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Sugar Gliders/Male sugar glider

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Question
Hi, my boyfriend and I just got a pair of sugar gliders, day before yesterday. He had one before but had to give her to someone else due to lack of time to give her. When we bought them they were basically in a filthy cage, it has rust in certain places, and man does it stink. We scrubbed the cage for over an hour, stench reduced some. We noticed last night that they were like I guess you can call it bobbing their buts up and down, I read online that's basically them marking and coming in heat? Also the male has a much shorter tail, is that okay? They were living outside in a bird cage, maybe he felt threatened? I read they will harm themselves. Also they haven't ate anything. The other people gave them dog food, we tried and also tried meal worms, they have no interest... my  boyfriend isn't to worried about lack of appetite seeming they just got moved. I'm worried about it though. They are more friendly now, when we approach cage or put our hands in it they come up to us and the male put his front claw on me this morning. The males name is Smokey and the female is Shadow. I don't have any good pictures yet, it is too dark in the room and I don't want to use flash on my camera and blind them. We've checked out Exoticnutrition.com already, and we bought some stuff for them yesterday that they can hide in. We were also going to make our own bonding pouches is that a good idea?

Answer
Lack of appetite with moves is pretty normal.  Gliders do tend to stress easily, and not eating is a common indicator of that.  If the cage is rusty, it should be replaced.  There's just no two ways about it.  A cage for a pair of gliders should be around 32"x22"x40" to give them the space that they require.

It sounds like they were probably scenting the cage.  Gliders are very scent oriented, so when you clean the cage it is normal for them to go around and wipe their stink all over it.  Is your male neutered?  If not, that is something I would strongly advise looking into.

Dog food is a horrible, horrible diet for sugar gliders.  They are an exotic animal that requires a specialty diet.  I suggest the AWD diet or the oHPW diet.  You can read more about diets here: http://sugarglider.info/staple-diets

If you know how to sew safely for sugar gliders, as there is special care that needs to be taken, then sure, you can sew pouches yourself.  If not, you're better off looking for a vendor that knows what they're doing.  It's too easy for gliders to get tangled up in loose threads, many have lost toes and limbs this way.  The website I gave you also has a link to their Facebook group, it would be a good place to ask for safe vendors.

Sugar Gliders

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Jen Souza

Expertise

I can answer pretty much any questions about sugar gliders, ranging from dietary and housing needs, to breeding/pregnancy, as well as bonding and and common health problems.

Experience

I have been working with, researching, and breeding sugar gliders for about ten years. I also had a book available at one point in time. I also help administrate one of the largest help groups on Facebook for sugar gliders, and answer questions there on a daily basis.

Publications
Sugar Mountain's Sugar Glider Guide.

Education/Credentials
Years of research and ownership, as well as keeping up on current trends in care.

Past/Present Clients
I have had a multitude of clients over the years, and still have several people who I help on a regular basis. I help administrate one of the largest, if not the largest, sugar glider help groups on Facebook.

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