UTI or Constipation?

Posted By: Beki516

UTI or Constipation? - 04/21/15 11:33 PM

Hi, all! It's been awhile. I return unfortunately in need of help.

The past week or so, Zephyr has been less interested in jumping out of the cage at feeding time. Then a few days ago I noticed some hissing noises. During play time last night, she was stopped for some time, periodically making the noises, and sometimes looked to be straining, with her tail lifting. Unfortunately I didn't get video of when she was most doing it, but I got a small bit of the noises, and a very brief tense-and-tail-lift movement at seconds 4-6.

I'm thinking it is a UTI or constipation, but I don't know which; any ideas? The straining and tail lift made me think constipation.

Posted By: Feather

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 04/22/15 12:22 AM

Sounds like a visit to the vet is in order for this glider. Have them run a fecal and try to get a urine sample to check for a UTI.

Please keep us posted on what the vet says.
Posted By: Beki516

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 04/22/15 01:34 AM

Oh, absolutely. The soonest I can take her would be the day after tomorrow, though, so I wondered in the meantime what to do. If it looked/sounded to you guys like constipation, I'd give pure apple juice; whereas if it seemed like a UTI I'd give her cranberry juice.
Posted By: Feather

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 04/22/15 02:23 AM

Get her in as soon as possible. You can give her juicy fruits like melon.

Watch her for dehydration and for her to chew on herself.
Posted By: Beki516

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 04/25/15 05:48 AM

So, update: It turns out she has massive constipation. Dangerously constipated, in fact. And looking back, I can see signs I wish I'd caught indicating lethargy. Plus the fruits haven't been getting eaten. The xrays made me feel so terrible!

I was given a new diet staple, so in addition to HPW I'm giving the girls some of a damp insectivore staple. It was developed by my vet's old partner... who is currently studying sugar gliders in the wild. Plus, it is used in zoos. They gave me a photocopy from one of her books with some really good diet info, which I'll share when I can get to a campus photocopier to scan and upload.

I also am going to be much, much better about variety in their diet. They seemed to like papaya so much, so I used that as the only fruit and just varied vegetables (not enough, though). I did that because papaya has such a good Ca:P ratio, and almost ALL veggies I could find ratio info for are skewed opposite of the 2:1 gliders need. But I'll relax a bit on maintaining the ratio, so I can make sure they are getting in their fiber and liquids. Tonight I gave apple (big hit), cantelope (big hit), butternut squash and yam (because high fiber. So far, ignored...)

I'm also putting in an open water dish, because apparently Zephyr hasn't been taking in enough liquids. I tested their bottle, and it isn't jammed at all (plus Pallas hasn't shown any symptoms); also, the vet checked her teeth immediately upon finding she wasn't getting enough fluids, so it's not that. Not sure if she is suddenly avoiding it or what.

Tonight I am staying up late to keep an eye out for poops, pain, and rectal prolapse. I've been giving Zephyr watered down apple juice from a syringe, which she is happy to lap up, so I don't have to force it.
Posted By: Beki516

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/15/15 06:19 AM

Zephyr update:
About a week after my last post, Z still wasn't passing any stool, and I took her back in. I got a GI mobility medicine and a laxative. A week after that, STILL no poops... she had to undergo anesthesia and they gave her an enema. That was yesterday. Today I panicked to find her wobbling and shaking, and very dehydrated. She was also cold -- I'd separated the two since Z was going to be having diarhea. As soon as I opened the cage, she dragged herself out and into my jacket. I rushed her back to the vet. They gave her subcutaneous fluids, and two antibiotics just to be safe. She is still clearly under the weather, but has perked up a lot. I've watched her the past three hours, and she has only been willing to eat corn. I put her meds in some yogurt and she slowly got the majority of it down. I haven't seen her drink at all, and she only took a few droplets of apple juice frown

I have a space heater set up for her, since when I found her this morning she was on top of the covers in the nest box, and when I brought her home again she still wasn't going under them (I piled them on top of her, but in case she crawled out again I wanted it to be warm). The third time I reached my hand under the covers to check her body temp, she crabbed, which was exciting :D I gave her a warm bath to get off some of the caked-on poo, and dried her in front of the space heater before putting her back to bed.

I just don't know why she isn't drinking...
Posted By: CandyOtte

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/15/15 02:20 PM

I am sorry your glider is so sick.

If she is still dehydrated she needs to be seen again by the vet for more sub-Q fluids. Dehydration will only make the constipation worse because her body will draw all the fluid it can from the gut making the stool drier and harder to pass.

Your vet may be able to train you to give Sub-Q fluids at home to keep her hydrated until she begins to eat better to meet her own needs

If no stool is being passed - her appetite and ability to drink fluids will be greatly reduced because her gut is not working properly.

How warm are you keeping the room with the space heater?
Is it blowing directly on the cage?

Sleeping on top of the pouch and covers may mean she feels TOO warm. The dry heat from the space heater can also contribute to the dehydration. I would not keep the room above 70 degrees using the heater.

