I'm sorry this will be a little long - I have a 9 month old joey that has had a lot of health problems that seem to stem from an intolerance or allergy to wheat/grain products.
I don't know anything about her background or breeder
. A friend gave her to me (as a surprise gift) because I had recently lost a glider and they bought her from someone who lied about where she came from.
She came to me on a pellet diet
, having horrible diarrhea, I switched her to a very well known, successfully fed diet
and she quickly started acting like she was very hungry. I offered her a few different pellet options (over time) to help satiate her and this is how I discovered she cannot tolerate any glider/insectivore pellet food and the common ingredient seemed to be wheat.
I stopped all pellet and kept her on the base diet
with the fresh food additions the diet
called for. During the next 6 weeks she was on the diet
(with no pellets) she acted more and more hungry even though I ended up feeding her double the adult serving of food every night (she was 7 1/2 months old during this time). She still cleaned the bowl every night and hissed for food in the morning. (As an aside, she was not having diarrhea).
My life took some stressful turns and since I assumed it was a healthy diet
for her (which as I said, it has been successfully fed to many gliders, so this is not a commentary on this particular diet
which is why I won't be identifying it) I just thought she was acting stressed because I was.
She was not stressed, she was starving to death. She started seizing and we found she had dropped down to 58 grams. I talked to my vet
again (who has been involved the entire time) and she was started on Herbivore Critical Care mixed with Carnivore Critical Care...she started in with the severe diarrhea...because yep - the HCC has wheat up high in the ingredient list.
I switched her to the Ensure diet
, with vet
approval, because I have experience feeding it to sick gliders. There is a good about of fat/protein to satiate her and there is no wheat products in any part of it and she is recovering well (89 grams).
I spoke to a friend this week and was telling her about the weird situation with my glider...she told me she is also allergic to wheat (not gluten allergy/intolerance, but wheat products specifically) and said the way this manifested in her was that even after she stopped eating bread, and even though she was eating extremely healthy foods, she was still extremely malnourished with eating even a very small amount of wheat products because the wheat allergy caused inflammation which built up over time and meant she couldn't properly digest and absorb nutrients. This *could* explain why Evie has diarrhea with high amounts of wheat/grains, no diarrhea with low amounts of wheat/grains but is still malnourished.
Also - when she was on the pellet diet
, she was gaining weight for a while. She was 72 grams at her 4 month appointment, and she was 76 grams at her ~6 month appointment. I just thought she was a small glider. One of my other gliders was between 69-71 grams her entire life and very healthy.
So - has anyone ever seen anything like this? Other than a strictly fresh foods rotation diet
(no base diet
) or Ensure diet
, are there any other options for diets
? Am I forgetting something? Anyone have any insights or ideas about any of this?