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I think my new glider Self-Mutilation
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#8715 - 07/30/03 02:39 PM Got me really nervous - galvanized cages

I was just reading all the posts on self-mutilation and it has gotten me pretty nervous. frown
I read there somewhere down the line that one cause of this is bare wired or galvanized wire cages. Why is this? My cage is made of galvanized wire. I was told that if you scrub the wire with a hard wire brush and then soak it in vinager water it will remove any harmful zinc left on there from the galvanizing process. I read about a couple different ways to do this. And I just had to watch out for any rusting and replace it.
How worried should I be? Why does this cause self mutilation? I plan on getting a different cage when I purchase my second glider so will my present suggie be ok in this cage?

Thanks for any info you can give. I didnt know if this should go in the housing forum or not so hopefully people read it!! Thanks!!!

#8716 - 07/30/03 03:24 PM Re: Got me really nrevous [Re: ]

I'm no good at links so I copied and pasted this response from Mary H and Charlie to a similar question:

As Bourbon mentioned there is a problem with UTIs when gliders
reside in a galvanized cage. One of the major reasons for not
using the galvanized wire is zinc and metal toxic poisoning.
The gliders climb on the wire and get the zinc residue on their hands. Then when they handle their food the zinc is
injested. Thus the poisoning of the system. There were quiet
a few gliders that died from this before the cause was
found. If I remember correctly, the Preston Road Clinic in
Dallas discovered this in several gliders a few years back.
One of the ladies that worked there called us and warned
us about it. As for the copper, I have seen the residue
build up on copper piping and would highly recomend not
using it in a gliders cage. Maybe with regular cleaning
with vinegar and then rinsing with water these materials
could be used safely. But why take the chance.
mary h & Charlie

Hope this helps explain it. The UTI is only one hazard - SM occurs also. Perhaps Bourbon or Mary or someone will see this and go into detail for you if you feel the need smile

#8717 - 07/30/03 03:30 PM Re: Got me really nrevous [Re: ]

Well, i hate to tell you that quite a few self -mutilation cases are from gliders housed in galvanized cages.
The reason this happens, is that when a glider urinates on the wire, it causes the urine to react with the zinc, and bacterial growth appears (rather fats from what i understand) As the glider moves around the cage the bacteria comes in touch with the clocae, and finds its way into the Urinanry Tract.

Very regular washing of the cages, seems to have reduced (not eliminated) those cases, of gliders in galvanized cages.

If you can, try to see if you can come by the PVC coated hardware cloth, or pvc copated wire mesh as they call it in Home Depot.


#8718 - 07/30/03 04:28 PM Re: Got me really nrevous [Re: ]

Well, from what I understand, the glider's constant marking and urination on the wire will eventually cause the wire to rust. The sharp edges on the rusted wire can cause (sometimes microscopic) cuts on the glider and can easily become infected.

Some members tried coating the galvanized wire with plastic or vinyl but the coating flakes off easily and only lasts a couple weeks. I remember one girl whose glider did develop a UTI from her spray-coated galvanized wire cage... she switched to a PVC cage after that first vet bill.

In the long run, it's easier and cheaper to replace your galvanized wire with PVC wire. An ounce of prevention... smile

#8719 - 07/30/03 04:45 PM Re: Got me really nrevous [Re: ]

Toni, you're right. Looks like i forgot about the rusting and cuts part. Maybe i shouldn't be typing when i'm not feeling good. upset


#8720 - 07/30/03 09:38 PM Re: Got me really nrevous [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
there is still so much we do not know, and so many things we are continuing to try, some of the copmmon grounds with all of them is that there is bare metal in the cage, whether it is the galvanized wire, a copper nest box or in Devil bunnys case the bottom. that is only one common ground, others include their ages, as well, as most are either hand pulled or rejected joeys, or was bought at a pet shop.. very very few was puirchased from breeders. there are many myths, and many more theories, this does happen to females as well, but we are able to save almost all of those, once diagnosed and treated, however getting the e-collar on is the first step, we have to stop any damage from happening or the prognosis is not good.

Not all gliders that live in galvanized cages are sm's, not all that have bare metal in the cage are either. SM's are virtually rare when you consider the numbers, which makes it very hard for us to get a lot of info.

on the self mutilation page at is as good as explaination as we can give to everyone. to explain what it is we are dealing with.

X-File Fan actualy tried something for us, to "see if it would work" it did with hers, now we need to see if it will work for others as well. Riker is still an at risk glider and can go back to mutilating at any time, she is aware of this, and is prepared. 10 weeks I think now without the collar and all of our fingers are crossed that it is permanent.
Dawn has petey.. he has been out of the collar now 2.5 years, but will always be at risk of starting to mutilate, but again they are always prepared just in case.

the one thing these two had in common, is they were able to get the collar on before damage was done.

The sound.. you must always be aware of the sound.. it is unlike anything you will ever hear, when you do hear it, you will know it.

don't be nervous, or scared, the biggest thing we need is for the owner to remain calm, and know what to do in case. these cases are rare in the numbers, we may have 3 to 5 a year, which is not that many, some we can't get to until it is too late, but again the e-collar is everything.
again this is rare, so we don't need any panicing, the e-collars are a good thing to have made just in case for many reasons, injuries, can also happen as in aj's case.

the jackets that have been posted have been tried with the sm's and they won't work for long termers, we are in the process of working on one we hope works. but the collar must be put on asap if your glider needs to be stopped quickly. Flossing is normal, it is when they go beyond that, and x-file fan explained that very well.

Baybe,My Roots




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