Sugar gliders are an exotic animal, therefore they need specialized care. Every vet won’t be able to see them or treat them. Luckily, gliders don’t need to go to vet very often. It’s good to do a yearly check up and fecal, but they don’t need any shots or vaccinations.
It’s a good idea to ask for referrals from other local glider owners when searching for a vet that sees sugar gliders. Some vets will offer to see sugar gliders on the assumption that they are like a rodent. (They are NOT! They are a marsupial, actually.) Because of this some vets have actually trimmed gliders teeth because a rat or mouses teeth will continue growing whereas a sugar gliders will NEVER grow. They do not need trimming or special chews. If cut the teeth will not grow back. This is one of the reasons it’s so important to make sure the vet is actually experienced with sugar gliders. – It’s also good to have a back up vet, preferably a 24 hour one. Gliders are nocturnal, often when we notice an injury or health issue it occurs at night. You can’t easily rush them to the vet unless they are open.
This website, Sugar Glider Help – Vet Database, may help you to find a vet in your area. Keep in mind that the list may be out of date, it’s always best to call and ask if they still see gliders and how much experience they have before making an appointment.
Some things to ask a vet before making an appointment;
“Do you offer teeth trimming?” – They should NOT! Some places will assume they are a rodent and offer this service, however a sugar glider’s teeth will NOT grow back and it is exceptionally painful for them to have them trimmed. If they do offer this service you can offer to help educate them on the proper care of sugar gliders or move on to another vet to interview.
“Do you offer spaying of female gliders?” – Since sugar gliders are so small and their reproductive organs are rather unique it’s much too invasive to spay a female. (Personally, I’ve never heard of a vet successfully spaying a female. Typically when people claim a glider is spayed they were misinformed by the glider’s previous owners.) It’s perfectly normal to neuter a male, most vets do this by snipping off the pom(scrotum with testes inside, it hangs slightly away from the body on the belly) or some will snip a hole and remove the testes from the pom and leave the pom intact. Both are normal options and the choice is usually between you and your vet depending on your preferences.
“Do you offer nail trimming and do you need to sedate them/put them under anesthesia to do so?” – They should NOT! A good experienced vet should be able to handle almost any glider to trim their nails without needing to put them to sleep. Some vets will do that because they are less experienced. Because sugar gliders are so small it’s always a slight risk to sedate them for any purpose, nail trims are so basic that they should not be a reason to take that risk. Between a vet and a tech they should be able to do it without any issues, it’s often easier to have one person hold and one trim, especially with a very wiggly glider.