I was thinking about what topics to touch today, then the thought of constipation came up.
Now some people may wonder, do gliders get constipation and diarrhea easily? Well, not easily, this sort of thing do happen, same as us humans. The problem here would be fiber and also liquids. Gliders can get constipation if their diet consist of dried food such as dry dog/cat food, stale bread and nuts. I have heard that some keepers feed nuts and oats. Now a combination of rolled oats and nuts can really cause constipation, and the nuts may even cause intestinal blockage. Now this is fatal and may need surgery if the blockage doesn’t clear.
A poor diet with not enough fiber can cause constipation. Same goes with a lack of water or liquids. Some say it can also be caused by the lack of exercise and stress.
Make sure you provide a well balanced diet, with a water bottle or water bowl so that your glider would have excess to fresh water. Get a Wodent Wheel so that your gliders would get enough exercise.
Signs and symptoms:
A glider that has constipation would often hiss or cry while they defecate. You would also realise that the poop is quite dry. Normally sugar gliders would defecate often, with poop that is semi soft, some would be soft like toothpaste consistency, some would be solid but moist.
If you notice your glider is having difficulties going to the toilet, then get more fluids into it. Offer apple juice for your glider to drink. This would help temporarily. If constipation still occurs after taking apple juice for a day, do visit a vet.
Gliders can get diarrhea when they are in stressful situations. I see this often with joeys that have just separated from their parents or have traveled a bit too long on public transport. Joeys do get very stress and may not eat much and have mild diarrhea when they go to a new home so monitor them closely. It is ok for the joey to have mild diarrhea, usually it would go away if it was stress induced. If it is severe diarrhea, then a vet would be needed to give it treatment.
I also often see mild diarrhea cases when we have given too much soft fruits, meaning fruits that are low in fiber, such as papaya. Citrus fruits like oranges do cause watery stool. Another case would be lactose intolerant…. so avoid whole cows milk and cheese. These should never be fed to gliders unless it is stated as lactose free.
Keep your glider’s living environment clean. Remove uneaten food daily. Provide a good well-balanced diet.
Signs and symptoms:
Watery stool. Moist stool is ok and it should be something like tooth paste but if it is watery and smells really bad, then that is diarrhea.
If it is from diet like fruits, then cut out that particular fruit and see how it goes the next day. You can give some Gatorade to your glider so that it would not dehydrate. If it continues for a few days and your glider lacks in appetite, then seek a vet for treatment.