Rep Cal Calcium.
Picture from http://www.sugar-gliders.com
I realise that quite a number of breeders and sellers never advice their customers on calcium intake for gliders. Now joeys would need lots of food that is high in calcium in order to grow properly. Gliders need calcium to avoid brittle bones and also a condition called Hind Leg Paralysis. I will explain further.
Most fruits that are readily available has a higher phosphorus ratio compared to calcium. Corn and banana are very high in phosphorus, so this is why I have mentioned in the diet post about limiting or avoiding corn and banana. Anyway, we must always remember that gliders need a calcium ratio of 2 and phosphorus ratio of 1….. Because a lot of fruits and veggies have low calcium ratio, we need to supplement with a calcium supplement. People who have been purchasing my GliderSLURP! need not to worry about lack of calcium as I have included calcium and vitamins and other minerals into the supplement mix.
The brand that we normally recommend is Rep Cal, which is not available in Malaysia but it can be ordered. If you wish to have one, contact me. Rep Cal is pure calcium with no added phosphorus, and we choose the green label as it has no added Vitamin D3. Why is that? Well, pure calcium has a longer shelf life than those with added vitamins. Gliders can get Vitamin D3 from food consumption such as eggs. Loaded with Vitamin D3.
Another brand that is ok for glider is called Repti Cal, which is a product by Aristopet. This is also a good product. It has Vitamin D3 added so the shelf life is limited to 3 years from manufacturing date. Phosphorus free and is a form of pure calcium, this is good for gliders. It is roughly around RM28 to RM32, depending on pet shops.
Picture from https://my.bizshop.com.au
– Hind Leg Paralysis –
Now this is a serious condition. When a glider has little calcium in their diet, the body would get the calcium it needs from the only source it knows….. the bones. When the calcium is drawn out of the bones, it cause the bones to become brittle and weak. Normally signs of hind leg paralysis at the early stages are when a glider has weak back legs. Sometimes the back legs would tremble too. When it gets serious, the glider normally would not be able to move it’s back legs and would be trying to drag itself around.
I know some people who have called me and asked me why their gliders died. I have gotten answers like the breeder told them to feed only apples and dry dog food or just jar babyfood. Now jar babyfood is just as bad because it is high in Vitamin C, which can prevent the absorption of calcium. Now this is the main problem, little calcium and the joeys die from weak bones. Now calcium deficiency can cause Pneumonia because the bones decalcify, causing the ribcage and muscles to work properly, resulting in moisture collecting in the lungs. Lack of calcium can also cause the spinal cord to collapse, and this is the worst thing to happen for the glider would need to be put down since the glider could not move anymore (full paralysis).
Of course, do not over do with the calcium supplements. Too much calcium is quite bad as it can cause kidney stones, crystals in the urine and calcium deposits on the joints, muscles and organs.
All a glider needs is a very very small minute pinch of calcium a day. Just take a pinch of the calcium powder using your thumb and fore finger. Then divide half of that pinch. You will get a rough amount for 1 glider.