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Short Term Care

Short Term Care for Feathertail Gliders
It  is important to remember that an injured, sick or orphaned glider, as with any  wild animal, will be stressed when caught.  Stress can kill a wild animal  so it is very important that it is kept in a dark, quiet place, away from children  and family pets.
If  it is a juvenile or adult glider (between 8 and 14 grams), wrap it loosely in  a towel and place it in a box.  

If  you find a furless or just furred joey (1.5 to 7 grams) place it in a woollen  or cotton sock then into warm wrappings.  It is crucial that the glider be  kept warm.  Use a heat source if you have one.  A hot water bottle can  be used in an emergency, but make sure that the water is changed regularly. A  hot water bottle will need to be wrapped in a towel.  A heat pad is better.  

Warm the joey slowly (over a period of 2 hours), the temperature inside the makeshift pouch should  be around 32o  for a furless- no higher, and around  28o  for a lightly furred joey - no higher.  Do not over heat the glider as this  is as detrimental as under heating it.  Do not place the joey directly on  the heat, place a towel between the heat source and the pouch. A glider of  this size needs to get to an experienced carer urgently as they need specialised  care.

Do  not feed any wild animal for at least a few hours after rescue - they need to  have their stress levels reduced and  too much human contact can send them  into shock.  Additionally, it is very important that you do not feed a cold  animal as any food will not be digested properly and the possum may die. If the  rescued glider is cold you will need to warm it very slowly (over a period of 2 hours) - if you warm the  possum too quickly it may also die from heat-stress related complications. An  animal that is badly injured or sick will not want to eat.  If this is the  case, just leave the possum in the box until an experienced carer can collect  it, or take it to a veterinarian.

Food  for an adult glider can include fruit, such as apple or pear and flowering natives  such as eucalypt, wattle, grevillia and callistamon.  As gliders are so small  only small amounts of food should be offered and in small dishes. Never attempt  to feed an adult glider by hand, as this could stress it more, leave the food  in the box, it will eat when ready.  

A  joey can be fed Farex (but as emergency food only - to much Farex will kill them).   Good generic milk replacers are Di-Vetelact and Formula One, which can be purchased  at most veterinary clinics. Never feed a glider cows milk as they are lactose  intolerant and they will get very sick and may die.  Keep the joey in the  pouch with only it's head exposed.  Feed the formula to the joey through  a small syringe or pipette (available at chemists) held at the edge of it's mouth  - do not  force the  syringe into it's mouth - the glider will lap at the formula.   Do  not force feed a joey, if it seems stressed or disinterested, discontinue  feeding and put it in a quiet, dark place.

Just  remember to use your common sense when caring for a glider.  You are caring  for a wild animal, it is not a pet.  

Keep pets, family and friends away from  the animal at all times.
Fourth Crossing Wildlife
a: c/o Wiangaree Post Office, 60 Worando Street, WIANGAREE NSW 2474
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