GliderCENTRAL

Scratching / Swiping at Mouth

Posted By: AZDrea

Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/10/21 02:34 PM

Hello all, I recently inherited a sugar glider family, and have fallen in love with these little ones! Recently, I’ve noticed the oldest male scratching / swiping at his mouth. Afterwards, he appears to gag. He doesn’t seem to want to eat mealworms anymore, and accepts treats very slowly, hesitantly lately. None of the others display this behavior and wondering if anyone has seen this type of thing and what it means. I included the only video I was able to capture of him doing it below.

https://mystuff.bublup.com/ui/landing_page?item_id=001-i-76b60949-bd19-4447-8b79-3513dfed7729

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Posted By: KarenE

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/10/21 02:54 PM

:welcome: We are glad you are here and congratulations on your new fur family.

It appears to me something is bothering him, more than likely, inside his mouth. It could be something as simple as aa piece of food stuck but it could be something more serious like a tooth that is giving him pain. In any case, a vet check to see what is going on inside his mouth is warranted.

Teeth problems can become very serious if not caught early.
Posted By: AZDrea

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/10/21 03:07 PM

Thank you Karen, that’s what I was interpreting it as, but didn’t want to run crying to the vet if it’s something they commonly do and labeled as an over-protective, hysterical sugar mom - which I am but there’ll be plenty of time for that LOL

Are there dental treatments that vets can perform and anything specific I should tell the exotic pet vet NOT to do, I’m sure they know what they’re doing but I’d prefer to err on the side of caution.

Thanks so much for responding, I’ve tried reaching out on other platforms and never got a response 💗
Posted By: KarenE

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/10/21 03:34 PM

Never EVER let a vet float/trim a glider's teeth. If a vet says their teeth need to be trimmed like a rodents, grab your glider and head for the door agree Find a knowledgeable vet.

Take the video with you so the vet can see this behavior and tell him exactly when you first noticed it ... which I forgot to ask you. How long this has been going on.

Tell the vet everything you can think of regarding the behavior since you have had him such as eating habits in particular, playing, sleeping, poop, peeing, etc. Everything will help the vet with his diagnosis.
Posted By: AZDrea

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/10/21 04:11 PM

It’s hard to say when I first noticed it, possibly a week ago? He started not taking mealworms or treats from me, when I enter their room he will drink a bit of water and then come and settle himself in my lap and groom himself and sleep. The mom has two oop young joeys that he is usually with... in fact, I see her out of the pouch more than he is. The last few nights he jumps on their enclosure door to get my attention and I have started feeding him separately to ensure his intake is sufficient. He is eating but gingerly or slower (I think) than usual. It is possible hun that as I am getting to know them it’s not something new but just something I’ve noticed? He has an appointment tomorrow at 3pm - I will make sure they do not float or trim the teeth. What other options are there? Extraction or?
Posted By: Feather

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/10/21 06:31 PM

I agree with Karen, he needs to go to a vet. He may need an extraction and antibiotics. Judging my the we look of his chest and belly he has an issue in his mouth.

Please keep us posted on him.
Posted By: AZDrea

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/10/21 08:32 PM

He’s going in tomorrow at 3pm... his belly is yellowed and wet, I assumed because the very young joeys were urinating / suckling him when momma was out of the pouch. He does start grooming himself when curled up on me. I have tried to track down info on that too but haven’t been successful. So the yellowed and wet belly is not a normal thing when the dads are in with the little ones? If not that is definitely another thing I’ll have the vet address tomorrow. I was able to track down the vet the previous owners said they would bring the gliders to... turns out they only had their nails trimmed but no fecal exams etc... Any other suggestions on what tests I should have run on this little guy?
Posted By: Berg

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/10/21 10:25 PM

We have had a number of gliders with tooth problems over the years, but I've never seen the behavior you have in the video. Clearly something is bothering him. Usually a tooth extraction is the way to go if periodontal disease is bad (not uncommon in sugar gliders). Good luck and let us know what they find out.
Posted By: AZDrea

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/10/21 11:48 PM

I want to thank all of you for your replies. I literally am tearing up thinking he’s in pain and I couldn’t figure it out. I pray the vet will find something and help him tomorrow. They said possible anesthesia so they can properly examine. That is okay for him, right?
Posted By: Feather

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/11/21 12:44 AM

Yes, they gas them down so they can get a good look in their mouth. They aren't out long.
Posted By: AZDrea

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/11/21 11:18 PM

Here at the vet, doc came in and said he is definitely sick, and is going to put him under to be better able to examine him. The vet said she also has not seen this behavior in a sugar glider before and wants to take X-rays to see if any bones are broken in his face 😭...
Posted By: AZDrea

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/12/21 12:07 AM

So, he has an abscessed tooth in the back, it’s loose and bleeding and it will need extraction. So pain meds and antibiotics prior to surgery. And puréed baby food diet meats and fruits. I’m so relieved that he’s going to finally get some relief.
Posted By: Feather

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/12/21 05:23 AM

Glad she found the issue. Keep us posted on his surgery.

I have a glider going in for his two front lower teeth to be extracted.
Posted By: AZDrea

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/12/21 03:24 PM

Poor babies! I hope they all feel better soon. I told the vet that I was embarrassed to admit I had no idea they had back teeth. I have a lot to learn 🥺. I appreciate your input, I was so worried about him. He lost 11 grams due to this issue 😞
Posted By: KarenE

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/12/21 04:06 PM

So glad to hear you have a vet who apparently knows what she is talking about and will get your baby on the road to recovery. Watch him close for any signs of distress after the extraction and please keep us posted.
Posted By: Feather

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 03/13/21 04:35 AM

In total, sugar gliders have 40 teeth.
Posted By: AZDrea

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 04/22/21 05:28 PM

Good morning, just wanted to share an update. He had his oral surgery on April 7th, they removed 27 teeth. He had severe dental issues including lesions and bone involvement. He weighed 85 grams at the time of surgery and yesterday at his follow-up appointment he weighted 112 grams! Vet said his condition was caused by lifelong dietary deficiencies and a soft food diet. She said she’s amazed at his recovery and he received a clean bill of health. I’m so glad I inherited these little guys and could assist in helping him get out of the obvious discomfort he was in. Thank you all for your input 💗

https://mystuff.bublup.com/ui/landing_page?item_id=001-i-39d822c0-1f21-40d3-88b1-7a871a494714

Teeth
Posted By: Ladymagyver

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 04/22/21 09:58 PM

dance :yes: clap :hdance: jump

So glad he's feeling and doing better!! Thank you for the update heart
Posted By: theresaw

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 04/22/21 11:57 PM

Great News!! jump
Posted By: Feather

Re: Scratching / Swiping at Mouth - 04/25/21 03:51 AM

Great News!!!!

They bounce back fast after those nasty teeth are removed. I had two gliders get multiple extractions earlier this month.
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