GliderCENTRAL

answer from healesville sancuary last night

Posted By: the gliders angel

answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/11/07 08:31 PM

i just got an answer from healesville last evening regarding why we have so much sickness among our gliders. the answer was the gliders in the US live in unnatural conditions and diet is wrong. theyre baby food only contains 35 percent iron compared to our 45 percent. their diet is different from ours they include sustagen dry cat food almonds calcivet and soluvet which are bird vits among other things. they dont use alot of cat food either. they never had a sick glider since breeding in captivity which they started in 1960. something must be done here to end the sickness among out gliders and i think according to them diet plays a big role.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/11/07 08:36 PM

Can you post their reply on a website & link us to it please?
Posted By: Xglider

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/11/07 08:43 PM

Diet is definitely a crucial part of their lives… please do link us to their response …
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/11/07 11:34 PM

i know i'm kinda a newb, but i wanted to know, what is halesville? and what do they suggest the diet SHOULD be...
Posted By: the gliders angel

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 02:06 AM

i was on instant messenger with them. just punch in on the computer healesville sancuary. and e mail them. anothere good website is sugar-lumps in the UK. also shropshire-exotics
Posted By: the gliders angel

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 02:14 AM

healesville sanctuary is an australian zoo that has been breeding glidres in captivity since 1960 never had an ill glider or hlp.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 02:16 AM

I find it very hard to believe that they've "never had an ill glider or hlp" in 47 years.
Posted By: Dancing

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 02:19 AM

I find it difficult to believe as well. I also wonder what life span they are having with their gliders.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 02:27 AM

This is a link that I found that is supposedly what they feed:

http://www.sugargliders.org/gliderinfo/diets/mcdonald.htm
Posted By: SugarBlossoms

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 03:51 AM

I also speak with them regulary and others about the gliders over there compared to here on living conditions and diets. I know many others have and still do also.

I have been told the same for years, not to feed the diets that have are said to be proven here as the only proven diets are the ones they have. They claim they never see sick gliders, only injured gliders brought in from being attacked by cats, owls and other predators. The gliders they raise, they say have never gotten HLP or any liver problems, the oldest living passed away at 19 years old.

I was told to never feed additional vitamins of any kind and that if our gliders were fed properly, there was no need for the supplements used here as they cause liver damage and other health problems from overdosing. Just like in humans, if the proper diet is fed, there is no need for supplementations. None is used in Australia.

Variety is the key and many natural foods from there also. The gliders in the US for the most part don't have adequate housing either. They say too many people have lessoned the living space for them in order to breed them out, thus causing more problems.

I've heard the same things from different vets in Australia, the Marsupial Society and the Healsville Santuary for years. (a few friends over there too) I don't know how to exactly duplicate what they have (without moving there) but we have been trying as close as possible for years now and it seems to be working. No sickness except a roundworm. (yuck) That was cleared up immediately.
Posted By: SugarBlossoms

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 03:59 AM

Our honey here is much sweeter and a different type of honey than in Australia. The gliders should be getting Acacia gum and Bee pollen as they do there as both contain natural vitamin and mineral sources they get in the wild and in captivity there. I've been told to use enrichment things rather than some of the cute toys we get. (I do both, can't resist the cute toys! lol) Apple branches and Manzanita branches are great. Trying to replicate a small forest, tall things, swinging vines, etc.
Posted By: the gliders angel

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 04:09 AM

all the aussie vets i spoke with told me the same thing no vitamins. all the vets there and the people in this country i no that dont use vits have very old gliders. they all tell me in australia stop making it so complicated all u need is a protein source fruit veggies and 4 times a week bugs. i get the same answer from many vets. they also get hard branches to chew on for their teeth to prevent dental problems im told.
Posted By: Srlb

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 04:33 AM

Although I agree the whole vitamin thing does worry me, however, PLEASE keep in mind that in AUSTRALIA, they have different kinds of fauna and insects to feed that we can NOT get here in the states. Therefore, substitutions HAVE to be made. Not to mention the gliders that were bred here would have a different genetic build up than those down there. If you look at pics of the gliders in Australia, they are MUCH larger than ours, they have much smaller noses (much like my Dashers) and the enviormental surroundings are completely different. As Sugarblossoms stated, the only way we can feed what they do would be to move to Australia.

So with that in mind, and not being able to access MOST of the stuff they do for diets, what do you all suggest? We cant just eliminate everything we offer.

That is why I LOVE the HPW. It comes right FROM AUSTRALIA, is used down there in many places and no additional vitamins or calcium is required. And it is well known that it is a product used by them.

This is why research is sooo important.
Posted By: SugarBlossoms

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 04:49 AM

Lets move to Australia! (j/k, lol)

Peggy, that is what I use also and the Acacia gum, Bee Pollen and varieties usually as seasonal of many fruits, veggies, yogurt (plain and some others that are flavored or fruited), Chicken breast (boiled), eggs, boiled or scrambled with a teeny tiny bit of real cheese and Ensure or milk to make em fluffy and tastier. Sometimes, a piece of dried fruit, fruit smoothies, Cheerios for a once in awhile snack, pumpkin, squashes (cooked in water) and either Superworms or mealworms. I have quite a few other things I give them occasionally. Of course, not all at once and not all of the time.

