¤ Q. What does 'Kozi' mean? A. Honestly... it doesn't mean a thing! Kozinu has long been my nickname on the internet, I've always loved the name Kozi but it's popular in Japan so it's often taken. Thus I created Kozinu. When thinking of a name for our website I thought Kozi(pronounced cozy) had a cute sound to it.. Cozy Gliders! So, thus.. Kozi Gliders! Silly, I know.. xD; Many people also call me Kozi for short, typically on the glider forums or games that I play. ¤ Q. How did you find out about sugar gliders? A. Actually I have a friend in Chicago who has about 14 of the little cuties! He doesn't breed, he just has one HUGE colony in a gigantic cage. After seeing his and hearing crabbing for the first time.. well, I think it was love! ¤ Q. Are sugar gliders the only type of animal you have? A. Not at all! Though they are the only ones who have an entire room all to themselves! My boyfriend and I also have two cats, Chi and Moogle! We've got quite enough of a zoo with all those trouble makers, believe me! We love all our critters though! We're both quite big animal lovers.
Questions from new parents!
Q. What is required in caring for them daily?
A. Honestly, it's best to bring them out of their cages for play time on a daily basis. Most people have pop up tents for them to play in so it's safe/glider-proof. Some people do glider-proof entire rooms, though. -- Along with that you do need to change their food nightly, they need fresh fruits and a staple, I'll explain more in the next post!
Q. How expensive is their food?
A. It can get a bit costly, especially the fresh fruits and veggies. I feed the Original HPW diet. For 2 gliders it isn't terribly costly at all, it costs a bit to start up, buying a good bit of HPW powder and bee pollen, but once you do that it lasts quite some time. Many people make a single batch and it lasts 2-4 weeks. I think the most we spend on is all the fresh fruits and veggies. We like to visit local farmers markets whenever we can. There's plenty of options for treats/snacks, too. But honestly, it's the same cost as feeding any other animal a healthy diet. They can't survive off pellets alone(they've been shown to half their live span and cause liver faliure) as they're sap suckers by nature so they do need something more complicated. If you can't spend a bit of time in the kitchen then they may not be the right pet for you. Here's the diet we use, Original HPW. And here's a page with a bunch of information on other diets, Gliderpedia - Diets.
Q. Are they nasty little biters?
A. Oh yes, they can draw blood and some people have gotten serious infections. I've only had blood drawn a few times(typically with rescues I've taken in) and I've never gotten an infection. They don't do this all the time, that's when typically VERY SCARED. (They CAN also 'skunk' you when they're terrified. It smells EXACTLY like a skunk but dissipates much more quickly than a normal skunk's smell.. but believe me, it is STRONG while it lasts. Typically only joeys do this, if your glider is doing thing you're doing something to SERIOUSLY frighten them!) They WILL groom you, they will use their teeth to scrape lightly at your skin, especially scabs and they HATE bandaids. But typically they will 'pinch' lightly to 'taste' you, they're a very taste/scent based animal. They will lick you to groom you, too. But as with any animal, they do have teeth and will bite. If you spend a lot of time with them and get them very friendly/socialized they will be much better about it, though I'd still expect the occasional light 'nip' taste test. (They'll do this if you use an unusual or especially fruity shampoo/body wash, hand soap, etc.. They always have to investigate new smells and tastes. They may be more likely to bite you if your hands smell like another animal or something offensive to them.)
Q. How much sleep/wake time do they have?
A. They are generally nocturnal. Mine usually wake up between 7 and 10 pm and then go to bed sometime around 8-11am, depends on how much they tire themselves out. (Since you can't be up ALL night playing it's best to have a glider safe wheel, they run like CRAZY. (Most wheels are unsafe, they can break their legs and tails. So paying 30-50 right now for a wheel that will last at LEAST a year or two is nothing compared to the hundreds you'd spend at the vet later.. I've heard a tail amputation quoted at $850. Here's a video of gliders in a wheel! They do NOT run, they kind of hop! Heck, it's worth it to buy the wheel simply because I've gotten hours of amusement just watching them!)
Safe Wheels; Attix Worx, Glider Wheels And More, Fast-Track, CCCruiser.
Q. What do they do other than just sleep? A. Wheel wheel wheel! They LOVE the wheel. They will forage for stuff, many people hide treats in toys or pouches in their cage and they will explore and do their best to find it. They will swing on things, carry things around and of course, they love jumping/gliding, too. Q. Is it true that they never need to see a vet? A. No no no! Not at ALL! They DEFINITELY need vet care! It's best to have a yearly check up and a fecal test done to check for parasites. They don't need any regular shots or anything. But it's still best for them to have a check up to make sure everything is well! Also, they are very small and fragile, they can get injuries and will require IMMEDIATE care if they do. (Often at night, as they're nocturnal. So it's best to have a 24 hour vet that sees exotics/sugar gliders readily available.) They are very small and considered exotics by most vets so their care can be quite costly if something does happen. Keep this in mind when considering adding them to your family, it's best to have a bit of a fund saved up for emergency vet care. Q. Are gliders good for kids? A. No, I definitely would not suggest a suggie. D: They're really more adult pets. They don't typically like to sit still and be coddled. They like to run around, explore, jump, glide.. (They are VERY sneaky and the house has to be infant-proofed, essentially. They can't really swim, they can crawl into small/tight spaces and get stuck/lost, etc.) They are also VERY fragile which is another reason they aren't great for kids. They require big cages, 3-6 feet tall or bigger, a diet that requires work in the kitchen and fresh fruits/veggies nightly, also it's best to get two, and they're nocturnal, to boot. So.. definitely not the best for kids. - That said, if the adult is the MAIN care giver they CAN do well with very well behaved mature children, but only under supervision and once it's made CLEAR to the child that they are fragile and not to be touched without mommy or daddy there to okay it.
¤ D e f i n i t i o n s ¤
- A -
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.
- B -
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
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.
- C -
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.
- E -
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.
- F -
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.
- H -
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.)
- I -
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.
- J -
Jaundice - The yellowing of tissues, itself is not a disease. Rather
it is a sign of an underlying pathological process.
- L -
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.
- M -
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
- O -
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.
- P -
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.
- Q -
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.
- S -
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.
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.
- T -
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.
- U -
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.
- W -
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.