Abscess – A collection of pus that has accumulated in a cavity formed by the tissue. It is normally caused by an infection, parasites or the presence of foreign materials (i.e.: splinters) It is a defensive reaction of the tissue in an effort to prevent the spread of infectious material to other parts of the body. Symptoms of an abscess include swelling, heat and redness. Surgical draining (lancing) of the abscess is usually required and the pus should be cultured to find out which antibiotic will work the best.
Aflatoxins – “Type of mold that grows in the bedding that most crickets (and sometimes mealworms) are kept in” – The bedding is usually corn-based and can grow a mold that the crickets ingest and walk through. Once the cricket has ingested the mold, it retains its toxicity to gliders and so when the glider eats the cricket, it can become seriously ill from the mold. Sadly, gliders who suffer from aflatoxin poisoning usually do not survive because the liver is badly compromised by the aflatoxins. If a cricket or feeder insect has been housed in bedding containing the fungus, they can contract it and pass it on to gliders without showing any signs or symptoms of having the illness itself.
Arboreal – “Inhabiting or frequenting trees” – Sugar gliders are tree dwellars, they prefer to be up high and use their ability to glide to get from tree to tree. This is why many people suggest height being more important than width or depth in cages, they don’t typically spend much time on the bottom of the cage. It’s best to give them sleeping pouches and hammocks up high in their cage as they will spend most of their time there.
Bald Spot – The term used to describe the scent gland that a male glider develops on the top of their head. It produces an oily secretion that slicks down the hair giving the appearance of hair loss.
Barking – A form of communication between gliders. By barking, a glider can let other members of the species know they are there and gain their attention or a glider could be calling an alert to other members
of the colony to warn them of danger. A gliders bark sounds like a bark from a small puppy.
BB – “Black Beauty” – This is another color variety. This is typically a different shade of the standard gray. These gliders often have much darker black markings and the bars under their ear often extend under their chin and meet in the middle. Standard grays can also be a bit lighter in color.
BEW – “Black Eye’d White” – This is a term some people use to describe the common leucistic or leu glider. They’re very close to an albino, solid white in color, though they have black eyes.
Bootie Dance – Both male and female gliders will perform the “Bootie” Dance. During this performance, they will keep their front feet stationary and swing their rear back and forth over an object to mark it or claim it as their own.
Bra Baby – Is a glider who will stay inside their Mom’s shirt either lounging in or hanging on her bra for an extended period of time.
CG – “Classic Gray” – CG is an abbreviation for the standard color of glider, a classic gray, also known as a ‘standard gray’. It’s the typical gray/black glider with a white belly. They can vary in color and be slightly lighter and much darker(typically considered a BB/Black Beauty).
Chattering – To communicate, gliders will often make a chattering sound. It sounds like they are clicking their back teeth together.
Chirping – A happy noise sugar gliders often make when enjoying their favorite foods or treats.
Cloaca – The posterior opening that serves as the only such opening for the intestinal, reproductive and urinary tracts of certain animal species. The word is Latin in origin and means “sewer”.
Coccidia – Microscopic, spoor-forming, single-celled parasites which infect the intestinal tracts of animals. The disease spreads from one animal to another by contact with infected feces or ingestion
of infected tissue. Diarrhea, which may become bloody in severe cases, is the primary symptom. Other symptoms may include poor appetite, vomiting, dehydration and even death. Young or immune compromised animals tend to suffer more severe symptoms than healthy ones who may appear asymptomatic. With the exception of toxoplasmosis, most coccidian organisms are usually species specific.
COI – “Coefficient Of Inbreeding” – It is the calculation used to determine the level of inbreeding on an idividual glider. The lower the better, it means the glider has cleaner lines. Some breeders won’t breed over 5%, 10%, etc. I try to stay 3-4 or less, I strive to produce joeys that are 1-2% if at all possible. Some bigger breeders or ‘mills’ will breed gliders as high as 15-25% which is VERY dangerous. I would suggest checking lineage and looking for the lowest COI possible when considering pairing up gliders for the purpose of breeding.
Crabbing – The noise a glider makes when they are frightened or startled. It is often described as sounding like an electric pencil sharpener.
