How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Matt Your Own Question

Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 17
Experience:  Caring for small animals/exotics for 14 years. Conventional, holistic medicine
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Dr. Matt is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My Sugar Glider has quit eating and stays rolled up in a ball

Resolved Question:

My Sugar Glider has quit eating and stays rolled up in a ball in her pouch. When I try to get her out, she wobbles and falls over. She can still grasp pretty good but won't move once she has grasped something. I don't know what is wrong so I can't help her. She is only 5 years old. Can you help?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 5 years ago.

This is definitely a situation that warrantes immediate veterinary care. If you already have an established vet for your SG, please take her in as soon as possible. I you haven't established a relationship yet, start calling to find a local vet with some experience.

She may be experiencing hypoglycemia (critically low blood sugar), an infection, metabolic bone disease or calcium deficiency leading to weak muscles, or even something as severe as a spinal injury.

In the short term, you can try giving her a lick or a drop of karo syrup - if her blood sugar is low this can help her have some energy, but as soon as she feels better, try to get her some protein and more complex carbs for a longer effect.

Nutritional deficiencies or imbalances can become apparent at this age, so her diet may need a review.

Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 5 years ago.

How long have you had her?

What diet had she been on?

Any chance of falls or injury?

How quickly did this come on?

Are her back legs working? Can she move her tail?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Since posting my question, I did take my sugar glider to my local vet. He admitted not knowing much about sugar gliders but thought she was dehydrated and her body temperature was too low. He gave her fluids and an antibiotic shot. When I brought her home I made a baby joey formula and started feeding her every two hours and giving her water. She was able to drink water and eat from a syringe. I put small hand warmers in her sleeping pouch and put another sleeping pouch inside and put her in it. She is now staying warm and is moving around and feeling much better. Maybe the fluids and antibiotic made her feel well enough to eat and drink. I am still watching her and feeding her and hoping she gets better. I still don't know what is wrong with her but maybe the hyperglycemia sounds possible? This started about a week ago, eating less and less until she wouldn't eat at all. She started staying in her pouch and not coming out. I don't think there was an injury and she moves her back legs and tail fine. She is stronger now that she has eaten a little. I have always worried about her diet. She is very picky. She won't eat the staple food at all and won't eat vegetables much. She doesn't even eat much fruit. She mainly eats protien. She eats chicken, eggs and bugs the best. She really loves bugs. Maybe too much protien? I also make a Ledbetters mix that I put in her cage every night and she liked that pretty well but also stopped eating that. I put vitamins and calcium in the Ledbetters mix and thought she was doing pretty well until she quit eating. We have had her for almost five years and we were told she was 7 or 8 months old when we got her. Another thing I worry about is she is alone. No other gliders. I didn't feel we could handle another glider and was told she would be ok with human companionship but she has never let us handle her much. My vet said if she rallies over the weekend to bring her in Monday and another vet will be there that knows a little more about gliders. So I am waiting and doing everything I can to help but I really appreciate your time and help.

Jody

Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 5 years ago.

I'm glad you took her in. The fluids are very likely a major part of her improved comfort. Dehydration can have huge effects on the body, especially in little animals.

The diet you are describing sounds reasonable - any chance of any change in the ingredients that might have made her sick? Most SGs really like insects, eggs, and other protein sources - it's unlikely that the protein alone would cause a problem, unless she eats that to the exclusion of other foods.

Hyperglycemia isn't likely unless the vet included some sugar in the fluids he gave her.

If she was developing a systemic infection (sepsis), the antibiotic injection could also be a factor in her improvement.

Companionship is very important to SGs, and a lack could be a source for depression or decreased survival drive. Companionship provides warmth, interaction, environmental enhancement (play), and some competition, which sometimes helps improve eating.

Before pursuing any new SGs, try to get to the bottom of her illness with the more knowledgeable vet - hopefully he or she will be able to help diagnose her problem.

Keep her warm, keep providing fluids, easy to eat foods and foods that she likes until her appointment on Monday.

 

I hope she continues to feel better - good luck!

Dr. Matt

Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 17
Experience: Caring for small animals/exotics for 14 years. Conventional, holistic medicine
Dr. Matt and 4 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Last | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2337
    Vet Tech for 30+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    273
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    157
    12 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Pet Expert/Biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2916
    40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    Voice for your pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    1132
    Veterinary Technician for 15 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Behaviorist, Breeder, See Qual.

    Satisfied Customers:

    884
    15 years Breeding Experience, Former vol. Vet Assistant, Dog Behaviorist