GliderCENTRAL

help! might be going blind

Posted By: Anonymous

help! might be going blind - 10/26/07 06:05 AM

IM [censored] OUT! so my gliders had parasites and had to be separated for way too long. it started as 10 days but when they went to get rechecked my girl still had them so it turned into over 20 days. everyone is parasite free and they are back together now- but my boy has been REALLY depressed. he has seen the vet and he says hes fine, but hes acting so strange-hes wobbling and looks yellowish. and he is acting like he cant see- he only responds to sound, he doesnt follow my hand like he normally would- when he does see me he seems startled.

is there something that can be making him go blind?? he has lost a bit of weight, but the vet said despite that he seems to be fine- its just b/c hes depressed



Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: help! might be going blind - 10/26/07 06:27 AM

Is the yellow on the skin on his ears/nose/hands? That is jaundice and an indication of possible liver failure. Your guy needs to go back to the vet, have urinalysis done probably followed by a blood panel for bilirubin and liver enzyme counts-white blood cell counts, etc.

There are many causes, from old age to aflatoxins, other things can damage the liver but he is VERY sick. Check him for dehydration-pull the skin up at the back of the neck over the shoulders-if it goes down slowly or not at all he needs sub-q fluids.

Normally both cagemates are treated when there are parasites-what kind were they? Usually if one has it they both do. Usually they aren't separated-they're treated together-is your vet at all familiar with gliders?

He sounds critically ill. Keep him warm and get fluids in him, and get him back to the vet asap. Let me see if I can find Chronos' pics when he was jaundiced. Or get him into A vet, since he is anything but 'fine'. worried
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: help! might be going blind - 10/26/07 06:39 AM

Here's Chronos' thread...the third page has pictures that show the yellow. I think I display 25 posts per page within a thread:

http://www.sugarglider.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=226341&fpart=3

This also tells everything the vet did for him, short of his last surgery.

No, I display 30. That makes it the 68th post in the thread.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: help! might be going blind - 10/26/07 07:59 AM

they were both treated they were separated so they didnt pass it back and forth-i personally hate my vet but he has a good reputation and has experience with gliders.
its gotten alot worse in the last hour, we are on or way to the vet now- i think he has neurological damage- he is swaying back and forth and he has a strange stevie wonder head movement- we have to go to an emergency vet ive never been to so i guess we will see... ill keep u updated =(
thank you for your input
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: help! might be going blind - 10/26/07 08:08 AM

You're probably on your way already, but please have them do urine and fecals when you get there-fecals could be hard but they can remove urine via syringe directly from the bladder if needed...ANY vet should be capable, of that and sub-q fluids and don't let them overlook the yellow. Prayers for your baby, and I'll check back in a little bit for an update. worried
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: help! might be going blind - 10/26/07 10:48 AM

I hope you got good results at the vet's office this time through. A few of the symptoms you are describing remind me of my Pika & Cricky from when they first started getting neurological damage. I had to set up their cage in a special way in order to keep it safe for them. You can read more about them by going to my thread about Neurological Damage.
Please post an update about the vet visit and your glider's prognosis when you get a chance. I'll be keeping both of you in my prayers hug2
Posted By: GliderLove

Re: help! might be going blind - 10/26/07 02:00 PM

I'm praying for a good outcome for your little one! hug2

Suz, I also was thinking of your babies post reading this hug2
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: help! might be going blind - 10/27/07 05:45 AM

Any update? We're really worried about your little boy. worried
Posted By: Anonymous

been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/27/07 07:22 PM

so heres the situation- i was out of town and gave my babies to my sister to watch (she was their former owner) my boy scruff got sick and she didnt tell me or take him the the vet... i could kill her

so i took him to the vet in the middle of the night two nights ago. he was really skinny, dehydrated, having trouble seeing and he looked yellowish. he also had this strange freak out where he started swaying back and forth and then all of a sudden he freaked and started jumping at nothing.

the emergency vet gave him fluids, a shot of calcium and a shot of antibiotics. they wanted to keep him overnight but they said they couldnt do anything else but watch him til the morning so i took him home and brought him to our normal vet when they opened yesterday.

they did a cbc, an xray and gave him two rounds of fluid and antibiotic- they said that it lookes like he has fluid in his abdomen, his white blood cells were elevated and they think he is having neurological problems.

