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Old 09-12-2017, 03:32 PM
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Re: Urgent - Picking at feet

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Quote: Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
Katie, I'm so sorry that I'm only seeing this today. But I'm fairly certain I know exactly what's happening with Jasper. The same thing happened to Maya. Here is the link to the thread where I discussed the situation, and the solution that has kept the issue at bay for over a year now, in massive detail: Okay, let's talk ABV, PDD and Toe-tapping...

In short, it is most likely a form of PDD. Not necessarily the form that enlarges the proventriculus (the one that killed my poor Bixby), but rather the form that attacks the peripheral nervous system. This form usually attacks when the immune system is somewhat compromised (which would explain Jasper's on again, off again toe-tapping and wing-flipping) and causes symptoms such as a tingling in the feet which prompts a gnawing to the point of abrasions and even bleeding lesions, and toe-tapping and wing-flipping.

Know this, Katie. This form of PDD, caught early enough, can be managed. Typically, an anti-inflammatory is prescribed in conjunction with nerve pain relief meds. Anti-inflammatories are also good, given the abrading of the feet. Cuts off infection if it has started, prevents it if it hasn't. The lessening of Jasper's gnawing is likely due to the fact that your vet did prescribe anti-inflammatories and pain meds. Takes a few days to really get things under control, though.

Anyhow, read that thread. It'll give you an idea of what to expect over the coming weeks. And you can also show it to your vets to help with their brainstorming session. Honestly, I'm 85-90% sure this is what is going on with Jasper. If they implement a similar plan for him as Maya's vet did for her, I'm confident he'll recover.

And Katie, you've done nothing wrong. He was likely born with it. PDD is mostly (if not always) transmitted vertically (parent to child).

As always, you can reach out to me by pm if you want to discuss this more in depth. I've got your back, my friend.
Anansi, it's indescribably great to have someone like you on this board. It doesn't seem as if any of the vets involved were going to come up with a clue ...
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2017, 03:36 PM
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Re: Urgent - Picking at feet

I personally am allergic to nickel. If anything with nickel on it touches my skin, the skin will blister and develop what looks - and itches - just like poison ivy. I have to coat all my costume jewelry pieces with clean nail polish where they might touch skin. It takes only a few hours for the itching to start, and it clears up quickly. Maybe remove everything from the cage that you aren't SURE is stainless steel, and see if that changes anything.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:06 PM
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Re: Urgent - Picking at feet

Laylatoo I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through as well Glad the results were negative but still doesn't help you figure things out.

So firstly, Jasper is like his old self again. This is the first day like I feel like I have him back. He's initiated play, talking for the first time since Thursday, he's eating dinner like a little pig, my heart is just breaking.

I also just heard from my vet. So thankful she was willing to call and talk about things.

I told her that he can still reach his feet with the cone and that I had taken it off. She said the wounds were fairly superficial yesterday so she doesn't feel like the next cone option is necessary yet. She said if it gets worse tomorrow then we could do it, but it sounds pretty drastic. Like he won't be able to move.

She said she read through all of these threads and the one Anansi sent. I'm so appreciative she did this. I told her he had xrays done in 2015 when another vet had suspected PDD but they were normal. She told me about another test that they can do (which I was told about before but said no to) where they board him for 24 hours and take fecal samples every 12 hours.

She said they secrete it in their poop but not always so it's hard to catch. But if the sample reads positive then they definitely have it. HOWEVER if the sample reads negative, they can still have it but it's just not showing. I remember thinking, so what's the point the first time I heard this....because if it's negative it can still be positive, so the test unless it comes back positive is inconclusive.

What are your thoughts?

She also said she was trying to link the incident from 2 weeks ago (the abscess in his mouth) with this because they were close together. She said he went through an incredible amount of stress with the sedation then anesthesia and abscess removal, etc. She wondered if it had awakened something that was suppressed. I forget what she called it. Immune-suppression, something.....which triggered the PDD.

Unsure if I should do that test or not. Because unless it's positive, it could still be positive or negative, which doesn't help us.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:28 PM
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Re: Urgent - Picking at feet

Sorry to point this out Katie, but even a positive result isn't necessarily a confirmation in and of itself. Thing is, there are multiple strains of Avian Borne Virus. (7 or 9, I believe.) but only 2 of those strains are known to lead to PDD. So the number of birds with ABV is far out of proportion to the number of birds who have, or will eventually contract, PDD. Further complicating this fact is that the test that detects ABV cannot distinguish between the different strains.

Add to this the fact that even having the ABV strain that can lead to PDD doesn't necessarily mean your bird will develop PDD. Partially because some birds appear to be carriers, and partially because there is a theorized catalyst that also must be a part of the mix before the ABV can progress to PDD.

Then there's the fact that the ABV test can only catch the presence of ABV when the virus is actively shedding. This causes many a false-negative.

