Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek

Posted By: Anonymous

Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/08/10 08:35 PM

One of our sugar gliders who we've had about a month has a weird problem. He right eye is sunken and her right cheek is swollen. The eye that is sunken is also watery and she seems to be cleaning it a lot. She has been in and out of the vet several times over the last month. She was treated for an infection of the third eyelid at the beginning of September. That healed up and her cheek went down. About a week after she came off of the antibiotics her cheek started to swell again. Our vet thought it was probably an abscessed tooth; however, once he put her under to do surgery, he realized that everything looked good. He did x-rays and couldn't find anything wrong with her. He put her on long-term antibiotics in the hopes that they will take care of the problem. Has anyone else ever experienced this?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 01:44 AM

Poor baby. Might be an abcess in the cheek? dunno
Posted By: DCMuffin

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 01:58 AM

I haven't, but it's important your glider be seen by the vet as soon as possible.

Please PM Jackie Chan's Mom...she has experience with these issues!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 02:09 AM

She was at the vet on Monday and we have an appointment in the morning for her. We couldn't get back in to see our vet today because he was out rescuing an exotic bird that had escaped from a tree. However, he said that if we needed him tonight to call him at home. I think it's a flair up of the abscess that she had at the beginning of September. She's getting pedylite right now to ward against dehydration. I just want her to feel better!
Posted By: suggiemom1980

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 02:18 AM

If possible, have him do a C & S of any infection he is able to get out, so he can treat her with specific antibiotic/s. Long tern antibiotic therapy is usually required with this kind of infection.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 02:26 AM

He actually did a C & S when he drained it the first time. It came back as e. coli and he did treat it with specific antibiotics. She restarted the antibiotics on Tuesday this week but it just seems to be getting worse.
Posted By: DCMuffin

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 02:27 AM

If she is on antibiotics and it's getting worse, then you need to call your vet at home and get in there. Something else is going on that the meds are obviously NOT targeting. I don't think you have a way around it.
Posted By: Adri

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 03:14 AM

Abscess's are notorious for flaring up over and over again. I had a glider with a recent facial abscess and she was treated with Convenia it is a one time shot, so no additional meds are necessary. She was lanced and drained and with the Convenia it never returned. You should discuss this option with your vet as many gliders have been treated with this medication for many things with great results. Val recommend it to me and I can not thank her enough. It was also used on a recent tail injury here with excellent results as well. Best of luck to you and your baby.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 03:23 AM


When I said it is getting worse, I didn't mean suddenly. It has been getting a little worse every day this week. Since she didn't start on the antibiotics until Tuesday, I wanted to give them time to work. She is acting normal (eating, playing, etc). She is drinking from her water bottle again. She runs to it and drinks every time I walk by her cage. I think she figured out that if she didn't drink from the water bottle, mommy would force pedylite down her which she hates. We did tent time earlier and she played just like always. In fact, she doesn't even seem to act like it's bothering her at all. No drooping ears or any other signs that she feels bad. It's all very odd...


Thanks for the tip! I will definitely talk to my vet about it tomorrow. She hates getting the antibiotics (and my husband hates giving them to her) so if we could do a one time shot, that would awesome!
Posted By: DCMuffin

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 03:24 AM

Amanda...thanks for the clarification. smile Good luck when you talk with the vet tomorrow! Please continue to keep us updated! thumb
Posted By: Gizmogirl

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 08:13 AM

You've been given some great advice. Good luck and please keep us posted. hug2 to you and your little one.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 06:42 PM

I just wanted to give an update after our vet visit this morning. It was the abscess of her third eyelid flaring back up again. The vet drained it again and told us to bring her back on Monday. He's going to remove the third eyelid which should (hopefully) clear it up. He is trying everything he can to keep her eye. Keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well on Monday and that this clears it up!
Posted By: Adri

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 06:49 PM

Amanda please do not let them remove the eyelid, I would really consult with another vet that has experience with this kind of thing. If you need phone numbers I will be more than glad to supply them for you.
Posted By: suggiemom1980

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 08:44 PM

Here are some of the more experienced vets. They will be happy to talk to your vet.

