September 1997 - October 16, 2002

Dextrose is hunting for bugs at the top of the porch wall in the picture on the left.
She's the glider on the far right in the second picture.

Since we already had one named Sucrose, it just seemed like a good idea.
Petite.  She was half Sucrose's size.

Dextrose was very outgoing, sociable, and adventurous.  She was generally the first one to greet people when then visited the gliders on the porch.  Twice, she got outside and nearly gave us a heart attack.  The first time, a tortoise pushed aside a block of wood that covered a gap under the porch door and she slipped through and was gone for about 24 hours, only to return safely the next night.  The second time, the porch door didn't latch properly and was open for a few minutes.  Everyone but Dextrose stayed put, but she went gallivanting around on the roof.

Her fellow gliders were very upset after she died.  It took them several months to return to normal, and they still aren't quite as sociable with humans as they were when she was alive.  She must have been the center of their little colony.

Dextrose began to lose weight and just look "off" in early September 2002, but still acted normal until October, when she began getting weaker.  She was so tiny the vet didn't think he could even get a blood sample from her to see what was the matter, so we gave her antibiotics with steroids in the hope that would help.  She had a few good days, but then got much weaker and developed a swelling on one side of her head.  At that point, we knew she wasn't going to recover, so we took her in and put her to sleep.

Her symptoms were very similar to Nox's, so we decided to have a post-mortem examination done to see if the two of them had something that could be prevented in our other gliders.  The results showed that her liver and kidneys were failing and that the swelling on the side of her head was a pasturella infection.  I'm betting the pasturella infection only cropped up because she was already compromised by the organ failure and wasn't a primary cause of her illness. 

I now believe that Nox died of organ failure, also.  Both he and Dextrose were awfully young to be running into problems like that, so we are left wondering whether we could have done something to prevent it or whether it was inevitable.  Perhaps it was a case of "bad genes."  Geri died a year later, also very young.  We're keeping our fingers crossed that Sucrose, Pocket, and Nocture don't have the same tendency.