Random Rant #25 – Useful Foods for Suggies

Live mealworms – Mealies are glider Scooby snacks, they will do just about anything for them sometimes. These are my go-to for training, nail trims, tricking them into taking meds, and calling them to me when its time to come out of a playroom.

Grapes – Grapes are the perfect pouch drink because they stay a little cleaner than a cut apple slice and have a more fluid juice.

Papaya – Papaya has an excellent calcium to phosphorus ratio of 4.8 mg calcium for every 1 mg of phosphorus and gliders eat it well, making this a favorite addition for balancing the overall diet to a 2:1 Ca:P ratio.

Corn on the cob – OFFER IN MODERATION. Gliders love them some corn, but beware of its 0.2:1 Ca:P ratio. A fun foraging treat can be made by wrapping a plastic chain around a corncob and securing it with a C clip, hung low so it doesn’t have far to fall.

Coconuts – Gliders will sometimes eat coconut meat, but the real usefulness of coconuts is their empty shell, which can be turned into glider toys and hanging foragers.

Watermelon – Watermelon is very hydrating and is usually a glider favorite. Create a fun feeder by hanging a slice of watermelon on a C clip. (Note: watermelon poops can look like blood in the stool, however most internal bleeding comes out as noxious black tarry poop, rather than bright red and wet.)

Avocado – Avocados are a high fat fruit that gliders love, making this a useful food for putting weight onto a malnourished glider quickly. Do not go overboard with avocado, as long term overabundance will contribute to fatty liver disease. This is the star component of glider crack, its both the bulk of the calories and strong draw to get the glider to eat the blend. Avocados are also believed to help with a cracked fur in the winter because of their high oil and vitamin E content.

Canned pumpkin – High in fiber, pumpkin can help ease constipation.

Raw pumpkin seeds – Raw pumpkin seeds are believed to inhibit the reproduction of some intestinal worm species due to their cucurbitacin content. Crushed, mixed with honey, and eaten two hours before their meal for best effect. (note: may wish to avoid pumpkin seeds the week before a fecal float to avoid biasing the test) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037735/

Cranberries – Cranberries are believed to prevent urinary tract infections (UTI) by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urethral walls. Some dried cranberries in their treat cups or real fruit juice with 25% cranberry juice in a water bottle may possibly provide protection against recurring UTIs. Symptoms of a UTI include hissing while peeing, and a characteristic astringent odor to the urine. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3370320/)

Pedialyte/Gatorade – These electrolyte solutions are useful for replenishing fluids in a dehydrated glider. Pedialyte is preferred, but Gatorade will do in a pinch.

Honey – Honey dissolved into water can help with hypoglycemia. I personally haven’t had hypoglycemia be the cause of any illness I’ve dealt with, but it is usually high on the list of things the vet rules out.

Freeze dried veggies and staple – Its a good plan to have a stash of dry glider food in preparation for natural disaster or power outage. SpinZone offers freeze dried meal kits of BML staple and glider salad mixes or Critter Love Complete’s staple. I also keep a large stock of dried insects, dried fruits, yoggies, nuts, and seeds on hand.

Pinky Mice – Good source of both protein and calcium, and their intact digestive systems are essentially probiotics. My gliders will refuse a pinky that has not been fully thawed and warmed to about body temperature in the crook of an elbow.

Live Crickets – Gliders will pounce and chase live crickets, and provide a stimulating foraging experience. I recommend a critter keeper or tupperware container to prevent cricket escapes into the house.

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