On the morning on Jan. 8th my Chip was sleeping on the bottom of her cage. I picked her up, cuddled her and put her back in the pouch with her family. I did not call the vet, it would not have made any difference I came to find out later. I found her on the bottom on the cage again around 3 in the afternoon. I decided at that time to rush to vet. She passed by 4:30. I was devastated! I should have run to vet in the morning. In her case it would not have mattered, but in a different situation it could have meant the differnce between life and death. Advice, if your glider looks or acts different go to the doctor.
Chip was the most amazing glider God ever created. She accepted and raised a surragate joey. This little guy was removed from his dead mommy's pouch when he was only about two weeks into the pouch. He found a nipple on Chip and is now a health, happly boy. His name is Miracle and will live in our home forever. Chip was nursing and caring for a tiny foster joey when she passed. When I showed her this tiny, 10 day oop baby she grabbed it from me and began bathing it. She gave me a dismissing look "I have things under control you can leave." She leaves behind her mate Dale, daughter Lilly and foster daughter Ginger.
Our vet did an autopsy. The only thing that was abnormal was her liver. He descibed it as pimpled with puss pockets. A sample as sent to the lab. The medical terminalogy for the findings are: an acute multifocal necrotizing and purulent hepatitis with intralesional bacteria. The animal appears to have suffered from a hemagenous bacterial infection disseminated throughout the liver. It may have arisen from a primary intestinal infection. The english version is a parasite in her intestions caused an infection in her blood stream that settled in her liver and ran amuck. This the best educated guess. The vet had a sample of the liver preserved for testing. Then Chip was cremated. Thus the origin of the infection was undeterminable.
After a full week of beating myself up for having done something terribly wrong, my vet assured me that there was nothing that I could have done on the day she died to save her. Chip showed no signs of feeling sick, her behavior had not changed, she was eating and drinking. She did spend a lot of time in the pouch, but she using did when she had joeys just out of the pouch. She was an amazing mom and spent a great deal of time with her babies.
My advice, as hard as it is, is let your vet do an autopsy. Chip's was done in the name of science. I told Dr. Sean he could if wished prior to cremation. I did not want to know the results unless it affected my other gliders. However, within days of Chip's death, Dale was rushed to the emergency vet looking dehydrated and sickly. He and Lilly both did a round of antibiotics to be safe. In hind site, I should have requested the autopsy and rushed the results. This way we may have been able to determine the origin of the infection.
I hope this information is helpful to someone. If you would like the contact information for my vet let me know. He is more than willing to share information or help any other vets out there.
Thank you for listening to my long story. Chip was a very special glider and I miss her very much. I wish to God this had not happened. I know she is up in Heaven caring for all the joeys who did not make it down here on earth.
Take Care,
Beth Smith