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#854533 - 10/19/09 10:59 AM Hard or soft foods cause mouth/teeth problems
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
There has been a long standing discussion that hard, pelleted food is not good and may even be dangerous for gliders to eat. This is discussion is specifically directed towards the consistency of diet, not the nutritional value.

A long time ago, it was thought that pellet food caused something called Lumpy Jaw. The term 'lumpy jaw' can be somewhat misleading as it is a disease that, when discussing marsupials, generally occurs in macropods (kangaroo, wallaby, etc.). But what we mean when we are talking about lumpy jaw is an infection/abscess of the mouth/jaw or facial region.

There are actually several sides of the jaw abscess discussion that I have read and I would like to know what you all think?

1) Hard food scratches or injures the mouth/gums and allows bacteria in, which can cause abscess of the gum, jaw or face.

2) If gliders are only fed soft foods their teeth and gums can become infected because they have no way to 'clean' their teeth or 'work' their gums.

3) Propensity toward jaw/facial abscess may be somewhat genetic (it can sometimes seem to run in families) regardless of the type of food fed.

4) ???


Edited by sugarlope (10/27/09 03:13 PM)
Edit Reason: changed title
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#854560 - 10/19/09 12:25 PM Re: Jaw/facial abscess - what causes it? [Re: sugarlope]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16758
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
Sinus issues as well, and I know that Leo had a facial abcess due to excessive hormones and a blocked scent gland.
_________________________
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Critter Love
Critter LoveŽ Diet Center

If you want to know what a person is like, watch how he treats others.

You'll never know what the outcome is if you don't step up and try.


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#854607 - 10/19/09 01:26 PM Re: Jaw/facial abscess - what causes it? [Re: sugarlope]
Marz Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 708
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Originally Posted By: sugarlope
There has been a long standing discussion that hard, pelleted food is not good and may even be dangerous for gliders to eat. This is discussion is specifically directed towards the consistency of diet, not the nutritional value.

A long time ago, it was thought that pellet food caused something called Lumpy Jaw. The term 'lumpy jaw' can be somewhat misleading as it is a disease that, when discussing marsupials, generally occurs in macropods (kangaroo, wallaby, etc.). But what we mean when we are talking about lumpy jaw is an infection/abscess of the mouth/jaw or facial region.

There are actually several sides of the jaw abscess discussion that I have read and I would like to know what you all think?

1) Hard food scratches or injures the mouth/gums and allows bacteria in, which can cause abscess of the gum, jaw or face.

2) If gliders are only fed soft foods their teeth and gums can become infected because they have no way to 'clean' their teeth or 'work' their gums.

3) Propensity toward jaw/facial abscess may be somewhat genetic (it can sometimes seem to run in families) regardless of the type of food fed.

4) ???


In many cases with gliders, I feel it's definitely (2) but you will get (1) if you follow (2). A glider with healthy teeth and gums should never have a problem eating some hard food. Their mouths are designed to chew through tough layers of bark and chewy sap in the wild and by doing this, their teeth and gums stay healthy.

The nectar mixes in the diets are soft and quite sugar sweet to start off with and this can be predisposed to cause tooth decay. This is not an issue providing the rest of the diet counteracts this.... crunchy raw veg, a few pellets of high quality cat/dog chow, some branches to chew on etc etc keeping the teeth and gums healthy. Whilst the nectar component is important in the diet, so is the crunchy side too!

However, too many people worried about their gliders not eating their fruit and veg and turn to either cooking their veg and/or making smoothies/blends (sometimes with added honey) from these ingredients. Whilst the glider might be getting more nutrition, these blends or smoothies are in turn encouraging dental and gum disease because the gliders are not crunching or chewing but licking.

There has to be a good balance in the diet not only nutritionally but also kinds of foods fed....all soft = no good, all hard= no good, combination which covers both= best

A glider who has never has crunchy hard food at all will end up with something similar to ginginvitis and then be prone to abcesses.

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#854613 - 10/19/09 01:37 PM Re: Jaw/facial abscess - what causes it? [Re: Srlb]
Marz Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 708
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Originally Posted By: Srlb
Sinus issues as well, and I know that Leo had a facial abcess due to excessive hormones and a blocked scent gland.



This is another cause for sure.

Also aside from obvious dental/gum issues,simple infections from a scratch/bite or injury to the head or eye can escalate into facial abcesses fairly easily. It is often hard to treat with antibiotics as these infections can pocket in areas of heavy bone density and less blood flow and the antibiotics do not fully reach the infected areas because of this. Some antibiotics are better than others at reaching these areas and it is always vital to get a culture and sensitivity test to find out what antibiotic will work best. Usually injectible antibiotics are more effective at treating these sorts of issues rather than consumable ones.

