Friday, March 29, 2013

Someone Has An Issue

We still haven't merged the gliders yet but to be honest haven't made an attempt since before Christmas. There's been little opportunity with M recovering from her February shoulder surgery, but we're starting to think about it again. The latest little "setback" has to do with Sprite. Lately she has been "skunking" M when she takes them out, for example, for yogurt. Gliders can release a musky odor very similar to a skunk when as a defensive mechanism or when they are scared. Sprite's skunking has been very strong and we also noticed she is secreting a fluid when she does it. We thought this was at first just a coincidence, but Sprite did it to M on several occasions, and she does not skunk me at all. They both climb on to my shoulder from the cage every night for the ride to the office. When it'd time to go back to the cage, they either climb up my leg to my shoulder or I pick them up and place then there for the trip back.  I've never had an issue with them skunking me. So, we are trying to figure out why she is reacting this way to M. It could be some change Sprite is detecting in M's smell that we can't detect or something else fairly subtle. It also probably means a trip to the vet to have her checked out and make sure it is nothing physical. Before we make an attempt to get the trio and the pair together again, we probably need to get this figured out.

Friday, March 15, 2013

"Is It Yogurt Time?"

Mornings have been interesting if not fun the past couple of weeks.  M hasn't been getting up to give the gliders morning yogurt since her surgery, and I don't always have the chance if I have to work that day. Lately, however, they have made it difficult not to hang around to give them their morning treat.  Since we have gone back on Daylight Saving Time I come out closer to the time when they are  just starting to settle in.  They are usually in the pouch by 7:15 or so, although Cirrus may be still out from time to time. Rossby and Sprite are usually in their pouch, but not asleep. They listen for me to walk by the cage or make some other noise, Then, two little heads poke out of the pouch to watch me. If I come toward the cage they are out and at the door waiting for their yogurt. It really is sort of comical. Sometimes I deliberately am quiet and will come up to the cage and say" Does anyone want some yogurt?" There is wiggling in the pouch and then their heads pop up. Most of the time they will come and eat the yogurt right out of the small bowl I am holding, sitting on my hand eating and chirping away. Once they have had their fill they scramble back into the pouch and are out for the day.
Sprite and Rossby checking to see if I had their yogurt this morning.

Cirrus also responds to the "Does anyone want some yogurt?" question most of the time, and once she's eating Foehn and CB will usually come up to investigate. Sometimes all three of them are already sound asleep and don't respond.  Rossby and Sprite, however, wait as long as they can for their morning treat.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Raging Hormones?

Cirrus resting on my chest
Cirrus had her checkup on Tuesday of this week. Her weight was only 61 grams, but Dr. W said her body condition was good and she could find nothing abnormal. We told her about Cirrus' marking behavior (crazy) and her activity level (good). Dr. W was able to feel her uterus during the physical exam possibly a little more prominent than normal. She was surmising that her marking activity may be due to elevated hormone levels (the uterus was another clue) and there could be a number of reasons for that. She was a little concerned that perhaps there was something going on that she could not feel or see possibly related to her cancer a year ago. So, we decided to have an ultrasound done to be sure.

The ultrasound was done yesterday, and the good news is that everything looked normal. There were no tumors or other abnormalities evident. On the other hand, it's a little more difficult to explain her marking behavior.  Cirrus will be 10 years old this month and is long past the age where she could reproduce. Dr. W is going to do some more research and inquires about the hormone theory and we'll see where we go from there. Her lack of weight gain may be due to her elevated activity level and the hormones. They certainly seem to be related, at least from our point of view. Both have occurred over the same period of time