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#916243 - 03/07/10 10:47 PM Life Expectancy
zenjenn Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 157
Loc: Huntsville, AL
I have read that the life expectancy of a sugar glider in captivity can be from 10-12 years or longer - I have read in several places 10-15 years.

Yet having perused many of the threads here on GC, it seems that most of the gliders that pass away are much younger than that.

Is this long life expectancy exaggerated?



Edited by zenjenn (03/07/10 11:42 PM)
_________________________
Proud sugar momma to :wfb: Peeka and :wfb: Boo!

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#916275 - 03/07/10 11:26 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: zenjenn]
ValkyrieMome Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 01/13/07
Posts: 10983
Loc: Denton, TX
Well, from what I've observed, yes and no.

They can - and have - live until 15 years. However, it does seem as if many gliders die younger. I'd say mostly from "non-natural" causes.

I am hoping that as we learn more and more about their husbandry in captivity, as well as people start practicing better and better breeding methods and keeping better records, the life expectancy of 15 years will be more the "norm" instead of the exception.

In other words, it isn't exaggerated. But nor is it really all that normal yet.
_________________________
Alden
"Animals can communicate quite well. And they do. And generally speaking, they are ignored." Alice Walker


Mom to Valhalla; 6 cats; 1 macaw; 2 hedgehogs;
and very many great gliders!

(plus the 2 skin kids)
valkyriegliders.com

Kyrie, nothing will ever fill the hole you left in my heart.

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#916287 - 03/07/10 11:43 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: ValkyrieMome]
zenjenn Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 157
Loc: Huntsville, AL
So I guess my next question would be - what is the average or "normal" life expectancy for pet sugar gliders that are cared for properly?
_________________________
Proud sugar momma to :wfb: Peeka and :wfb: Boo!

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#916314 - 03/08/10 05:15 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: zenjenn]
sugarglidersuz Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 14788
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Originally Posted By: zenjenn

So I guess my next question would be - what is the average or "normal" life expectancy for pet sugar gliders that are cared for properly?
Really, with proper care, I believe that 12-15 years IS the "normal" life expectancy. The leading cause of death in captive sugar gliders is drowning. Precautions such as always keeping toilet lids closed and never leaving standing water uncovered (such as a bucket or fish tank) are necessities in helping your glider achieve the life expectancy of 12-15 years. That CAN be the norm given good husbandry, proper diet and common-sense precautions when keeping gliders as pets. My Pika & Cricky both lived to approximately 13 years old. My Darwin is now going on 11 years old and still going strong. There have been documented cases of gliders living to be 17 years old. Here's an excerpt from my article about Health and Your Glider:
Quote:
The potential lifespan of sugar gliders in captivity is 12 - 15 years; sadly, however, the average lifespan is only 6 - 8 years. Why is there this large difference between potential and actuality? There are a number of factors that account for this difference.

Many sugar gliders die each year due to accidental death. They are very small animals and consequently they can get into very small places. The most common cause of accidental death is drowning in a toilet. Glider owners need to make sure that toilet lids are kept closed at all times - even when gliders are "secure" in their cages. As many have found out, a glider can use its opposable thumbs to open cage doors and "escape". Although gliders can swim, they can not get out of a toilet once they have fallen in. Eventually, they become exhausted and end up drowning. Other causes of accidental deaths include electrocution, poisoning and having been caught by other pets within the household. Other factors that reduce the lifespan of a glider include poor nutrition, exposure to toxic chemicals, untreated illnesses and illnesses treated too late.

By educating yourself about the various risks and illnesses that gliders can succumb to, you will be able to help your glider live a full, healthy and long life.


ETA: Also, knowing the Symptoms of a Sick Glider and immediate veterinary care when they are seen can help your gliders achieve the 12-15 year life expectancy. Health issues do not have to be a death sentence for gliders if they are immediately responded to. There are, of course, extenuating circumstances where no matter what you do, it is not enough, but by far and large, immediate response by bringing your glider to the vet will ensure their continued survival.


Edited by sugarglidersuz (03/08/10 05:22 AM)
_________________________
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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#916361 - 03/08/10 08:01 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: sugarglidersuz]
zenjenn Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 157
Loc: Huntsville, AL
Thanks Suz! That answers my question.

