Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Same Old Routine

There's not a lot new to report on the gang. The abrasion on Cirrus' face appears to be healing, so we haven't put the stuffed animals back on the cage yet. Their nighttime routine is pretty much back in their groove.Virga has been waking first and coming out to run in the wheel before any of the others. That's our signal to get their food ready and bring them into the office for play time. After they get their meal worms, Virga runs on the wheel and Cirrus explores before she crawls into M's sweatshirt.  Foehn and CB retreat back into their sleeping pouch before one of them decides to come out. Even when they do come out, they usually head right to M's sweatshirt. The room is then quiet except for the sound of Virga running in the wheel. However, even she caves in to the rest of them and joins them in M's shirt. One recent change, however, is that Cirrus has rediscovered the fun of climbing on the window screens. When M leaves to get ready for bed we have to fish them out of her sweatshirt, and then they decide to run and climb around the office, and me. CB is climbing up my shirt as a write this.

CB contemplates leaving the pouch after Foehn has left.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The One-Month Checkup

Cirrus and Virga returned to the vet today for the their one month post-surgery checkup.  Bottom line is they are doing fine! Their incisions healed very well, and there were no signs of any further growth. They will have to be watched, of course, especially Cirrus. Speaking of Cirrus, we had the vet check out her face today. She had some sort of abrasion to the left of her nose where the fur is gone. It was small, but noticeable. This weekend M came up with a likely reason which hadn't occurred to us earlier. Each morning the four little stuffed animals we place on top of the cage are on the floor. M figured that perhaps Cirrus was getting a little to aggressive trying to get to the stuffed animals and was trying to push her nose through the cage opening. The vet concurred, stating that this was not something you would see as a result of their cancer.The vet also stained her eyes to check if there might be a scratch on the cornea. There was a tiny speck that might have been an old scar, but otherwise everything looked good.

Virga and Cirrus apparently were popular patients at the hospital. One of the vet students with us today was present for their surgery and took care of them post-op and was anxious to see them. The vet tech who administered their anesthesia also stopped in the exam room to see how they were doing.

The ladies have their next checkup in two months.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Snack Time!

All of our gliders love meal worms. Our nightly routine is to give them a meal worm snack at the start of play time.  However, I think Virga and Cirrus love them the most.  As soon as M shakes the container with the meal worms, they pop out of the pouch and excitedly climb on to M's lap for their snack. CB and Foehn, while they like their meal worms, don't get anywhere near as excited as Virga and Cirrus. I managed to get some video of M giving Virga and Cirrus their snack last night.

By the way, apparently there is a problem with the blog "disconnecting" from this video I uploaded in the last post. It works for awhile if I delete it and upload it again, but that's a bit inconvenient.  I'll try to get this resolved one way or another.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Change of Venue

The sugar gliders' life has been pretty normal the last two weeks. Virga and Cirrus have healed nicely, and they are all getting along well. We have been monitoring the weight of all four gliders each day, and Virga and Cirrus have gradually gotten to their pre-surgery weight. The week all four were reunited Virga went into heat, and Cirrus the week after. That seemed to slow their weight gain, but now they are back on track.

Yesterday we took delivery of some new wood furniture for my office, and the finish had a strong odor. We didn't feel that would be too good for the gliders. So, the last two nights we have had "play" time in our bathroom instead of my office. The bathroom isn't as nearly as interesting as my office to run around in. There is nothing good to climb on, as we can't really get the PVC tree into the bathroom. The only thing we have in there is the wheel, which Virga takes full advantage of.  They all like the warm floor (the tile flood is heated), and that's conducive to napping. So play time has been short, and rather uneventful. I am looking forward to having playtime in the office again, as it will be interesting to see their reaction to the changes.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Back to Normal

When we last left our gang of four, they were spending the night as two gangs of two. On Saturday evening we attempted to reintroduce them again. W first had them out in the office with some crabbing. I was holding Cirrus and CB in  pouch when they started crabbing at each other. Foehn, who was on the floor at the time, came bounding up my leg and to the pouch, bound and determined to come to the aid of her brother. I didn't think any good would come of that so I tried to keep her from going in the pouch. She let me know she was none too happy about that and sunk her teeth in to my finger, drawing blood. Hmmm, this was going well.

We decided the best approach would be to reintroduce Virga and Foehn  Once Foehn calmed down, I took Foehn and Virga into the bathroom to the controlled environment of the bathtub. There was some crabbing, but in 15 minutes they were running around and tolerating each other.  I went into the office  holding a pouch with two very quiet girls inside.  I took Cirrus from M, who had her and CB, and into the bathroom we went.  I proceeded to reacquaint Cirrus with Foehn, with Virga there to "mediate". Again, there were a few moments of crabbing, but in about 10 minutes the three of them were running around the bathroom having a grand old time. I rapped on the wall (the bathroom shares a wall with the office) and asked M to bring CB in. For the next hour and a half or so all four gliders climbed, jumped, and ran around the bathroom and me. There was a blanket on the floor so they were safe and comfortable.

It was time to put them in the cage. We had been communicating with another glider owner whose advice we respect and her suggestion was to let the gliders work out their differences and re-establish their pecking order. This meant that we would have to let them crab and chase each other without interfering. Easier said than done, since we were both more than a little concerned for Virga and Cirrus, not wanting them (or CB and Foehn, for that matter) to be injured. So, we placed them in the cage, and it was calm for all of 15 seconds. There was angry crabbing and gliders being chased around the cage. M was a mess about this and said she wouldn't be able to sleep. The most scary part was when Foehn and Cirrus "balled up" on one of the wheels. All we could do was watch, and in a few seconds one of them went leaping out of the wheel.  I told M I would stay up with them but she wanted to be out there and set up a blanket and pillow on the floor of the great room. I was dozing on and off in an easy chair and got enough sleep to keep me going for awhile. There were periods of quiet in the cage, interspersed with angry crabbing and the sounds of gliders being chased off a wheel or being kept away from one of the kitchens. Any time there was a disturbance I would go to the cage to observe and make sure nobody appeared injured. M fell sound asleep at some point, and about 2:00 a.m. I woke her and told her to head to bed. She would be very sore if she spent the whole night on the floor.

When they weren't crabbing at each other, there were gliders on both wheels almost the whole time. At 3:30 a.m. they finally decided to take a nap, and so did I. At 4:15 a.m. they were up and at it again. The crabbing encounters were still occurring, but less frequently.  I dozed off in the chair, awaking when there was a disturbance in the cage. I woke up about 6:45 a.m. and it was quiet. I went to the cage to check on their sleeping arrangements, figuring they would be in at least two separate pouches. We had three in the cage to give them more options. To my surprise, they were all in one pouch! Success!  At that point I went to bed to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

By Monday morning M had recovered from our long night, and you would have never known the gliders had been separated for two weeks and we had gone through a stressful reunion. Things were back to normal.