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#854626 - 10/19/09 01:52 PM Re: Jaw/facial abscess - what causes it? [Re: Marz]
Jackie_Chans_Mom Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 2511
Loc: Texas
I wish we knew what caused them. I think a distinction has to be made between facial abscesses caused by issues with dentition, and facial abscesses of the soft tissue.

Of my 3 gliders with recurrent facial abscesses, 1 has had tooth involvement every time, 1 has never had tooth involvement and the other has tooth involvement sometimes and doesn't sometimes.

The SUGAR group currently has a survey and data collection set for case studies on facial abscesses - to try to help us understand better. I would encourage everyone who has had a glider experience this to PLEASE complete the SUGAR group's survey.

Quote:
The nectar mixes in the diets are soft and quite sugar sweet to start off with and this can be predisposed to cause tooth decay. This is not an issue providing the rest of the diet counteracts this.... crunchy raw veg, a few pellets of high quality cat/dog chow, some branches to chew on etc etc keeping the teeth and gums healthy. Whilst the nectar component is important in the diet, so is the crunchy side too!

However, too many people worried about their gliders not eating their fruit and veg and turn to either cooking their veg and/or making smoothies/blends (sometimes with added honey) from these ingredients. Whilst the glider might be getting more nutrition, these blends or smoothies are in turn encouraging dental and gum disease because the gliders are not crunching or chewing but licking.

There has to be a good balance in the diet not only nutritionally but also kinds of foods fed....all soft = no good, all hard= no good, combination which covers both= best

I could not agree more. There is so much more to EATING than just getting nutrition - it is true for humans and it is true for dogs, birds, sugar gliders, etc. This is why we, as humans, don't just get our nutrition through IV - because the EXPERIENCE of eating has impacts upon our dental health, social health, emotional health and physical health. I believe this to be very true of gliders as well.


As to the facial abscesses - we are seeing so many different types of bacteria when they are cultured. The majority of the cases the SUGAR group has data on have no evidence of any injury (scratch, etc) at all as a precursor.

Quote:
Usually injectible antibiotics are more effective at treating these sorts of issues rather than consumable ones.


I recently had a tooth/facial abscess treated with extraction of the tooth and an injection of Convenia. It worked beautifully - no return at all thus far of this persistent problem with this particular glider, and we did not have the stress that giving antibiotics orally causes to the glider. I loved it. This is only my 4th time using Convenia, but I have loved the results thus far.[i][/i]
_________________________
~~ Val B ~~ 806-803-0318
Daily giving the abused, unloved, unwanted and neglected SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN

PLEASE COMPLETE YOUR SUGAR GROUP SURVEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#854633 - 10/19/09 02:06 PM Re: Jaw/facial abscess - what causes it? [Re: Jackie_Chans_Mom]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
While I"ve had no direct experience with facial abcesses (of any type, knock on wood), I have some theories/suggestions/questions/comments.

Quote:
1) Hard food scratches or injures the mouth/gums and allows bacteria in, which can cause abscess of the gum, jaw or face.


In Humans, our mouth is the dirtiest place on our body. The bacteria count is off the chart most of the time. But in Dogs, it is their cleanest. Dogs have very little bacteria in their mouths. When a dog is injured, they will lick their wounds and it actually helps promote healing of the wound. I've also heard that with dogs, their saliva has a semi numbing effect on the wounds. So I wonder, are gliders closer to humans or dogs on their natural mouth cleanliness?

2) If gliders are only fed soft foods their teeth and gums can become infected because they have no way to 'clean' their teeth or 'work' their gums.[/quote]

I hear time and time again to feed meal worms as a protien source but really, the most beneficial part of the meal worm is the extoskeleton, which helps "brush" a glider's teeth.

Also, raw carrots are the best "tooth brushes" for dogs. They clean a dog's teeth better than "milk bones". So why are we not promoting feeding fresh raw carrots to our gliders? Seems they would do the same for the glider's teeth. My gliders like fresh raw baby carrots but tend to only eat the "heart" of the carrot and I have to atleast slice them in half lengthwise to get them to eat 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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#854653 - 10/19/09 03:00 PM Re: Jaw/facial abscess - what causes it? [Re: Dancing]
sandbat Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 633
Loc: Dallas, TX
Cessna had a facial abcess back in 2006, but it was caused by an external wound. The vet I was seeing at the time believed that it could have even been a spider bite. It healed up just fine after it was drained.