I can even deal with the fly pupae (serious yuck!) but I can't bring myself to even think of a day old chick. (they are just way too cute and so are the little mice) I could only do that if it were a life and death situation.

One thing I am very curious about is that they give live crickets, hoppers, beatles and moths among other bugs. I'll have to ask what they think of the Aflatoxin thing. I had asked about corn before and they did say like all foods people and animals eat, their are always risks. From what I've told over the years though, they don't even have problems with salmonella the way we do.

Posted By: silverwolf

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 05:45 AM

silb what is the hpw that you mentioned I am wondering is that a vitamin or something different? Also what do they think of giving them eucalyptus branches and leaves to chew on? I am just curious about this I would really like to know more.
Posted By: the gliders angel

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 06:23 AM

to answer dancing s question. i can only take their word as far as they said they never had a glider sick there only sick gliders they have had were hurt by a dog or got hurt outside and were rehabilitated. i know we cant copy everything from their diet but can get some things like the raisins almonds once a wk. we can even get the calcivet and soluvet that is used in their nektar mix which why wasnt this used in the first place in our diet here it can be purchased online. they also feed snow peas i was told we can get them here.
Posted By: Dancing

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 06:51 AM

WHPS is Wambaroo High Protien Suppliment. It is the key ingredient in PML. I too feed WHPS but not PML. I really think that the Wambaroo is such an awesome thing to have here to feed them. It is imported from Australia and is made for marsupials.

Diet is always going to be a controversial subject here in the US simply because we do not have the ability to feed what they would naturally find in the wild. The extensive lab testing needed is so prohibitivly expensive that an absolute nutritional break down is not likely to happen. As Peggy said also, the gliders we have here in captivity ARE different NOW than their wild counter parts. Some of our "wild caught" gliders didn't even come from Australia but New Zealand or Indonesia. Not to mention that wild glider's diets vary seasonally (due to bio availablity) and even from year to year based on weather patterns.

So, which area of natural flora and fauna do we try to mimic? The best we can do is look at what has been done already, the pros and cons about each thing. But not just look at the surface of each thing but break it down.

Diet isn't simply the calcium to phosphrous ratio but so many other things like iron, vits A,B,C,D,E, K and so on as well as all the minerals (magnasium, etc) and how each one works with or against the others. Many of the diets that we are feeding are leading to longer healthier lives for gliders HERE than what was originally being fed to captive gliders 20 years ago. We are not seeing as many diet related problems as back then. It is an evolution in process.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 07:16 AM

Originally Posted By: SugarBlossoms
I was told to never feed additional vitamins of any kind... Just like in humans, if the proper diet is fed, there is no need for supplementations. None is used in Australia.


Okay... I guess I'm confused confused ... If they say they use Sustagen, Calcivet, and Soluvet, then how can they say not to use supplements or that none is used in Australia??? Because last I checked, Sustagen, Calcivet, and Soluvet are all vitamin supplements... dunno

Also, I know Healesville has been around a long time and they've had gliders a long time, but it always bothers me when anyone says theirs is the only good diet and all other diets are bad or unhealthy. I'm sure they've got a very good diet, but that doesn't mean there aren't other good ones out there too.

I also find it highly suspicious that they've never had any health issues. I mean even in the wild with a glider eating their proper, natural diet, there's still going to be an occassional health problem. Have they truly done necropsies on every glider death to be sure of exactly what it died from to know there was truly "no health issue"? That would mean that every death was either due to injury or old age. I find that pretty hard to believe! They truly can say they've never had a bacterial infection, viral infection, organ failure, cancer, etc. etc. etc.???
I too would be curious to know what they consider old age and just what age their gliders are normally living to. Okay, so they had one live to 19... what about all their others? Has every single one of their gliders lived to 10+ years (except verified injuries)?

I also think they're taking a pretty large, unsubstantiated leap to say that all the diets over here in the US are bad and that's what's causing the health issues here or that over supplementation is the problem. There haven't been any long term studies on any of the diets being used to even come close to those conclusions yet.

Just my own humble opinions... tounge


Originally Posted By: Dancing
... Some of our "wild caught" gliders didn't even come from Australia but New Zealand or Indonesia. Not to mention that wild glider's diets vary seasonally (due to bio availablity) and even from year to year based on weather patterns... So, which area of natural flora and fauna do we try to mimic?...

Many of the diets that we are feeding are leading to longer healthier lives for gliders HERE than what was originally being fed to captive gliders 20 years ago. We are not seeing as many diet related problems as back then. It is an evolution in process.

