Every sugar glider owner knows that they should have a good veterinarian before an emergency arises. But finding a good vet can be a challenge. Unfortunately, there are many vets who have old information regarding gliders or don’t understand what gliders actually need. It can be frustrating to have a vet give you bad advice or not be able to help your babies when they need it most.
Here is a list of six things that a good sugar glider vet should not do. If you’re worried that your vet isn’t knowledgeable regarding glider care, ask these simple questions to better gauge their understanding.
Don’t be afraid to ask your vet questions until you feel confident that your gliders are getting the best possible care.
Anesthesia for General Exams
Anesthesia is risky for anyone, but especially for such small animals. It should not be used for general examinations. There are times when it is perfectly necessary (for example to do x-rays or for neutering) but if your glider is just in for a general health examination, the risks of putting them under just so they don’t squirm or bite is not worth it and a good vet will do not do so. They should be confident in handling your glider.
Sugar gliders are not rodents; they are actually in the possum family. Their teeth do not grow continually like rats. Any vet who has any knowledge about sugar gliders will refuse to file, float or trim their teeth. This is harmful and painful to gliders and can cause them lifelong problems.
No good vet should splay females except in extremely rare cases where it is a medical emergency. As a general rule, splaying females is very risky and the potential harm that it could cause isn’t worth the risk.
No Pain Meds after Neuters
This is a debatable subject for some people, but nearly everyone agrees that pain meds are vital after a neuter to prevent SM. Your vet should provide you with sufficient pain meds, an e-collar and recovery instructions. Ask lots of questions about the process. Not all vets will neuter and that doesn’t mean that they are a bad vet.
Recommend Poor Diets
Again, this is tricky because a lot of really good vets have old information regarding diets. But a good vet will have a general understanding of the type of nutrients that gliders need. If your vet knows about the most common and highly tested diets (OHPW, BML, TPG), all the better. Ask lots of questions.
They See Gliders Only Occasionally
Ask how many gliders your vet treats annually. The more the better. If the vet only sees a handful of gliders every year, the chances are that it isn’t their specialty and it is likely that they won’t have a lot of knowledge on gliders in general.
Don’t stop searching for a vet until you find the best one possible.