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Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts???

Posted By: SarahW

Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts??? - 08/12/06 10:04 PM

If anyone has any thoughts on the matter, they would be most appreciated. The soonest their new vet (VERY experienced with gliders,thank goodness) can see them is Tuesday morning, so please keep my little ones in your hopes and prayers in case something is wrong....

I have four gliders, Sugar and Spice (female, sisters, 4.5 years old), and Joey and Meeko (unrelated neutered males, 2.5 years old). They all share a cage, eat the same diet, sleep in the same pouches.

Now last week we all made a cross-country move which kept the gliders in a smaller (2x2x3 instead of 2x3x6) cage than they were used to and altered their diet a little (fewer mealies, carrots every night) for about a week. I noticed on the second or third day of the move that the sides of Meeko's nose were a little yellow, and now that we've been settled in for a few days it is obvious that both Meeko and Joey have yellowish nose sides, paw pads, and under their ears. So it is clear that something is wrong, because they are jaundiced. The girls have pink paws, under-ears, and nose sides, and they seem fine.

As far as activity, all the gliders are active, and if anything they are more active than usual since being returned to their big cage (which was cleaned thoroughly and rinsed thoroughly before I put them back into it). They all ate less during the trip, but since returning to the big cage their food dishes have been empty in the morning. Meeko took about two or three days longer to get his appetite up in the evenings, but he always got up during the day to snack, so he's eating the normal amount. Water consumption is up a little across all four gliders, but we are in a drier climate now and the extra drinking can be explained by the extra activity and lower humidity.

The only thing I noticed that was different was that a couple nights ago, their coats were a little greasier when they woke up, but since we went a bit longer since cleaning pouches due to the move, I swapped out pouches and they were fine last night and today.

So basically I have four gliders who are eating, drinking, grooming, sleeping and playing normally, but two are jaundiced. Of course all four are going to the vet's office with me on Tuesday (if two are jaundiced the other two should get a wellness check), but any thoughts you can offer now would be appreciated. I am not feeding mealies the next few days (in case it is a liver problem, I don't want to make it worse with extra protein) and their diet (BML/veggies/fruit) will not change other than that.

I am worried about my little ones, so any advice you have would be most appreciated!!!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts??? - 08/12/06 10:19 PM

Everything I have heard about Jaundice is all bad...but I have been blessed; I have seven, for 2 years now, and have never had a sick glider (knock on wood). Prayers your way, someone will be around quickly I'm sure....
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/12/06 10:34 PM

Here are some pics of Meeko I just took.

Attached picture 614466-DSC02272.jpg
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/12/06 10:35 PM

Pic #2

Attached picture 614467-DSC02269.jpg
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/12/06 10:37 PM

Pic #3...

Meeko pooped right after this pic. It was the normal size, shape, firmness, and smell, but yellowy-brown instead of brown. All the poop in the cage drawer is the normal color, so perhaps things are getting worse (or perhaps this is his yogurt and carrots from last night?).

Attached picture 614469-DSC02265.jpg
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/12/06 10:41 PM

Sarah,
When you called it was during the meet up and it was crazy here. Pleaae let me know how they are doing and what you find out. I don't know what could be going on, they have been so healthy other than a few issues in the past. I am praying for them and you too. You are such a good mom, I know that Joey and Meeko have been so blessed to have you as thier mom. Please give them a kiss for me, and the girls too.
<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />
Angie
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/12/06 10:43 PM

I will, Angie... They are still acting very healthy, they just have yellow noses! But you can't be too careful... we are all going to the vet on Tuesday. Please hope good thoughts for them...
Posted By: MelindaKay

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/12/06 11:41 PM

Did the boys eat more carrots then the girls? I know that when I was a teenager (many years ago - lol) I went on some kind of crazy carrot diet. Ate nothing but raw carrots for days. The bottoms of my feet and hands and noise turned a yellow/orange color. My mom freeked out and ran me to the Dr. I was diagonsed with "eating too many carrots" and they were coming out my pigments in my skin - lol. It took several days for it to go away after I quit eating them. These were home grown carrots out of our garden too so no artifical anything in them.

Since they are eating and playing normally don't give them anymore carrots until the vet visit. Watch them close and if any changes do you have an emergency vet located just in case?

Keep us posted!!
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/13/06 12:09 AM

Good idea, no carrots or yams (another favorite) or mealies until the vet visit, then.

Yes, there is a 24/7 emergency vet available at the same practice, but I'd rather go with the "glider guy" if the gliders are doing ok otherwise (he's not the e-vet this weekend). This new vet should be super awesome; he has 20+ years experience in exotic pet medicine, he did graduate work in Animal Nutrition in addition to getting the DVM degree, and after getting his DVM he spent 20 months on an internship doing "wildlife medicine in Queensland, Australia, working with small marsupial populations...". Talk about qualified! They have another vet in the practice that just works on small mammals, too.

