Sugar Gliders, like many small creatures, are fragile. Their bones are small and rather thin and as they are active animals, it’s possible to fracture a leg.
There are several different types of fractures, but those that occur most often are a simple fracture and a compound fracture.
A simple fracture of the bone is one that doesn’t break through the skin, causing a wound.
A compound fracture causes a wound, often with the bone protruding through the skin. This is a more serious break as the open wound can become infected, worsening the situation.
A sugar glider can fracture a leg several ways. A leg can get stuck in some object in the cage and in an attempt to free itself, the leg can break. If the bars of the cage are too wide apart for the sugar glider, s/he can get stuck between them with the same result. If someone is holding the sugar glider and it struggles or is dropped, the fall can cause a leg fracture. Someone may accidentally step on the animal. If the sugar glider’s diet is not appropriate, the bones weaken and become more prone to breaks.
Broken bones are extremely painful and your sugar glider can go into shock from stress and pain. Take him/her to the vet as soon as possible.
Your vet will prescribe pain medication and an anti-inflammatory. Depending on the type of break, a splint may be applied or surgery may be recommended. If the break cannot be repaired, the leg may have to be amputated.
You may be able to help avoid broken legs by following a few simple suggestions.
Purchase a cage that has bar spacing appropriate for a sugar glider.
Keep the cage safe by removing any object where your sugar glider’s legs may get caught.
When your sugar glider is out of the cage, watch and make sure s/he is safe. Be aware so that no one accidently steps on your pet.
When children play with the sugar glider, have them sit on the floor to help avoid accidents like dropping the animal.
As careful as you are, sometimes accidents do happen through no one’s fault. But don’t worry, your sugar glider can adapt and manage well on 3 legs.