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Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders?

Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/05/07 11:18 PM

Has anyone ever heard of or had a glider with a diagnosed condition of hypothyroidism? I am interested in finding out if there is a previous case history about this disorder in gliders at all. I researched on the Merck's manual, but it indicated that it has mainly been confined to dogs, with some presence in cats and large livestock... If you are aware of any gliders that have ever been diagnosed with this disease, please let me know right away...
The reason I am interested is because there's a remote possibility that my Mareki might have it and I need to find out whether any other gliders have been diagnosed with this before. If so, what was the method of diagnosis and what treatments were used, if any?
I know this is pretty obscure, but any information would help.
Thanks...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/05/07 11:28 PM

Not to sound stupid, but what is that?? confused
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/05/07 11:41 PM

It's an under active thyroid...

I've never heard of a glider diagnosed with it, but I would think any animal with a thyroid would be capable of having it... I know it's diagnosed via a blood test and that's about it. We had Honey tested for that and diabetes when I first got her because she was huge. Her blood sugar was really high, so she ended up on a diet and slimmed right down...
Posted By: Srlb

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/06/07 03:17 AM

I may be completely wrong here, but I am almost certain that I have heard Shelia talk about this with gliders before. You may want to contact her. dunno
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/06/07 03:20 AM

Peggy,
I have already sent an e-mail to her and received a reply - which I printed out to bring with me to the vet's tomorrow. Apparently, her vet never did any testing to confirm or refute the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Also, treatment was never pursued, so we really don't know whether that was the true cause of her glider's issues or not dunno
Posted By: Srlb

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/06/07 03:25 AM

I thought I had heard her mention it before.

Well, I am interested to see if that is the case then. If so, it could possibly be the answer to many members questioning about why their gliders are so overweight. Of course each one would HAVE to have their glider tested and not just *assume* that is the problem.

I do pray that isnt the reason Suz, but do keep us posted on it.
Posted By: Ellen

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/06/07 03:29 AM

I can tell you a thyroid is just that. Low or high. It is a major part of the PATHORIDROID,gland. THere are test to be done. But it starts with theParathorid gland.
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/06/07 03:57 AM

Thank you, Ellen. I will let you all know what the vet says when I talk to her about it more tomorrow. I'm sure it means that we'll have to have a complete blood work-up done. Do you think x-rays should be done, too? Or would the gland be too small on a glider to show up?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/11/07 04:20 AM

Parathyroid tissue and thyroid tissue are different and do different functions and produce different hormones. The are different glands in different locations, although both are in the neck. Parathyroid is predominantly involved in calcium regulation, and arises embryologically from the branchial clefts. They are very tiny glands and very hard to find even during surgery looking for them. Luckily their malfunction is more rare.

Thyroid overactivity and underactivity is more common than that of the parathyroid. Since thyroid hormone plays a role in many cell lines' growth and function, it often shows up with symptoms when out of kilter. The normal state is the have normal thyroid levels, or be euthyroid (as opposed to hypo- or hyper- thyroid.)

Both glands' hormone states (thyroid and parathyroid) if abnormal would be suggested by signs and checked by blood tests. Having watched Health & Hygeine on GC for a long time, I do not recall a post with blood-work confirmed hypothyroidism.

Low parathyroid is rare, and elevated is only treated by surgery. Wouldn't even attempt it in a glider.

Thyroid is a little easier to deal with. If low, hormone replacement is pretty easy with a tab in food daily. Instead of frequent hormone assays, one could probably get by with watching growth to titrate dose, but your vet could best advise you. Each patient may require a different dose. Hyperthyroidism, although less common, would be a little more difficult. You didn't say what signs you are noticing to make you think of hypothyroidism. ???
Posted By: LSardou

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/11/07 04:26 AM

Excellent post schelp, Thank You! This is a very interesting topic.
Suz, I pray that Mareki is alright and that it's nothing serious.
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/11/07 01:14 PM

Schlep, I think it's her weight that is making them wonder about poss. Thyroid issues. The glider has been having recurrent SM/infection issues in the chest/patagium over the last year or so also, aside from that.
Posted By: Sheila

