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Quaker Mutilation Syndrome, (QMS) or Self Mutilation
Syndrome is commonly found in Quaker Parrots.
Birds with QMS will pluck their feathers and even go so
far as to mutilate their own flesh.
Self mutilation can lead to not only serious injury, but
can be fatal.
Birds mutilate themselves mainly on the chest, under the wings,
and the thighs, but will pick just about any area of the body.
Self Mutilation Syndrome usually occurs along with feather picking
(plucking) and is one of the most common problems occurring in pet birds.
Feather mutilation comes in several different patterns. Some
birds bite their feathers off at skin level, leaving nothing but
broken feather shafts and down feathers. Others actually pull
feathers out intact until they're down to bare skin.
Causes of Self Mutilation in Birds
There are many possible causes of self mutilation.
* Medical problems, rule these out with a trip to the vets.
Check especially for liver or kidney problems.
* Exposure to toxins or irritants, including cigarette smoke
and air pollution.
Air is Important for your Pet Birds
* Intestinal parasites are often associated with feather
picking, especially in some parrots.
* Lifestyle stress
* Anxiety is often based in mating frustration.
* Dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) can be the cause or
effect. Causes include bacteria (like Staphylococcus)
and fungi (yeast).
* Folliculitis (inflammation of the feather follicle).
Bacteria and fungi (yeast) most common. Beak and feather virus
can be seen in affected follicles.
* Allergies. Allergic dermatitis unlikely cause but the environment
and diet should be screened for potential allergens.
* Zinc toxicity. Zinc may be in the cage itself or the
hardware used to secure toys and cups.
* Malnutrition. Chronic poor diets can indirectly lead to feather
plucking and self mutilation due to dry skin.
* Low humidity may exacerbate dry skin.
* Poor wing clips. Some short wing clips can leave sharp edges
that may rub against the body wall when the wings are closed.
The most common cause of self
mutilation is psychological.
Occurs when owner not present:
Occurs when owner present but not paying attention:
Attention seeking behavior
Bird interrupts other behavior to pick:
Bird exhibits signs of excess fear or stress:
Major change in household
Stress associated problem
Problem starts at an extremely young age:
Poor early socialization
Many pet bird owners have found that
Our Pet Gel
aids and soothes in some cases of self mutilation & feather picking
(mix 1 part gel to 4 parts water in a spray bottle)
The Pet Gel aids in wound healing and also in
healing of minor burns, cuts and insect bites, for not
only birds, but all small pets.
Our Pet Gel is a soothing blend of Aloe
Vera, formulated to heal, condition and deodorize. It can
be used safely on open wounds and abrasions.
Chondrus Crispus, Propylene Glycol, Chamomile, Aloe Vera
Find out more about our Pet Gel Here