Be extremely cautious drying her directly in front of the space heater. Gliders have very thin skin on their ears and the blowing heat from a space heater directly blowing on her can chap the skin to the point that it becomes dry and brittle - glider's have lost their ears due to such extreme chapping/burning of the ear tissue.

The dehydration needs to be addressed IMMEDIATELY - then I would start out feeding her only the HPW and what ever juicy fruits or vegetables she will eat - watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, cucumbers etc. Once she is eating and meeting her own fluid needs with juicy fruits and vegetables hopefully her bowel function will improve and along with it her appetite. Then you can add additional foods to her nightly feedings.
Posted By: Feather

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/15/15 07:03 PM

Have you checked your water bottle to see if it is working, you may want to get one of those silos for water. You can get them in the bird department of the pet store.

If you have syringes without needles you should be pushing fluids with her, try to get a ml into her every hour or so.

Have they done an e-ray to see if there is a blockage or growth in her abdomen?
Posted By: Beki516

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/15/15 08:19 PM

On a crappy mobile phone so I'll just get the important stuff down and write a full update tonight after work.

She's no longer dehydrated. Checked the bottle and it works fine, also put a bird silo and a dish filled with water. The silo is in the small cage with her now.

I know being on top of covers usually means hot, but she was shaking and cold to the touch so it obviously wasn't that. I turned the space heater down after I read Candy's post. I'll keep an eye out for chapping. It was not blowing directly on the cage.

X-rays only showed that she had massive amounts of unpassed stool, the majority of which came out during or in the 24 hours following the enema.
Posted By: Beki516

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/15/15 08:25 PM

Ps, she was running in the wheel in the small cage in the wee hours of the morning, so that's a good sign :-)
Posted By: Beki516

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/16/15 08:30 AM

So, I was up with her until 4 am last night... didn't see her drink. This morning her HPW looked untouched, and she'd only eaten a few pieces of corn, one small pieces of apple, and two pieces of cantelope all night... but she wasn't dehydrated at all. So I suppose either that was enough, or her drinking time is in the wee hours of the morning. Other nights I've stayed up with her the past few weeks I also have not seen her drink, but she was never noticeably dehydrated then either, and I went to bed at 5am at the latest so maybe she only drinks at 6am or something tounge

She didn't pass as much stool today, so the effects of the enema seem to be winding down. I'm still giving her both laxatives, in addition to a pain reliever and the two antibiotics. I gave about a mL of mineral oil with the pain reliever tonight, as was recommended by the vet. I'm really hoping that she is on the road to recovery, but I'm really worried that stool will start backing up again, that there is an underlying problem we haven't found... and this is especially worrying because I am nearly out of money. The vet bills over the past three weeks have totaled over $496.

Currently the space heater is at 68 degrees, but I might stop using it. I suspect that the morning she was dehydrated, she was not under the covers because she kept feeling like she needed to poo, and possibly she didn't have the energy to crawl into them; she certainly has energy now, and had crawled into the fleece every time she goes to sleep.

She's already eaten more tonight than the previous twenty four hours combined. Still seems to be leaving the HPW alone, which is odd because normally both the girls go straight for it when they wake up. She was eager to leave the cage and explore the bedroom when I was putting in her food, and is currently running on the one wheel she ever seems to use, which I really need to move from this travel cage to the main one...
Posted By: CandyOtte

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/16/15 02:19 PM

Try leaving the corn out of the nightly feeding. Corn, especially the hull of each kernal is very hard to digest and may contribute to her gut issues. Offer softer veggies like green beans.

Likewise - I would not feed apple until her issues resolve. Apple contains pectin - especially if the skin is left on. Pectin slows the gut motility and can also contribute to the constipation.

If you are not sure if she is eating any of the HPW - using a kitchen scale - weigh the dish with the HPW before you put it in the cage and again in the morning. The difference in weight will let you know how much if any of it she is eating. - she may be drinking more of it than you think especially if you are offering more that 1 TBS which is easy to do unless you measure each cube before freezing.

If she is not eating ANY of the HPW you may need to consider another feeding plan. No matter how good a staple may be - it is not providing the nutrients your glider needs if the glider will not eat it at all.
Posted By: Beki516

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/17/15 04:24 AM

Oh, I thought apple would help because it is high in fiber frown I'll leave that and the corn out tonight. I do measure my HPW, though.
Posted By: Beki516

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/17/15 10:35 PM

Last night she ate more than the previous two nights combined, and drank some of her HPW! She still seems to be straining to poo, and not much is coming out, but she is no longer making that hissing sound.
Posted By: KarenE

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/17/15 10:48 PM

That does seem encouraging. Keep watching her which I know you will grin
Posted By: Beki516

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/18/15 07:52 AM

Originally Posted By: KarenE
That does seem encouraging. Keep watching her which I know you will grin

Lol, when this all first started I told a friend that I was going to be watching her like a hawk. He pointed out that since hawks would eat a sugar glider, that might not be appreciated tounge
Posted By: Kris_N_Zoe

Re: UTI or Constipation? - 05/18/15 02:58 PM

I'm glad to hear she's doing better! clap
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