Well said Teresa! thumb
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 10:36 AM

My biggest fear is people are going to stop giving thier gliders vitamins when they hear this type of thing. PLEASE don't do that. We are now caring for a little glider who has not had any calcium, he is now fighting for his life as he now has HLP and is blind from the terrible diet he recieved for the 5 years he has been alive.
Do your reseach, pick a proven diet please, you don't want to see a glider in this type of shape. Its heartbreaking.
Angie
Posted By: Gossamer

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 11:47 AM

I find this thread very interesting as it brings up some points I have been thinking about. I've been thinking about the diets we feed and how they effect the gliders. There is a high incidence of liver disease in our gliders - is that diet or genetics though? I also wonder about the environment we have our gliders in. Fleece is cute and all, but nowhere close to their natural environment. I've definately wondered about feeding a vitamin supplement and whether necessary. Calcium, yes, I think it's very important.
Posted By: snowmanda

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 11:56 AM

stephiy,
Very well stated post. I think you have outlined most of our concerns on this situation.

What exactly is the "diet" that healsville uses? Why is it so difficult for us to duplicate?
Posted By: silverwolf

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 07:49 PM

The other thing I was wondering was that you said that our cage requirements are not high enough so what do they suggest in cage sizes? More information would be helpful to us all.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 08:33 PM

Here is the diet used at Healesville:
http://www.sugargliders.org/gliderinfo/diets/mcdonald.htm
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 09:31 PM

Where do you get the WHPS? And for those that use this do you use any other suppliments? Also where can you get the fly pupae? I would like to feed more natural and too much vit. I can see where this could cause problems.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 09:48 PM

Wow, just when I think I start to figure it out. . . . Now I'm worried all over again. And they feed dog chow correct, weird. . . sigh.... No sleep for me tonight.
Posted By: BeckiT

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 10:17 PM

there are several places to get the WHPS. There are currently three ads in ClassifiedCENTRAL for it:
Dancing (Teresa), TMarie (Gliders Anonymous, and SweetGliders (Anita)

Grubco sells fly larvae
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 10:22 PM

You can buy the WHPS from....

http://www.mysweetgliders.com/
http://toandfrogliders.com/
http://www.glidersanonymous.com/
http://www.freewebs.com/dancingsdreamers/


Bee pollen is from
http://www.stakich.com/bfolder/beepollen.htm







Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 10:27 PM

Thanks I will be ordering that for mine. Especially since I have one that needs extra protein and does not like eggs,was eating chicken,but at least now he is eating bml but I'm seriosly thinking about putting them on a more natural diet.
Posted By: SugarBlossoms

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 10:29 PM

Originally Posted By: gizmo_and_izzy
Wow, just when I think I start to figure it out. . . . Now I'm worried all over again. And they feed dog chow correct, weird. . . sigh.... No sleep for me tonight.


They do not feed the type of dog chow we can purchase here in the U.S. Also, it's only a kibble or so. Don't rush out and buy dog food. It's not the same!

I also get Acacia gum from exoticnutrition.com and was buying the Bee pollen from them also but just recently bought the Australian bee pollen from Stakich.
Posted By: Mel2mdl

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 10:40 PM

Aren't fly larvae another name for maggots? Where would you buy that? So what dog food would you use? And what the heck is 'sprouted seed' and what fruits - sultanas are a fruit too, right?

This confuses me. I'd really like to see the replies from Healsville concerning diet - I think some claims are too fantastic - in a large population, you are going to have illness and death from things other than injury. (I do like the fact that this discussion can occur without flaming of diets and/or people! More information, the better!)
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 10:49 PM

Well they have " 1 piece Eukanuba dog chow mix " listed on the site and we have Eukanuba here in the states!


dunno dunno dunno


I'm sticking with HPW!!!!
Posted By: BeckiT

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 10:54 PM

yes, fly larvae = maggots, and grubco sells them. Sultanas are a type of golden raisin
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 10:55 PM

If you were to use Pricella's diet, could you still use WHPS, Acacia Gum, and bee pollen? Still a Sugarmama to be...so this whole diet thing is driving me bonkers! I had pretty much decided to slowly switch mine to Pricellas' as they will be on Suncoast diet before they come home, but I like the idea of offering as close to what they would get in nature...Will the stress of owning suggies ever end...I've got nerves on top of nerves and I've been researching for a long time and I'm not even getting my babies until June! shock

Wendy
Posted By: Mel2mdl

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 11:07 PM

off_topic - Wendy, I'm trying to figure out your signature - first column male, second column female, right? But what's the third column? (9)
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 11:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Mel2mdl
off_topic - Wendy, I'm trying to figure out your signature - first column male, second column female, right? But what's the third column? (9)


LOL...It's unknown babies. You cannot sex cresteds until they are older, unlike leopard geckos. Some say the pores are different but even the larger, more experienced breeders will not guarantee sex. I actually have to update that to 4 babies as I have sold 5 of them!

Wendy
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/12/07 11:14 PM

Just ordered all the stuff,we are going with the HPW diet. Another probably dumb question,if you are giving them mealies,do you need the fly larva?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 01:28 AM

Okay, what I see here is not a group of rational adults thinking through a situation and choosing the best path. I see a couple of warnings & a bunch of folks jumping on a bandwagon!

