I have two neutered male sugar gliders that are both 11 months old. I got them together when they were both 8 weeks old, have been cage mates ever since, and appear to be healthy. Up until a little over a month ago, all was going well. From what I could tell, we were well on our way to being tightly bonded
. They greeted me at their cage for playtime, expressed no hesitation in treating me as their giant play tree, stayed on me when moving about, and were pocket trained. During playtime, Gabe stayed pretty close to me while Axel was the explorer. They would both move about, glide to and from me), play with their toys
and each other, and come to me every so often to check in. Playtime consists of at least one hour in the bathroom (usually around 2) along with at least an hour of pocket time as I do my evening tasks around the house. So all in all, Iím spending about 3 hours with them on a daily basis.
Then Axel changed. He began to act as though he didnít know who I was. He wasnít as friendly and outgoing as he used to be. He became hesitant to come to me. His movements became twitchy, spastic, and short. It was almost as if heís scared for his life! The biggest change in his behavior is that he spends most of his playtime in attack mode. He just sits, twitches his tail back and forth, and stares. He hasnít rose to his hind legs yet, but even when you make the slightest slow movement, or when Gabe simply moves, he scatters and hides. Every now and then he will bark for what appears to be no reason at all. This behavior is the exact opposite of what it was just a few months ago. Gabe, on the other hand, is pretty much his normal self. The only time he gets scared is when Axel sends out the warning bark. When that happens, he goes in my pocket or shirt sleeve and sleeps. They get along with each other fine, and I have NOT seen them sleeping separately yet either. Nothing traumatic that I am aware of happened to alter their behavior, or to get them to no longer trust me or unbond with me. The night before things got weird, everything was perfect!
I have tried and tried to solve the problem, but am running out of solutions. With the exception of getting them new toys
(so they donít get bored), switching up their fruits and vegetables (with only those that have a 2:1 CA to P ratio), nothing in their environment has changed. I have gone as far as altering what I use to clean the bathroom so it doesnít throw their scent off, using the same four long sleeve shirts I have always wore when we play for consistency sake, and continuing (by this I mean never stopped) to put little bonding
blankets in their sleeping pouch to reinforce the bond
. The weird behavior also happens regardless of the moon cycle too.
If anyone has any ideas, please send them my way. Iím at a loss of what else I can do to help my little buddy!