I knew about the toilet risk but I didn't know how common that was and didn't think in terms of that being much of a concern while the gliders were in their cage. I will start getting my family to get into the habit of closing toilets now before our gliders come home in 6 weeks.
_________________________
Proud sugar momma to :wfb: Peeka and :wfb: Boo!

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#916379 - 03/08/10 08:48 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: zenjenn]
Jackie_Chans_Mom Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 2511
Loc: Texas
Quote:
The leading cause of death in captive sugar gliders is drowning

Suz, where did this statistic come from? Can you share the source with me?

I ask because this is not what the SUGAR Group has found thus far in our research.
_________________________
~~ 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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#916382 - 03/08/10 08:52 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: Jackie_Chans_Mom]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Val, Several years ago, Lucy ran the death database. From the information collected, drowning was the number one cause of death. (this was 2 years in a row) I wonder if it is still? Since then I think people have been much more careful about their toilets and standing water so it may no longer be.
_________________________
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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#916412 - 03/08/10 09:48 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: Dancing]
Cora Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/16/05
Posts: 6573
Loc: Kilgore, Texas
just from observation of posts on the glider boards and a little experience it seems 8 to 15 would be more like it.......................course whos to know whats going on in the whole different glider owner group that doesnt get online ever..................lots of those folks too! i lost 1 at 7 and 1 at 8 and 2 way before their time. 1 had lymphoma and the other had kidney issues.
_________________________
USDA Licensed Breeder
903-808-1142

http://www.freewebs.com/angelfish_37/index.htm

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#916413 - 03/08/10 09:51 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: Jackie_Chans_Mom]
WintersSong Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/26/09
Posts: 2294
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Jackie_Chans_Mom
Quote:
The leading cause of death in captive sugar gliders is drowning

Suz, where did this statistic come from? Can you share the source with me?

I ask because this is not what the SUGAR Group has found thus far in our research.



Curious -- what has the SUGAR Group found to be the leading cause?
_________________________
~*Sara*~

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~Anais Nin

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#916425 - 03/08/10 10:29 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: WintersSong]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
I would be really interested too in the data that SUGAR has collected. I don't even know what areas/subjects are being collected or how/if the info has been/is being corrilated.

I know SUGAR is still fairly young (which was one of the issues the death database had at the time) and may not have many reports yet to corrilate but it would be interesting to see what you have so far.
_________________________
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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#916441 - 03/08/10 10:55 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: Dancing]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
I was always told life span can be 12-15 years, but the average expectancy is around 6-8. Certainly gliders live to be 12-13 +, but that does not seem to be the norm, although it is happening more now than it used to.

I will have two 9 yr olds this year. I am thankful every day that I have them and I know that they are on their downhill run now (less time left ahead than what is behind them).

If I recall correctly (and someone correct me if I'm not) the Death Database also found that the average lifespan was actually about 2 yrs or under, because of the high # of accidents. Most of us have had a glider that died before they had lived very long, but again, I think with the MUCH larger information pool available to new owners, maybe this is not happening as frequently anymore either. dunno
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#916443 - 03/08/10 10:56 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: Dancing]
Jackie_Chans_Mom Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 2511
Loc: Texas
Some of the SUGAR Group's information has been posted on TSS. Other reports are being compiled and will go up on TSS and the SUGAR group's website once they are completed.

The SUGAR group has 10 surveys/data collection areas and several more coming out this year. We do remind the community every week of our work and regularly post when new surveys or data collection areas are introduced in those weekly updates.

Currently, our data collection areas include:
* General survey - information on pet gliders in general (ANYONE and everyone can complete this survey)
* breeders and breeding gliders (breeders should complete)
* Trends in vet care (everyone)
* Trends in medication use (everyone)
* Allergies and insensitivity (everyone should complete)
* 2009 Census and Incidence (*WE NEED everyone to complete)
* Facial abscesses (complete only if you have experienced this)
* Necropsy survey(only if you have experienced this)
* seizure (only if you have experienced this)
* Neuter survey (Everyone who has had one or more neuters should complete)

Additionally, we collect information/data specific to rescues from those rescue homes who have chosen to participate.


Quote:
Curious -- what has the SUGAR Group found to be the leading cause?

Due to the overwhelming lack of participation in necropsies, the leading cause of death as we have found it has been "unknown causes." (which includes times when an owner speculates or guesses that they know the cause, but has no way of knowing for sure). This tells us that we still have much to learn about our gliders and their health, and makes the NECROPSY EFFORT and our research that much more important.