Please do not run out and put your gliders on some random diet or modify your diet based on this thread. The first rule you learn when you start researching diets is not to mess with them! Follow your diet as it is written! You want to know why I think so many of our gliders have liver problems and are sick? Because very few people actually follow this advice. People want to modify their diets - add this, leave that out - guess what folks, every time you do that, you're gambling with your gliders' lives.

Our gliders are not the same as the gliders they have in Australia - we can not replicate the Healesville diet here. If you can not replicate the diet, you don't feed the diet, because it will be incomplete. Again, I beg you all not to go out on a whim & try to feed your "version" of this diet. There comes a point where "trying too hard" can become harmful.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 01:36 AM

My guys do not eat the bml very well,one the only way I can get him to eat it is to give it to him at supper time then get up at 4am to give him his fruit and veggies. I have also been reading about a lot of liver failure. Some thing must be causing it. With the HPW diet you are not as restricted with the fruit and veggies either. Mine are not real fond of the peas or beans. I know picky eaters. I have been considering different diets for some time, and the HPW sounds more natural. Since we can't really get the thing that are in Australia for them, I would like to get as close as possible.
Posted By: the gliders angel

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 01:52 AM

you can add mealies with the wombaroo hp but dont add any other supplements to it. it has everything they need in it. if you look at shropshire-exotics website in the UK it will give you an idea what you can use with it and how they use it. theres another website called sugar-lumps too. they do need calcium daily which you can use by feeding a high calcium yogurt but not too much yogurt either. the wombarroo has calcium already in it.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 02:03 AM

The calcium was the one thing I was worried about. So the yogurt is a good idea and that is one thing they eat with no problem. I have the diet here and from the info I got it pretty much has what they need in it per ratio, but I'm one of those numbers challenged people and kinda muddle through. My family does natural suppliments and I know you can over do it, so to (me) it stand to reason that you need to be careful. Like I said the calcium was my main concern.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 02:22 AM

What made you guys start researching healesville anyway. If you dont mind me asking??
Posted By: Dancing

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 03:24 AM

Please understand, to much calcium is as bad as not enough. To much calcium in the diet can lead to crystals in the urine which is suspected to be one of the causes of self mutilation.

I agree with Gina (monster) Until you have been able to do the research and crunch the numbers, choose a diet plan and follow it. Don't try to make your own changes.

There are so many variables in diet. Such as I said, how vit (X) can interact with mineral (Y) and prevent absorption. Some enhance others, with some will restrict others.
Posted By: SugarBlossoms

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 04:00 AM

Originally Posted By: hockeyplayer187
What made you guys start researching healesville anyway. If you dont mind me asking??


Personally, I found it before I found G.C by looking up Australia Sugar Gliders. My thoughts then were geared toward Australia, Indonesia, New Guinnea and Tasmania.

Since gliders are originally from there, I wanted to know what their habitat and diet was in those countries.
Posted By: SugarBlossoms

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 04:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Mel2mdl
Aren't fly larvae another name for maggots? Where would you buy that? So what dog food would you use? And what the heck is 'sprouted seed' and what fruits - sultanas are a fruit too, right?

This confuses me. I'd really like to see the replies from Healsville concerning diet - I think some claims are too fantastic - in a large population, you are going to have illness and death from things other than injury. (I do like the fact that this discussion can occur without flaming of diets and/or people! More information, the better!)


Yes, fly pupae/larvae is the same as FLY maggots. (yuck, lol)

You can purchase it from www.grubco.com

I found the correct dog kibble today at Pet Smart smile

Sprouted seed, I am waiting for an email to tell me what seeds they are sprouting. lol (we can sprout seeds in shallow water)

Fruits, much the same as ours. Sultanas, found those at Wal-mart today! Yay! (they are the gold raisins that are sweeter, more expensive (not much) from Sunmaid)


Look up Healesville Sanctuary and email them for any questions you can think of that the rest of us might not have so we can get more information! smile
Posted By: SugarBlossoms

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 04:20 AM

Gina, I fed the diet years ago when I could afford to purchase some of things not available here, over there. It came a time that I couldn't keep it up. Many of us are not jumping on a bandwagon and have discussed these things for months and even years. It's that now these things are becoming available here in the U.S after many have asked companies to stock them.

NO diet should be changed immediately regardless. Any diet chosen would have to be slowly introduced as to not make a glider sick.

Also, big thing here. In order to use the Healesville diet, one must make sure it is affordable to them. It is NOT a cheap diet to maintain! Not only is it expensive, but certain items like the fly larvae would have to be ordered consistently as it doesn't keep long and it MUST be kept in a cold, not freezing place and CANNOT get warm or they hatch into a zillion flies.

The dog kibble isn't too expensive considering, however, unless you have a lot of gliders or dogs to feed it too, it will cost a pretty penny as you can't keep it around for a year.