here is where i need help- for one does anyone know what can cause this- how does a glider get neurological damage, or fluid in the abdomen.
the second thing is- i dont like or trust my vet... i feel like he cares more about money than saving an animal. they are saying that he needs to be hospitalized 24 hours a day... and the fee for that is $650-850 A DAY!!!! i love my babies and i will do anything for them but that seems insane to me (plus i dont have it unless i dont pay rent this month) i asked what exactly they do in this time and they said give injections and monitor them and they are there if something happens- well i can monitor him and bring him back if something happens so i asked if i could just bring him back for the injections when he needs them. they said that was a bad idea
i need some advice they wont tell me if he can even recover from this so what do i do...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: help! might be going blind - 10/27/07 07:25 PM

Edited to remove duplicate post...
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/27/07 07:40 PM

Neurological Damage can be caused by a variety of factors, including Strokes -or- Toxic Exposure. Abdominal fluid build up is usually caused by some type of blockage. Did the X-rays reveal any blockages?
I can't help with the abdominal fluid, as I've never had to deal with that (knock on wood), but the Neurological Damage I have dealt with. You can read all about my experience with that by going to my Special Needs thread titled Neurological Damage.
You can try to contact Jen (Xfilefan) in regards to the abdominal fluids - her home number is 435-783-6097 and her cell # is 435-640-9438. If you get her voice mail, leave a message and she'll call you back when she gets it.
I hope your glider will be okay hug2
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/27/07 07:44 PM

See my reply above... (I merged your two threads together to avoid confusion...)
Posted By: LSardou

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/27/07 07:49 PM

I'm so sorry hug2 I wished there was someting that we could do to help.... other than what Suz suggested, sometimes fluid can enter into the abdominal cavity due to perferation of the colon. Do you know if he was injured? A hard fall against something could cause some of what your describing. Do you know if he was exposed to another animal, or could he have possibly gotten into something?

I would highly suggest that you take him to another vet for a second opinion. I agree, someting just doesn't feel right with their approach.

If you can I would request his medical reports along with his x-rays. I would not wait to have him rechecked, especially if there is fluid build up.

Keeping you and your baby in my prayers. hug2
Hopefully you will have spoken with Jen (Xfilefan)
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/27/07 07:58 PM

sorry i posted everywhere i think im going crazy- as far as i know he was not injured but at the same time i just picked him up from my sister thursday night when all this started so i dont know. the vet didnt say anything about blockage

i read the threads about neuro damage yesterday and i am naively going to ask- can they recover from this or once they have it, its there forever?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/27/07 08:06 PM

i have the xrays and the records, but what do i ask for at the new vet. i cant afford to have them redo the tests they did yesterday
Posted By: LSardou

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/27/07 09:16 PM

I'm happy to hear that you do have his reports and x-rays. This will save you a great expense. I would basically explain to them what is going on and tell them that your not comfortable with your first vets diagnosis and that you are in need of a second opinion.

As for the Neurological problem, if there is one, at this point it is hard to determine without a clinical exam or report. Sugarglidersuz gave you a link earlier that discusses her one gliders Neurological Problems

Did you find out from your sister is there was a problem? or if there were other animals that could have gotten to him? If he was doing well and was showing no signs of illness prior this would help narrow down the problem to a certain degree.

Have you located another vet yet? Here is a link to our
Vet Database

If I may ask where are you located. If we knew where you are we might be able to help with locating a vet for you. There are some members here who have vets that would be willing to do phone consultation if necessary.

Sending you lots of hug2
Posted By: USMom

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/27/07 11:49 PM

I have dealt with fluid in the abdomen. In my glider it turned out to be ascites, caused by liver damage, which was caused by aflotoxin poisoning. General fluid build up like that, in the abdomen, is generally going to be caused by liver damage of sort, or is an infection. I would consider this an emergency, and find another vet. Did your vet try and drain any fluid? If so, what did it look like? Was it watery or pus like?
How is he doing now? Is he acting any better? Please keep us updated on your little guy, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 12:07 AM

im in chicago on the northwest side- i have been going to the animal house of chicago, and for emergency hours-midwest animal emergency hospital

i have been playing with scruff for the last half hour and i know hes not cured or anything, but he does look alot better. he is still skinny but much better than 2 days ago, his eyes are bright and his ears are up, he is eating like a little chub, and he is walking and climbing normally. his energy level is still a little low but much better.

as for the neurological problems, im not sure but his vision seems alot better, and hes not as twitchy as he was

i think that as long as he is improving im going to hold off on taking him to get a recheckup until monday- i know that it should never be about money but the difference between taking him in today and on monday is huge- so as long as he doesnt go downhill im gunna keep him here

if anyone has any suggestions or anything i should watch out for i would really appreciate it
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 12:15 AM

