Posted By: Anonymous

Lizards. - 04/02/06 12:50 AM

After seeing a post on here about someone asking whether or not it was OK to feed their glider lizards, I became quite intrigued.

Today, I decided to go get a little anole to feed to my boy. I brought it home in a little box, put it in the bathroom (equivalent to my 'tent time' area), and went to get Kojak. He was up and running on his wheel, so he wasn't too anxious to hang out with me. I took him into the bathroom and he immediately started running around and playing like he usually does, scaling up and down me and jumping around the room. I dumped the anole out of the box and onto the floor, but Kojak wasn't paying attention. After a little convincing, I got Kojak to sit still on my knee for a minute. I grabbed the anole, intending to show it to Kojak and then set it free for the hunt. However.. as soon as the anole got within an inch of Kojak's face, he struck out lightning fast and grabbed the anole up. I'll spare the gory details of what happened from that point, but it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had with my gliders. I have never seen Kojak so aggressive, so excited, so predatory! Watching him enjoy that lizard was phenomenal.

So to get to the point..
I wanted to come on here and encourage others to feed their gliders lizards. I read through all the warnings in the other lizard post, about how they carry so many parasites/diseases/etc, and how it'll have a negative impact on my baby's health.. and I don't mean to insult anyone when I say this.. but it's a lot easier to look up and post reptile facts when you've never actually witnessed your OWN little baby enjoying a lizard. Wild gliders, like all wild animals, eat the filthiest things. The water they drink isn't our wonderful home filtered microbe-free water, it's loaded with the same parasites and diseases as the animals they eat. Yes I know this is one reason wild gliders don't have as long of a lifespan, but they also don't have vets to take care of them.

Eating lizards, hunting, eating other little critters.. that's what gliders do. As much as I'm sure everyone's gliders just love brown goop and defrosted frozen veggies, it's not at all the same. I've heard it mentioned on here before that gliders are new to the pet trade, and thus aren't as domesticated as most common pets.. that's just all the more reason that they crave the life and food of their wild cousins.

More times than I can count, my cats have come trotting up to my front door with a dead mouse hanging from their mouth. Now, only when they come to greet me have I been able to see these mice, who knows how many of them they've devoured when I wasn't there to confiscate it! Point being, what do most people do in this case? They scold their cat and take the mouse to throw away. How many people panic and immediately take their cat to see the vet? After all, mice carry a plethora of parasites and diseases themselves. Even the fleas on mice are capable of transporting deadly diseases to a cat. I'll say this now, though.. I've never had a cat die from eating a mouse. I've had many, MANY cats in my life, and still none have even gotten sick from munching on a filthy wild street mouse.

And so I end with this..
Flame me all you want, discourage all the people in the world not to allow their gliders any pleasures because 'there is a slight chance your glider could DIE!'
We all spoil our babies because we love them. None of us want anything horrible to happen to them, none of us want to see them suffer. But look at this - the person in the 'Housing and Accessories' post (I'm sorry the name escapes me) lost their glider to batting from a pouch. We can do our best to protect our babies, but we shouldn't go overboard and become so obsessive. Gliders get sick, gliders get into things they shouldn't, gliders fight with each other, and gliders die. Why should we deprive them of something they love, something programmed into their genetic code to eat, just because we have the tiniest fear that they may get diarrhea? If he gets sick, take him to the vet! Don't miss out on giving your glider a taste of his wild side just because of what you've heard.

If I've been able to convince anyone out there to at least put their fears aside and try it, I'm happy. I know Kojak is happy that I was able to. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Lizards. - 04/02/06 02:16 AM

Actually, I was the one who posted the list of zoonose parasites that are often attributed to reptiles (and that includes all reptiles, not only lizards) and I have fed lizards to my gliders in the past. They have never posed problems. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed your experience as much as your gliders did.

I'm always for dietary and behavioural enrichment.

I wanted to put up the list just so those who decide to feed lizards to their gliders know the risks, not to discourage the feeding of lizards by any means. You may as well know what you're getting into, just like reviewing/signing a waiver before performing a bungee jump!

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Lizards. - 04/02/06 03:01 AM

I'm sorry, I probably sounded rather aggressive with my post. It's a tendency of mine when I get really excited about something I'm talking about <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frostyangel.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

But yes, I'm all for letting everyone know there are indeed risks. I just wanted people to be encouraged to make their own decisions about things, instead of reading something negative in a post and thinking 'well if there is even the slightest chance of something happening to my baby, then I don't want any part of it.'

There are many other things to be considered when it comes to your (meaning the general glider owner) own personal glider. Some things that may seem like a risk can actually be extremely beneficial for your glider, and you shouldn't deprive your glider of it just because of something you read.

That goes with both mine and your (Mikey this time :X) posts. People shouldn't trust everything I've said or everything you've said!

I'm not trying to 'bash' anyone when I say this, but I think people should stop using this website as a crutch and try to research, learn, experience, and discover things with their gliders on their own. I feel this site is VERY important, with all the advice, contacts, etc. that it provides.. Everyone just needs to keep in mind that it is just advice, you don't have to follow anything I say, or anything anyone else says for that matter.