Dr. Tim Tristan
OSO Creek Animal Hospital

Dr. Bradley Walsh
Village vet Animal Clinic/All Creatures Veterinary Hospital
Dr. Walsh's number is

Dr. Andrew Grzanowski
Canton Center Animal Hospital

Dr. Kate Zimmerman
TriCounty Animal Hospital
(has 24hr emergency contact info on her office answering machine)

Dr. Teresa Bradley
Belton Animal Clinic

Dr. Kristen West
Mandel Veterinary Hospital
Posted By: Jackie_Chans_Mom

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 08:54 PM


Please give me a call. I would like to discuss with you some things that you have not tried yet with your baby. Removing the third eyelid is dangerous for the eye and is final - it cannot be undone. Lets please try everything we know about abscesses first. I have a lot of experience with recurrent facial abscesses in gliders and know that there are some things you and your vet could try first.

Please call me.
Number is in my signature.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 10:29 PM

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. After discussing everything with my vet today we feel that this is out best option to get our baby better. Our vet is extremely experienced with sugar gliders; he currently has several and has treated many over the 14 years he has been a vet. He is also a vet for the Nashville Zoo and is one of the leading exotic vets in our area. His recommendation did not come lightly. He has treated many facial abscesses but says that Samara's is the worst he has seen. He believes that since the nictitating membrane does not get a large blood supply, keeping her on antibiotics would be fairly useless and hard on her body. Also, when he drained it today, there was some blood mixed in it which concerned him greatly. We understand that this is permanent but as the nictitating membrane is used mainly to remove debris from the eye and provide a small amount of moisture to the eye, we believe that this is better than removing the eye for the obvious reason.

We would love to hear some of your suggestions. I'm sorry the post is so long but I wanted everyone to understand that we did not come to this decision lightly and that we understand the consequences of doing this.
Posted By: suggiemom1980

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/09/10 10:39 PM

Sending many prayers your way! hug2

Please keep us updated!
Posted By: Gizmogirl

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/10/10 10:42 AM

Prayers coming your way. hug2
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/11/10 11:11 PM

Thanks for the prayers and hugs! I wanted to give an update on how Samara is. She went back to the vet today for what feels like the 47th time. The swelling in face and eye were not nearly as bad as it has been the past few times she's been in to see him. He put her under and was able to get a better look at that third eyelid. In fact, he let me come back so I could see what he was seeing. He said that all of the inflammation in her cheek appears to be coming from her right tear duct. Her right tear duct was about twice to three times the size of her left one. He said that it could be an abscess, growth, or cancer there. He said that when he attempted to express it nothing came out. He is continuing her on the Baytril and added steroidal eye drops three times a day. He is calling the University of Tennessee's veterinary department tomorrow to consult with them. He said that removing that third eyelid is our second to last option. The last being removing the eye. He is going to call me after he talks with UT and we will see where to go next. I will post an update after I talk with him.
Posted By: suggiemom1980

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/11/10 11:32 PM

Thank you so much for the update!!! It's greatly appreciated!!! I'm so glad your vet is doing all he can for her!
Posted By: DCMuffin

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/11/10 11:54 PM

wow...thank you for the update! Sounds like things are headed in a good direction and that your vet is very proactive. I like to hear that.

Please keep us informed!
Posted By: Gizmogirl

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/12/10 06:19 AM

Thank you for the update, I applaud your vet for taking these steps to help your baby.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/25/10 01:39 AM

So, I wanted to give an update on how Samara has been doing the past two weeks or so. We took her back in the following Monday after being on the steroidal drops three times a day. Interestingly enough, the swelling finally went down to the point that my vet could finally locate the problem. She did not have an abscess but a granuloma in the direct center of her third eyelid. The infection was being caused by the granuloma and since whatever caused it to start was still in there, it wasn't healing up. So after much consideration and discussion with the UT veterinary department, our vet decided to remove the third eyelid.

The difference in her is unbelievable! She is eating twice as much as before and plays like a maniac. In fact, she actually managed to escape on my husband the other night. No worries, she didn't get far. smile She is a completely different glider now. Both her eyes are normal now and the swelling in her cheek is completely gone.

Thanks to everyone for their support!
Posted By: LSardou

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/25/10 01:48 AM

That is WONDERFUL news! I'm so glad to hear that your little one is doing better, and that they finally were able to take care of the problem.

Thank you for the update! I pray that things for her will continue to get better, and her days will be free of illness.