Dominance Wound – (aka. Mating Wound) This is an unfortunate but common type of injury for sugar gliders. It usually occurs on the back of the neck and is typically a small hole of missing skin. Contrary to popular belief this sort of injury can happen to either gender. The dominant glider in a colony will sometimes make a display of their dominance by mounting the sub colony members. Sometimes this involves grabbing onto the back of their neck. It often happens with no ill result but sometimes the gliders may struggle and a wound can be the end result.
Ear Mites – Mites which live in the ears of animals. They spread rapidly and can be transmitted even from the briefest physical contact with infected animals. Symptoms include itching, and redness of the ear. Infected animals also have a large amount of crumbly dark brown material in the ear. If left untreated, ear mites can totally eat away a gliders ear.
E-Collar – Elizabethan collars, plastic cone shaped collar used when a glider is injured that helps prevent self mutilation.
Face Hug – When your glider jumps or glides to you and lands on your face rather than on another part of your body.
Flossing – The term used when a male glider is grooming its penis. This often happens during puberty or when the male is overly hormonal.
Grooming – This is what gliders will to begin to do as you bond with them. They tend to scrape their teeth against your skin and lick you in order to “groom” you. Some may nibble, some will pick at bandages and scabs(serious heads up here, this CAN hurt!) and just about anything else. Keep an eye on your jewelry!
Het – “Heterozygous” – This means the joey is ‘het’ for carrying whichever gene is in question even though it may be standard gray in color. The gene has a chance to carry over from the parents. Leucistic, Creamino, Plat, etc are some examples of what joeys could be het for. That means if you pair up two joeys that are het for the same gene they have a chance to produce that color joey when/if they breed.
Hissing – Gliders will make a sound similar to a cat’s hiss to announce their presence or call out to other members of their colony. However gliders will also hiss if they are having difficulty going potty (urinating or defecating).
HLP – “Hind Leg Paralysis” – Secondary Metabolic Bone Disease, Hypocalcemia or Calcium Deficiency… all these terms refer to the same condition – the body’s inability to properly synthesize calcium, resulting in the bones not getting enough calcium. In severe cases, the calcium is also leached from the muscles, causing paralysis of the hind legs. Although a diagnosis of HLP used to be considered an automatic death sentence, if caught early and proper treatment is administered, HLP can be healed and the sugar glider can continue to lead a long and productive life. Visit Suz’s Site for more information on this, known symptoms, causes and diagnosis.
HPW – High Protein Wombaroo.
Hypercalcemia – Where there is too much calcium in the blood. It can lead to arthritis, gall stones and kidney stones. It is also believed to cause calcium crystals in the urinary tract.
Hypocalcimia(aka HLP) – A deficiency or lack of calcium in the blood. It can be caused by a lack of calcium in the diet or from an illness or parasite. This can lead to Hind Leg Paralysis (HLP) once the body starts drawing calcium from the bones it weakens them and can cause the vertebra to collapse on itself. (Also see HLP.)
IP – “In Pouch” – Gliders are marsupials, their young mature in the mother’s pouch. The joeys are as small as a gran of rice when they’re born, they crawl up into the pouch at that size and attach to the mother’s nipple. They stay there and continue to nurse and mature until they’re ready to come out of the pouch. So often you’ll hear a breder refer to joeys as ‘still IP’ which means they can see/feel baby bumps but they’re not mature/big enough to come OOP just yet. (Pretty much when they’re too big to fit anymore, you’ll see tails and feet start to protrude from the pouch before they actually come out.) That is the date at which most breeders list, the ‘OOP’ date. So it is not TECHNICALLY a ‘birth’ date, but it’s pretty hard to catch the ACTUAL birth process as the joeys are SO tiny at that point in time. The joeys will be ‘out’ of the pouch before their OOP date. The mother will stretch the pouch open and take the joeys out to clean them while they’re still nursing. The first day they’re detatched from the nipple is their technical ‘OOP’ date.
Jaundice – The yellowing of tissues, itself is not a disease. Rather it is a sign of an underlying pathological process.
