Headshaking Syndrome  
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Horse Head Shaker Symptoms

 

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Head shaking symptoms are almost as varied as there are horses with Headshaking Syndrome. Below is a list of some of the symptoms owners have reported to us:

  • Symptoms start in March/April and end in September/October.
  • Symptoms increase in intensity as stress or workload increases.
  • Scratches his nose on his foreleg or an object.
  • Buries his nose in the tail of the horse in front of him.
  • Personality changes - an unhappy horse.
  • Constant sneezing/snorting while working.
  • Shakes at trot/cantor, but not at a walk.
  • Riding into the wind increases symptoms.
  • Suddenly jerks his head up almost hitting the rider.
  • Loves having his nose scratched.
  • Constant blowing nose as if to expel something.
  • Hates having his nose scratched.
  • Less energy/lethargic - droops head with loose reins.
  • Shakes violently enough to lift front legs off of the ground.
  • Holds his nose under water up to his eyes.
  • Stares blankly off into the distance as if he sees something.
  • Jerks suddenly like a bee just stung his nose.
  • Sticks his nose in a bush.
  • Symptoms worsen around Rape Seed fields.
  • Stands under a tree in the shade while pasture mates are eating grass.
  • Shakes in enclosed places - woods, surrounded by bushes, etc.
  • Coughs a lot.
  • Reacts to artificial lighting if working for an extended period.
  • Reacts to bright sunlight reflecting off of snow.
  • Kicking one or the other foreleg towards their head.
  • Squints in bright sunlight.
  • Reacts to the varying flashes of light when being ridden in the woods.
  • Pupils dilated.
  • Inflamed, red nostrils.
  • "Scrunched" Nostrils.
  • Has problems urinating - tries several times before success.
  • Shakes February thru May and again August thru September.
  • Snow glare worsens symptoms.
  • Symptoms worsen when in between hedgerows.
  • All activities are "hurried"
  • Gets a "droopy" ear.
  • Bags under the eyes.
  • Holds tail straight out.
  • Excessively aggravated by flies.
  • Muzzle extremely sensitive to touch.
  • Curls up muzzle: phlegming action.
  •  


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