Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Ok blogger land. Decided to post this here before venturing to COTH for opinions. Wondering if anyone might have an idea.

On Wednesday, Tiki and I did trot sets. I've noticed since owning Tiki that every now and then when riding, he will violently shake his head like he's got bugs in his ears. Now, I HAVE read up on Head Shaking Syndrome, and I'm not sure this is it. I mean, maybe? It's such a vague diagnosis! He almost always comes out of it, and will usually begin the ride shaking his head, but he doesn't always do it. It's worse in the summer (when bugs ARE out; flies have been terrible around here). I usually ride him in the mornings before 10:00, which is when I've read HSS can be worse due to the sun being really bright.

Monday, no head shaking. Wednesday, I hadn't even mounted before he started going nuts shaking his head. That's probably one of the contributing factors to his near colossal wipeout. It was BAD. I HAVE noticed it seems to be worse in stressful situations, and when riding in a field.

Yesterday, not a single head shake. Rode him the SAME time (8:30 am) as I did all last week. Ideas? Would HSS be a constant thing? His head shaking is SO random. He lets me mess with (not clip) his ears during baths/etc. He does have a touch of rain rot on them, but isn't sensitive or anything. No ticks down in there. Is it behavior? Any tricks I should try? I know about the net on the nose; some people I know have used hair nets over the nose with similar results. In case it IS bugs, I use an ear net on him ocassionally. He still shakes his head.

Just looking for anecdotes/words of advice. I'm TERRIFIED this could be the start of actual HSS, and from all I've read it's incurable, a pain in the a$$, and progressive:( The only thing that gives me hope is the fact that it is NOT consistent. Hoping it's just a stress thing, or a freshness thing.


  1. Have you watched the HSS videos on YouTube to see what it looks like? Does Tiki shake his head up and down or side to side? Does he rub his nose on his forelegs or other objects? Does he sneeze or cough when he is shaking his head? If you can, you should get a video of him doing it and show it to your vet or post it on here.

    I hope Tiki and you are both doing well!

  2. Hmm, thanks Jae. He doesn't cough very often, no. It's a side to side shake; like he has a fly on his ear. He DOES sneeze sometimes, but not all the time. I will check out the videos on Youtube; never even knew they existed!