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#854655 - 10/19/09 03:10 PM Re: Jaw/facial abscess - what causes it? [Re: Dancing]
hwh4ev Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 2836
Loc: roseville, mi
i have had my sugar for over 2 yrs. and this year in june
she had an abcess over her r eye, tests were done to
determine the correct meds. draining and 2 wks. of meds.
seem to work. the same abcess came back at the end of
july and this time i was told to give sugar meds. for 6
weeks (the vet and me think it is in her eye cavity, which
is hard to get rid of).
well, the abcess has come back for the 3rd time and i
just dont think the vet. will know how to get rid of it
for good. i will be at the vets. again tomorrow.
i have been offering a dry pellet food(from suncoast) along
with their normal diet. i have 2 tree branches that
all my gliders chew on, so this inf. soft/hard does not
seem to be working for my poor little sugar.

regards,
nancy in detroit
_________________________
regards,
nancy in roseville (formerly in detroit)

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#855721 - 10/21/09 10:26 PM Re: Jaw/facial abscess - what causes it? [Re: Jackie_Chans_Mom]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
Originally Posted By: Jackie_Chans_Mom
I wish we knew what caused them. I think a distinction has to be made between facial abscesses caused by issues with dentition, and facial abscesses of the soft tissue.


I wasn't clear in my first post, sorry - but I agree. This discussion is meant to be aimed at abscess related to problems in the teeth and mouth because of (or for lack of) the different types of food fed.

The genetic component of this would be related to the health of the teeth mouth or natural inclination to have problems with their teeth, so still relating to the types of food.

Sorry for the confusion caused by the first post! blush
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#858139 - 10/27/09 07:47 AM Hard foods cause injury or health problems
Jackie_Chans_Mom Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 2511
Loc: Texas
I keep hearing this over and over, and I'm gonna start by saying that I don't buy it.

I always discourage people from feeding pellets or cat food as their PRIMARY protein source or staple food because 1) They are lacking in balanced nutrients and 2) They pose such a high risk for aflatoxin poisoning.

However, I do NOT tell people that they will cause broken teeth, scratched gums which lead to abscess or choking. A Glider's teeth are made to tear through tree bark to get to insects and sap. Therefore, they are more than capable of eating a hard piece of food from time to time with NO problems.

Has anyone ever had a healthy glider have a tooth issue solely from eating a piece of hard food?

I feed my gliders a few pieces of cat food or of happy glider pellets 2X per week and have been doing so for years. They LOVE it. I do this IN ADDITION TO their balanced diet, not in place of. I have a lot of gliders here in my home - and the number of gliders that have passed through my rescue home in the time that I have been feeding hard foods brings that number to well over 150 gliders. I have not had one single issue from feeding hard foods. Not ONE. And, I have gliders here who routinely experience periodontal disease/issues and even they never have any issues with the hard foods.

Personally, I think that we should discourage people from feeding them as a staple or as a primary protein source for the reasons listed above, but NOT because "they cause tooth injury." Do they really? I would think that if that were true, odds are I would have seen it here.

My gliders love these things. I use them as part of my enrichment program - hiding them all over the cage and tent and play room to encourage foraging. I also use them to add variety of texture to their diet. I think that these things are important for their overall emotional health - this is one of the choices I make for my gliders as part of their enrichment program.

Again, I ask, does anyone have any solid proof of hard foods causing any injury? I know we have proof of them causing aflatoxin poisoning. Shouldn't we use that argument instead?
_________________________
~~ Val B ~~ 806-803-0318
Daily giving the abused, unloved, unwanted and neglected SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN

PLEASE COMPLETE YOUR SUGAR GROUP SURVEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#858145 - 10/27/09 07:59 AM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Jackie_Chans_Mom]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16758
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
Val, I couldnt agree with you more.

I know mine love it when I offer them a couple pieces of Masons food once or twice a week. The way I look at it is they share their green beans, so she can share her food too.

You are absolutely correct, it should not be fed as the PRIMARY protein source, but it sure makes a special treat for them when they get it.
_________________________
Peggy
Critter Love
Critter LoveŽ Diet Center

If you want to know what a person is like, watch how he treats others.

You'll never know what the outcome is if you don't step up and try.