Leu – “Leucistic” – This term refers to a solid white glider, a leucistic, leu or a black eye’d white or ‘BEW’. Here is a link about leucism. These types of gliders often come from breeders because it requires special pairing and careful attention to lineage to make sure they’re healthy and not inbred.
Licky Treats – A semi-liquid food that you offer to the glider on your finger for them to lick off. It is a bonding technique used to gain your gliders trust and helps them associate you with good things.
Lineage – “Direct descent from a particular ancestor; ancestry.” – Lineage is the joey’s family tree, essentially. It’s a record of the joey’s parents, grand parents and so on. It’s best not to breed any gliders without this information as many gliders are related to eachother to some extent. (Especially when people breed without lineage and then sell those joeys, there’s no way to tell who they came from or who they may be related to.) There are no where near as many gliders in the US as there are dogs or cats for example, so the gene pool is much smaller and thus you have a higher chance of inbreeding if you’re not using lineage to keep track of your glider’s relatives.
One of our members wanted me to add that it’s important to keep in mind that no matter where your gliders come from they can still be related. Many people/breeders ship gliders all over the country. Other people move from state to state or drive a few states away to buy gliders. So your glider may be from Illinois, but originally it came from Florida, for example. There’s just no way to be sure without their lineage which will help track their ancestors.
Mastitis – Inflammation of the mammary gland-is almost always due to the effects of infection by bacterial or mycotic pathogens. Pathologic changes to milk-secreting epithelial cells from the inflammatory process often bring about a decrease in functional capacity. Depending on the pathogen, functional losses may continue into further lactations, which impairs productivity and potential weight gain for offspring. Although most infections result in relatively mild clinical or subclinical local inflammation, more severe cases can lead to agalactia or even profound systemic involvement resulting in death. Mastitis has been reported in almost all domestic mammals, as well as humans, and has a worldwide geographic distribution. Climatic conditions, seasonal variation, density and housing of livestock populations, and husbandry practices may affect the incidence and etiology.
OOP – “Out Of Pouch” – Gliders are marsupials, their young mature in the mother’s pouch. The joeys are as small as a gran of rice when they’re born, they crawl up into the pouch at that size and attach to the mother’s nipple. They stay there and continue to nurse and mature until they’re ready to come out of the pouch. (Pretty much when they’re too big to fit anymore, you’ll see tails and feet start to protrude from the pouch before they actually come out.) That is the date at which most breeders list, the ‘OOP’ date. So it is not TECHNICALLY a ‘birth’ date, but it’s pretty hard to catch the ACTUAL birth process as the joeys are SO tiny at that point in time. The joeys will be ‘out’ of the pouch before their OOP date. The mother will stretch the pouch open and take the joeys out to clean them while they’re still nursing. The first day they’re detatched from the nipple is their technical ‘OOP’ date.
Patagium/Patagia – The gliding membrane that stretches from the wrist to the ankle on each side of a gliders body. A glider will use their patagia like a parachute to glide from place to place.
Phenotype – “Phenotypes result from the expression of an organism’s genes as well as the influence of environmental factors and the interactions between the two.” This will be where you find the color of the joey as well as any possibly color traits they may carry.
Pouch – Refers to the slit in the females stomach where shes stores babies till the end of gestation.
Pom/PomPom – The term used to describe the male gliders scrotum. It looks like a small furry belly button on a male’s stomach.
Pouch Protective – The term used to describe a glider which is territorial about their pouch. This glider can react in many different ways ranging from crabbing to lunging and biting when you attempt to interact with them in the pouch.
Quick – The blood vessel that runs inside your gliders toenail. If you accidentally cut this during nail trimming apply a little bit of flour or Quick Stop to the nail to stop the bleeding.
Scent Staining – A gliders fur can change colors based on their propensity to mark, their diet and their living conditions. Given the right circumstances a gray glider could appear to be a cinnamon in
color. This may only become apparent once the glider begins to shed their fur and grow a new coat.
Scents Glands – Refers to the scent glands located on the chest and head of a unaltered male glider that produce oils.
Scurvy – A disease resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C. Scurvy leads to the formation of spots on the skin, spongy gums and bleeding from mucus membranes.