Oh and I'm so glad you've fed your gliders lizards <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/muchlove.gif" alt="" />
I'm considering recording my boy next time to show everyone, so even if they don't choose to feed their gliders lizards, they can see how magnificent it is to watch! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cloud9.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Lizards. - 04/02/06 03:02 AM

Thats great. Just for the record though, some of us are informed when we warn of the parasites, the case of lizards many contain salmanella, I have owned reptiles for years and am well aware, as are many people, that it is expremely common that they do and also potentially dangerous.

But, I think that is a great experience your gldier had, just want everyone to know the facts before they do it! I just don't want you to think that some of us warn about this becuz we like nagging for fun-lol

It is a personal choice-but the threat is very real for some of us--I just can't do lizards becuz as stated previously I am too knowledgable about the salmonella, but if someone comes on here an d shows me that salmonella is beneficial to gliders <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> then i may try!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Lizards. - 04/02/06 03:12 AM

Oh Mikey you're over your private message limit <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />
If it isn't too much of a bother, please AIM me sometime. Had a little something I wanted to say <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Lizards. - 04/02/06 03:35 AM

luminkite, I've deleted all the pms in my box. Feel free to PM me.

I don't think people use this site as a crutch at all. When you've spent more time on these boards you discover how much of a wealth of useful, applicable knowledge this site really harbours.

It's definitely a learning experience on these boards (and it applies especially to these diet threads), and it's really up to the people to evaluate what they read and to guage whether or not they are comfortable with taking certain risks. Again, it's like bungee jumping; despite the risks many have successfully bungee jumped and made it out alive, while others just don't feel comfortable with taking that risk no matter how slight the chance of mishap, and no amount of encouraging/pushing will induce such people to take the risks.

We all have to learn to respect people's boundaries. Not everyone is as daring with the gamble and willing to put the gliders' lives (or even their very comfort level) on the line for the sake of discovery. Like you said, we both could be wrong in our encouragement of lizards for safe glider feeding.

Also, I wanted to mention, though our gliders are very similar in physiology to wild gliders, you have to be careful when dealing with things like immunity. Though wild gliders may be able to handle the rough-and-tough of the elements of the wild (including contaminated water, as in the example you used), it doesn't necessarily mean our gliders would be able to.

Our captive gliders have been reared in a captive bubble where we expose them to what humans call a "clean and sanitary" environment, and our gliders haven't had that opportunity to be reared from a stock that has acquired an immunity from the hardships associated with the natural habitat, and in conditions that wild gliders have. In effect, we've created a population of gliders that have been biologically affected by our controlling of their environment. They are bubble gliders, raised in the bubbles in which we contain them. Thus, I strongly feel that captive gliders differ from wild gliders in regards to immunity.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Lizards. - 04/02/06 03:47 AM

I should probably stay out of this one, lol, but I can't resist <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/evil.gif" alt="" />

I won't tell people not to feed lizards to their gliders, as I have not doen any research on the pro's and con's of feeding them...but I do want to add this...

When we bring animals into our home we have a responsibility to them. Part of that responsibiltiy is to keep our animals safe and healthy...and the other part is to keep them happy and provide enriching lives. It's all a matter of where each individual person chooses to draw the line on some of the "riskier" choices for their animals...and know that most often, it will be our animals that benfit or suffer from those choices.

However, a word about parasites. They are definately NOT something to be taken lightly...and not necessarily something that can be fixed with a band-aid at the vet's.

I am currently caring four four gliders with giardia. This has been an on-going battle for one of my gliders for three weeks now...and she is far from out of the woods yet. It is not something that is easily solved, and it is painful for me to watch her vomit and watch my other gliders have diahhrea, a lack of energy, and a lack of appetite. In my mind, I have already lost two joeys from this (one just oop and the other that never made it to the pouch) and that hurts more than I can say.

Where my gliders got the parasite from...I don't know....I try to eliminate a lot of the risks...but I can't eliminate all of them all the time....but for me....I would never increase the chances of my gliders (or me) having to go through this again.

Again, it's a personal opinion but one that people should not make lightly. Consider all the benefits and the detriments that come with the choices you make. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Lizards. - 04/02/06 04:02 AM


You know something. I really, really take to heart what you say. Our pets should lead full healthy lives! It is our responsibility to make sure they have lots of stimulation and tasty things to eat.

However, how someone decides to pursue that is a really personal choice. I have more than a few good reasons not to feed live lizards to my guys, and this is based off my experience.

I own a bearded dragon and gecko (fwi, I don't care about feeding lizards because I own two--LOL) so I frequent the message boards in the reptile community. This is a place where vertabrates--including mice, rabbit, lizards and birds--are not just fun snacks for pets, but staple diets. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

The most seasoned reptile owners do NOT feed live vertabrates to their pets--except in extreme circumstances (ex- no other food source is available or if their reptiles refuse to eat pre-killed).

Ethics aside, there are valid reasons for this. Aside, from the risk of injury (rodents have sharp teeth), the process of freezing radically radically lowers incident of disease and parasites.

