Hello friends. I’ve mentioned in other posts that Dreamer was sick. Today I’m going to be sharing the details of that, her treatment and the cause of her sickness.
Half way through February, I noticed that Dreamer’s cloaca seemed a little swollen. I wasn’t terribly worried at the time, but kept a close eye on her. Over the next four days, it got worse. She had increased trouble having bowl movements. Her energy levels dropped significantly and she mainly wanted to sleep. She would eat and drink, but not like before. Needless to say, I was incredibly worried.
I spent a long time doing research and trying to figure out what was going on. At first I thought she might have had impacted anal glands. I gave her some grapes (which can help) in hopes that the swelling would go down. It didn’t.
I took her to the vet on the 16th. Her cloaca was red and swollen. (I’m sorry about the quality of the photos – I took them on my phone instead of using my camera.)
The vet examined her and did an x-ray to check for in internal blockage. They also did a fecal smear to check for parasites. The final diagnosis was that she had a slight prolapse. (I had researched severe prolapses and hers was nothing like that, which was a great relief to me.) Because her stools were dryer and harder than they should have been, we were worried that she may have also been a bit dehydrated.
I was given a topical medicine to apply to her cloaca twice a day and a pain killer once a day. I was supposed to do that for five days and then to come back in if she hadn’t gotten better.
In the course of my research, I realized that I had made a big mistake in their diet. You can see my post about that here. I had blended their fruits and vegetables instead of cutting them into chunks. That caused constipation in Dreamer. Because she was having such a hard time going poop, she was straining a lot and that led to the prolapse.
As soon as I realized what had caused her problems in the first place, I threw out the rest of the diet mixture that I had and I made some new food for them. I also cut out all dried fruit and pretty much all other treats because I wanted her to get the liquid from the staple diet. I tried to get her to drink as much as I could. (Putting a bit of honey in one of their drinking bowls was helpful.)
That night she seemed to be doing better than the previous days, but still not herself.
Dreamer was so much more active that night. She was bouncing all over the place and seemed to have regained much of her energy. But she was still having so much trouble pooping. She spent over half an hour working on two or three and they caused her so much trouble. Her cloaca was less swollen though.
That morning when I went to give her her meds, her cloaca was back to being very swollen. But it wasn’t red at all. That night it was still swollen, but she was able to poop without as much straining and grunting. It still took her a long time.
She began to lick her cloaca/the surrounding areas. This really worried me because sugar gliders can self mutilate when they are in pain. They can do serious damage to themselves in a very short amount of time. I watched her very closely and tried to keep her busy and distracted (and didn’t sleep much, lol).
That morning her cloaca was less swollen but not back to normal. That night it was looking a lot better. She curled up inside of my shirt for a while. She never does that. I was worried that she wasn’t feeling well, but she was okay and just wanted to be cuddly for some reason. Still licking her cloaca area, but no aggression towards herself.
That night her cloaca was looking so much better. I gave her the last dose of topical meds and painkiller. I was really worried and praying that she was okay and that the swelling wouldn’t come back. She pooped twice without straining or grunting at all. The poops were still smallish and took her a while to get out, but I was very very happy.
Night of the 21st
Dreamer was looking back to normal. I couldn’t believe it. When she pooped quickly and without any straining, I was so thrilled. She had recovered all of her energy and was back to bouncing all over me, the cage and my room.
Since she was doing so well, I decided not to take her back to the vet, but to keep a very close eye on her in case the swelling came back. Thankfully, it didn’t.
It’s been almost a month since this whole thing began. She’s doing really well now. I’m so thankful! She’s made a full recovery and is back to being my healthy baby. ❤
I hope that this was helpful and that you learned something from my experience and my mistakes. 😁