This brings us to your question of why even bother with that test. Point of fact is that the test is a tool. While it's not as conclusive as one might hope, getting a positive result in addition to your bird showing other symptoms would allow one to reasonably conclude that the detected ABV has indeed progressed to early PDD. At this point, much can be done to both preserve the bird's quality of life and extend the bird's life expectancy... even in a case like Bixby's. Unfortunately, I didn't find out in time. All that I know I learned mostly in the aftermath of his passing.

Keep in mind though, Katie, that if I'm right about the type of PDD Jasper might have, his prognosis is far brighter than Bixby's was... and more akin to Maya's. What does this mean for you going forward? Well, I'm a little more careful than I was about keeping Maya's environs healthy and clean. And I'm more observant for any early signs of foot gnawing, wing-flipping or toe-tapping. At the first appearance of any of these symptoms, I know just what to do to minimize the duration and intensity of the flare-up.

As for your question about the feasibility of the x-ray, that would really only come into play if he has the form of PDD that Bixby did. The x-ray would pick up the enlarged proventriculus, as well as any undigested food particles traveling through it at the time.

Personally, I would have him x-rayed. Not because it's likely. As I said, I truly believe he has the peripheral nervous system manifestation. But rather, because in the less likely event that he does also have the version that affects the proventriculus, the earlier you know the better his prognosis.

Just realized I didn't quite answer your question about the ABV test and whether you should do it. Given Jasper's current situation, I would concentrate on the nerve pain meds and anti-inflammatories. Positive results yielded here would speak volumes for a diagnosis. Testing would be secondary, depending on the money you would have to work with at that point. X-ray would be second place in priority, and the ABV test would be 3rd... and completely irrelevant if the x-ray yielded a positive result.

Oh! And as for how long it took Maya, I started medicating her on May 14th, I believe, and she finally stopped completely with the foot gnawing by the 31st. The cessation was gradual and came in increments.

And Kentuckienne? Thank you. I see stuff like this as Bixby's contribution even more so than my own.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 09-12-2017, 10:27 PM
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Re: Urgent - Picking at feet

Thank you so much for all of that information. I'm really grateful for you taking your time once again to help with Jasper. Means a lot.

I forget exactly what the vet said on the phone but she said she can change his current meds as if we're assuming it's PDD which would help better. Do you happen to have the names of the ones Maya is on? Maybe she was saying it's the nerve pain meds as opposed to what he's on now. I forget....so much information

So if I proceed with the xray and it still shows it as normal, I guess the ABV would be next. Did Maya test positive on the ABV test?

Did you get a cone for Maya or have any way of getting her to stop picking? The cone wasn't successful for Jasper, he could still reach his feet.

He didn't have toe tapping all day (just one or two times) but this evening it started again. It's very mild.

Edit: Not sure if this is worth mentioning but while Jasper has had toe tapping and wing flipping before he never had picking. Did Maya exhibit the same thing? He also went *ages* without any. This is so devastating that now he is picking. Since Maya had her first episode how many times has it happened during the year? I need to re-read your thread again, everything is a blur right now.

Last edited by katie_fleming; 09-12-2017 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:49 AM
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Re: Urgent - Picking at feet

Quote: Originally Posted by Kentuckienne View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
Katie, I'm so sorry that I'm only seeing this today. But I'm fairly certain I know exactly what's happening with Jasper. The same thing happened to Maya. Here is the link to the thread where I discussed the situation, and the solution that has kept the issue at bay for over a year now, in massive detail: Okay, let's talk ABV, PDD and Toe-tapping...

In short, it is most likely a form of PDD. Not necessarily the form that enlarges the proventriculus (the one that killed my poor Bixby), but rather the form that attacks the peripheral nervous system. This form usually attacks when the immune system is somewhat compromised (which would explain Jasper's on again, off again toe-tapping and wing-flipping) and causes symptoms such as a tingling in the feet which prompts a gnawing to the point of abrasions and even bleeding lesions, and toe-tapping and wing-flipping.

Know this, Katie. This form of PDD, caught early enough, can be managed. Typically, an anti-inflammatory is prescribed in conjunction with nerve pain relief meds. Anti-inflammatories are also good, given the abrading of the feet. Cuts off infection if it has started, prevents it if it hasn't. The lessening of Jasper's gnawing is likely due to the fact that your vet did prescribe anti-inflammatories and pain meds. Takes a few days to really get things under control, though.

Anyhow, read that thread. It'll give you an idea of what to expect over the coming weeks. And you can also show it to your vets to help with their brainstorming session. Honestly, I'm 85-90% sure this is what is going on with Jasper. If they implement a similar plan for him as Maya's vet did for her, I'm confident he'll recover.

And Katie, you've done nothing wrong. He was likely born with it. PDD is mostly (if not always) transmitted vertically (parent to child).

