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What exactly happens with SM? #284748
05/11/07 03:50 PM
05/11/07 03:50 PM

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Im new here and I know what SM is but do they take their tails apart or legs?? Im confused!

~curious...Katerina~ roflmao

Re: What exactly happens with SM? [Re: ] #284759
05/11/07 03:56 PM
05/11/07 03:56 PM

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Welcome to GC! Its great that you are looking for answers to your questions!

Have you tried to use the search engine on this website to find your answers? To the left of yout screen there is a box that says search. Just type what youre looking for in there, and wham! There it is!

A tip for searching: keep it simple. dont put in more than 2 words if you can help it!


SM'ing is when a glider hurts itself in any way. Some may bite themselves, or pull their hair out. They do this usually because they are bored or unhappy or in pain.

Hope that helps!

Re: What exactly happens with SM? [Re: ] #284766
05/11/07 04:08 PM
05/11/07 04:08 PM

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Originally Posted By: Elee

SM'ing is when a glider hurts itself in any way. Some may bite themselves, or pull their hair out. They do this usually because they are bored or unhappy or in pain.


Not entirely true. The biggest confusion comes between overgrooming and self mutilating (SM). So I just want to clarify...

SM is an animals (gliders aren't the only ones that will do this) natural response to pain. The only reason your glider will ever begin to SM is because there is pain. The idea is that they will attack the area that is hurting them, trying to make it go away. In turn, they make the problem worse, and the cycle continues. This can go downhill very fast and a glider can and will SM to the point of death in a fairly short period of time.

Overgrooming is just that, and it will lead to thinning areas. This may be because of boredom or stress, but may have other underlying reasons. I believe infection may be present, and I've heard something to the effect of tail overgrooming being associated with tooth infections (though, not always the case, just one example). Overgrooming may also occur at a wound site. It's in their nature to "clean" the area, so it's important to watch gliders that are healing (ie. neuter incision site, scratches, cuts, mating wounds).


Re: What exactly happens with SM? [Re: ] #284814
05/11/07 04:59 PM
05/11/07 04:59 PM

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Youre right. I was just trying to keep it a little more simple.. it is after all an 11 year old. (no offense, just saying!)

Re: What exactly happens with SM? [Re: ] #284842
05/11/07 05:33 PM
05/11/07 05:33 PM

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But it is important to know that SM is not caused by boredom or being unhappy, nor is pulling hair out (balding?) a sign of SM (it's overgrooming).

Re: What exactly happens with SM? [Re: ] #284867
05/11/07 05:57 PM
05/11/07 05:57 PM

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thx a lot! I was really depressed when I heard about it but I guess thats how life goes!

Re: What exactly happens with SM? [Re: ] #284879
05/11/07 06:04 PM
05/11/07 06:04 PM

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Self mutilation is....a pain in the butt. For me and for my glider.

It can be caused by many factors. One of the main reasons is a Urinary tract infection or another type of infection.

I've had an SM and if you would like to know anything else then I can help you out. There are many more people on this site that have had them as well and I'm sure they don't mind telling you how it happened, what they did, was it cured or anything.

When my glider SM'd he bit as his cloaca (The area that they go to the bathroom from) and that is the most commonly chewed area, That is also where they chew for Urinary tract infections.

Re: What exactly happens with SM? [Re: ] #284886
05/11/07 06:16 PM
05/11/07 06:16 PM
Joined: Apr 1999
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Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
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sm's self mutilators, can be caused by many things, infections by far are the most common, either urinary tract infection, giardia, or a bacterial infection, however although the most common not by any means any less common than the other reasons, sm's can easily test out to not have any problems,

there are no definitive answers, however there are very distinct warning signs, and things that you need to have prepared in the slim chance it does happen,

most responces to the question, what should you do if your glider self mutilates, the answers I have seen are.. get them to a vet..

in reality the first thing you should do is to put on an e-collar and do what you can to prevent further damage.
once the collar is on, contact someone who can help you with your vet, as most vets do not know what to do or what to check for.

as was stated many things are considered sm'ing,

the most common ones we see are right after neuters, usually due to lack of pain meds, but sometimes there is no reason, again going after the surgery site, as aproductof stated due to the pain factors.

some gliders chew on their tails when stressed, other chew on other parts of their body due to injury (you may not even know they are injured)

one glider had a hair wrapped around his private parts,

another chewed on it's membrane due to a bug bite, another due to a splinter.

so many reasons, and causes. the best knowledge you can have tucked away with an already prepared e-collar, is what signs to watch for, and what to do..

Re: What exactly happens with SM? [Re: ] #285373
05/12/07 11:57 AM
05/12/07 11:57 AM

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Originally Posted By: Elee
Youre right. I was just trying to keep it a little more simple.. it is after all an 11 year old. (no offense, just saying!)


It shouldn't matter that she is only 11 years old... i think it is important to give her all the necessary information.... it shows a dedication of learning about our beloved gliders. The more she knows "even the sad and hard information" the better her understanding of caring for one in the future is.

Re: What exactly happens with SM? [Re: ] #285405
05/12/07 12:50 PM
05/12/07 12:50 PM

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Hey, the info can still be given. Im not saying it cant. But maybe the wording could be a little different. Thats all Im saying. smile

Re: What exactly happens with SM? [Re: ] #285418
05/12/07 01:20 PM
05/12/07 01:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
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80 acres of paradise in KS
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Posts: 22,747
80 acres of paradise in KS
Sadly, self mutilation is a very serious thing and life threatening. Just ask anyone who has ever had a glider self mutilate it.

There are some things in life that just have to be explained exactly like what they are. SM just can not be sugar coated because of how serious it is.

Also, don't underestimate 11 yr olds. They really are much more smart and able to "deal with the harsh realities" better than we usually give them credit for.

Katerina, I commend you on asking. It is by asking that we learn. Please don't hesitate to ask if you still are confused about self mutilation or if you have any other questions.


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I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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