Posted: December 30, 2014, 4:15 p.m. EST
© Courtesy Michelle Montague
Healthy sugar gliders like this one have no trouble balancing on branches or perches.
Q: My glider Sandy started having a lack of coordination today. Is this normal?
A: It is definitely never normal for sugar gliders to have a lack of coordination. There can be many reasons for this including neurologic disease, muscle disease or bony disease.
In sugar gliders, veterinarians typically worry most about nutrition. Sugar gliders require a specialized diet and if they do not get enough calcium, vitamin D and glucose (amongst other nutrients), their bones become brittle, their muscles do not work properly, and their nervous system stops functioning normally. All of this adds up to a sugar glider who cannot hold onto the cage or perch or one who falls off as he is climbing.
We also see disease in breeding females, as it can be difficult for owners to keep up with the demands of calcium throughout pregnancy and nursing.
Finally, there are infectious causes of imbalance leading to a lack of coordination. Most of these are easily diagnosed with some simple blood tests and fecal examinations at the veterinarian’s office.
Both parasitic infections and nutrient deficits can be treated but the sooner they are treated, the better the prognosis for your sugar glider.
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