As always, you can reach out to me by pm if you want to discuss this more in depth. I've got your back, my friend.
Anansi, it's indescribably great to have someone like you on this board. It doesn't seem as if any of the vets involved were going to come up with a clue ...
This seems particularly harsh on a profession that IMHO is extremely busy and will do forums and ours in particular no good if we have any professional readers out there and go CAV bashing just to gain a bit of kudos.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:27 PM
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Re: Urgent - Picking at feet

Hey giys, another update.

I decided to do xrays so I'm waiting at the vet now for Jasper to be finished. The vet said it wasn't a test for PDD but I want to see if his proventriculos (sp?) Is enlarged or not and compare to his xray from 2 years ago.
She is going to switch one of his meds.

I feel so awful for Jasper couldn't help but be in tears when I let them take him to the back. He has gone through so much since Friday and 2 weeks ago with the abscess. Awful. He was shaking when he realized where he was. Just awful.

He was so sweet this morning giving me some kisses and talking a little bit. Kills me seeing him going through this.

He only picked at his feet a bit this morning but more of a scratch than anything (I think).

Will update with the xray results shortly.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2017, 02:52 PM
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Re: Urgent - Picking at feet

Oh Katie I am so sorry, sending you supportive hugs.

Spend a few minutes with Jasper out of his cage making friends before leaving and checking he is OK to leave. Ask to do this of the nurses, I always do and Plum is OK with every visit to the AV as a consequence, had his fair share! I always go to collect him from his pod and put him in his cage or backpack.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:17 PM
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Re: Urgent - Picking at feet

Quote: Originally Posted by katie_fleming View Post
Thank you so much for all of that information. I'm really grateful for you taking your time once again to help with Jasper. Means a lot.
Not a problem, Katie. I've been where you are, so anything I can do to help.

Quote: Originally Posted by katie_fleming
I forget exactly what the vet said on the phone but she said she can change his current meds as if we're assuming it's PDD which would help better. Do you happen to have the names of the ones Maya is on? Maybe she was saying it's the nerve pain meds as opposed to what he's on now. I forget....so much information
The antibiotic is Enrofloxacin, the nerve pain medication is Gabapentin, and the anti-inflammatory is Celebrex. The antibiotic medication was a two week course, and the nerve and anti-inflammatory meds were for 30 days. He'd also prescribed a topical cream to ease the irritation in her feet, as they were badly abraded. Definitely worse than Jasper's right now. The name of the cream escapes me, but I'll look it up once I get home.

Quote: Originally Posted by katie_fleming
So if I proceed with the xray and it still shows it as normal, I guess the ABV would be next. Did Maya test positive on the ABV test?

Did you get a cone for Maya or have any way of getting her to stop picking? The cone wasn't successful for Jasper, he could still reach his feet.

He didn't have toe tapping all day (just one or two times) but this evening it started again. It's very mild.
I didn't give Maya the ABV test at that point, opting rather to go for the x-ray. (Bixby tested negative, btw. The full diagnosis came from the necropsy.) Everything looked good. However, given how closely Maya's symptoms matched up with the symptoms for Peripheral nervous system variant of PDD, I've accepted that she does have it. Giving her the test now would either confirm what I pretty much already "know", or give a negative result... which wouldn't mean much of anything given the proliferation of false negatives associated with that test. Nothing to be gained, really.

No, I never got a cone for Maya. The medication got it all under control after around 2 weeks. Btw, Jasper was wearing more a collar than a cone. A cone would prevent him from reaching his feet. Hopefully the nerve meds would render a cone unnecessary.

And the slowing of Jasper's tapping is a good sign. The effect of the meds is gradual, but undeniable.

Quote: Originally Posted by katie_fleming
Edit: Not sure if this is worth mentioning but while Jasper has had toe tapping and wing flipping before he never had picking. Did Maya exhibit the same thing? He also went *ages* without any. This is so devastating that now he is picking. Since Maya had her first episode how many times has it happened during the year? I need to re-read your thread again, everything is a blur right now.
For Maya the toe-tapping came first, and was followed closely by the foot gnawing. But the incident I described in my thread was the first time it had ever happened. Her flare-up was just an extreme one right off the bat.

A bit of good news, here. Since that one episode, Maya has not had an episode since. It's been a year and four months, now.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:27 PM
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Re: Urgent - Picking at feet

Quote: Originally Posted by plumsmum2005 View Post
This seems particularly harsh on a profession that IMHO is extremely busy and will do forums and ours in particular no good if we have any professional readers out there and go CAV bashing just to gain a bit of kudos.
Ah, K. I believe you have mistaken the spirit of her intent, here. I didn't take it as a bashing so much as acknowledgement of what I'd pointed out in my thread about PDD... that there is still so very much that the veterinary field at large does not yet know about it.

Bixby's veterinarian was an excellent one, yet even he didn't see what was happening until it was far too late. My current vet just happens to be one of those who has had a lot of experience dealing with PDD in all of its forms, and as such has a bit of an advantage in that area. And it's my good luck that he is so willing to answer all of my questions and help guide my research.
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