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Can Sugar Gliders Get Hemorrhoids?

A strange membrane on a sugar glider has its owner wondering if their pet is suffering from hemorrhoids.

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, DABVP
Posted: October 27, 2009, 4 p.m. EDT

Q: I have had my sugar gliders for about six months. I started off as breeder, and then found it to be quite pricey. I kept my two babies from different litters and have had great success with them. I have been feeding them a good diet plan. My male sugar glider has what I think resembles hemorrhoids. A thin loop membrane hangs out his bottom about a quarter inch. I have watched him go to the bathroom, and he doesn’t appear to have any pain and is plenty friendly and active. What should I do? I do not have an exotic animal vet close by.
A: Unfortunately, without the keen eye of a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about sugar gliders, it is difficult to tell you what this tissue is and if it is a problem. What you see could be one of a number of types of tissue.

One possibilities is that this is intestinal tissue, and that would not be normal. Or it could be a mass near or in the cloaca. The mass could be an abscess or could even be a type of cancer. It could also be something known as a paracloacal gland. Or this could be bladder tissue.

Of course, none of these tissues should be visible to you. Some of these things may have serious consequences if not treated and some are very minor.

In this age of the Internet, a nearby veterinarian has resources available to him or her to get expert help with your sugar glider. Your veterinarian can do a thorough physical examination and take pictures of the tissue and receive a consultation on your sugar glider. Consider suggesting this to your veterinarian. If he or she agrees, then you do not need to travel far to find help for your sugar glider.

See all of Dr. Rosenthal's Critter Q&A articles>>

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Can Sugar Gliders Get Hemorrhoids?

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Reader Comments
Thank you Toni from NY... your comment helped me out greatly. I have had my glider for 8 months and this is the first I've seen such membrane. My first thought was my glider may be suffering from hemorrhoids until I read your comment. I then looked up pictures of the male anatomy and sure enough it is his bifurcated penis. Thank you!!
Danielle, Varysburg, NY
Posted: 3/7/2012 7:35:56 PM
If this "membrane" is thin and red and seems to b split at the end, it is the penis. Many people are confused and alarmed when they see this unusual version or this organ.I'm a bit surprised that Dr. Rosenthal was not aware of this rather distinctive aspect of male sugar glider anatomy. Hopefully the writer of the question followed the Dr's advice and contacted a vet trained in exotics who would have explained this.
toni, NY, NY
Posted: 2/5/2010 8:46:46 PM
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