Toe Tapping a condition seen in many Eclectus parrots

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Toe Tapping a condition seen in many Eclectus parrots

Post by ziggy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:08 pm

This is a common condition in the Eclectus parrot. You should read this if you have or in the market for a Eclectus.

Try to stay away from all red dyed items. This is a huge contributer to the condition. All red pellets, dyed blocks, etc.




"Toe tapping" is the common name given to a condition characterized by repetitive muscular extension and contraction of the toes of a bird. In most circumstances, this condition is seen in the Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) and has been observed by many pet bird owners and breeders for over a dozen years.

Toe tapping is specfic in it's appearance and is not associated with other conditions, such as "wing flipping", seizures, paralysis, itching of the feet/legs, and/or self mutilation of the feet/legs. Unfortunately, these other syndromes and clinical behaviors have often been "lumped" or grouped into the toe-tapping syndrome, adding interpretive and complicating factors to the recognition and management of toe tapping, when encountered. For clarification purposes, toe tapping, by our definition, is not characterized by a progressively worsening condition, and these birds do not develop other problems, even when not clinically managed. Most of the other conditions described above are seen in progressively worsening cases, where there is strong suggestion of a segmentally progressive neuropathy. Many of the birds with combined clinical signs beyond simple toe tapping will continue to progress in severity, and other disease processes can be identified with time or at necropsy that can explain the clinical signs more clearly.

Recommendation for initial correction of Toe Tapping

Remove from the diet ALL pellets, vitamin powders, vitaminized seed mixes, vitaminized treats, spirulina and other herbal mixtures, processed human foods such as commercial bread mixes, pasta, processed cheese, pizza, TV dinners, and any food item which contains man-made vitamins, preservatives or chemicals of any kind. Read the ingredients on packages carefully to make sure that these items are effectively and completely being removed from the diet.

Provide food items in their most natural form only, well cleaned and fresh or cooked. Yes, Eclectus Parrots need vitamin A, but they do best when their vitamin A comes in the natural form of betacarotene.

For all Eclectus Parrots that are demonstrating marked clinical signs of toe tapping or other clinical signs of neurologic basis as mentioned earlier, it is important to have a complete and careful veterinary examination performed. A sound laboratory workup should be included with physical examination, in an effort to determine if there are other identifiable factors involved with the bird. It is important to remember that laboratory abnormalities, if present, do not necessarily indicate a need for drug treatment, and do not necessarily indicate a clear correlation with toe tapping or other neurologically based clinical signs the bird is demonstrating. When the results of a medical work up suggest that the bird is basically of sound general health, it is prudent to make the appropriate dietary changes and investigations mentioned above.

Toe tapping, when the condition is comparatively light, can be eliminated in a matter of a few days when the "causative agent" has been removed from the diet. When the condition is more severe or chronic, it may take much longer for the problem to be eliminated following dietary change.

Some other conditions can be misinterpreted as toe tapping as they are occasionally associated with agitation, discomfort, and neurologic signs including but not limited to twitching of the legs/ toes. These can include heavy metal toxicosis (particularly lead), bacterial or fungal dermatitis, proventricular dilitation disease, some forms or renal disease, and some nutritional imbalances, such as vitamin E deficiency and/or Omega fatty acid imbalances. As such, it is important to have a sound working relationship with your veterinarian, to help rule out or rule down some of these issues and to most effectively arrive at a sound solution and resolution of this
problem.
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Re: Toe Tapping a condition seen in many Eclectus parrots

Post by ClaireBear on Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:22 pm

I have found with my eclectus that it does not seem to matter what kind of pellet I feed him, it causes toe tapping. I have tried about 10 different kinds as the vet made it seem very necessary for him to get them. I think that with their digestive tracks being so long, pellets are just too nutrient rich for their systems. 6 mos of no pellets and no toe tapping. Seems none the worst for the wear. I just make sure that he gets a sufficient amt of everything else to make up for it.
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Re: Toe Tapping a condition seen in many Eclectus parrots

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:30 pm

I also know someone who has an ekkie that can't have any sort of pellets either. It isn't just toe tapping that was the problem. This bird had all sorts of health issues.

Some ekkies are hardy & do ok but most don't. Eddie has never had pellets & I don't think I ever want even risk trying to give him pellets.

Toe tapping isn't just from red dye. It's from ALL artificial ingredients, food colours, preservatives, flavours, everything unnatural.

It's common for vets to push pellets for all animals thinking it's the best source of vits & mins. Lucky my vet knows what they can do to ekkies.

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Re: Toe Tapping a condition seen in many Eclectus parrots

Post by ClaireBear on Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:14 pm

Hey Kim, what do u feed your ekkie? Always open to new ideas!
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Re: Toe Tapping a condition seen in many Eclectus parrots

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:32 am

This is most of what all my birds get daily:
http://eclectusdiets.com (hope it's ok to put it up)
Because of where I am I can pretty much get any fruit & veg nearly all year round which makes it a lot easier. I do buy some frozen mix berries though. Lucky for all my birds they eat everything I put in front of them, walking garbage disposals LOL

I also have a book called 'The Healthy Bird Cookbook' I bought of the net.

It's got some awesome recipes in their not only for birds but humans too!!
There is a little bit I don't like about it & that is some of the ingredients they use for bird food like they actually deep fry their chips in oil for parrots. I just alter it & bake them in the oven instead.

It is a book well worth getting, even if you don't use those recipes, you can get some great ideas from them.

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Re: Toe Tapping a condition seen in many Eclectus parrots

Post by Ronda on Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:43 am

And yes of course it's ok to put up! We are here to learn and that is learning. Now if you were to have posted another bird forum lol we would have to talk lmao. No but really it's fine! So glad we are getting members and people are talking and learning!

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