Your a wonderful mommy! hug2
Posted By: Gizmogirl

Re: Sunken Eye and Swollen Cheek - 10/25/10 07:46 AM

clap Wonderful news! clap I am glad she is all better now. hug2
Posted By: Anonymous

CT Scan? - 02/21/11 04:19 AM

One of our babies (Samara) has been suffering from a reoccurring facial abscess since last September. Our vet has checked for dental involvement with X-rays (all clear) and run a C & S on it. The culture returned a very resistant bacteria. I can't remember exactly which one it was. He was working on getting arrangements made with a local specialist here to have her undergo the CT scan and hasn't put her on the antibiotics since they might alter the results. The abscess has returned so I guess it's time for the CT scan. I was just wondering if anyone has ever had their suggie undergo a CT scan.
Posted By: JillMarie

Re: CT Scan? - 02/21/11 08:04 AM

Sorry, I have no experience in this area. Hopefully someone will be along, someone is bound to have had experience with this here.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 02/21/11 01:14 PM

I haven't had this procedure done on my gliders either. If it's like with humans, it's very non-invasive work and doesn't tak that long.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 02/21/11 01:18 PM

I've heard the test itself is quick and easy as well. Im interested in how it goes and what the diagnosis is though. Keep us posted please.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 03/01/11 05:03 AM

It looks like we will (hopefully) be moving the CT scan up to an ASAP procedure. It was originally scheduled for March 18th. The first available day that my vet could go to the CT scanner location. Since the CT was scheduled for so far off, he requested that we bring her in at least once a week to monitor her. I took her in Friday and he discovered that she had a corneal ulcer. He prescribed pain meds and antibiotic drops for her. Today when she went back in the vet discovered that the corneal ulcer had ruptured. Since she now has two separate problems, he is trying to eliminate as much discomfort for her as possible. If we can get the CT scan done on Wednesday (his normal day off), we will at least know what we are dealing with in regards to the facial swelling and be able to develop a treatment plan. Anyway, I'll update as we find anything out.
Posted By: angelic4296

Re: CT Scan? - 03/01/11 06:20 AM

I've had lots of CT's myself (not comparing myself to a glider, don't worry), and the best way I can describe it is as a fancier, slightly longer than usual x-ray....completely painless and over in 2-3 minutes...I'm interested to know though, how they are going to get an accurate result, seeing as though you need to lay/sit very still for a CT, much as you would do for an someone going to be holding her still or will there be sedation involved? Please keep us updated, I really hope everything goes well for you and her....
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 03/01/11 01:03 PM


They will be sedating her. That's why our vet is involved. He will be performing the anesthesia himself since he is familiar with working on small animals.
Posted By: angelic4296

Re: CT Scan? - 03/01/11 03:08 PM

Well, I hope everything goes smoothly and you get some valuable information out of the test...I'll be thinking of you, update us on how it went after it's over when you get a chance...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 03/03/11 03:06 AM

Samara had her CT today. It was quick and easy according to the vet and vet tech. We should hopefully have a diagnosis in a day or two and a plan of treatment. She was apparently a hit at the specialists though. They were taking pictures and she will be in their next newsletter!
Posted By: Feather

Re: CT Scan? - 03/03/11 04:05 AM

Oh yea, our babies are a hit at the vet too. I use the UW Vet College for my parrots and gliders and I have to take a book when I go because they steal the gliders to visiting to all the departments.

My gliders have a lot of god parents.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 03/08/11 06:35 PM

I just wanted to give an update on Samara. The results showed that she has a soft tissue mass behind her eye, in her cheek, and in her sinus cavity. She will have to go in to have a biopsy to determine if it is an abscess or a tumor. We are hoping it is an abscess. If so, her eye will have to be removed, everything cleaned, and a drain put in with lots and lots of antibiotics. If itís a tumor, there really isnít much that can be done since itís gotten into her sinus cavity. Iím trying not to think about that scenario. Iím just praying and hoping itís an abscess. Iíll update everyone when I know more.
Posted By: FuzzierThanMost

Re: CT Scan? - 03/08/11 06:48 PM

Prayers coming your way!
Posted By: angelic4296

Re: CT Scan? - 03/08/11 09:35 PM

I'm praying for you and your little one, I hope it's an abcess and nothing more....
Posted By: Gizmogirl

Re: CT Scan? - 03/09/11 06:02 AM

hug2 Sending prayers your way.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 03/16/11 02:13 AM

Thanks for all the prayers everyone. It's really helping my husband and me through this. hug2 This is going to be a long post so I'll apologize now.

Samara had the biopsy last Thursday. During the procedure, she did stop breathing but was brought back very quickly. Anyway, we got the results back today and they were inconclusive. I'm so frustrated right now that I could scream! I just want to get my baby well! Our vet is currently consulting with several exotic vets at the University of Tennessee's vet department. Basically we have three options.

1) We send her to UT to have surgery to remove the eye and "try" to remove whatever is behind her eye and in her eye cavity. Our vet was very honest with me in that the possibility she won't survive this surgery is pretty high due to the sinus involvement.

