Are Sugar Gliders Poisonous? {Complete List of Diseases and Illnesses}

Are you wondering about health risks associated with handling sugar gliders? Are sugar gliders poisonous?

What kind of illnesses or diseases can they carry? Would you like to see a complete list?

In this article, I’ll run through all the medical conditions sugar gliders are known to get inflicted by and find out once and for all if they are poisonous in any way.

Are Sugar Gliders Poisonous?

No, but sugar gliders can bite and carry diseases. They are not toxic, poisonous and possess no venom.

Their teeth are like tiny blades, so you must use some caution. Ensure that they are properly bred before acquiring them. Some of these animals may be disease-carriers.

The sugar glider is considered a carrier of zoonotic illnesses and has been discovered to transmit harmful infections such as Citrobacter, Enterobacter and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Always wash your hands with soap after handling a sugar glider.

Are Sugar Gliders Safe Pets?

Yes. If they are provided with the particular care, stimulation, and socialization they require, sugar gliders have the potential to make fantastic pets and form strong bonds with their human families.

Due to the fact that gliders may live up to 15 years old, they require a significant time commitment from their owners. In the wild, they congregate in groups of five to twelve individuals due to their high degree of social interaction.

Why Shouldn’t You Get Sugar Gliders?

Being nocturnal, sugar gliders do not have the kind of sleep routine that most people like in a pet. If you as the owner are attempting to sleep, the sugar glider may be awaken you or cause trouble while it is active.

They are arboreal animals and prefer to be in trees, which is another issue. You might be woken up many times throughout the night and find a mess in their enclosure as they repeatedly try to escape.

This could cause stress and a mess. You need to spend more time together and if your schedule doesn’t allow it, you will not be able to build a trusting bond.

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Do Sugar Gliders Carry Diseases?

Possibly. Diseases carried by sugar gliders might pose a threat to human health. As sugar gliders are often snatched from the wild, there is a risk that they may be infected.

The sugar glider has been shown to spread dangerous bacteria including:

  • Citrobacter
  • Enterobacter
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

You should always use soap after handling a sugar glider. These animals are often imported, raising concerns that they may introduce new illnesses. A sugar glider bite might make you very sick.

Being immunized against a wide range of illnesses is a smart decision. Avoid getting a sugar glider as a pet if you aren’t up to date on vaccines.

Are Sugar Gliders Friendly?

Sugar gliders, when properly socialized and taught, may have personalities that are comparable to those of dogs and can form deep bonds with the people who care for them.

They could even remember their name and react to orders given to them. Sugar gliders that have been properly socialized are rarely hostile.

Are Sugar Gliders Endangered?

No. Sugar gliders have been regarded for a very long time as being numerous and ubiquitous all around Australia. According to the IUCN Red List, they are considered to be of “Least Concern.”

Sugar Glider Diseases and Illnesses

Dietary imbalances are the cause of many disorders and diseases in sugar gliders, such as:

  • malnutrition
  • obesity
  • vitamin and mineral imbalances.

Some are caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasites that get inside the body. Here are the most common illnesses that inflict sugar gliders:

1. Aflatoxicosis

Aflatoxicosis is a disease of the liver caused by toxins made by some fungi that are in or on foods and feeds.

Corn, peanuts, and cottonseed are the foods most likely to have aflatoxins in them. Sugar gliders can get a disease called aflatoxicosis if they eat moldy peanuts or crickets that have been fed moldy corn.

2. Eye Disorders

When they are trying to mate or when they meet new adults, sugar gliders can be mean and hurt each other.

Most of the time, these injuries happen to the face. One type of eye injury is a scratch on the cornea. Corneal scratches can lead to conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers that take a long time to heal.

3. Leptospirosis

Sugar gliders can get this disease and pass it on to humans if they eat or drink something that has Leptospira bacteria on it.

Some of the signs are a fever and problems with the kidneys and liver. A vet can do a test to check for these bacteria.

4. Lumpy Jaw (Actinomycosis)

When the bacteria Actinomyces israelii get into the face and neck, they cause lumpy jaw, which is a hard lump that gets bigger over time.

The bacteria can also get into the lungs, the intestines, and other parts of the body. A loss of weight and discharge from the eyes are also signs of an infection. When a sugar glider has surgery, gets hurt, or has another infection, it can get the bacteria.

5. Hypocalcemia

Hypocalcemia happens when there is not enough calcium in the blood. Most of the time, it happens when there isn’t enough calcium, phosphorus, or vitamin D in the diet.

When they don’t get enough food, sugar gliders are weak, slow to react, and often thin and dehydrated. If a sugar glider is anemic or doesn’t get enough protein, it may have:

  • bruises
  • unusual swelling
  • pale mucous membranes

6. Metabolic bone disease

Also known as nutritional osteodystrophy, is a softening of the bones caused by an imbalance of the minerals calcium and phosphorus in the diet.

Often, weakness in the back legs is the first sign, which can lead to paralysis. It might seem like this happens quickly. With the right diet and care, this disease can be cured if it is caught early and treated right away.

7. Pasteurellosis

Bacteria called Pasteurella multocida might move from rabbits to sugar gliders. The disease is awful for for sugar gliders to live with. On different organs, including the skin, pus-filled, swollen sores form, which causes a quick death.

8. Polioencephalomalacia

Polioencephalomalacia is a nerve disease that weakens parts of the brain. Signs include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • lack of energy
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • lack of coordination
  • confusion
  • tremors
  • paralysis

Some sugar gliders seem to get better when they are given Vitamin B1 (thiamine). A vet’s help is needed right away.

9. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is caused by a microorganism called a protozoan, which can be found in cat poop or raw meat. Sugar gliders can get toxoplasmosis

  • if they touch cat litter or feces with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in it.
  • if they eat raw meat.

Signs include not being able to move around well, tremors, tilting of the head, diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight, loss of energy, body temperatures that are lower than normal, trouble breathing, and sudden death.


Sugar gliders are not poisonous, but they can carry bacteria or infections that could be passed on to you.

Go over some of the items in this article with your sugar glider’s vet and make sure you only obtain or adopt them from reputable breeders.

Do not bring your sugar glider without being check up by a vet and always wash your hands after handling them.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.