Posted: March 31, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
Calcium deficiency is one of the most common causes of illness in exotic pets such as sugar gliders. Calcium deficiency is most often the result of an inadequate diet. Too many foods rich in phosphorus, such as meat and nuts, can disrupt the sugar glider’s calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1, thus causing calcium deficiency.
Signs that a sugar glider is suffering from calcium deficiency can include a sudden onset of hind limb weakness or paralysis; bone fractures; and muscle wasting, particularly in the hindquarters.
To prevent calcium deficiency, whether you feed your small pet a commercial sugar glider diet or a homemade diet, add a vitamin/mineral supplement designed for sugar gliders to help prevent this condition. (If you can’t find a sugar glider vitamin and mineral supplement, use one meant for cats, dogs or reptiles. Make sure it contains calcium but no phosphorus.)