Expert Article

Triggers for headshaking can include:

  • light
  • exercise
  • loud sounds
  • smell
  • certain long-stem hay and other stimuli

This month’s expert :

Dr.John E. Madigan,            
With your veterinarian’s assistance, I suspect you will find an approach that helps. Don’t give up.

A product that shows great promise is Top Stock Headshaking formula, from New Zealand; in one uncontrolled study, seven out of 10 horses improved while using this supplement.

I believe there is hope for the future of headshakers. Most pathology studies have found no lesions or other physical problems with the trigeminal nerve, so it must be a chemical instability that causes it to fire inappropriately.

With enough research support, we may be able to identify this tweak in the trigeminal nerve and, we hope, correct it.

This work may also help us gain insight into the painful condition of human trigeminal neuralgia.


Dr .John E. Madigan, DVM, DACVIM


“EQ Consultants. EQUUS Magizine September 2012, issue 420, Page 76 -77”