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#858152 - 10/27/09 08:17 AM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Srlb]
CharmedSuggies Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 4273
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Originally Posted By: Jackie_Chans_Mom
I always discourage people from feeding pellets or cat food as their PRIMARY protein source or staple food because 1) They are lacking in balanced nutrients and 2) They pose such a high risk for aflatoxin poisoning.


Thanks for making this post Val. I have a question about your quote. How does pellets or cat food pose a high risk for aflatoxin poisoning.

I ask becasue I can use this info at the booth when educating people & want to give the right info to them.

Thanks hun!
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Brat Pack
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#858190 - 10/27/09 10:01 AM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: CharmedSuggies]
scraptilldawn Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 803
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I have been asking this same thing myself. I feed Priscilla's diet and use the Glider cereal and Monkey buscuits in their cage for some variety. Also if I'm home late one evening and they've gotten up, there is sure to be something there for them to nibble on. I was more inclined to think that hard food would be an asset in their diet as it would serve to help scrape their teeth of the soft and sticky diets that we feed. Just as it does in cats and dogs. In the wild they are also known to eat all kinds of bugs and small birds, these you would think would be pretty hard and crunchy as well, lol. Excellent topic Val, thanks!
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#858202 - 10/27/09 10:23 AM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: scraptilldawn]
MizValorie Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2579
Loc: Sherman, Texas
I agree val.
_________________________
Valorie and our 10 fur children

RIP Mary Kate

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#858319 - 10/27/09 01:41 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: MizValorie]
BCChins Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 3089
Loc: Central Connecticut
So hiding or adding a few pieces of excellent quality dry cat food to their cage once or twice a week is fine?
I like the fact that it can be used as a foraging treat!
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Mr. Magoo

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#858323 - 10/27/09 01:50 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: BCChins]
MizValorie Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2579
Loc: Sherman, Texas
Yes Brenda it is. I offer D. Van Patten brand of cat food, high quality and great ingredients.

I usually add a few pieces once or twice a wk IN ADDITION TO A HEALTHY WELL BALANCED diet.
_________________________
Valorie and our 10 fur children

RIP Mary Kate

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#858324 - 10/27/09 01:51 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: BCChins]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16758
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
I myself use Dog food, not cat food. The Ash in cat food has always been an issue for me. Nothing proven about it, just my own personal concern.
_________________________
Peggy
Critter Love
Critter LoveŽ Diet Center

If you want to know what a person is like, watch how he treats others.

You'll never know what the outcome is if you don't step up and try.


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#858326 - 10/27/09 01:54 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Srlb]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Pet Pro is another alternitive. They are hard pellets made for gliders. I keep Pet Pro in the freezer in case of emergency needs.
_________________________
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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#858333 - 10/27/09 02:11 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Dancing]
tammyangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 2493
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By: Dancing
Pet Pro is another alternitive. They are hard pellets made for gliders. I keep Pet Pro in the freezer in case of emergency needs.


I use Pet pro and it is not the staple part of my gliders diet. Mine tend to get up in the afternoon for a small snack and than back to bed. I have never had a single glider hurt from eating it.There is also a soft variety that some use insectivore mine didn't like it at all .And after smelling it couldn't blame them since it reminded me of catfish bait.
_________________________
Having Faith and Hope that some day soon.That all the world will come to see that all of gods babies deserve love and affection.

gangel My little three precious angels :rbridge:


http://suggieshack.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=login

Mom to some really spoiled little ones.

:rtmo:
:leu:
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#858347 - 10/27/09 02:29 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: tammyangel]
JillMarie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 7748
Loc: New Jersey
My gliders actually seem to like crunchy foods. If I dont give them for a few days Arwen will start to chew things in her cage, like she just wants the satisfaction of biting. give her a piece of something crunchy and she just smiles and chirps away! yum yum!
agree with everything Val said at the beginning! I use Dick van pattens natural balance catfood as a treat.
_________________________
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Remember that God Loves You!

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#858354 - 10/27/09 02:39 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: JillMarie]
Jackie_Chans_Mom Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 2511
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: JillMarie
I use Dick van pattens natural balance catfood as a treat.


That's the same one I use. My gliders love when it is cat food night!

Yes, Brenda, it is perfectly fine to use a high quality hard food, and even better if it is used as part of their enrichment program!
_________________________
~~ Val B ~~ 806-803-0318
Daily giving the abused, unloved, unwanted and neglected SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN

PLEASE COMPLETE YOUR SUGAR GROUP SURVEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#858359 - 10/27/09 02:44 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: JillMarie]
BCChins Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 3089
Loc: Central Connecticut
I found that Taste of the Wild has a calcium ratio of 1.90%, Phosphorous ratio of 1.20% and ash content of 8.9%. The dog food they have was about the same for Ash.

http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/products/cats/rocky_mountain_feline_formula/

Any opinions of this food? I like most of the ingredients it has in it.



