My Sugar Gliders Are Losing the Hair on Their Heads

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Sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) are smallish, large-eyed marsupials that live in both Australia and New Guinea. They are frequently kept as household pets. Along with flying lemurs and flying squirrels, sugar gliders are the planet's only mammals with gliding abilities. If you are lucky enough to be a sugar glider owner, you may notice hair loss on the head, particularly in males.

Balding in Sugar Gliders

Not unlike male human beings, male sugar gliders often are experience baldness on the top of their heads, but for totally different reasons. This loss of hair generally occurs as the little guys achieve physical maturity. Sugar gliders are usually around a year to 15 months in age when this happens. If your male sugar gliders have conspicuous, diamond-shaped hairless spots smack dab in the center of their foreheads, you're seeing their scent glands. Adult male sugar gliders employ these glands to claim their turf, whether a preferred resting spot or a mate. Suggies are no strangers to territorial behavior.

Anxiety

If your sugar gliders are experiencing hair loss on any parts of their bodies, whether the head or back, it could be a sign of anxiety -- in both males and females. Severe anxiety can trigger elevated activity of the adrenal glands in gliders, which in turn can bring upon noticeable loss of fur, according to the SmallAnimalChannel.com.

Mites

Mites also can bring upon hair loss in sugar gliders. If your sugar gliders are experiencing severe itchiness along with clumps of missing hair, they may just be dealing with unpleasant cases of external parasites.

Grooming Issues

If your adorable marsupial pets are not as enthusiastic about self-grooming as they used to be, it could be an indication of both stress and anxiety. Insufficient grooming can lead not only to messy, unkempt fur, but also thinning hair that groups together in clumps -- giving the illusion of hair loss. At the other end of the spectrum, excessive grooming activities in gliders can also lead to significant hair loss. Both insufficient and excessive grooming behaviors are signs of possible emotional issues.

Photo Credits

  • Davis McCardle/Photodisc/Getty Images