A few people knew about Flip's 'mating', or 'dominance' wound-not sure what to call this, with what my vet
thinks caused it-dominance would probably be it, but more on that later...
Two gliders went to the vet
today. I'll do the 'easy' one first...
Tues/wed were cage cleaning and nail trim days. We do this every other week at my house..among other things its a really good time to take a close up look at your gliders in the bright light of day-which can show up issues you won't see in artificial light or at night. Anyway, I was done with Clotho's nails (and she is not a lady about it-swears the whole time! No kidding) and was watching her eat her after trim yogie (to make it all better)...and as I'm watching her maw on this thing like it's going to try and run away, I notice the top front of her mouth doesn't look quite right.
In fact, one of her upper front teeth is 'missing'! Now, this happened with Riker a few month's back...turns out it broke up in there, and I had to have the remainder removed, as it was necrotic. Well....guess what? Somehow, Clotho did the same thing! Wish I knew what was causing this contagion of missing front teeth in my house...all i can say is it's NOT the food or environment unless I just have klutzy gliders smashing their faces into stuff.
Better news so far for Clotho though...the part of the tooth that is up in the jaw doesn't appear to be dead/necrotic, so the vet
thinks it'll heal over and she'll be just fine. She's on Clindamycin for the next two weeks. Of course I take her back in if any signs of swelling, discomfort, etc.
visitor: Flip...her bad issues started later that night. Not that she didn't have some to start with (non life threatening prior to this).
First issue: She came to me with what was thought to be repeat sinus infections. After observing her for several months I came to the conclusion (hammered home during a particularly bad windstorm) that it wasn't sinus-it was her lungs. Suspicion confirmed at the vet
yesterday-I've got an asthmatic glider. She's on an anti-inflammatory now, and is to be on one every time she has an issue-I have pics of her lungs and their occlusion from yesterday's Xrays, but my computer had a panic attack of some kind, so I won't be able to upload them until tomorrow. vet
said her sinuses are beautiful-no infection. When she has an 'attack' though-which stress will aggravate (think nail trims), her nose turns very dark reddish/blue-which can also happen with a bad sinus problem, but not in this case. Thought I was going to lose her during one bad windstorm last fall-she was hanging over the side of the shelf in her cage, her nose bluish, sides just heaving trying to breathe, but I stayed with her, filtered her air, and she came through it. Made note to bring up with the vet
. For now the vet
wants to try metacam/benadryl with her as needed (and for the next few days consistently due to the stress she and her body is under at the moment)...if it doesn't provide enough relief for her we'll be going with an inhaler type setup (still not sure exactly how that will work, but I trust Dr. Harris COMPLETELY).
Flip: Issue #2: For about 10 months, I've had a sneaking suspicion. Those who know me know I've had some of the oddest issues to hit gliders. Well, I also have one of the absolute rarest conditions in a living, otherwise healthy glider. What are the odds of pulling the handle and hitting the 'jackpot' twice? In this, remote. Yet...
My Cmdr Riker has a Non-Functional Thyroid. He was the first glider we know of in the U.S. to undergo the T4 Thyroid panel (blood test). It came back 'below detectable levels' for the T4 hormone-it's what controls weight/energy levels, etc. It's not a life threatening condition unless it causes a glider to self mutilate (as the second glider who has this did), although it will catch up with them eventually. Now, her thyroid was working when I got her-she was a normal, healthy weight and active. That gradually changed, though. I'm going to list Riker's symptoms first...then Flip's...
-Overweight but barely eats
-Little to No activity-may go eat/drink and then just returns to the pouch to sleep
-Overgrooming on top of head
-Dry, Flaky ear edges that respond to nothing (humidity, oils, etc)
-Odd generalized hair loss on the body-may be patchy but is not overgrooming and in no particular pattern or area
-Became overweight and started eating little
-Little to no activity...eat/drink and return to pouch
-Overgrooming on top of the head (attributed to "sinus" issues when she came...only she doesn't have sinus issues....
-Dry, Flaky ear edges that respond to nothing
-Odd, generalized, body wide hair loss in large patches
-nails began to thicken
....see a pattern, here? Again, what are the odds I got TWO of them?
Unfortunately, you CAN NOT START a glider on L-Thyroxine hormone as a 'try out' to see if it works...once on that med, they are on it for life. Every day of their life, forever. If it wasn't the issue, it is now, because the thyroid will never produce it again and you just destroyed a healthy glider's thyroid, and put them on a med they could die without--so that T4 panel HAS to be run first.
Well, we'll find out-her T4 panel went out today. vet
is eager for the results, as am I...I'll let you all know when they come back.vet
said "at least it won't really cost any more to treat her"-at which I had to laugh...X more pills a month...I mix my own. vet
taught me how to crush the tabs up with a mortar and pestle to the right consistency and mix with the right amount of mixer to make Riker's meds-which I do for him monthly.
Flip: Issue #3...started just over 2 weeks ago. Went to give her and Snuggles a treat, and noticed a hole in her back!
Not bad or deep, thankfully, but it's the second glider Snuggles has done this to, so now he just can't have another cagemate. So she was pulled, combo of neosporin and silvodine cream put on the wound daily, and oral Clindamycin for 10 days. It covered over with a scab, and seemed to be healing up..until a few days ago when the scabbing started to go out of control. Was debating on taking her in to see Dr. Harris, or see if it shed, when she made the decision for me-I really didn't think she'd make it through Wed night
She was sitting listless on the bottom of her cage and wouldn't even take a treat-didn't protest when I scooted her in her pouch, either. It was evident she hadn't groomed. I had to go to work (ER vet
could NOT handle this) and my completely AWESOME BF sat with her ALL NIGHT with her on him, hand feeding her and keeping her warm
She made it to Thursday morning, and off she, I, and Clotho went to see Dr Harris for an 11am appointment.
Clotho was in/out with me, but Flip stayed the day for Xrays, bloodwork and labs. vet
called me at about 3:30 to come get her. I've outlined the results above for the most part. Other than that, Dr. Harris:
Partially debrided the wound. It's still open (I have pics, but again, can't upload yet), because it got large and deep enough under the scab she felt the incision would be too large, and with her Immune system under so much strain from the other issues, may not heal or be more than her body could take, so another oral antibiotic was added to the mix, Clavamox, and we watch, remove any developing scab, and hope it closes. Added: (knew I forgot something)-Dr. Harris thinks it's because of her other issues the wound didn't heal as it should have and went crazy like this-her immune system is on overload
This also speaks to why the wound may have been inflicted in the first place. Dr. Harris thinks its a colony mentality on the part of Snuggles-he sensed the weakness in Flip and tried to "drive her from the colony"-which makes sense. Only in a captive situation-she had nowhere to go and couldn't get away. One of the many ways their wild instincts can conflict with the limits we artificially set with caged gliders. Their cage is by no means small...but it's nothing compared to being in the wild open.
If I'm forgetting anything, I'll add it later with the pics...in any case, hopefully she's on her way to recovery.
One more note is that earlier tonight I got a text that she fell or rolled in her food dish-it's all over her. Have pics of that, too. So we also get a 'bath' when I get home from work....
All this after losing Cher not long ago.
For the newbies: One day vet
total for FLIP alone: $353.66 including the Xrays, labs, anesthesia, exam, debridement, and Clavamox (I had the rest already). Cher's was $211 recently-so in what, just over a month, total vet
costs are over $565.00-this is where that vet
fund or saved aside credit card comes in handy.
Hopefully she is now on the road to recovery and health. I'll update as I get the pics and more info.