Obesity is common with captive sugar gliders and may lead to cardiac and respiratory problems.
To prevent this, food must be rationed and adequate exercise should be provided. Treatment involves elimination of high fat diets and gradual weight loss. Weight loss may be monitored using an accurate gram scale. Malnutrition and Hypocalcemia:
This condition is a common cause of hind leg paralysis in sugar gliders and is mainly the result of inadequate calcium intake or improper calcium/phosphorus balance in the diet. Treatment involves supportive care and correction of underlying dietary issues. Other common symptoms of malnutrition include dehydration and diarrhea, blindness, hair loss, and seizures. In severe cases, malnutrition and hypocalcemia can cause death. Dental Disease:
Dental tartar and periodontal disease is common in sugar gliders provided a soft, high carbohydrate diet. Advanced dental disease can occur and result in exposure of the tooth root and tooth root abscesses. Glider owners should regularly monitor their pet for facial swellings, weight loss, and eye discharge, as these can be indicators of dental disease. Regular oral examinations and a good diet are required to help prevent this condition. Self mutilation:
Sugar gliders may self mutilate from a variety of causes including solitude, stress, sexual frustration, improper nutritional status and lack of exercise. Proper nutrition, socialization, appropriate nesting areas, exercise outside of the cage, enrichment activities and good cage hygiene can help reduce stress in captive sugar gliders and prevent self destructive behaviors. Male gliders should be neutered to reduce hormonal surges and sexual frustration, both of which can be stressors leading to self mutilation.