We would like to Thank Bourbon for her article on Self Mutilation & XFilefan for her photos and Instructions on the Ecollar If you think you may be dealing with an SM, please don't hesitate and visit the Self-Mutilation site were there is a questionnaire to fill out and a list of emergency contact numbers, under the I need help section
Self mutilation can kill your glider in a very short time.
Now the question is can this be prevented? There are things to watch for, and ways to prepare and with Jeanies Permission I am going to use Mambo's case as an example.
The self mutilators we work with mainly are the ones that chew on their cloacal area and the base of their tail. The cause can be anything, from a piece of dirt in the penal shaft,a scratch or abrasion, urinary tract infection, bacterial infection, defects.. we just don't really know, each case is very different.The problem is once the damage is done, the cause is worked on secondary, as the damage needs to be attended to, and complicates many of the tests. We have had a few gliders that were caught before damage was done, been treated for a variety of things or neutered, and seems to be fine, *notice* I said seems, these gliders will always be at risk gliders, since this seems to be cyclic.
THE SOUND.. This can not be stressed enough, when you hear that sound, you will know it, it is awful, unlike any sound you may hear from your glider. It is a cross between a cry and a painful intense crab, and sounds
like they are trying very hard to save their own life. This sound, they may make weeks or days in advance to actually doing the damage. Jeanie heard the sound, at 1:00am on fri (thursday night), she jumped up, and went to check on Mambo, she said it sounded as if his foot was stuck or something. but then she looked at him and he seemed okay. The next morning at 7:00 am she heard it again, this time the glider did not seem fine. Damage was not bad at that time.
Cotton ball test take a roll of cotton as she said and go around every inch of your cage, be sure it doesn't get hung up on anything, if it does, it is a potentional place for them to scratch or scrape their penis on, when they are reaching puberty. (when it is out all the time)
EDUCATE YOURSELF this can not be stressed enough, KNOW where to go to get assistance from people with experience on this.KNOW who to contact when you need help in these cases, as stated above an hour may be too late. be prepared.
Jeanie told me, that as much as she had researched, when it came to the sm information, that she didn't feel it pertained to her and her glider, as this only affects a few gliders a year. This is very important in the fact that many people don't know what to do, where to go, or how to get help for their vets
. BTW there are very few vets
that have ever dealt with this, and not just any vet
can give a consult regarding this. the sm community has vets
that have experience.
This just doesn't happen to males that are caged alone, it happens to all gliders, male, female, single, paired. So everyone's glider is at risk, some are higher risks than others. But the need to educate yourself, is vitally important.
E-COLLAR this is by far one of the most important things, to not only have one, but to be able to get it on. it will require 2 people to get it on, and many vets
can do it. the e-collar page we have setup thanks to Dawn (Petey is her SM), that page explains how to tell if it is too tight, or too loose. there is nothing more important than getting a collar on a glider that is chewing. top priority, before any calls, computer contact or anything, a collar should be on. The collars make the difference between life and death. vets
This also is something that can not be stressed enough. You must have your contacts ready for a vet
, and also an emergency vet
in your area that sees gliders, there are many vets
out there that is willing to do phone consults for those that may need it. BUT DO NOT WAIT till you need it. It may be too late.
Many people don't realize the urgency of the SM's need for proper care. In cases like this just telling them to get to a vet
, IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, In the future with sm's please get them to the sm website ASAP, help them get to the people they need to contact, help them get to the e-collar. You can list Mary and I's phone number on screen if need be, do a three way, anything but these gliders need very fast help.
Those that believe they have the knowledge and experience necessary to help us out, on the sm website, please contact me.
This is a specialized problem that requires specialized treatment. ECOLLAR INSTRUCTIONS
1.) Trace template onto clear plastic notebook cover, then cut out.
2.) 1 sheet Dr. Scholls molefoam- cut 2 strips ¼” along long edge.
3.) Remove one adhesive strip and stick one on top of another leaving one adhesive strip for later.
4.) Cut ¾” off of dual layer molefoam- remove backing and adhese to clear plastic as shown.
5.) 1 sheet moleskin- sut a strip 1-3/8” wide down length
6.) Cut slits ½” deep at ½ “ intervals down length
7.) Turn collar over molefoam side down. Remove backing from moleskin. Affix uncut edge to collar- about ¼” of it
8.) From the middle of moleskin- wrap around over molefoam, maintaining contours. Trim excess mole from edge.
9.) Cut 1/2” strip from moleskin
10.) Remove backing and adhese over slitted mole skin.
11.) Cut 1 strip 1-3/4” long X 5/8” wide
12.) Remove backing and place on edge of collar
13.) Wrap around edge of collar
14.) The Complicated Collar- Apply a small amount of duct tape, Fold a small amount of duct tape over to make a tab for easy removal.
15-18 are photos
ALL steps can be seen in above attachment.