Sugar gliders are small exotic pets. They are prone to stress and it can cause other problems as well. You should always keep your eye out for signs that your sugar gliders are stressed. When stress does arise, look for the cause and have an exotic pets veterinarian who is experienced in sugar gliders lined up in case it is serious.
One very common sign of stress is diarrhea. You should look for a stressor whenever your pet has diarrhea. It is also a good idea to look at their diet. For example citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables are good for your sugar glider, but too much of these things causes diarrhea. The real concern here is that diarrhea can cause dehydration and is also a sign of an internal parasite infection. If you don't find a reason for your sugar glider to have diarrhea then it is best to take it to the vet. You will also want to offer nectar replicas to help nourish and provide moisture for your sugar glider.
Many sugar gliders will self-mutilate when they are stress. They may pull at, bit, and tear their tail, limbs, and genitals. This is not normal behavior and is probably caused from stress.
Coprohphancy is the eating of ones feces. It is common in many animals, however for most it is a sign of stress or of not getting enough nutrients. Make sure that your sugar glider is eating well and getting a balanced diet.
If your sugar glider is pacing too and fro this may be a sign that he or she is stressed. This can become a habit and isn't normal for most sugar gliders.
Unusual Eating Habits.
Your sugar glider may refuse to eat if he or she is stressed out. On the other hand, many sugar gliders show signs of hyperphagia where they eat too fast. They will eat through their meal very quickly and almost in a panicked sort of way.
Hairloss often happens when there is a lot of stress. However, this can also be a sign that the diet isn't offering all it should or of an external parasite.
As you get to know your sugar glider and his or her personality you should be able to spot when things aren't right. Your sugar glider may be acting odd, or just not his or herself. This can be a sign that something is wrong.
Causes of Stress.
It is important to keep your pet stress free. There are a number of reasons that they become stressed. The first is a big one. It is easy for your pet to show signs of stress when they aren't receiving proper nutrition. It is important for you to provide a wide variety of foods and to follow a good diet. Other stressors can include poor cage hygiene, inadequate housing, lack of companionship and social interaction, or feeling threatened by predatory animals (either other pets in the house or animals outside that it can see). As for inadequate housing this could be a cage that is too small, one that lacks things to do, or one that lacks a nesting place. These stressors can usually be limited or eliminated with your help.
If your sugar glider is brand new it is likely feeling stressed. Moving from one environment to another is something that stresses many animals. The sugar glider is no exception. Whether you purchased it locally from a breeder, bought it at a local pet shop, or paid to have it shipped across country it is possible that the experience has stressed out your sugar glider.
Care During Times of Stress.
Since most stressors are from a lack of care or improper care it is important that you offer the correct care to your animal. It is also important that you work with your animal to get it healthy. Signs of stress are not good and can lead to other health problems. Visit a vet if you are worried, things continue to get worse, you suspect there might be another problem, or if your pet becomes ill.
Taking good care of your sugar glider involves keeping it healthy and happy. Often times this means working toward eliminating stressors in his or her life. Most of this can be done with a little work and care on your part.