Posted: February 27, 2011, 5 a.m. EST
Q: I have a sugar glider and this morning he/she was out of its house lying on his belly. He looked weak. When I picked him up (which is unusual because he usually won’t let me touch him), I noticed he has two black, antenna-looking things coming out of his privates, sticking straight out and then curling to the side on each end. It extends outward about a half of an inch; it also looks dry. I am assuming that this is a male. I took him to the vet near where I live and was told it looks like the urinary tract is protruding out of the body. They don't know what to do because they don't work with sugar gliders a lot. I don’t know what to do or who to contact to help me save him. Do you have any suggestions?
A: First, find a veterinarian who understands sugar gliders, their diseases and their anatomy. I realize this might be difficult to do in some places. If none are nearby, find is a veterinarian or a veterinary practice where the doctors are willing to seek counsel with colleagues who know sugar gliders well. It may cost you a consultation fee for this information, but it is worth the price as you can stay with a local veterinarian but have the expertise of someone who treats sugar gliders on a daily basis.
Your sugar glider is showing nonspecific signs of disease. From what you describe, many disease conditions could cause what you are seeing. These include metabolic disease, neoplasia, degenerative disease, infectious disease and even toxins.
Your sugar glider needs some supportive care, including nutrition and fluids and diagnostics (such as blood tests and radiographs) to start to determine what could be wrong.
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