Originally Posted By: USMom
I have dealt with fluid in the abdomen. In my glider it turned out to be ascites, caused by liver damage, which was caused by aflotoxin poisoning. General fluid build up like that, in the abdomen, is generally going to be caused by liver damage of sort, or is an infection. I would consider this an emergency, and find another vet. Did your vet try and drain any fluid? If so, what did it look like? Was it watery or pus like?
How is he doing now? Is he acting any better? Please keep us updated on your little guy, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.



they didnt try to drain anything- they said that there MIGHT be fluid in the abdomen based on the xray. that is partly why im frustrated with them because if they suspected that was the problem, they didnt do anything to find out for sure.
how did they find out that there was fluid and that it was a liver problem
Posted By: GliderLove

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 12:55 AM

Originally Posted By: twiggie
im in chicago on the northwest side- i have been going to the animal house of chicago, and for emergency hours-midwest animal emergency hospital


I'm from Elmhurst and those are the two places I went to before I moved to Minnesota 4 yrs ago. Also there is Animal 911 I forgot what town it's in but it's good too.

There is another vet, Dr. Byron (his first name) I'll have to see what clinic he is in, but he is one of the best in Illinois! He does my friends Kinkajou's and her Fennec's too. He seen her gliders for over 10 years. I'll get his info and PM it to you. Just in case you want a second opinion.

I wish you the best, and keep us posted on his progress, if you should notice ANY changes at all I certainly would not wait.
Posted By: morksmom

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 12:59 AM

I don't know anything about gliders with fluid in the abdomen but we have recently had to put our 1 1/2 yr old Jack Russell down for fluid in the abdomen. The vet said it was caused my probably congestive heart failure???????
Best wishes for you and your little one.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 01:00 AM

dr. byron works at animal house of chicago- he is my primary vet, and i do like him but he is not there on fridays or weekends and the vet i saw yesterday i was not happy with.
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 01:17 AM

It depends on the cause of the neurological damage as to whether it's permanent or not. Sometimes, those same symptoms can be caused by an inner ear infection... Please continue to keep us posted. hug2
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 01:26 AM

last night he still had symptoms suggesting neurological problems. he couldnt see well and he was very twitchy and would have strange spurts where he would start jumping to nothing. he also wouldnt let his sister groom him- she was trying to help him and its like he was afraid of her and he kept clawing at her. i put him in the smaller spare cage we have for the night and all day today he has not had any of those symptoms. im just hoping they dont come back
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 01:30 AM

Hopefully they won't come back. If all of this was caused by some type of toxin, then it's very possible that as it works out of his system that he'll go back to normal in time...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 01:50 AM

Maybe ask your sister if she fed them anything different or that possibly had mold on it, or if she used any cleaning products near their cage. If this is indeed some type of toxin maybe you can locate a possible source before you go to the vet on Monday. I hope he continues to improve.
Posted By: USMom

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 02:05 AM

Tucker had an incident in January, where he got really sick, dehydrated, very, very lethargic, I had to have him sub q-ed but the vet didn't find anything at that time. He bounced right back, with-in a few hours. Later in the month, his tummy started to look strange. Like he was getting fat, but no man boobs. Took him to the vet, and they found the fluid in his abdomen, not with x-rays though, by feel. They drained 2 1/2 ccs of fluid. 2 days later 4 cc's of fluid. 2 days later almost 6 cc's of fluid. It was watery, not quite clear, but they couldn't find any infection in it. So, we did surgery, a liver biopsy. They discovered that his gallbladder was ruined, falling apart, and removed it. The biopsy was sent off to be tested. In the meantime, Tuck died. The results came back that he had aflotoxin poisoning.
Ascites is excess fluid in the space between the tissues lining the abdomen and abdominal organs (the peritoneal cavity).
Ascites is typically caused by liver disease.
Both of those statements were taken from this site http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000286.htm

I am not saying this is definately what your guy has, but I would have him checked ASAP. It could be anything, and finding the cause is very important. I am so glad that you are working toward this and not ignoring it.
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 08:07 AM

Twiggy, Chronos, the glider's whose thread I linked you to, was also yellow, and had fluid in his abdomen-his gall bladder was blocked and his liver diseased. At his death, he had no healthy liver tissue left, and his gall bladder was the size of a 10 pound cat's and close to bursting. We don't know what did it-he was a rescue, but there are a number of possibilities. Here are the things that helped us pinpoint his problem the most:

blood panel-liver enzymes & bilirubin (what causes the yellowing). Depending on which numbers are elevated, and how much, can help narrow down the problem.