2) We put her back on antibiotics long term hoping it's an infection. She could possibly have to be on them for the rest of her life.

3) I don't even want to discuss option number 3. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Right now we are currently waiting to see if UT can even do the surgery and if so how much it will cost. We might not even be able to afford it. Between Samara and my dog who had two surgeries six months ago we've almost maxed out our Care Credit card.

We have no idea what to do. We are so confused. I love my little girl so much and don't want to give her up. However, it's more important to me that we don't continue to put her through unnecessary pain. She's been through so much since we got her last September.

Posted By: FuzzierThanMost

Re: CT Scan? - 03/16/11 02:25 AM

Never give up, it will all make sense in the end <3
Posted By: angelic4296

Re: CT Scan? - 03/16/11 06:30 AM

I'd wait to see if any of the vets from UT that your vet is consulting with come up with any new insight....

You'll know what to do, your heart will tell you. I know you love her to pieces and only want the very best for her...

Don't give up quite yet, something may pull through yet! I'll be saying a prayer for your baby and you and your husband....
Posted By: Gizmogirl

Re: CT Scan? - 03/16/11 07:07 AM

Thank you for the update Amanda. I'm so sorry that you are going through all of this. frown We will be keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers. hug2
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 03/18/11 03:53 AM

We heard from UT today. They can do the surgery either next Tuesday or Thursday!!! dance And, best of all... the charge is only going to be between $400 and $600 which we can afford!!! She is going to have about 6 board certified vets working on her. The exotic vet department, the ophthalmology department, and the anesthesiology department will all have people there while her surgery is going on. They have been trained in microsurgery and have the equipment to blow up her tiny little anatomy to large proportions to make it easier to see.

Of course, there is still the risk that she won't survive the surgery. I'm trying very hard not to get my hopes to high. There are still just too many variables that could change things. But at least she has a chance.

Thank you everyone for all your support. It has definitely made the last few days of waiting easier. hug2
Posted By: Gizmogirl

Re: CT Scan? - 03/18/11 06:36 AM

Sending prayers that everything will go well. hug2
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 03/19/11 12:50 AM

Just a very quick update. Her surgery is scheduled for next Thursday. Since I absolutely cannot take off work next week, my husband is taking her. Also, our vet put her on antibiotics and pain meds to get her through until then.
Posted By: angelic4296

Re: CT Scan? - 03/19/11 05:26 AM

Amanda, that's great news that at least they're giving her a fighting chance! Stay positive! With that big team of doctors working on her, she's going to receive the best care possible! I'll definitely be praying for her! By the way, Happy Birthday! smile
Posted By: sharit

Re: CT Scan? - 04/03/11 03:36 PM

any updates on this baby?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 04/04/11 06:30 PM

I am so sorry I haven't updated lately! Samara still has not had her surgery yet. My husband took her up for it on March 23rd. When they got there, UT insisited on doing another (micro) CT which was free luckily. The did discover what caused the abscess originally. She has a tooth that broke off under the gums. Oddly, this didn't show up on either x-rays or the first CT. Anyway, to make a VERY long story short, we have scheduled the surgery for April 21st. She is to stay on amoxicillin until then. Since we put her on the amoxicillin about 2 and a half weeks ago, she has been like a different glider. She's still just as sweet as ever but she's MUCH more active. Once she has her surgery, I'll post another update! :-) Hopefully everything will go well.
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: CT Scan? - 04/04/11 06:37 PM

Thank you so much for giving us an update! I'm so glad the Amoxicillin is helping, that's wonderful. I'm sure she will feel so much better to get that tooth outta there! Let us know how she does. hug2
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: CT Scan? - 04/22/11 09:40 PM

We are home again! YEA!!! Samara had her surgery yesterday and it went wonderfully. They removed the eye and any questionable tissue beneath it. She has had no problems so far which is wonderful! Dr. Jones said she was eating within minutes of waking up. He actually said she might want to come back because he's pretty sure she was seeing purple sugar gliders yesterday when she woke up. They had her on some heavy duty opiates afterwards. She's on pain meds right now and will continue the antibiotics for 6 more weeks. She'll have her sutures removed in two weeks. We are so happy she's home again and thankful for the vets at UT.
Posted By: Gizmogirl

Re: CT Scan? - 04/23/11 09:41 AM

clap That is wonderful Amanda!

Well wishes for a speedy recovery. hug2
Posted By: angelic4296

Re: CT Scan? - 04/26/11 05:53 AM

Congrats on a successgful procedure and I hope her recovery is very quick! smile
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