Seizure – The excessive firing of the neurons in the brain. It can be caused by genetic abnormalities, infection, injury, stress, toxins or medications. In gliders they generally manifest by either the glider going completely ridged (followed by limpness) or by uncontrollable shaking. If your glider experiences seizures, they will need to be seen by a vet to determine the cause and treatment of the condition.
SM/Self Mutilation – The act of attacking and chewing on one’s self. If you suspect your glider is Self Mutilating, the first thing you should do is put the glider into an e-collar or wrap the glider up in fleece so that the glider can do no further damage to them self.
Singing – The sound a female glider makes when she has joeys in pouch, often when she has decided that it is time for them to detach from the teat. It is a difficult sound to describe as no female sings in the
same way, but it includes a combination of chirps, chatters, chortles and snicks with tonal variations.
Skunking – The term used to describe the act of a glider secreting a strong musky scent from their anal glands when startled or frightened as a protection against predators.
Snaky Tail Dance – An action your glider performs when they are intently focused on something that is interesting or strange to them. They will stick their rear in the air and wave their tail back and forth in a manner that reminds one of a snake charmers snake.
Stereotypy – (non-human) Stereotypies occur in non-human animals. It is considered an abnormal behavior and is sometimes seen in captive animals, particularly those held in small enclosures with little opportunity to engage in more normal behaviors. These behaviors may be maladaptive, involving self-injury or reduced reproductive success, and in laboratory animals can confound behavioral research. Examples of stereotypical behaviors include pacing, rocking, doing back flips, excessive sleeping, self-mutilation (including fur plucking and excessive grooming), and mouthing cage bars. Stereotypies are seen in many species, including primates, birds, and carnivores.
Sub-Q – “Subcutaneous Fluids” – Sterile saline fluids that are administered through a needle which is inserted under a gliders skin. They are given by a vet or at a vet’s direction when a glider is dehydrated.
SG – “Standard Gray” – SG is an abbreviation for the standard color of glider, a standard gray, also known as a ‘classic gray’. It’s the typical gray/black glider with a white belly. They can vary in color and be slightly lighter and much darker(typically considered a BB/Black Beauty).
Sugar Bear – “AKA Sugar Glider” – Unfortunately this is a nickname one of the larger mill brokers made up for sugar gliders. They use this name with their customers so that when they go home to google them they ONLY get their information, no REAL sugar glider information. These people tell customers that they are easy to care for, need no vet care, can live in small cages, alone, etc.. Typically only people who have purchased from them or work with them use this term. Normal people refer to them as Sugar Gliders.
Tent Test – The term used to describe the process that is used to test gliders for dehydration. When using the tent test, you gently pinch the skin between the gliders shoulder blades. In a hydrated glider, the skin should return to normal within 3-5 seconds. If it remains tented or takes an excessive amount of time to return to normal the glider is dehydrated.
Tent Time – When you take your glider into a small tent (or bathroom) for the purpose of interacting or playing with them.
Trichomonads – “Orders of anaerobic parasites with 4-6 flagella.” The primary symptom of infection is the waxing and waning of diarrhea which occasionally will contain fresh blood and mucus. Other symptoms
include loss of appetite, general lack of activity and occasionally vomiting. They are detected by direct fecal smear.
Urinary Tract Infection(UTI) – “A bacterial infection that affects any part of the urinary tract.” When Bacteria get into the bladder or kidneys and multiply in the urine they cause a UTI. Symptoms include hissing when going pee and excessive licking of the cloaca area.
WFB – “White Faced Blonde” – This is a color variation, sugar gliders come in quite a few different colors. A white faced blonde is a bit lighter in color than the standard gray and is lacking the ear bar(black marking beneath the ear on the side of the head) so that it’s solid white from their chin/cheek back to their neck. Here’s a photo showing the difference between a standard gray and white faced blonde. You may also see people use the term ‘WF’, this just means ‘white faced’. It’s a standard gray glider that lacks the typical ear bar but doesn’t appear to be any lighter in all over body color.
WHPS – “Wombaroo’s High Protein Supplement” – Powder used in PML, HPW and Reep’s diets.