Mareki has started to self-mutilate her patagium over the weekend. I have her in an e-collar, but she's so fat that she keeps squirming out of it, so it's hard to keep it on her. I have an appointment to bring her into the vet tomorrow (soonest available since she's not in the office on Mondays). In the meantime, I'm giving her MetaCam for pain management, flushing the wound with saline and applying Neosporin antibiotic ointment. This really all started in January when she got a slight puncture wound on her patagium (see first attached picture). Since then, it healed up, but she continued to overgroom the area. Then, this weekend, we traveled to Michigan for the weekend and I think the stress of traveling got to her. Yesterday I discovered that she has self-mutilated her patagium and there is about a 1" long gash along it just below/next to her arm. I'm sure the vet will have to debride and suture it closed. We will now start the long road of recovery and I know she'll be in an e-collar for a very long time. I will be going over to the Self-Mutilator's site and filling out their survey very soon here. I have attached a couple pictures of the patagium wound that she inflicted on herself. If you're faint-hearted, don't look at these pictures... I am very thankful to Jen (Xfilefan) for her directions on how to make an e-collar. I had experience with them due to Gizmo's neutering last March and so had everything in stock and was able to make one in fairly short order. This is one of those cases where the warning signs were all in place, but you just can't prevent the inevitable sometimes... I'll keep everyone posted via this thread as to the results at the vet tomorrow and Mareki's progress from here.
The patagium is such an unusual place to SM on. Praying that she keeps the collar on long enough for healing. Let us know what the vet has to say. Is it possible that there was something in there that kept her bothering it all this time?
Only reason I say that is that Badger had a similar wound on his patagium several months ago and was overgrooming it. Luckly we discovered a tiny lump in his skin. The vet popped it and something like a small splinter came out. Afert we got it healed he has never bothered it again.
It's a good thought, but sadly, I don't think that was the issue with Mareki since I've been bringing her to the vet every couple of months since last January to have the overgrooming looked at. Upon probing, the vet could feel scar tissue but there was never any indication of underlying infection. Mareki does have a history of not leaving well enough alone. She used to be housed with her mother, DaisyMae, but she wouldn't allow Daisy's mating wound to heal and after she continually would reopen it, we finally separated them from each other permanently about a year ago. For some reason, she's just an obsessive picker...
Ouch, that looks painful! Hope everything works out for her.
A little off topic, but I know you mentioned giving her metacam. I'm assuming you just happened to have some? I was perscribed it from the vet for Sampson's neuter. I'm definitely going to have left overs.. Is it a good idea to keep it around in the event of SM or injury? I'm not anticipating either, just curious, accidents can happen and the vet isn't always available. How long would it be good for?
Thank you all for the encouraging words & hugs. I just checked on her a little while ago and she had wriggled out of the e-collar AGAIN! Any ideas for how to keep the collar on a FAT glider??? I'm open to suggestions! I can't make it too tight, or her breath gets cut off Anyway, I put it back on her again. It doesn't look like she did any more damage during the interim, so things are okay so far... Can't wait to see the vet tomorrow though.
Since I put the collar back on her at 1 o'clock, she has not managed to get it back off again. I used fresh duct tape and snugged it just a little bit tighter. Then I was paranoid about her getting strangled so I kept checking on her every few minutes to make sure she was still breathing okay and her nose wasn't turning blue. She seems to be doing fine... Tomorrow just can't get here soon enough for me!
At about 1:30 a.m., Mareki managed to get out of her e-collar again. She lasted over 12 hours this time, so I'm finally getting the hang of how to get it on her at the right size. Anyway, her hospital cage is right next to my bed, so I heard her as soon as she started to make self-mutilating noises. I vaulted out of bed, got her into the living room and got the collar back onto her again. She fought me in the process, but I was the victor and she's now had the collar on for the past 4.5 hours. Fortunately, she didn't do any further damage to her patagium in the brief moments before I caught her. Her appointment is scheduled for 8:20 this morning, so I will update again after that...
I had my big boy Petrie (Who weighed in at about 180 grams at that point) in a collar for a few weeks. With him it was hard to get the collar on because his neck is just so fat LOL I would just put it on as tight as I thought he needed and then pull just a little bit more. WIth Petrie he was so bunched up sometimes it was hard for me to see where the collar should be placed and it ended up too far up on his head which he could easily slide out of. I would put him on a table or bed and push his shoulders down to where he sort of flattened out a bit. FOr me, that was easier to tell where the collar should fit. Each time I took it off (to clean him and the collar) I would use new duct tape to secure together.