Ultrasound-gave us a clearer picture of exactly what was going on in there, and showed the gall bladder involvement, loose fluid around his liver/gall bladder, and the fact it wasn't just the liver.

Neurologic problems would fit if there was a toxin exposure that A-damaged the liver and/or gallbladder-causing the jaundice, and affected the brain. Is there any chance of aflatoxin exposure somewhere along the line? (crickets, dry corn or grain products?) that's one possibility.

There are meds that can be used to improve liver function and help make him feel better, but a diagnosis is needed to make sure you're treating the right thing. Chronos' ultrasound was about $200-the most expensive procedure I've had done other than the surgery to try and save him. Not sure what those normally run, since I've only had one done the one time.

I didn't get (I think it's you) your message until I got to work tonight, so I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet-but I can call you in the morning when I get off. This is the only toxin I can think of you may not have known he got-but there are other possibilities. It's also possible if toxins are building in his system due to the liver not filtering properly that that could be affecting him.

Chronos was on a Milk Thistle suspension-very syrupy and sticky-for his liver. I'll have to look up the names of the other one the vet suggested...it's on the board somewhere.

A urinalysis would also be valuable if you can get one. Fecals would possibly show elevated bilirubin but not much else. hug2 hug2
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 08:10 AM

Oh, and here is the vet that did all the testing, and treated Chronos. He'd be happy to consult with yours:

Dr. Douglas W. Folland, DVM
Parrish Creek Veterinary Clinic
86 North 70 West
Centerville, UT 84014
(801) 298-2014

If that's your number on my cell-I'll give you a call as soon as I get off work about 7:30 am mountain time.
Posted By: USMom

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/28/07 05:18 PM

Jen, you mentioned something I forgot to mention with Tuck, he was yellow. It wasn't much and if you weren't looking for it you wouldn't pay attention. But the nose and paws and skin that you could see all were yellow. I have a pic of Tuck I can post that should show it.
This is the last picture I took of Tuck, and he looks terrible, it was right after he came home from the vet from surgery. But if you look at his nose and hands you can see the yellow.



Attached picture 100_1699.jpg
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/29/07 03:30 AM

Twiggie-
How is Scruff doing today? Please update us and let us know.
Posted By: Kitkatt1216

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/29/07 03:37 AM

I'm hoping for a good update, too...
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/29/07 07:06 AM

I spoke with her on the phone Sun morning-she said he'd improved, and I advised caution in optimism and to watch close since these little guys can do that right before becoming critical. She said he would be going back to the vet either Sunday, or Monday, and she'd update after. I hope he's doing okay. worried
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/29/07 05:11 PM

I just went to the vet, and they say they can't to a blood chemistry panel. Scruff has lost wright, but is putting it back on and is about 3g away from his normal weight. They gave me instead: Baytril "spiked", Calcium (Neo Cal Gluc), Enulose/Lactulose, and Flagyl (because apparently the third fecal test they did on him in the last two months has come up positive.
They gave me calcium, but without the test how do they know what his calcium levels are? They say they weill probably have to sedate him to take blood from his jugular to get enough to test him. I'm very nervous about this, because I'm afraid that too much could kill him.

What do you guys think? I'm not very trusting of him, does all of this sound right, or is anything coming across kinda sketchy?
Posted By: USMom

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/29/07 05:18 PM

I don't know about the meds, but the blood test info they gave you is correct. Jen will have more info for you on this. I think they took blood from Dex during his surgery.
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/29/07 08:32 PM

Quote:
they say they can't to a blood chemistry panel


why? and for what would they then draw blood? He's already had all you can do short of that.

Typically a glider needs to be sedated for a blood draw, and it comes from the vena cava-in the chest near the scent gland, not the jugular, typically. Leg (femoral artery) and tail veins are very iffy as to whether you can get enough, and usually will only work for minor issues such as calcium, blood glucose, or cbc. We got enough on Riker from the Femoral for his T4 thyroid and calcium, but it wasn't enough for a chemistry. Dr. Folland can consult on that with whatever vet.
Quote:
and Flagyl (because apparently the third fecal test they did on him in the last two months has come up positive.

positive for what?

