Weight

Tips, experience & advice related to the healthy and not-so-healthy flying squirrel
Nativeprincess
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Weight

Postby Nativeprincess » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:15 pm

ya'ya is 6 months old and Mica is 5 yrs, so I expect some difference in weight but Mica has always seemed *really* overweight. Extra rolls, tad too much squirrel cleavage etc and standing next to Ya'ya, she seemed like a monster. I estimated apx 2-3x the weight of Ya'ya.

More recent research articles place average weight around 1.5-2oz with a few finding average weight to be about 2.5(seems a little high, this was in NY area). So I bought a small pocket scale to see how far off the girls were.
Well Ya'ya is sitting pretty at 2.2 oz, and Mica, who was too big to even sit in the tray (had to get creative about weighing her) only hit 2.5oz.(we're talking a difference of only 10-15g here- no more than 6 pennies!)

I'm a little stunned. I'm pretty glad I checked before putting her on a weight loss diet but I was wondering how big other squirrels on the board were.

I know Dr. Cooley noted that our squirrels tend to be bigger, but I wonder how much bigger and where we should start being concerned.

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Laurak
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Re: Weight

Postby Laurak » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:35 pm

I know someone over at TSB has a big 'ol girl flyer named "Piglet," for obvious reasons. It looks pretty chubby when put up next to the other flyers they have. Presumably, they are all fed the same, but this one just loves food more than others :) So I kind of assume that there are just some flyers that are more prone to chubbiness.

As for when to start on a diet, I have no idea. When their feet can't touch the floor anymore? :twisted:

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Re: Weight

Postby Joan » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:45 pm

In the wild, a 3oz flyer is huge and a 4 oz unheard of. Our flyers have HOF slaves to continually bring food and no exercise finding their own. :twisted:
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Nativeprincess
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Re: Weight

Postby Nativeprincess » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:29 pm

HOF slaves to continually bring food and no exercise finding their own

yeah, that's what had me particularly worried. Mica doesn't use her wheel and just doesn't move around as much as Ya'ya so I wondered if her cataracts were related to being overweight....but I guess that's out since she's not that bad :silly:

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Re: Weight

Postby Joan » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:51 am

Nativeprincess wrote: ... yeah, that's what had me particularly worried. Mica doesn't use her wheel and just doesn't move around as much as Ya'ya so I wondered if her cataracts were related to being overweight....but I guess that's out since she's not that bad :silly:

Cataracts wouldn't be related to weight as far as I know. Weight reduction requires tough love with veggies being the primary food and everything else removed, but a few in-shell nuts to chew on. It's difficult when they don't exercise. Chuck has always been trim and he's an avid wheeler, but Mishi wouldn't touch a wheel except to sit in it and eat. She got larger after each litter (normal for female flyers: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4621&hilit=Risch ), but was always heavier than Chuck although they were fed the same.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Nativeprincess
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Re: Weight

Postby Nativeprincess » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:18 pm

Cataracts are common with Diabetes which combined with being over weight and possibly sweeter smelling urine (compared to Ya'ya) I thought could have been a possibility.
I'm not entirely sure what her diet was before we got her, but I know it was much higher in fruit (applesauce and other blended fruit mixes) then what we give her now. When I clean out her box I found a TON of dried yogurt treats which are fairly sugary so the diabetes thing was sitting heavy at the back of my mind.

She always has a few nuts to chew on but we were thinking of taking out the nutn'berry seed mix. She eats some of her veggies but absolutely gorges her self on the nut mix.

The way I see it, we might be giving her more veggies than she needs, wich would make sense that there are a lot of left overs the next morning or shes pigging out on the nuts and not having room for the veggies.

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Re: Weight

Postby Joan » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:55 pm

Nativeprincess wrote: Cataracts are common with Diabetes

Is this true in flyers?

Nativeprincess wrote: She always has a few nuts to chew on but we were thinking of taking out the nutn'berry seed mix. She eats some of her veggies but absolutely gorges her self on the nut mix.

Removing the mix seems like a good plan.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Nativeprincess
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Re: Weight

Postby Nativeprincess » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:53 pm

Is this true in flyers?

I'd be very surprised if it weren't. After-all, cataracts from diabetes is a mostly mechanical process and, as an analogy, while there may be significant differences between a car and a bike, they both react fundamentally to running over a nail, ie flat tire.
The eye is pretty much the same across mammalian species. Diabetes, as well, results in high blood sugar, regardless of species. From what I remember from physiology, the high concentration of sugar in the body, specifically the eye, causes the lenses to swell. The additional pressure causes the cells to die and results in cataracts.
As far as I can tell, there is nothing about that pathway that should be species specific and it has been the case for all mammals studied so far.

I doubt this has been studied specifically in SFS, however, so they *may* be an exception to the rule. I'd be surprised though,I'd expect nutrition and diet to vary greatly between species (and as seen in humans, individually) but basic physiological responses to be more consistent.


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