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
- 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
- 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
- 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.