Edited by BCChins (10/27/09 02:49 PM)
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Brenda &
Mr. Magoo

Friendly Reminder please have an e-collar ready before you need it......

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#858371 - 10/27/09 02:55 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Srlb]
Marz Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 708
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Originally Posted By: Srlb
I myself use Dog food, not cat food. The Ash in cat food has always been an issue for me. Nothing proven about it, just my own personal concern.


I too offer a few pieces of high quality dry dog kibble to my gliders. I use the small dog breed type and it's actually smaller than a lot of the dry cat food. There is no corn or cornmeal by products in the brand I choose.

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#858398 - 10/27/09 03:37 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Marz]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16758
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
No Corn, Cornmeal, wheat or by products in the food I offer. No fillers, no preservatives. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids...

They love it.
_________________________
Peggy
Critter Love
Critter LoveŽ Diet Center

If you want to know what a person is like, watch how he treats others.

You'll never know what the outcome is if you don't step up and try.


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#858411 - 10/27/09 04:06 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Srlb]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 12177
Loc: Wisconsin
I have Exotic Nutrition Eucalyptus pellets and Monkey biscuits for my gliders as an occasional treat. They love the Eucalyptus pellets.

When the humane society turned over the little abandoned glider all she would eat was the pellets, it took me a couple weeks to get her onto the blended diet, now she cleans everything up.
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#859923 - 10/31/09 12:56 AM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Feather]
the gliders angel Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/08/01
Posts: 3060
Loc: u.s.a.
as far as the post concerning aflatoxins i think what i can answer you is that there is a possibility of aflatoxin from any dry food thats why i keep mine in the freezer and take out a weeks supply at a time.

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#860484 - 11/01/09 01:58 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: the gliders angel]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
for starts gliders do not have incisors per sae, that other animals and humans use for ripping

their front teeth are designed for piercing
their back teeth is designed for compression

give a glider a piece of hard food, they will generally use their front teeth to scrape it, and use their back teeth to compress it, for breaking it down..

to watch how a glider utilizes their teeth, regarding ripping and chewing, offer them a 1/2 inch square of chicken, what you will notice is they pass that food back and forth in their mouth, allowing the bacteria in the saliva to help break it down, they then compress the food and suck out the moisture. Spit out the rest, they do not chew it as we do with our back and side teeth, they do not swallow the rest as a dog would. they spit it out, in a very dry compressed form.

As for how they do the branches and sap in the wild,
the best pictures I have ever seen of a glider debarking sap eating and going after more, is in Dee dancers photos..

they use their front teeth to pierce, and then their bottom front teeth to scoop it and lift it off in strips after the bark has been started, they lick the sap, if there is any sap still on a piece of bark, that may have come all the way off, after licking and scraping with their front teeth, they stick it in the back of their mouth, and try to compress and suck the moisture out, and then they discard it.

my issue with the hard foods, is that the gliders scrape the hard foods with their front teeth to break it into smaller pieces, as they are scraping it pushes the crumbs down in between the skin and the teeth, that is where some of the hidden injuries could very well be hidden. The bigger crumbs are swished around in the back of their mouth, to get broke down, that generally creates a small sappy paste so they can swallow it. When the gliders use their back teeth to help scrape or break down it can also scrape the gums, press the hard pieces between the teeth and gums..

my suggestion for teeth cleaning would be the natural way,

tree branches and insects with the exo-skeleton

these are only my suggestions..you start watching your gliders eat and figure out your own way to do things.

keep in mind in the wild, they are not known for eating anything as hard as cat food and dog food, they do not eat nuts and seeds in the wild, simply because their system is not set up to digest them. They do not have gizzards or the teeth needed for chewing,ripping or mastication

They ARE sap eaters..



Edited by Bourbon (11/01/09 02:07 PM)
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#860505 - 11/01/09 02:23 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Bourbon]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16758
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
Quote:
keep in mind in the wild, they are not known for eating anything as hard as cat food and dog food, they do not eat nuts and seeds in the wild,


Bourbon this is true, however you dont read about them eating fruits and veggies in the wild neither, and although they are sap suckers they are also omnivores, which mean they eat plant AND animal items.