I certainly won't risk their health by waiting if things take a turn for the worse between now and Tuesday. I know how quickly gliders can go from appearing to be 100% healthy to camping at death's door...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/13/06 12:41 AM

praying for a happy diagnosis
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/13/06 01:37 AM

I hope everything turns out okay, keep us updated!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/13/06 02:12 AM

Their color is most likely from being fed too many carrots. Carrots even turn people orange if you eat too many of them and it doesn't take long. You can give them mealies but don't give them carrots for a while. Everythign will be fine and they should go back to their normal color within a week or so.
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/13/06 10:46 PM

Yes, they will be off carrots for a little bit. I'm stll taking them to the vet just to be sure. The thing that is weird to me is, all four get the same food and the girls have normal pink skin.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/13/06 11:11 PM

Suspect it is not diet. Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and the yellow veggies may give skin some food pigment(it is not jaundice and is harmless), but that should not cause light stool pigment. Skin jaundice from the liver not being able to excrete bilirubin into the stools (causes the normal dark color) leading to high blood bilirubin levels and light stools with yellow skin is not normal. Bile duct stones, tumors, infections, inborn errors of metabolism and many other problems cause jaundice. Given two gliders at once, infections seem more likely. It would defy the odds to get simultaneous stones, tumors or mechanical obstructions. An older glider would likely not just present with an enzyme defect suddenly now. So be wary of infection. Viral hepatitis can be mild and self-limited, but can be ugly, and there is no treatment. Bacterial infections that are in the biliary tree are serious, but often treatable. Vet check seems in order.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/14/06 03:33 AM

I was out all day, a bunch of us went out and rescued some more gliders, and I have been worried all day about these two. Any updates? My prayers are with you and they boys.
((((hugs))))
Angie
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/14/06 02:15 PM

ShaunG is right. When jaundice hits, it is bad. There is almost no recovery from jaundice.

I had two gliders die from jaundice. Both gliders had a very yellowish tint to their skin, nose, ears, and paws. Both had severe liver issues and could not be reversed. They died within days, less than a week.

From what I read about your gliders, SarahW, I suspect that your males don't have jaundice but have something else. I am waiting to hear what the vet says what the boys' diagnosis is.

Here is a picture of my Deirdre, who had jaundice. Notice how yellow she was? She died the day after the picture was taken. Do your boys look like my Deirdre?


Jen

Attached File
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/14/06 05:23 PM

No, they don't really look like your little one. I have pics at the top of the thread. The yellow tint in Joey and Meeko's skin is lighter than Deirdre's. The center part of their nose is pink-purple (normal color) but the sides are light yellow, and it seems like your glider had a completely yellow nose. The underside of their paws are yellowish but not the tops... It is very perplexing. I told Angie that if they didn't have the yellow tint, you would be hard pressed to find healthier-looking gliders.

They are still active and eating, drinking, playing, grooming, and sleeping just like normal. The one yellowy poop seems to have been an anomaly---the tray only has normal poop in it. Plus they have had the yellowy color for a couple days now with no change in activity or other health signs.

Less than a day now till we get to the vet... please keep my little ones in your thoughts/prayers in case something is wrong. I will of course request a fecal float and UA and bilirubin test, and I will keep you all posted as to their condition.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/14/06 05:43 PM

I am happy they arn't showing any signs of illness other than the color. I look forward to hearing what the vet says. Kiss them all for me.
<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />
Angie
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/15/06 03:59 PM

Yesterday evening, I noticed that Joey and Meeko's yellowing had faded a little bit. They still have yellow skin, but as Brendan said, "It's definitely moving toward the pink end of the spectrum". I think they are being obstinate and trying to discourage me from taking them to the vet. I'm glad to see a change but frustrated because I'm still not sure what caused it---no yams/carrots? no mealies? an infection going away on its own? less stress?

We're still going to the vet in an hour. I checked photos of Joey and Meeko from about 3 weeks ago and I think I can see a little yellow even back then. So I'm not sure what the deal is, but it needs professional medical attention (although I am super happy about the improvement!!!).
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/15/06 04:11 PM

Mine did this when I got my first pair (Jr and Brite Eyes) they love carrots and when I went to the vets completely freaked out....! Oh boy did she chuckle...it was too many carrots. Hope thats all it was for you...Please let us know. Kisses to your babies... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/muchlove.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/15/06 05:17 PM

Waiting to hear what the vet says, and praying too.
<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />
Angie
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are HEALTHY---NO JAUNDICE!!! - 08/15/06 07:08 PM

Well, that's a load off my mind. The gliders were given a clean bill of health. The diagnosis is "too much beta carotene", or rather, enough that it's turning the boys' skin yellow (beta carotene is not harmful in larger doses to gliders). The vet says that one key to telling the difference between jaundice and beta carotene is that with jaundice/liver problems, the mucuous membranes will be orange, too, and usually they will turn orange before the skin. So he checked the gliders' gums, tongue, tip of the nose, anus, and penis. Those were the normal pink color. He also said that the ears were another clue. The skin near the ear was yellowy, but not the ear itself. In jaundice the ear itself will often get an orange or yellow tint. Palpation of the gliders' livers confirmed normal size and firmness. He also said a jaundiced glider will not eat as much, so to watch for that.

