Take a bow, Louie! Your dancing (i.e. terrible toe-tapping) is done.
By the time we took Louie to the vet, he had stopped tap-dancing. In twenty-four hours, he went from almost violent, uncontrolled spasms to… nothing.
He was a lovely little patient at the vet; his coloring is growing in vibrantly in shades of glowing emerald, so much so that another woman asked if we wanted to breed him. Nope, no thanks; he likes feet, not other birds anyway. Dr. LB was impressed with his weight, how healthy he is, how he recovered from his bacterial infection a few months ago, how happy he is. No sign of toe-tapping.
His verdict? Food allergies. Dr. LB claimed that this is a “syndrome”, otherwise known as “Well, we have no clue what causes this, but it’s apparently a thing.”
According to the best avian vet in Denver, the toe-tapping is usually caused by one of the following:
Spirulina – Ekkies do really, really poorly on this nutrient compared to other parrots.
Wheat – Often in pellets.
Corn – AKA a semi-weekly part of Louie’s diet. We solved this by switching to TOPS organic pellets, which are green and corn-free (though not wheat-free.)
We removed the corn (and all corn products) entirely from his diet: boom. Fixed.
Twenty-four hours later, the toe-tapping eliminated. He tapped yesterday morning a bit and the morning before, but there was nothing today.
Moral of the story:
Some parrots (ekkies especially) toe-tap behaviorally, some do so because they’ve lost feeling in their feet (really important to look into it), and some just have allergies, like Louie.
Vet check-ups are essential to know the difference.