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/13/07 04:25 AM


the flaking ears is definately a sign of it.
Posted By: Sheila

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/18/07 04:45 PM

My vet came by Friday to do my yearly inspection. I asked him about this and showed him my male that I thought had this. He said there is no baseline to compare bloodwork too. With Cats and dogs they know what the numbers are suppose to be, but don't know with sugar gliders. That is why we never did the blood work before.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/18/07 07:05 PM

well couldn't they test them all? That would let them know at least if any numbers varried greatly from the others? Or perhaps any vet, if interested, could test a few suggies when they're already in for other things? While they're already under? Depending on how much blood they need to test that sort of thing, I don't see a problem with just taking a teeny bit to test.
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/19/07 08:52 PM

Sorry I didn't get back to all of you on this sooner - I've been out of town and away from a computer for the past 10 days...

Schlep, thanks for the information. Mareki's symptoms include obesity, dry/flaky skin, chronic self mutilation over the past 18 months...

Sheila, my vet did tell me that they don't have baseline numbers for thyroid testing and that's why we can't pursue this further with Mareki frown

Brittney, the problem with testing other gliders to find out what their levels are to come up with a "baseline" is:
1) In order to draw blood, a glider needs to be anesthesized, which has multiple risks.
2) There's no way to really know whether the gliders being tested have issues with their thyroid or not, so you may not get accurate numbers.
Posted By: Srlb

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/19/07 09:11 PM

I also talked to Dr. Tristan about this and he also said that there is no baseline to go by.

Quote:
1) In order to draw blood, a glider needs to be anesthesized, which has multiple risks.
2) There's no way to really know whether the gliders being tested have issues with their thyroid or not, so you may not get accurate numbers.


Although you are right in both cases Suz, Dr. T and I were talking and if people are taking gliders in for neutering and are willing to have bloodwork done at that time, then numbers can be gathered. Granted, we wont know if a glider has issues with the thyroid with just blood work on one or two gliders, but if we had several people (at least 50) that are willing to have blood taken to get some numbers, we can average it out, which is what they basically do anyway. Therefore, if anyone has a set of numbers that is way above or below the overall average, it will give us at least SOME kind of idea.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/19/07 09:54 PM

Well, I plan on taking my Ramen in to get snipped pretty soon; what kind of tests do we need to ask the vet to run? And where do we send these numbers once we have them?
Posted By: North_Nocturne

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/19/07 10:23 PM

I don't know anything about gliders with hypothyroidism but I have it and so does my mom and sister. The reason I bring this up is that my current doctor does not diagnose with a blood test, he does it by body temperature. From my understanding this method is actually and older method of diagnosing thyroid problems that is being used more commonly again by some doctors who prefer more natural/alternative methods.

Many years ago I went to a GP who did bloodwork to initially diagnose my hypothyroidism and that testing indicated I barely had a problem. However my symptoms were very extreme and included a 30 pound weight gain in two months even though I kept cutting back my diet more and more. Luckily that doc agreed to put me on a higher dose of medication even though my bloodwork showed I was only borderline. When I switched to my current doctor he had me tracking my morning temperature to determine the extent of my thyroid issues and also put me on a more natural hormone prescription.

I really have no idea if the temperature thing could help diagnose a glider with hypothyroidism but if you're all out of options it might be something to investigate.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/19/07 10:43 PM

Peg - you got what I was saying there smile
I'm just saying if my sug was going in for something else and was already going to be put under, if she asked to take a blood sample for research purposes like this (or however you'd put it) I would definently let her. If they only need a small amount (like a drop or two) I don't see why anyone would really object? Hmmm... let us know how it goes!
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: Hypothyroidism in Sugar Gliders? - 06/20/07 12:33 PM

It really is an excellent idea to get done on gliders who are having to be anesthesized anyway thumb Personally, I'm having two of my males neutered this summer, so I will ask the vet about it at that time for them... I would love to be able to compile baseline data on this since there's currently none available. Peg, thanks for the information from Dr. T about needing approximately 50 samples... Maybe if more of us who are getting gliders neutered could get our vets to do the extra testing, we could get this baseline so the glider community would have the information for future reference thumb That would be great!

(Brittney, sorry I misread your earlier post worried )
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