He also said that the boys' yellow-brownish poop was within the acceptable range of colors, and especially since their poop is usually normal, with occasional yellow-brown, it's just reflective of what they ate most recently (this changes in humans too). He said to be more concerned if you see yellow skin in conjunction with diarrhea than with off-color poop.

The vet was great, handled all of them for about 10 minutes each. He was really thorough. He also told me to watch for some signs that I had not been told about before---crusty ears or drooling. I thought that since I hadn't seen this mentioned, it was worth bringing up.

So THANK YOU ALL for your thoughts and prayers for my little ones. I am so glad they are healthy!!!
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are HEALTHY---NO JAUNDICE!!! - 08/15/06 07:10 PM

I should say that the crusty ears and drooling are not signs of jaundice. The drooling he said was a sign of abcesses in the mouth, and the crusty ears a sign of bad health.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/15/06 07:11 PM

Hoping it's the carrots too! I know I always thought Andi had the best tan when she was a baby until the doc told me it was because she was eating so much carrots and squash, lolo. Keep us updated please <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/15/06 08:31 PM

Glad to hear the gliders got a health check and all seems to be well <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />

Did the vet happen to run a fecal check?

Reason I ask is my gliders were exhibitng many of the same signs/symptoms that your were (yellowing of the hands/feet/nose, increased drinking, and the yellow stools). It took several weeks and many vet visits before I finally got a diagnosis of giardia with my gliders. Only one really showed signs that we may lose her (dehydration, jaundice, vomiting, lethargy) but that was not until several weeks after I first noticed something was not right with her. Up until that point she appeared to be playing, grooming, eating fine but was drinking more than normal. She only had several instances of a golden colored stool but no diahrrea. I feed carrots every night and have never had a problem with my gliders getting a yellow tinge until that time when they were sick.

Just something you may want to continue to watch for or have fecals run if they weren't done at the vet today. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/15/06 10:42 PM

Sarah,
I want to thank you for all the times you called me and gave me updates. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> It means so much(more than I can put into words) how well you care for them. I can remember at one time when they first came here, wondering and worrying about what the future held for them... I wish everyone was a loving and cared for the gliders as much as you do. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/muchlove.gif" alt="" /> I am very releieved and happy to hear that all is well with the boys.
<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />
Angie
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/15/06 11:56 PM

They did a parasite check but I don't know if that includes a test for giardia. The vet told me to keep an eye on the stool consistency, dehydration, and if the color of the stool changed to green, because that would indicate intestinal problems like Giardia. But I will email him to see if the Giardia test was done.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/16/06 12:19 AM

Sarah, I am so relieved to hear that it was the beta carotene. I knew it couldn't be jaundice as the coloring of your gliders wasn't as yellow (yours was more orange with a hint of pink) as my gliders were.

Thanks for the update, Sarah!


Jen
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/16/06 03:35 AM

That's great news but then again I wasn't real worried. My cousin turned orange when he was little because his mom fed him too many carrots <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/16/06 04:49 AM

I'm so glad it turned out to be just the carrots <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/18/06 06:54 AM

Here is a new pic I snapped of Meeko tonight, just as he decided he didn't like the last bit of his orange. Note that the yellow color is starting to clear up around his nose and ears.

Attached picture 617132-Meeko3.jpg
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/18/06 07:01 AM

And here is Joey, who looks more yellow-orange in the light of the camera flash than in the natural light of the room. Regardless, I htink the color is more pink than before I pulled them off carrots.

Attached picture 617133-Joey2-PostJaunDrVisit.jpg
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/18/06 07:01 AM

And one more pic of Meeko, whose color is fading faster than Joey's.

Attached picture 617135-Meeko2-postDoctor.jpg
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/18/06 08:02 AM

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yelclap.gif" alt="" /> Ditto about the good news and about the carrots. As a young single mother I took a job as the nursery worker at a bowling alley. A little girl about 6 months old came every Sunday night. She was allergic to green vegetables and fruit. All she could eat was carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, corn and bananas. She was the prettiest little orange baby I have ever seen. LOL Glad you got good news!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko and Joey are jaundiced---thoughts?-pics - 08/18/06 10:08 AM

glad to hear they are doing well..and they are beautiful....even though they are orange.
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