Friday, February 17, 2012

It's back....

... Greta's headshaking from allergies is back with a vengeance, poor girl. And the nose net is not helping in the least bit. It was relatively mild Thursday, but Wednesday when the sun suddenly came out and it was nice and muggy, she was headshaking so violently that she couldn't even walk straight during episodes.

It completely disappeared over the winter, which once again confirms it's allergenic. She also does it without anything on her head, and it's not light-related.

So, a question to you guys (and I will be asking the vet): are any of you familiar with allergenic headshaking? Was there anything (besides nose nets) that helped significantly?

I'm looking at Shake No More Gold, but before I spend that money I want her checked out and get some opinions. I also heard good things about giving an antioxidant with MSM.



  1. Oh bummer! :-(

    A friend of mine dealt with this last year and wrote about it in her blog. Lots of good ideas there at Her discovery was in August 2011 (to help orient your reading) and she talked about it until the end of the blog in December. She does not own the horse any longer, but she did do extensive research while she had him. She gave him back to his previous owner because of the headshaking.

  2. You might also want to talk to Hank's owner. She went through a bunch of headshaking research as well. You can find her on Facebook. PM me if you need more contact info.

  3. I worked at a barn for about a year that had a fancy, fancy small pony who developed head shaking syndrome. He was hard to sell/lease out now because his head shaking scared the kids (being a small and all he got ridden by some young kids at times) and wouldn't pin at the big shows but otherwise he was perfect. Needless to say, we began immediately trying nose nets (kind of worked...) and other options. One of the things we tried was the Shake No More Gold liquid. We also put him on SmartPak's Smart Breathe ( which contains MSM (though only 5,000 mg so not a lot) and some other "stuff" that's supposed to help.

    My opinion? The pony wouldn't eat the powder or the liquid off his feed so I (lucky me) had to personally make a solution of the two and squirt it into his mouth every day. We technically "over dosed" by giving him the recommended amount for ponies 12.2-14.2 of 10mls 2x a day. The original lower dose didn't help. Smart Breathe does now come in pellets which would of greatly helped the situation and I'm not sure it wasn't palatable (tried applesauce, oil, wetting pellets, etc nothing worked), but the pony only got a handful of pelleted grain so it was a lot of powder compared to his tiny meals even if I made up baggies using half a dose in AM and half in PM. I was diligent about making sure he got it every day, twice a day. His symptoms improved.

    So, it was a huge pain in the ass for me to give this pony this mix twice a day orally but it DID help. Not sure which one because we started them at the same time. We still religiously used the nose nets (though they had little to no effect in my opinion) and tried to ride indoors as well. If I were trying it again, I'd probably put him on the Shake No More Gold and a really good antioxidant like you mentioned. Just my two cents. Let me know how it goes! It was a very interesting adventure with this pony!

  4. Ask your vet about giving her Benadryl pills.

    If you are able to lay down some cash, you could get her allergy tested and order tolerizing shots specific to her allergy triggers. Interestingly enough, a lab that offers these services is located in Texas. Ask your vet if you are interested.

    Allergies do not generally go away, but can be managed with medication or tolerizing shots. My vet has explained to me that allergic responses tend to amplify with repeated exposure, so it is very important to adjust management as soon as a problem is observed.


Comments are greatly appreciated and, most importantly, Greta loves you for commenting ♥

Thanks guys!