With that being said B, how many cases of lumpy jaw are out there proving that it was caused by hard foods? Do we or can we get our hands on any of those vet records? (serious ?'s here)
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#860539 - 11/01/09 04:07 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Srlb]
sugarlope Offline
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Registered: 03/28/02
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Whenever my gliders get hard pellets, they actually put it into the side of their mouth and bite pieces off with their molars and chew. I know that all gliders are different, but I have never seen any of my gliders go at pellets with their front teeth. dunno
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#860581 - 11/01/09 05:14 PM Re: Hard foods cause injury or health problems [Re: Bourbon]
Marz Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 708
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Originally Posted By: Bourbon
for starts gliders do not have incisors per sae, that other animals and humans use for ripping


They have quite efficient incisors and are quite capable of using them as such though maybe not as much as some animals. Sometimes I wonder though, if this has occured in captivity due to the way the diets are offered to them. My gliders who have never been offered baby foods, yoghurts or blended fruit/veg happily crunch away on whatever dry/crunchy foods are offered in their meal bowls.

I do feed an artificial nectar mix as part of their diet but the rest of their diet requires them to use their teeth, their gums and their imagination!





Originally Posted By: Bourbon
give a glider a piece of hard food, they will generally use their front teeth to scrape it, and use their back teeth to compress it, for breaking it down..


I give my gliders a variety of hard and/or crunchy foods and they usually bite off a piece (depending on the size), chewing and crunch on it and then swallow these chewed pieces fairly quickly.


Originally Posted By: Bourbon
to watch how a glider utilizes their teeth, regarding ripping and chewing, offer them a 1/2 inch square of chicken, what you will notice is they pass that food back and forth in their mouth, allowing the bacteria in the saliva to help break it down, they then compress the food and suck out the moisture. Spit out the rest, they do not chew it as we do with our back and side teeth, they do not swallow the rest as a dog would. they spit it out, in a very dry compressed form.


I do not feed chicken in that form so i can't comment on what they do with chicken but my gliders do leave casings on some foods (corn for example)and they do on occasion spit out some food residues but I rarely find this with the harder foods offered, more often with soft fruits etc.


Since my gliders are no longer keen on soft fruits after being offered alternative food choices , I see these residues less and less. I do feed native seeds, sprouted seeds,and different nuts as well as dry dog food and they do eat them in their entirity. Sometimes they will leave a sprout skin but that's about it.


Originally Posted By: Bourbon
they use their front teeth to pierce, and then their bottom front teeth to scoop it and lift it off in strips after the bark has been started, they lick the sap, if there is any sap still on a piece of bark, that may have come all the way off, after licking and scraping with their front teeth, they stick it in the back of their mouth, and try to compress and suck the moisture out, and then they discard it.

Sap from native trees is not easy to access, and usually once it reaches the surface, it is not soft or honey like. It is hard and chewy (imagine Taffy or toffee) and after awhile goes hard and crunchy.Licking would have very little benefit so the wild glider needs to chew and crunch to get benefit from the sap. They are indeed sapeaters not suckers.

Originally Posted By: Bourbon
my issue with the hard foods, is that the gliders scrape the hard foods with their front teeth to break it into smaller pieces, as they are scraping it pushes the crumbs down in between the skin and the teeth, that is where some of the hidden injuries could very well be hidden. The bigger crumbs are swished around in the back of their mouth, to get broke down, that generally creates a small sappy paste so they can swallow it. When the gliders use their back teeth to help scrape or break down it can also scrape the gums, press the hard pieces between the teeth and gums..

There are teeth and gum issues when a glider's dental health has been compromised due to being fed soft diets. Feeding hard items to gliders that have never had diets that incorporate hard items, may actually cause the injuries you describe.

As for sappy pastes in the back of their mouths and how they swallow this etc, how do you know this for certain? Do you have references to support this as I would imagine unless you have installed mouth cam grin , it would only be supposition.

Originally Posted By: Bourbon
keep in mind in the wild, they are not known for eating anything as hard as cat food and dog food, they do not eat nuts and seeds in the wild, simply because their system is not set up to digest them. They do not have gizzards or the teeth needed for chewing,ripping or mastication

They ARE sap eaters..



I agree with the final statement. However, they do eat nuts and seeds in the wild and I can actually give at least one scientfic reference on this.

2008 (Johnson & Hemsley) "...gliders are sap eaters but they also eat seeds, including wattle,casuarina,nectar,pollen and insects....."


As for gizzards, birds, reptiles and some fish have gizzards but mammals do not. Not sure why this is even mentioned as it has no reflection on their teeth and the way they eat.





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