The internet is full–FULL–of misinformation. And frustration.
Last night, out of the blue, quite suddenly and violently, my baby boy eclectus started toe-tapping.
Dreaded, dreaded toe-tapping: the allergen of the ekkie world. The curse we all hope never to see, that we dread, that we read tales of ekkies chewing their toes off to stop.
Now, I’m a member of many a bird forum. I volunteer at a local bird shop. I’m a crazy internet-researcher-English-teacher and know to take everything I read with a grain of salt, but I know my ekkies; but the more I research, the more I talk to my vet, and the more I talk to general bird people of the world, the more I realize that very, very few people actually know what in God’s name they’re talking about.
With absolutely no warning, my baby boy started clutching one foot convulsively. His entire foot would seize up, curl up–I always thought that toe-tapping would start slowly and grow progressively worse, but nope. It came on suddenly. Violently.
Louie was toe-tapping.
And still, happy-go-lucky Louie energetically tried to woo our feet (let’s just say he has a foot fetish…) perhaps with more vigor than ever before. Go figure. He encounters the scourge of the ekkie world, and there’s our boy trying his hardest to romance our various appendages.
Hubby and I worried awake all night: “Click-click-click-click…”
Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” has nothing on Louie’s toe-tap.
The internet was full of (what I hope is) hyperbolic paranoia. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself, because sick birds terrify me.
The internet’s theories:
Was it the fact that he’d gorged on ekkie-designed pellets yesterday? (His veggie lunch apparently disappointed him.) Some ekkies do horribly imbibing on any sort of pellet–has he succumbed?!
Is he low on calcium?
Perhaps it’s the weather change! It is now officially autumn, after all!
Is it hormonal? Is he getting enough vitamin D? What about vitamin A?
Too much protein! That must be it! Cut out all forms!
…Etc. Hyperbole? God, I hope so.
This morning, it was better. Not great, but better. Whereas last night he was practically convulsing, this morning he was merely tapping. When he’d walk on the floor, he’d lose his balance; this morning, he clicked across the floor, happy as could be. No spasm.
So we called the vet to figure out what to do; naturally, they never call me back until I have to teach for five classes in a row, but their voice message left me even more confused.
“His toe-tapping could be behavioral, or it could be him attempting to regain feeling in his foot.”
Oh good. It could be nothing–or, it could be something severe enough to cut off circulation in his bloody foot?!
Hubby called. We have an appointment tomorrow at four fifteen with the vet; our avian vet is known as the absolute best in the area. He’s also one of two, but at the same time, all the bird people I know praise Dr. LB like he’s their own personal Jesus. Tomorrow, we will find out what was wrong with Louie. Tomorrow, we will run panels. Tomorrow, we will pray for answers.
Tomorrow is another day. Part two will follow, complete with ekkie videos.