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Old 05-30-2013, 09:47 PM
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Nectrotic Foot Syndrome

Hi, my name is Laurie.
Guacamole, a 29 year old yellow nape amazon came to live we me after my Mom passed away. She is pretty amazing and we have bonded very well. I've had her for a little less than a year, and I thought she was very happy with all of the attention I give her. In April she started chewing at her legs, a problem she had had before. My Mom tried everything to stop it, diet, vitamins, red palm oil, and collars. I took her to my boxers vet, who specializes in birds. He diagnosed her with Necrotic Foot Syndrome, telling me that it was specific to amazons. He said nobody knows why they do it, that there is no cure, just the hope that it can be managed. He put a plastic spool on Guacamole's neck, but within a week, she managed to get to her legs again and really mutilated them. Now she has a clear plastic disk installed on the spool. She's been wearing this contraption since April 15th. Her legs have healed but the vet wants to keep it on for a while longer, in fear of her going right back to chewing again.
I put vitamins on her food, feed her a premium mixed seed and give her fresh fruits and veggies every day. Ants have become a huge problem. I've read here about using borax, but I've got two boxers (mine and my parents) and a cat. I'd hate for the dogs to drink it, and they would.
Has anybody had this problem? Does anybody have any suggestions for us? I now see first hand why my Mom got so upset when this happened. It really is quite difficult, and my heart aches for this poor bird who harms herself. Thanks, Laurie
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:55 PM
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Re: Nectrotic Foot Syndrome

Welcome to the forum. For Amazons, we go to "Henpecked" here. He is our Amazon expert. Private Message him here, and he'll get back to you. He has had 'zons for many years. I do bird rescue, and know the helpless feeling of watching a bird mutilate itself. I feel for you, and share your angst. Good luck with her.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:17 AM
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Re: Nectrotic Foot Syndrome

Has she been checked for mites? I use diatomacous (sp) earth for ants. Its made from the skeletons of diatoms (plankton in the ocean) that sinks to the bottom and collects. The skeletons are very small with sharp points that get into the joints of the ants body and kill them. It won't harm larger animals including birds,dogs and cats. I spread it around the baseboards and outside the around the house.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:26 AM
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Re: Nectrotic Foot Syndrome

Hi Laurie, do some reading on parrot mutilation & endorphins.....much like teenagers who cut themselves, birds can give themselves a cheap high just by plucking & mutilating and once they have developed a sort of addiction to the feelings, it is almost like breaking a drug addiction.....it's not fun to watch or deal with...and...there is no quick fix.....

Sorry, but good luck.....
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:35 AM
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Re: Nectrotic Foot Syndrome

Use what henpecked suggested as it works good to get rid of pests. But something else you can do is get tupperware in two sizes, one smaller one that goes inside of the big one and have each one of the footings of the cage sit in the smaller tupperware while you fill the bigger tupperware with water and vinegar. You won't see any ants going in your cage and while you deal with the treatment around your house, your bird cage be ant free. I had to do that last year when the ants was bad around here and I finally found where they were coming in from and eradicated them completely.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:27 AM
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Guacamole-Yellow Nape Amazon
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Re: Nectrotic Foot Syndrome

Thanks everyone for some good suggestions.
No, she has not been checked for mites this time. This has been a problem my Mom had with her from time to time and had brought her to the vet many, many times. All sorts of tests were done and nothing was ever found. My Mom thought that the red palm oil was helpful.
Although she doesn't feel much like playing with the collar on, I have gotten her lots of new toys to keep her busy. I am constructing a portable perch for her and just now trying to design it so that I can hang all sorts of interesting things on it for her to play with/chew. I had to take her to another vet recently as my vet was closed, and that vet, also well versed in birds, told me that they don't know much about this ailment. Nobody knows if it is caused by pain, and if so, what kind of pain. And it is unkown if it every happens in the wild.
I will try all of the suggestions for the ants. Thank you so very much!!
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:52 AM
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Re: Nectrotic Foot Syndrome

Quote: Originally Posted by Guacamole View Post
Hi, my name is Laurie.
Guacamole, a 29 year old yellow nape amazon came to live we me after my Mom passed away. She is pretty amazing and we have bonded very well. I've had her for a little less than a year, and I thought she was very happy with all of the attention I give her. In April she started chewing at her legs, a problem she had had before. My Mom tried everything to stop it, diet, vitamins, red palm oil, and collars. I took her to my boxers vet, who specializes in birds. He diagnosed her with Necrotic Foot Syndrome, telling me that it was specific to amazons. He said nobody knows why they do it, that there is no cure, just the hope that it can be managed. He put a plastic spool on Guacamole's neck, but within a week, she managed to get to her legs again and really mutilated them. Now she has a clear plastic disk installed on the spool. She's been wearing this contraption since April 15th. Her legs have healed but the vet wants to keep it on for a while longer, in fear of her going right back to chewing again.
I put vitamins on her food, feed her a premium mixed seed and give her fresh fruits and veggies every day. Ants have become a huge problem. I've read here about using borax, but I've got two boxers (mine and my parents) and a cat. I'd hate for the dogs to drink it, and they would.
Has anybody had this problem? Does anybody have any suggestions for us? I now see first hand why my Mom got so upset when this happened. It really is quite difficult, and my heart aches for this poor bird who harms herself. Thanks, Laurie
You mentioned "premium seed." Have you considered putting her on a pellet diet?
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:31 AM
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Re: Nectrotic Foot Syndrome

Hi and welcome,

It is so hard when our loved feathered heads are sick and hurting and don't know what to do. I had never really heard of this so I did a goolge search and just a few things I found (you may already know) but since it wasn't mentioned here I thought I'd state it here.

There seems to be some evidence that diet and environmental factors can play a role in either causing this or in help with care.
It seems humidity really helps as dry conditions can lead to itchiness resulting in picking at irritable site. Also the condition of the skin if it is dry, maybe that's why your mom had some success with red palm oil. Also making sure you have enough Omega 3 and 6 in the diet is important.
Irritant from hands when you pick your bird up may play a role, a good rule of thumb is to wash your hands before handling your zon. Lotions, creams, residue frome cigarette smoke or anything really can play a factor.

Also allergens from diet or housing can contribute.
So maybe with increasing humidity, washing hands, upgrading diet and looking for allergies you may get some control over the situation.
Best of luck and please let us know how she is doing/
I have attached a link with some info I found.
Hope this helps.
Amazon Foot Necrosis
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