As of now, we can obtain everything in the Healesville Diet here in the U.S. I don't advocate people running out and changing diets. If it is not broke, don't fix it! People need to do their own research and make their own decisions as some of us have.

This thread should be for educational thinking only, everyone has their own choice to make about their gliders.

I've been researching daily for years, my bandwagon has a looooong choo choo train attached! LOL smile
Posted By: snowmanda

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 04:41 AM

Leaving this one alone......Don't take this the wrong way..I feed Priscilla's diet and am not about to start making changes. I am not educated in the nutritional needs of gliders and I venture to say most of you aren't either. Once the research becomes available for the "best natural" diet to use, I will use it. Until then I will stick with what has kept my gliders healthy so far. This information is great, but I fear it will cause more harm than good at this point with its speculations. For now, I feel we should be providing information that has been "proven" by healthy gliders raised in the US. That is where our gliders are. We can not change their current habitat.
Posted By: the gliders angel

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 06:43 AM

when i contacted one of the people involved in the diet study the answer was none of the proven diets fared well. they all were not the best diets for our gliders. she said to me i think variety is the key. and she said she was going to try the wombarroo high protein supplement with her gliders.
Posted By: Dancing

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 07:49 AM

Which diet study are you talking about? The recent one done and posted here on GC?

Keep in mind, that study was not very clinical at all. Those gliders were taken out of their normal home, shipped to the "research" home. Diets switched on them suddenly. There was a very very small "test study group" of gliders used.

While it was a good attempt, it was not through enough to be of real scientific value as far as any of the diets studied.
Posted By: Gossamer

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/13/07 05:14 PM

This is the reason I feed the suncoast diet - so very flexible.
Posted By: Bourbon

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/14/07 08:23 AM

I must say that everything that has been said by those that have their reservations is things that everyone needs to take into consideration.. there are many many things that needs to be really thought about..

Gliders angel.. could you possibly be more vague and simple in your questions??? after all they are in australia.. therefore they have no clue what all is going on here with our gliders, only what others are telling them.

Liver disease.. now how much more vague can we get there? liver disease caused from what??? aflatoxin??? of course that has to do with our diets here.. oh my, hasn't anyone really read up on that?? after all it is an issue with our gliders.. and let me see I don't think that is caused by too many vitamins or too much iron, reduced cage size. They say that humans and other animals are always at risk for aflatoxin.. but alas NONE of their gliders can get it? or hasn't? or is it that it isn't something that is tested for upon necropsy? but then again if their gliders NEVER get sick, then I guess they all live to ripe old ages.

what about the bacterial infections?? where liver problems many times are secondary??? i don't see where that is caused by too much iron, vits or reduced cage size.. that is simple, bacteria is everywhere? why don't they have issues with that??? well lets see do they take their gliders out and physically handle them everyday, and carry them around, expose them to their children, or other animals?

giardia? and trichamonas??? where liver problems also are secondary.. lets see, I don't think that it is caused from too much iron, vits or reduced cage size.. lets see I believe that they live in OUR water supply.

What about the excessive protein that also causes liver problems as well as renal failure? It doesn't matter how much we warn people not to feed extra proteins they still do. what about those that add extra vits by sprinlkling or those adding more calcium by sprinling on their foods, what about the ones that add ensure to the balanced diets? or other things that also increase the levels like acacia gum and bee pollen?

shall we get into how people feed their gliders the balanced diets? they search and search for a diet that is balanced, then they change and modify it, and then they blame it on the diet itself.

example right here in this thread about someone that feeds the BML but then adds the bee pollen to it.. now my question is what about the nutrients in the bee pollen? don't they account for anything? of course adding that to the bml is going to increase the nutrients.. I see sprinkled on the foods, but at healsville, they only use a few granules. and it isn't bee pollen but pollen from the flora.. which has a different nutritional makeup. then you have the acacia gum which if I am not mistaken is Senegal which is not the Acacia Mearnsii species that they primarily eat in australia.. the senegal lacking the tannins which aid in the inhibiting of the absorbtion of iron... with that they are offering the natural flora and fauna like Callistemon, Melaleuca and other like blossoms as available. what species of natural floras, what euchalyptus are you going to offer.. certain parts of the plant is toxic to gliders as well as certain species. where as they rarely eat euchalyptus because it requires far too much energy for their systems to digest it.. those that offer the branches at home, have noticed they rarely eat it, but they do use it to line their bedding.

as was stated the ingredients although they can be found is very very expensive to maintain as a regular diet, Pockets has very good friends in australia, and she is one of the few people I know that will go to that length on a regular basis, year after year to offer a natural diet. With that she also has modified their living accomadations. which I myself wished I could do. offer both a natural diet and have the room to offer what she is able to do.

please also take into account that there are many things different from the gliders from australia and here, what about their metabolic rates? what about the forageing that the gliders do each night, the torpors they go into during the winters, and the weather changes they endure.. climbing 200 foot trees and gliding 150 meters, how many of your gliders do that? how many have 2.5 acres to roam in each night?

