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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 26948
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a female eclectus that is opening and closing her

Customer Question

Hi, I have a female eclectus that is opening and closing her right foot. When she sits on me, it jerks and spasms.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Fran's behavior is, indeed, most indicative of trauma to her foot which you confirmed occurred yesterday. Unless the skin is broken, nothing needs to be done and the tincture of time should suffice. Aspirin dosed at 5 grains (325 mg) per pint (16 ounces) of drinking water is acceptable as an antiinflammatory analgesic for Fran. Watch to see that Fran still drinks because the aspirin can make her water distasteful.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your answer. Do you think her problem can be related to toe tapping I've read about? Article said that is caused by nutrition problem. I recently switched her pellets from Roudybush to Zupreem natural, due to difficulty finding RB nearby - was that a mistake? I feed my birds fresh fruit and veggies, safflower seed mix and pelleted diet, almonds, cashews (both raw unseasoned), with treats of pasta, sweet potato, etc.
Also, she does not get aggressive when touching the foot, and I know many animals can bite when you touch a sensitive, sore area.
So all in all, do you suspect the toe tapping condition, or just injury related?
Thanks Again!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I believe that you're referring to the poorly documented neuropathy conjectured to represent a nutritional imbalance. Please see here: http://www.eclectusparrots.net/toetapping.html and here: http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww64eiii.htm. I subscribe to the more reasonable explanation here: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/eclectus-commercial-bird-food-diets-and-toe-tapping/ You're feeding Fran better than 99% of bird owners. In summary, I believe any toe-tapping to be normal behavior but by the principle of Occam's Razor, I can't rule out a concomitant crushing injury yesterday. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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