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Sugar Glider Information Package


We are extremely proud of our clinic and of our team consisting of over 20 caring and experienced staff. We are dedicated to providing excellence in care for our patients and their families since 1972. Our entire team cares deeply for your pet and will treat them with caring hands and a tender voice; their comfort and well-being is why we are here every day.

We are also very involved in our community through our popular Junior Vet program which has been running since 2003, and wildlife triage that we offer at no cost. We are delighted to be one of the veterinary clinics providing patient care for the Northumberland Humane Society. 

Please check out our website at for more information on these programs and on our clinic and staff. We look forward to being your other family doctor!

Beyond What You See

Both Doctors and Staff have your pet's best interest at heart and strive to make their stay with us as pleasant as possible. We encourage you to accompany your pet to their kennel to allow you the opportunity to see where they will stay and to help them to settle in. Every pet has his or her own separate kennel or run, furnished with a clean, dry, comfy towel or blanket. If your pet has a "special toy” or “security blanket" feel free to bring it in with them.

If your pet is to have a general anesthetic we would like you to know that we minimize the risks by providing exemplary care during their stay. We highly recommend a pre-anesthetic blood screen prior to a general anesthetic. Just as your doctor would run a blood test before your procedure we do the same for your pet. A pre-anesthetic blood test is like an internal physical exam that will check organ function and help identify unknown diseases. For this blood work, we collect a small sample of blood that is sent to an outside lab. Blood work must be submitted at least 24 hours before the procedure.

Veterinarians will do a physical exam the morning of surgery to ensure that your pet is healthy before undergoing general anesthetic. Patients are assessed individually to determine which anesthetics will be safest for them. We have anesthetics available for all ages, from the very young to our senior patients. We also carry anesthetics specific to our work with exotic pets.

The doctors adhere to strict sterile techniques, complete with a cap, mask, sterile gown, and gloves when performing surgery. A separate sterile surgical pack is used for each procedure to avoid infection and cross-contamination. The animals are surgically prepared both at their incision and intravenous sites. This involves first shaving the hair, then cleaning the skin with antibacterial solutions.

Prior to the anesthetic, every animal is placed on intravenous fluids. Intravenous fluids are important to help maintain optimal blood pressure during surgery as well as provide access that will allow us to administer drugs if an anesthetic emergency arises.

While under anesthesia, every pet is connected to a Cardell monitor for carbon dioxide, blood pressure, and heart monitoring. Each pet is provided with a warming blanket to manage its temperature during the anesthetic. As well, our Registered Veterinary Technicians continually assess the animals, during both the anesthetic and recovery periods. During recovery one of our technicians or assistants sit with your pet to comfort them as they recover from the anesthetic.

We are acutely aware of the level of pain of our patients and have very current protocols in place to help manage their pain while in the hospital as well medications for use at home to keep them comfortable.

Uncomplicated surgery cases are discharged the same day. This allows the animal to rest at home, which is usually less stressful for both patient and owner. We do keep some animals overnight if they require bandaging after surgery. We recommend that more complicated cases be transferred to the Animal Emergency Clinic in Whitby for overnight observation.

If you have any questions or would like to tour our facility, please ask any one of our staff members. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome as we strive to provide the best service possible for you and your pet.

General Information

The standard colour for sugar gliders is platinum grey with a cream coloured underside, although they are being bred in a variety of colours.  The fur is a velvety texture and they have a black longitudinal dorsal stripe extending from between the eyes to the tail.  This stripe is noted as being slightly thinner in females.

Lifespan: 4-7 years in the wild and 12-15 years in captivity

Body Length: 13-19cm or 5-7.5 inches

Weight   Males: 113-170g        Females: 85-142g

Temperature: 32-36C

Heart Rate: 200-300 beats/min

Respiratory Rate: 16-40 breaths/min

Males will reach sexual maturity at 12-15 months while females will reach it at 8-12 months.  Average litter size is 1-2 Joeys with the majority of females giving birth to 2 offspring, sugar gliders can reproduce for up to ten years.  

Gestation: 15-17 days    In Pouch: 50-75 days    Wean: 35-60 days

The gliding membrane extends from the ankles to the 5th membrane of the forepaws.  Sugar gliders are capable of gliding for up to 200 feet, given the proper altitudes.  Sugar gliders are nocturnal animals and therefore have excellent night vision; also the make-up of their eye allows them to see in shades of grey and the colour red.  Sugar gliders will become inactive if their nails are clipped because they can no longer grab onto things and they have a natural fear of falling. Thus it is recommended that you file the nails to a length that is not irritating to the owner yet still allows the gliders to grasp onto objects

Housing Your Sugar Glider

Sugar gliders are highly social animals and ideally should be housed in groups of 2 or more. If this isn’t possible the owner should be prepared to spend 2 or more hours per day with their glider to effectively socialize it.

Sugar Glider Nutrition

Improper diet can be directly related to many common disease conditions in sugar gliders.  Sugar gliders are omnivores meaning they eat an array of foods including insects. It is common to hear sugar gliders referred to as insectivores/omnivores as insects are a large portion of their diet.  Insects are significantly high in protein, this being said breeding gliders require a significant amount of protein in their captive diet when breeding is taking place.

Insect availability decreases in the winter so sugar gliders rely on other sources of food. Acacia gum, eucalyptus sap, and other nectars are plant products that make up a majority of their winter diet.

Sugar gliders eat manna, a crusty sugar left from where sap flowed in a tree trunk or branch in the wild. Gliders also eat honeydew which is an excess sugar produced by sap suckling insects. Honey and fresh fruits are good substitutes for the sap. 

Nutritional enrichment is very important in creating stimulation for your pet.  Stimulation prevents boredom, as well as a variety of foods enriches the overall well being of your pet (nutrition, vitamins, and minerals).  Carrots are rich in vitamin A which is good for your sugar glider when offered in the right form and amount; however, corn has a high phosphorus ratio which can elevate disease opportunity in your pet if given too much.

Safe and Toxic Foods for Your Sugar Glider

Safe Foods:




Lemon Balm





Belgian Endive





Toxic Foods:

Cherry Pits



Nectarine Pits

Frech Tarragon


Peach Pits

Garden Sorrel Sweet Flag

Scurvy Grass Water Hemlock

Plum Pits


Sea Parsley Mandrake




American Mandrake Mistletoe

Indian Paint Blue Flag

Shave grass



Snakeweed Wahoo

Autumn Crocus

Japanese Star anise



Jimson weed

St. Bartholomew’s tea

Black Cohosh

Lily of the Valley

Sweet Woodruff


Liver lily and water flag Broom

Tobacco: Indian or wild tobacco



Tonka Bean

Caper Spurge


Virginia Shakeroot

Castor Bean

May Apple

Waldmeister Tansy

Cherry Laurel

Morning Glory



Mountain Laurel

White Snakeroot


Nightshade family

Wild Senna

Dandelion Roots

Onion family incl – chives, garlic chives, shallots, leeks


Death Camas





Yerba mate

Dumb Cane


Zigandus aka Soap Plant

Estragon Tomato



Ficus – any species

Poison Hemlock

Flag Root

Poison Sego