He would fight the collar initially and he made those really stressed out noises. But with him I found that if I held him and let him grasp my hands/fingers with his feet, he seemed to feel more in control and would calm down faster. Once calm, he stopped with the stressed out noises and that's when I would watch his nose to make sure he wasn't turning purple.
What type of collar are you using? I prefer the shot-glass style much more because I found with the satellite collar my gliders were more likely to run into things with it and it would start them fighting to get the collar off all over again. Especially Petrie. He kind of lumbers around as it is, and with the wider satellite collar he would catch it on things and seemed to have a tougher time getting comfortable enough to sleep.
And I'm sure you know, but the more you can carry her with you, then better. I had my little Kenji in a collar this weekend after a neuter and I had him with me about 20 hours a day. Anytime he started messing with the collar or himself I was right there to distract him.
Good luck Suz and hope your little girl is on the mend quickly
Suz, you are dealing with so many issues right now, bless you. I have only seen injuiries to the membrane a few times. One was with Scooter when the vet (not my vets) apparently tried to start a IV there without permission, then tried to close it with sugical glue, and the other was a injury of unknown cause that healed well but the glider did have to have surgery to close the wound. Both gliders were in e-collars for some time. I am praying for you and your gliders. The e-collar is something you will improve with time. Its never easy though and I hate them but they are so necessary as we all know. I do staple my e-collars and that helps to secure them better. I don't use the shotglass collar though. Please give her a kiss from me. Angie
I went to the vets with Mareki this morning. Upon examination of the wound, Dr. West determined that the edges are already showing signs of crystallization (which means they are starting to heal already). Based on the amount of crystallization, we decided to forego debriding and suturing at this point. Mareki will remain in the e-collar while the wound heals on its own. This will leave more scar-tissue than if it was debrided and sutured, but for now will be less stressful on her. I will need to irrigate the wound with saline solution 1-2 times daily and will need to apply SSD ointment 2 times daily. Dr. West also prescribed SMZ/TMP antibiotic for her. I can give MetaCam as needed for pain. In a week, I will bring Mareki back in for a follow-up examination. Dr. West is going to look into the possibility of an antianxilliatory for Mareki to try to prevent future continued self-mutilation. I'm going to be checking with Xfilefan and Bourbon to find out if this type of treatment has been tried on gliders before and if so, which medication has been used with what margin of success. I seem to have overcome the e-collar problem and now have a pretty good idea of how tight to put it on her. She was bunching up her neck, so now I make sure her neck is stretched out before I put the collar on & that has helped a LOT! The satellite-style collar that I'm using is a modified one, so it is not so awkward for Mareki to maneuver around the cage.
Suz, We have had a few gliders that were treated with Prozac and had very good results. One glider was Scooter, who was a self mutilator. I would check with your vet about trying it. The pozac really helped to control the compulssion with Scooter. Scooter has been out of the e-collar for almost 2 years now, this was after a partial penis amputation, a tail amputation, and a temperary urinary cathater. He is no longer on the Prozac and has not attempted to injury himself further although he is watched closely by his human family. The vet said he could be on a maintance dose if needed. Angie
As in the pic directions, the molefoam (1 or 2 strips thick) help to "catch" the edge of the skull, making it harder for the glider to pull the collar off, but without choking them. Riker had the same problem yours is, which is why we did that. Give it a try and see if it helps, and put it UNDER 1 layer of moleskin at the neck, and leave a 1/2 to 3/4 inch piece of the collar without it, so it can overlap and help better secure it. And you know you can call if you need to.
Sheesh! You'd think after posting YOUR directions on my web-site, I'd already know that. That's what I get for doing it from memory instead of looking at the instructions... I'll get molefoam and rework it tomorrow. I'm sure that will help!
LOL Suz, I did the same thing the first time I made an e-collar. Boubon directly sent me the directions to make it and then I was on the phone with her trying to get the collar on my glider when she asked me about the molefoam I asked "The what?!" LOL Ooopppsss....
But yes, the moleskin helps big time in allowing you to get the collar tight enough without choking her.
The noises you refer to, was it kind of a high pitched, shreik? Timmy makes a noise when he is 'flossing'. It goes right back in as soon as he stands up. But he does it a lot, usually when he is either waking or before going to sleep. Everything looks ok to me down there. Just wondering about the noise, though.