Keep in mind this is not new information this info has been out here for years, availability, ??? yes it is better now than it was 10 years ago, but at what cost? the cost for the average owner? I don't think so. but yes.. it is available.

feeding parts of a diet is just as bad as feeding one that is unbalanced and over supplimented. (by modifying it).

how many necropsies show difinitivly it was caused by too much iron in the diet or too many vitamins? what is the chances here in the states that something else could have contributed to this? what about the mass inbreeding by the mega breeders to build their stock from years ago when there was so few? what about the inbreeding and line breeding that is still going on?

there is a reason they said all of the diets here.. because they are not here, so they don't have to deal with the common problems we face daily.. bacteria, giardia, trich, as well as other things.

I also want to add that they say they don't have illnesses in their gliders, I will readily say that is untrue. I was told by the division of wildlife, that a ill glider in the wild if found, must be put down, because they will mess up their ecosystem. also keeping in mind, think of what happens here when a glider dies, they leave the nest and go to the bottom of the cage. the reason is simple in the wild, they draw the predators away from the nest areas, and the natural wildlife will eat them. what is that phrase.. a glider hides it's illness till it is too late..why??? because in the wild an ill glider is a dead glider.. so of course by the time they are found dead, the other animals have already gotten to them.a glider found not eaten on, they would only have 2 assumtions.. natural causes??? okay define that one, old age??? or illness. since they have no illness, then all must either be eaten or die of old age.

That statement really was funny, because in all forms of wildlife there are disease and illness. if not, maybe the antibodies can be processed to help other animals or humans from never getting sick.

As for the diet study.. the people involved with the study will be the first to tell you only one thing.. and that is the study only showed that more studies need to be done. and there are many reasons for that statement. Many of which I won't go into.

Out of the last 10 deaths of gliders that turned yellow, how many were actually necropied and sent out to the labs with full histopaths done? While we sit and try to figure out what the problems are , others just run with their speculations and suppositions. Time for all of us to get involved and not just a few, the vets will run tests but they are expensive when your glider is ill, well visits and regular checks to monitor their health, may show some very different things than what others want you to believe. get the rundown and totally complete checkups, as extensive as possible, if the glider dies get a necropsy done with a full panal of tests done to find the causes. some will say that would get expensive, .. so will offering the proper native diet, now imagine yourself doing it for years to come. find and run the history of your gliders roots, how far can you go back? most can't go far, infact the big breeders can't even go back from joey to parent.

I see these threads, I watch new owners that jump to change to a more natural diet, BEFORE they find out more and are sure they can get everything. I watch people switch around on the diets.. and the same things happen.. this is not a bml issue, most of the time it is an owner issue. maybe that is what needs to be addressed. how we as owners look at our diets, and how we are feeding them.

your glider is at risk for infection and disease just by being loved, being held, and being played with. Education and consistancy is the only way anyone is going to find out what is going on wiith our gliders here in the states. the education comes from OUR vets, OUR labs, and OUR necropsies. settling for liver disease as a prognosis is NOT an option, finding out what is causing it, is the only way to get to the bottom of it, liver disease is secondary to many other common problems that affect our gliders here. THOSE are the problems we need to address.

I don't care what diet you feed, all I am doing is letting you all know, if you don't think this out all the way.. you will have a whole new set of problems on your hands. where as your glider may live a ripe old age on a balanced diet, just by you as owners making the right changes, and that is to NOT make changes to whatever diet you are using.
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/14/07 09:50 AM

B-you're right. Someone asked me if it was the BML that caused Chronos' problems-since I had to take him off of it to reduce fats from meats, and eggs. BML did NOT cause it. Best SPECULATION is that a bacterial infection did that wasn't caught soon enough because he HID it. So now he's storing fats from all sources in his liver. His diet isn't at issue, and he was on BML. When he does go to the bridge, I intend to have a necropsy run with all the extras. We might find the cause, or not, but certainly something will come out of it.

I question the so called 'natural' diets here because of the fact that not only does drying these items take away from the nutritional content (therefore it's not the same) but that many of the species available in these products are NOT the ones they feed on in the wild. Plus the fact that through the kind of breeding that's been done here, plus the confinement of our gliders, their needs aren't the same as what a wild one would need.

While what we have isn't perfect, it's better than it used to be and there's still a long way to go.

There's a reason I don't come into diets much, so I'll shut up and go away now, lol.
Posted By: Mel2mdl

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/14/07 03:24 PM

I feel the same as Bourbon - I feed my guys a proven diet (BML) and try really hard to make NO CHANGES, ('tho they get an occasional treat - shhhh.) It is interesting to see the information and the discussion, but, I am not a chemist or a vet and so, will not make up my own diet or change one at risk of MY gliders!