Quote:
but without the test how do they know what his calcium levels are


it's possible they got that when they did the CBC. That is enough to test calcium levels, and may be among the numbers they gave you...it would list as CA

What did they 'spike' the Baytril with...the calcium? and did they say what the Enulose/Lactulose was for? The possible fluid? The elevated white count indicates a probable infection somewhere, and the Baytril is a good broad spectrum when you don't know what you're dealing with.

Sorry for all the questions-they're being a bit sketchy on details. The broad spectrum antibiotic addresses infection, Flagyl speaks to parasite infestation-likely a flagellate like giardia or trich, but what else are they covering with the other stuff, or are they just trying to cover bases?

It is safe to take approximately 1 percent of a glider's body weight in blood. A good vet can judge how much more they can safely take, and what can be tested for with what they get...if you're looking at specific areas, sometimes less can suffice. Again, Dr. Folland did very well with Chronos...he weighed about 122 grams when he had his blood chemistry done (down from 156).
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/30/07 05:38 AM

sorry its been taking me so long to answer- the antibiotics were spiked with pekt- i dont know what that is. the flagyl is for flagellate parasites which they told us twice, with two different stool samples, that he was cleared and didnt have them anymore. the enulose\lactulose is supposed to clear up any liquid and redirect it into his stool. but i dont know about the calcium... i checked the labs that they gave me and the CA is not filled out so i can only assume that they didnt check it yet. i dont really want to give it to him because we give him powdered calcium everyday and in all the research ive done it says that too much calcium can cause kidney problems, which can cause extreme dehydration and seizures. and they said that they can take the blood because hes still to small to sedate.

im having a really hard time with two to vets ive been working with... i DO NOT like dr. byron who everyone seems to love- they are unorganized, they leave out important directions ect. AND NO ONE WILL TALK TO ME! i had to send my boyfriend today cuz i was at work and when i called to ask questions they blew me off- 3 different times. they wont even tell me if they tested his calcium levels.
The emergency place keeps telling me that hes no longer in critical condition so its not an emergency and i should come during the day. then i try to make an appt. and they say they dont have anything til thurs. but if they cant take blood then i have to come back again- well each visit is $55 even if they dont do anything-that adds up- i feel like im throwing money at them and all they can say is sorry come back later.

and if its something with his liver (which it sounds like) than it is an emergency!!!!!

im going to call jen's vet tomorrow morning to get his opinion, maybe he can shed some more light

im so frustrated and i know that this is serious and i just want to figure it out and try to fix him!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/30/07 05:39 AM

but on the bright side he has lots of energy today and is eating like a piggy =) =) =)
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/30/07 05:51 AM

Know that there is little he can tell you, as an owner, on the phone, due to legal restrictions. He cannot diagnose without seeing your glider.

What he CAN do, is tell you whether, based on weight, he can have enough blood drawn, suggest testing for a vet to do, and may be able to help explain what the meds might be for-let them know that the clinic you're going to won't tell you why or answer your questions. Specifics to treatment and such have to be given to a vet directly. They should also be able to tell you what the pekt is-I have no idea on that one.

Some extra calcium for a short time shouldn't hurt him, even if his levels are normal, but you wouldn't want it to continue, and I'd want to know why before giving it as well.

Here is another vet that might prove helpful-my regular one I see often. Also, if you start the conversation with them by saying that you know they can't diagnose him, and there's no actual medical advice they can give, but you were hoping they could clarify some treatments he's been given, and offer suggestions for your vets, you'll get farther. Let them know what work has been done, and be ready with the cbc numbers you do have. Vets are understandably wary when an owner calls who is not their patient, and mine have been abused a couple times for not giving information they simply can't give out, as much as they want to help. I have very understanding vets for the most part, and so far they do what they can for the people I refer to them.

I know you're frustrated...hopefully we can at least get a little clarification going. hug2

Foothill Animal Clinic / Wasatch Exotic
Dr. Laurel M. Harris, DVM
2675 East Parley's Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84109
(801) 485-4736

What is your little guy's weight, btw?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/31/07 05:32 AM

so a little update- my vet finally called me back!!! he said that because its still not safe to sedate him yet- due to his low weight, he suggested that we just start him on medication for his liver. i hesitate just because we dont know for sure that it is his liver, but on the other hand if that is the problem i want to start him on meds asap. so im supposed to call him tomorrow and let him know
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: been to the vet and NEED HELP - 10/31/07 06:57 AM

Milk Thistle is an option that won't damage him if there's not an issue, but should help improve function...it's herbal. That's what Chronos took. So that's an option that won't harm him while you're waiting, if you're worried.
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