If someone who has a pet snake or lizard cares that much about their pet's health, I feel I should look out even more for my gliders

Another important thing to consider is that though sugar gliders may eat live lizards in the wild, that doesn't mean it's healthy to do--especially in captivity. Wolves eat live rabbits. Should we feed them to our dogs, too? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Wild animals don't live as long as captive animals. That means if a wild animal gets a parasite or disease from its food, we'd probably not get a chance to see the disease spread as the critter will get munched way before it comes close to living its full life. Something else to remember is wild animals also not kept in their own fecies (and neither is their prey). This means they are less likely to re-expose themselves over and over to disease.

I worked in two different pet stores for 5+ years. The condition most reptiles (and other feeder vertabrates) come shipped in is FILTHY. They are over-crowded so the rate of salmonella and parasites is much higher than normal.

Okay, so I may be paranoid about all this, but I have witnessed the effects of salmonella on small pets first-hand. It's not pretty. For us, causes severe diahiarrea so you take some anti-biotics it goes away. Doesn't sound too bad right?

Well, it doesn't work that way with the little guys. I had the pleasure of volunteering for the Baltimore Zoo for a few years in their education center. They are very clean and have very strict protacal about hygiene between handling animals.

However, one day one of the volunteers wasn't very careful about washing his hands after handling the box turtles. It spread very fast. In two days, it killed 3 guinea pigs. These were domestic animals who were carefully watched and treated by a full-time vet on the premise. Sugar gliders are smaller and more fragile than guinea pigs. Because there is less known about them, it is harder to catch disease and treat it. Emergencies are not just scary--they are very expensive--way more for exotic pets.

Now what you say about cats is true. Most of them do just fine after munching a few wild rodents. My mother has a farm cat who is turning 10 this year and he's built like a wrestler. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

However, cats are different from gliders. Cats can be wormed and vaccinated so they are protected from many nasty disease. This is something we can't do for our gliders.

What's worse is exotic pets have a bad rap for spreading disease -- to humans. I don't know if any of you remember a scare that involved prairie dogs a few years ago, but I believe it is part of what led to a ban on sugar gliders (and lots of other exotics) in Pennsylvania.

When there are diseases animals can pass to each other they can sometimes pass them to people, too. This makes it even more important that we--as exotic pet owners--do everything possible to reduce our pets' risks to being exposed to disease.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share the reasoning and experiences behind my decision not to feed live lizards (or any other animals other than feeder insects--which have a low-risk for disease).

If you (or anyone else) wish to feed lizards to your pets, that is your decision. Pet care and nutrition are very personal choices one should never pass judgement on as long as the owner is putting the welfare of their animal first.

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Lizards. - 04/02/06 04:19 AM

I fully hear you on the salmonella plea.

I was working with herps when I worked at the pet shop (reptile and amphibian dept) and one day I contracted a strain of salmonella and two strains of campylobacter all at the same time. It was definitely NOT a pretty site, and the Ontario Ministry of Health contacted me and the works. At one point they were considering hooking me up to IV's at the hospital.

It's definitely a risk and a danger I can fully attest to, but again, it's a risk I've taken. Lizards make good glider food.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Lizards. - 04/02/06 04:27 AM

Also, if we're talking about lizards as a food source for all wild gliders, it should be noted that wild gliders don't actually consume considerable amounts of lizards in the wild. It makes no mention in the renowned publication Marsupial Nutrition of wild gliders observed to feed on lizards (nor any vertebrate for that matter). Their main prey items were always insects and spiders.

I think wild gliders are opportunistic in feeding habits when it comes to meat. They may come across a cockatoo (there's a species which nests in eucalypt foliage/trunks, but I don't remember which one and I'm too lazy to check) nest and make use of the live prey or run into a house gecko on domestic territory, but if we're talking about an important protein source for wild gliders universally, lizards are not near the top of the menu from the literature that I've read. I'm sure there may be a wild colony out there that does feed on lizards and if it's documented, I'm sure Pockets would have a record of that.

The lizards I know of that are arboreal and may share a habitat/niche with gliders are varanids (monitors and goannas) which are typically natural predators of the gliders.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: gliderdad79

Re: Lizards. - 04/02/06 04:29 AM

You are perfectly right, everyone has the choice to make their own decision. Topics like this have been brought up year after year. We learned our answers from stories of trial and error from other glider owners and people in the community who have done research. There may or may not be any nutritional values in feeding reptiles to gliders I don't know. Why I choose not to is the fact that reptiles can carry parasites, salmonella, etc. Pet stores are not always the most sanitary place and more often animals, reptiles,etc you get from a pet store have some sort of mites or parasite. Even if you didn't get it from a pet store, but wild caught you risk the chances of them carrying pesticide's that your glider would ingest. The main difference is that gliders hide there illness very well. Most of the time, by the time we notice our glider being ill, it's almost to late. And even if they make it, the damage is done and their health is compromised for good. That is why I choose not to feed,the risk of my gliders health not because I heard someone say not to
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