That being said, people do go the other way too! I quit going to another board because one poster was adament that BML was the ONLY DIET that should be fed. She would YELL and anyone who fed a different diet and EVERY illness had to be diet related! Not every diet works for every glider - but, every glider should be on a "proven" diet.
Posted By: minkasmom

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/14/07 04:31 PM

B: you and I have talked for HOURS about diet issues...

Until such time as a veterinary university (Purdue maybe?) does a CONTROLLED, RELIABLE series of tests in the United States, with locally-bred gliders exposed to the local bacteria, I'm going to STICK LIKE SUPER-GLUE to the "Back to Basics BML diet"...as posted, with no "extras" (well, maybe an extra couple mealies slipped in to my adult males who are STILL below 100 grams), and their play/exercise time with their favorite slave (c'est moi!) every night.

If a diet has allowed our suggies to live to ripe old ages of 12 & beyond, that's GOOD ENOUGH for me!
Posted By: Dancing

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/14/07 05:33 PM

Bourbon, very well said.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/14/07 07:23 PM

Thank you Bourbon,Please keep up the good work,and advice.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/15/07 07:27 AM

Originally Posted By: Wendyhoo9
If you were to use Pricella's diet, could you still use WHPS, Acacia Gum, and bee pollen? Still a Sugarmama to be...so this whole diet thing is driving me bonkers! I had pretty much decided to slowly switch mine to Pricellas' as they will be on Suncoast diet before they come home, but I like the idea of offering as close to what they would get in nature...Will the stress of owning suggies ever end...I've got nerves on top of nerves and I've been researching for a long time and I'm not even getting my babies until June! shock

Wendy


Wendy - Both Acacia gum and bee pollen are already in Pricilla's supplements - just buy the ones off her site. Its one of the reasons I ended up going with her diet.
Posted By: hushpuppy

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/15/07 02:51 PM

Well maybe I am a little dense at times but I don’t see where a more natural diet could be considered a bad thing. And I know that this isn’t a popular opinion but when an institution like the Healesville Zoo talks, I listen. How could I dispute 47 years of experience? Now I think everyone realizes that they don’t have any 47 year old gliders running around over there. From what I have heard of them they are a well educated and extremely knowledgeable group of people with a big heart for gliders.

But I think what Gliders Angel and Healesville was trying to say is that they don’t normally see the kind of diseases that we see here and possibly these diseases are diet related. Obviously there are too many gliders that are dieing at 2, 3, and 4 years old from unknown causes. This is a topic that is always worth discussing. The more we talk about it the more we learn. So now I get to add my two cents. Hehe Please keep an open mind when you read. I don’t claim to be a diet expert. These are just my opinions and observations.


Quote:
after all they are in Australia.. therefore they have no clue what all is going on here with our gliders, only what others are telling them.


Hmmm, I don’t understand that statement. It seems to me that what is good for a glider, is good, whether you are in Australia or the US. Sure they are hearing what people tell them. But they are also getting some info the same way the rest of us do… off the forums and websites written by Americans. And to me, being in Australia is a plus, not a minus.

So this is the diet in question…

Water

Daily Diet per animal:
1 Dog chow/Advance.(Hard Dog Chow)
6g Fruit, chopped (1 tablespoon)
3ml Nectar mix. (1 tablespoon per Glider)
1g fly pupae(1/4 teaspoon)
5g corn
2g Sprouted seed
2 meal worms.

Supplement:
5 pollen grains-once per week(bee pollen grains available at Health food shops)
3 sultanas-3-4 times per week(Dried Sultana Grape)
2 sunflower seeds-once per week
1g Pet health food(small cube)-once per week. No additives all natural
1 almond-once per week
Insects-3-4 times per week (moths crickets etc.)
Acacia, eucalyptus. other blossoms as available.

Nectar Mix:
2 litre formula:
700ml of Honey,
1 litre Hot water,
3 eggs(hard boiled no shell)
Soluvet 20 ml(liquid vitamin for birds)
Calcivet 20ml.
250ml cold water
cereal 70g (High protein baby cereal)

I DO see some vitamins in the Healesville formula. But this formula makes 2 litres. At one tablespoon per glider, this would be a minute amount of vitamins compared to what is added to most American diets. Some one said that this is expensive, but all diets are expensive. Someone noted that the ingredients would be hard to get, but the “1g pet health food” is the only thing that we couldn’t easily purchase. I dunno, maybe someone knows where to get it??? And the bee pollen is what we can get at health food stores.

From the diet:
“Acacia, eucalyptus. other blossoms as available.”

Other? Hmmm, hibiscus? Rose? Honey suckle? Orange Blossoms? To name a few. I’m sure there are many more.

BTW most people would be amazed at how many of the plants we see here in the US are native to Australia. Callistemon? AKA Bottle Brush is a common plant here in Fla, It is also one of the few plants that you can put in a cage that won’t shed its leaves as it dries. Melaleuca? isn’t that the stuff that is taking over the Everglades? Didja know there are native cabbage palms in AU? And Oaks? And Pines? Also Australia and the US have shared many of plants. Are any of them toxic? Probably. But I’ve never heard of any of the Aussie animal dropping dead from being exposed to US plants or US animals dropping dead from being exposed to Aussie plants. Could it be that an animal knows instinctively what is or isn’t toxic?

