Headshaking Syndrome – One owner’s story

Nicole Kitchener highlights symptoms and treatments for the painful and virtually untreatable condition called headshaking syndrome.

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By: Nicole Kitchener |

Writer and horse owner Nicole Kitchener shares her own experiences with the frustrating and puzzling condition which causes horses to toss their heads, snort, sneeze, rub their faces and even suffer skin eruptions. While some headshakers do it because of eye, ear or throat infections, head fractures, dental or jaw pain, or even allergies, in the majority of cases no underlying cause can easily be found.

In these horses it is thought that they suffer pain, burning or itching because of misfiring trigeminal nerve impulses between the eye, nose and jaw caused by anything from sunlight, feeds, pollen, dust, humidity, stress, wind, sounds, exercise, or a number of other triggers. This Horse Sport article looks at recent research into headshaking and what it has revealed, as well as management involving face masks, fringes, herbs and drugs.

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