Also, we are currently finding that the average age at death is 2.8 years. For gliders dying of "natural causes" as noted upon necropsy, the average age thus far is 12.5 years. Obviously, we need MUCH more data before those can be considered "standard" statistics.


Edited by Jackie_Chans_Mom (03/08/10 04:05 PM)
Edit Reason: I guess I have time issues. LOL
_________________________
~~ 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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#916454 - 03/08/10 11:15 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: Jackie_Chans_Mom]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Thanks Val for the great reply. It is so very sad to see such a low average death age.

Do you see, from your data gathering, that it is more medical, accidental or lack of education (or bad info such as given by (PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets) as the suspected cause of such young deaths?
_________________________
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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#916468 - 03/08/10 11:43 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: Dancing]
zenjenn Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 157
Loc: Huntsville, AL
2.8 years? ACK! And I assume since there is self-selected participation in this study, it does not even include completely out-of-touch glider owners that might even bring the average down further in terms of providing poor care?
_________________________
Proud sugar momma to :wfb: Peeka and :wfb: Boo!

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#916492 - 03/08/10 12:14 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: zenjenn]
hwh4ev Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 2833
Loc: roseville, mi
hi val,
i sent a request for the sugar group survey, but have not
received a link yet, sent by email abt. 2 weeks ago.
anyway, i would like a link to the sugar group to file
my information on my glider-sugar, she has been fighting
a facial abcess for a year now, on and off. as soon as she gets off the meds. it comes back. also i would like to
give my breeder information, etc.

can you send me a link.

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

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#916535 - 03/08/10 01:03 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: hwh4ev]
ValkyrieMome Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 01/13/07
Posts: 10983
Loc: Denton, TX
Wow - I'm out of your loop, Val! I didn't know you had that many surveys completed.

Where and how does someone find them?
_________________________
Alden
"Animals can communicate quite well. And they do. And generally speaking, they are ignored." Alice Walker


Mom to Valhalla; 6 cats; 1 macaw; 2 hedgehogs;
and very many great gliders!

(plus the 2 skin kids)
valkyriegliders.com

Kyrie, nothing will ever fill the hole you left in my heart.

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#916577 - 03/08/10 03:03 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: ValkyrieMome]
SugarRissa
Unregistered


I would also like to fill out the surveys applicable to me and mine, if I can. smile

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#916578 - 03/08/10 03:04 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: ]
MizValorie Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2579
Loc: Sherman, Texas
Request surveys via email at sugargroup@hotmail.com.
_________________________
Valorie and our 10 fur children

RIP Mary Kate

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#916598 - 03/08/10 03:36 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: MizValorie]
Jackie_Chans_Mom Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 2511
Loc: Texas
Please send request for surveys to

sugargroupsurveys@hotmail.com

The sugargroup@hotmail.com email address is used for other business and will result in a LOOONG delay before you get the survey.

If you have been waiting for surveys, please accept my apologies. The entire SUGAR group staff (except Brenda smile ) took a much needed 2 week break after the RRRoundup. Surveys will be going out this week on our normal schedule.

Thank You!

Quote:
Do you see, from your data gathering, that it is more medical, accidental or lack of education (or bad info such as given by (PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets) as the suspected cause of such young deaths?


This one is just me speculating, as I don't have the data right in front of me at this moment, but it seems to me that the biggest suspected cause of death is lack of proper vet care. I.e. either the respondent did not get vet care at all, or the vet was inexperienced and recommended minimal or contraindicated care, or proper tests were not run/treatment prescribed due to monetary reasons or vet experience level.



Edited by Jackie_Chans_Mom (03/08/10 03:37 PM)
_________________________
~~ 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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#916644 - 03/08/10 06:01 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: sugarlope]
SugarBlossoms Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 5830
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: sugarlope
I was always told life span can be 12-15 years, but the average expectancy is around 6-8. Certainly gliders live to be 12-13 +, but that does not seem to be the norm, although it is happening more now than it used to.


With the rescues I have taken in over the years that I had an age on, the average has been 8 1/2 years. I did have one that passed away (she was here for almost 4 years) at 9 1/2. Her mate Victor will be 11 years old this June. I must say that he is slowing down quite a bit lately and is starting to overgroom.
_________________________
Keeper of Handprints on my Heart, You left your Footprints on my soul.
My precious loves that left to quickly, Peanut, Katie
Isabella, Kiwi, Bonnie and Monroe.

