: JillMarie]
sugarglidersuz Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 14788
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
JillMarie,
Those are all excellent questions. Unfortunately, I don't have the answers in this case because, fortunately, I've never had to experience aflatoxin poisoning with any of my gliders. I will check with a friend who has to see if she can shed some light on this topic for you...
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#748964 - 03/13/09 07:54 AM Re: Aflatoxin question [Re: sugarglidersuz]
sugeebaby Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 2113
Loc: Michigan
If caught early enough it can be slowed down or stopped. The liver needs to be flushed out. I can't remember the name of the holistic med I was given for Kiki but if I had gotten early enough it would have flushed the liver and she could have lived longer. All I rememebr is she wasn't eating or cleaning herself. She was losing weight.
I believe a blood work up would have caught it early enough but 6yrs ago I didn't have the greatest vet and all she wanted me to do was take her phone and syringe feed her apple juice to tyr and prolong her life.
Now I know when my gliders are not feeling well and they off to the vet ASAP. The sooner you get them in for a vet check the better chances that you can flush the liver and save them.
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#749276 - 03/13/09 08:45 PM Re: Aflatoxin question [Re: sugeebaby]
USMom Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 7356
Loc: Austin, TX
Karen, I bet you are thinking of Milk Thistle. I have heard very promising things about it.
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#749351 - 03/13/09 11:55 PM Re: Aflatoxin question [Re: USMom]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
Milk thistle can be very good for livers, I have heard also.

Aflatoxicosis primarily affects the liver (including cirrhosis, cancer, and edema), so some symptoms that might result include jaundice (yellowing of the skin, whites of eyes, and gums). In gliders, the yellowing is most apparent in the palms of hands/feet, nose and sometimes ears. Loss of appetite and loss of an interest in water, lethargy/depressed behavior and *possibly* blood in the stools (from hemorrhaging) are all possible signs/symptoms of the toxin. Aflatoxins can also affect the kidneys, so not being able to urinate is a sign that the kidneys could be compromised. If blood work is drawn and can be tested, signs of liver damage/liver failure or kidney damage/failure *may* show up in the blood work but this does not absolutely indicate that Aflatoxin is the cause. Mostly, Aflatoxicosis is assumed in cases where a necropsy has been performed and there is liver damage along with a history that points to probable exposure. It is also important to note that in cases where it builds up in the system, it is possible that even if the current food supply is tested, it may not show positive for Aflatoxin because exposure could have been weeks+ earlier.

From my understanding, there are things, as Karen said to help slow or stop the progression of liver damage (like Milk Thistle, Vitamin K and similar liver supportive meds/supplements), but it cannot really be greatly reversed (so the glider will always have a more sensitive reaction to further exposure of Aflatoxin) and because these are rarely used in gliders, dosage and side effects are not well known or understood. In cases where Aflatoxin is strongly indicated as the problem, most people stop feeding anything that could carry a risk of Aflatoxins (so NO more corn, nuts, grains, or insects at all). One should also realize, however, since Aflatoxin is allowable in a certain percentage for grain feed, the risk is still technically present, at lower levels, in MANY, MANY things (including meat, eggs and dairy products).

As far as generalized supportive care with a sick glider, one of the things you can do are to learn how to give subcutaneous fluids from your vet, and make sure you understand when it is appropriate to use them, and keep the supplies on hand. By giving your own subQ fluids in a crisis, you can sometimes give yourself a little added time to get to a vet. BUT if a glider needs subQ, they will still always need to see a vet ASAP as something had to have caused the dehydration in the first place and the cause needs to be treated rather than just putting a band-aid over the symptoms. Talk to your vet about what to do in different situations to hold you until you are able to get to an emergency vet. Learn how to use an e-collar and have them ready in case you need them.

But the reality is, even for experienced glider owners, all of these things that we learn how to do for our gliders is not a 'curative' or vet alternative. They are to stabilize the glider until such time as we can get the glider seen by a vet. Sometimes an experienced vet is an hour or more away, these are the times that something like subQ fluids could mean the difference of being able to give the glider time to get to that vet.
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#749409 - 03/14/09 06:48 AM Re: Aflatoxin question [Re: sugarlope]
JillMarie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 7748
Loc: New Jersey
thanks again Gretchen....how did you get so smart? I like you...LOL
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:grey: Bosom Buddy Creations:grey:
^website link wink

Remember that God Loves You!

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