The other thing that I read in this post is that US gliders are somehow different than Australian gliders. I don’t see how this is possible. They have only been in the US about twenty years. When we look at evolution that is a very small time period. Dogs have been domesticated much longer. Actually for thousands of years, but they are still dogs. There are big dogs, little dogs, long nosed dogs, pug nosed dogs, dogs of all different size, color and shapes, but they are still dogs. Nothing man has done has changed that. You can take little Fluffy to the groomer have her clipped, nails painted, bow in her hair, and smellin’ real good. But when little Fluffy gets outside she is still going to chase a rabbit or a squirrel…because she is a dog. And if she is outside long enough, she will locate that wonderful aroma of dead animal #5 she has been smelling for the past week and she will roll in it…because she is a dog. LOL And basically we still feed them all the same; just different amounts.

I might be wrong but it seems to me that the only truly “proven diet” it the one that mother nature developed. She did her research and it has stood the test of time.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/16/07 06:19 AM

Very good points hushpuppy!
Posted By: Mel2mdl

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/17/07 02:59 AM

Couple of problems -

1. High Protein baby food is not available in the US
2. Pet health food sounds like a brand name. May or may not be available.
3. Crickets in the state often have aflatoxins in their systems from being raised in corn meal.
4. Moths? From where - not outside, my town sprays for mosquitos.

I think the worry is that people will try to follow this diet, not be able to get all the ingredients (maggots? bee pollen? eculyptus?) and make substitutions, which is detrimental to the health of a glider. I think it is a great diet, if you are willing to order the ingredients from overseas and pay for shipping.

Gliders dying at age 2 or 3 - mostly this is diet related, or rather, lack thereof. Even on this site, many people were not feeding a proven diet or even knew that they should. I was told to feed apples with yogurt and that was all they needed. (Yesterday I looked at a recommended link for hedgehogs and gliders. She stated, I feed a mix of fresh fruit and veggies. No protein mentioned, no staple. And she is breeding and selling these guys!) Health issues with gliders being fed a good, consistant diet without substitutions and switching frequently are much rarer. Look at how long Bourbon's Babee lived.

And animals do change over a rapid period of time. A chihuahua and a great dane have different nutritional requirements, not just amount. Gliders in the US started from a small gene pool and have been bred for certain characteristics. They do not have an infusion of "wild" blood.

Again, I think this diet is probably a good one, but I am not switching or adding to my guy's diet. I don't have the resources to ship the required ingredients every few months and would be making constant substitutions - which messes it up.
Posted By: BeckiT

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/17/07 03:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Mel2mdl
4. Moths? From where - not outside, my town sprays for mosquitos.


waxworms turn into moths and boy do the gliders like chasing them!
Posted By: hushpuppy

Re: answer from healesville sancuary last night - 03/20/07 07:28 PM

Mel, A couple of solutions.
1. I don’t really think that is a problem but if you do, you could easily add protein to the cereal. Whey protein and soy protein are both sold at healthfood stores. BTW, these are key ingredients in the WHP.
2. I sure wish I had more info on these pet health food blocks. Maybe some of the people who are in contact with Haelesville could ask them about it. Until then it is still the only problem that I know of.
3. That would be more accurate if you said crickets occasionally or rarely have aflotoxins. There are still a lot of people who feed crickets with no problems. It is a personal choice.
4. Outside? Weeeeellll… I do sometimes, but Grubco offers a wonderful variety of bugs that much easier to get your hands on. LOL And I think some of the Grubco bugs could be considered the ect. Part of the diet.

As stated before, maggots and bee pollen is readily available and the diet does say eucalyptus or other blossoms.

Quote:
“Gliders dying at age 2 or 3 - mostly this is diet related, or rather, lack thereof.”


I truly wish that was true. I wish there was a diet that would insure that all gliders would live long healthy lives. Unfortunately, I know people who have had gliders on proven diets that die young. And there are gliders on unproven diets that are living to old age. I even know of some who’s gliders are thriving with the dreaded cat food as part of their diet. There is just too much that we don’t know about these animals yet. And yes, Baybe DID live to be about 14, but Halesville had one that lived to be 19. WOW! That is the oldest one that I have heard of.

According to most dog food manufactures, a chihuahua gets about a half cup and a great dane get the whole bag. Hehe. Their food is identical, just the amounts are different. And I can’t think of any domestic animal that gets infused with wild blood. They are still dogs, they are still cats, and their nutritional needs are the same as the ones being raise in Europe, Asia, South America and other places.

Honestly, I don’t think you should have to change your diet if you believe in it. Just realize that others believe just as strongly in what they feed. If someone wants to feed this diet or try a more natural diet, they do it because they love their gliders not because they don’t love them. And we are all trying to do the best we can do for our animals. We all STILL have a lot to learn.

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