Spread your wings and glide free of pain,
Until the day I see you again.

God speed my precious angels. I love you. Mama.

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#916683 - 03/08/10 07:24 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: SugarBlossoms]
Sabarika Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 1712
Loc: nKY
I imagine leading cause of death to be lack of vet care, I see too many posts from people who didn't want to go to a vet/had no ride/didn't know where a vet was or didn't have the $ to do so. frown

It is good to see that many gliders DO live upwards of 5 to 10 years though! I still have hope. tounge I wonder if many of the gliders that die young are in the hands of new/inexperienced owners or are rescues that have been rehomed several times (or just plain were not fed/cared for properly before coming to their last home).
_________________________
Sabarika
Photography
Cash :rtmo: cloud9 :rtmo: Xpense

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#916684 - 03/08/10 07:29 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: Sabarika]
WintersSong Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/26/09
Posts: 2294
Loc: NY
I wonder if lack of an emergency kit could also contribute to the number of early deaths. We see it said time and time again that emergency kits can help keep a glider alive until they get to the vet, but it's posted repeatedly by owners that they don't have any emergency kit items to help stabilize their glider while on the way to the vet. I wonder constantly if an emergency kit could've helped saved some of these gliders lives.
_________________________
~*Sara*~

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~Anais Nin

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#916687 - 03/08/10 07:40 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: WintersSong]
mnighttwilight Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 01/30/10
Posts: 98
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: WintersSong
I wonder if lack of an emergency kit could also contribute to the number of early deaths. We see it said time and time again that emergency kits can help keep a glider alive until they get to the vet, but it's posted repeatedly by owners that they don't have any emergency kit items to help stabilize their glider while on the way to the vet. I wonder constantly if an emergency kit could've helped saved some of these gliders lives.


What would an emergency kit consist of? I've never seen one before, but it seems like it would be a great thing to have.
_________________________
mlove Proud mommy of
:grey: Alice, Jasper, and Bella
:wfb: Leah and Jacob

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#916695 - 03/08/10 07:50 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: mnighttwilight]
WintersSong Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/26/09
Posts: 2294
Loc: NY
TGI sells a basic emergency kit here: http://www.thegliderinitiative.org/shop/...;products_id=20

The price, at first, seemed a bit extreme to me but considering how it can save a life, it is amazing to have. One of those things that you hope you never have to use, that you hope was just a waste of money, but that you'll be thankful to have if you ever need it.
_________________________
~*Sara*~

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~Anais Nin

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#916710 - 03/08/10 08:36 PM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: WintersSong]
mnighttwilight Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 01/30/10
Posts: 98
Loc: New York
Thanks!
_________________________
mlove Proud mommy of
:grey: Alice, Jasper, and Bella
:wfb: Leah and Jacob

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#916867 - 03/09/10 08:47 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: mnighttwilight]
SugarBlossoms Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 5830
Loc: USA
All of the rescues I've taken in came with either broken bones, amputations, needing amputations, giardia, roundworms, UTI, bacteria infections and one came with ALL of the above except the UTI BUT had HLP too. NONE of them came on a good diet except for Mardi and Monroe. However, Monroe as it turned out was born with many birth defects inside of him, no way to know until it was too late. frown

Two of the gliders came to me after being thrown into a wall because they bit the person. They turned out to be the sweetest gliders after months of playing and loving them. One is Vic and the other his mate that came with everything cept a UTI. She passed away in Sept. 08 from cancer.

How anyone can abuse these little precious kids is beyond my imagination!
_________________________
Keeper of Handprints on my Heart, You left your Footprints on my soul.
My precious loves that left to quickly, Peanut, Katie
Isabella, Kiwi, Bonnie and Monroe.

Spread your wings and glide free of pain,
Until the day I see you again.

God speed my precious angels. I love you. Mama.

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#916882 - 03/09/10 08:57 AM Re: Life Expectancy [Re: SugarBlossoms]
Cora Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/16/05
Posts: 6573
Loc: Kilgore, Texas
generally the abuser has been abused thenselves in one way or another so thats how they learn to channel their anger. So Sad!
_________________________
USDA Licensed Breeder
903-808-1142

http://www.freewebs.com/angelfish_37/index.htm

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