Finding a Glider-Knowledgeable Veterinarian

Finding a veterinarian who is familiar with sugar gliders is a very important thing to do BEFORE your glider gets sick. Sugar gliders are exotic pets and glider-experienced veterinarians are still rare. All too often, gliders become ill and their owners don't have a clue where to bring their glider for emergency care. I live in the metropolitan Cleveland area, where there are well over a hundred veterinarians listed in the yellow pages. However, of all those vets, there are only two within 30 minutes of my home that accepts sugar gliders as patients. I am very fortunate because the one I take my gliders to is an excellent vet and is actually relatively close to my home. However, for after-hour calls, I have to drive almost an hour away to an emergency hospital in Akron because neither of the vets who are close to me have clinics open 24/7. I have my regular vet's phone number memorized and it is written down and kept next to all phones in my house.

Even before getting a sugar glider you should phone around and find out where the nearest vet is that is glider-experienced. Phone each number in the yellow pages and ask two specific questions: 1) "Do you accept sugar gliders as patients?"; 2) "Does the veterinarian have experience with sugar gliders? If so, how many other gliders has he/she seen?" Don't feel awkward about asking these questions. They are vital to the continued well-being of your glider.

Once you find a glider-experienced vet, find out what the vet's normal office hours are, not just what the clinic's hours are. Find out if the clinic is available 24/7 for emergencies. If not, inquire about where your veterinarian would recommend that you bring your glider in the event of an emergency. Follow up by checking with the emergency facility to make sure that they also accept sugar gliders as patients. Many do not. Find out where the emergency facility is located and print out a map to keep in your Emergency Medical Kit.

I can not stress the importance of knowing, in advance, where the nearest glider-experienced veterinarian is. It could mean the difference between life and death for your glider in the future.