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#84841 - 02/24/06 01:15 PM Caring for Gliders With HLP
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
HLP is actually a symptom and not disease. It occurs when the bones of the gliders hind legs have had enough calcium leached from them to cripple the glider. The most common cause for this condition is calcium deficiency in the diet. But other things, especially bacterial infection can cause similar symptoms. This is a problem that needs to be addressed by a qualified vet. Here are some suggestions on helping a glider with HLP.

Keep the glider warm at all times.
Keep the glider hydrated.
You may need to hand feed the glider.
Watch for signs of chewing on the toes.
Give medication, usually liquid calcium, per your vets directions.
Use a low profile cage because the glider will not be able to hold on very well. A cage turned on it's side is a good idea.
A pouch or other sleeping place should be provided on the floor of the cage.
Pad the cage floor to help break falls.
Remove anything from the cage that the glider may fall on and injure itself.

Do not overdose with calcium. It takes a while for the calcium to be depleted from the bones and muscles. Replacing the calcium is a slow process. More is not better! Excess calcium can cause problems with the other body organs and urinary tract. Discuss this with your vet.
Xrays are great for discovering lack of bone density. After the treatment has been going for a couple of weeks a blood test is a good idea to check the calcium blood level. And of course follow up xrays to check bone density.

HLP can be reversed. Even if bones get broken they will fuse back together. The glider may loose partial use of one or more limbs but they can live full and fruitful lives.
Charlie H
_________________________
Rescue & Rehabilation
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/glidertree/
[]glidertree@toast.net[/]

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#84842 - 03/01/06 07:10 AM Re: Caring for Gliders With HLP [Re: ]
sugarglidersuz Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 14788
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
[:"green"]Another cause of HLP is too much protein in a glider's diet. When a glider eats too much protein, it can prevent the absorption of the calcium into the glider's bones, where it is needed. This can be diagnosed through blood work which will show elevated levels of calcium in the bloodstream. Also, x-rays will show "cloudy" areas in the bones. This form of HLP is reversible with prompt & proper treatment from a veterinarian. Treatment is the same as what Charlie has outlined above, along with a change in diet so that the glider can not "pick & choose" its food. BML is a good diet for this form of HLP. Giving the BML to the glider an hour or two before the rest of the foods ensures that the glider will fill up on the BML, then snack on the rest of the foods through the remainder of the night.

Attached is a picture of my Pika who has HLP. Note that the knee on her hind leg is at an unnatural 90 degree angle (visible due to her black stripe running completely vertical down her leg). [Please note that the shorter fur on her tail is due to the vet having shaved it during diagnosis & testing.]


Attachments
538422-Pika005.jpg (97 downloads)

_________________________
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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#84843 - 03/01/06 07:13 AM Re: Caring for Gliders With HLP [Re: ]
sugarglidersuz Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 14788
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
[:"green"]This attachment is for comparative purposes to the first picture. This is Pika's other side, note that her hind leg on this side is not paralyzed, therefore the knee is at a more natural angle. [Please note in both pictures that Pika is blind, this is why her eyes look "strange".]


Attachments
538423-Pika007.jpg (71 downloads)

_________________________
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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#84844 - 03/01/06 08:02 AM Re: Caring for Gliders With HLP [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
Suz what you mentioned about the protein blocking the proper absorption of calcium is soo true. That is why I shudder when I see articles recommending a fifty per cent protein diet. Of course there are many other dietary things that prevent the glider from properly utilizing calcium.

Depending on the severity of the calcium deficiency these little gliders can recover. If it is not caught in the early stages though it will usually cause some disfiguration. Owners need to take care when handling a glider with calcium deficiency. Their spines can easily be separated. And of course the bones will break easily.
Charlie H
_________________________
Rescue & Rehabilation
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/glidertree/
[]glidertree@toast.net[/]

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#84845 - 04/05/06 02:34 AM Re: Caring for Gliders With HLP [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
Also let me add to this that the HLP symptoms could also be a sign of an injury, in a case that charlie H had, the glider was found to have a separated spine, many others with broken legs or spinal injuries.

The key factor to watch for to separate the illnesses, and injuries from a diet related problem is the time element.

In diet related issues the strength is slowly lost therefore small noticeable signs can be seen for a long period of time, in cases of illness or injury the hlp symptoms show up like all of a sudden. Sometimes over night.

sadly many vets run blood tests or read old information on the net or in books, speak with other vets, and the first thing that is said it is diet related (calcium defiency), and the tests will almost always show there is a nutrient problem.

As Charlie stated, the body is robbed of it's nutrients and the tests will almost always show a nutritional problem, but finding the cause, should be the main concern, and they only try to treat the symptoms. Usually with an over abundance of calcium, which Charlie had stated can cause more harm than good. It is imparative that you educate yourself, so you can help educate your vet with the things that are current.

IF your glider is showing HLP type symptoms an x-ray and a bacterial C&S should always be performed. the C&S takes up to 2 weeks to come back. so treatment for a bacteral infection should always be included in the course of treatment.
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Baybe,My Roots

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CustomCruiser

BML

Sugar Glider Genetic Project

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