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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2006
    Location
    Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,243

    Default Photosensitivity/Allergy/Head Shaking Help Needed Please!

    I got a new cremello Spanish Mustang in February. About a week after I got him he started itching his nose really badly. No external symptoms like redness, irritation, etc. It happened primarily when we started exercising him. Had the vet out...teeth check, nasal passages clear...nothing was wrong.

    About a week later his nose appeared inflammed and like it had hives on it. We started him on Dex and no improvement. It was winter in Wisconsin so no pastures were bloomed although I'm sure some hardy weeds were still poking their heads out. His skin began looking more and more red and inflammed. The skin around his eyes looked irritated and not like a healthy pink/flesh color. We started doing allergy trials to rule out hay, pastures, sprays, bits, bridles, etc etc....there didn't seem to be a clear "trigger".

    Last week I took him in for testing. Skin is still inflammed and red...pretty much all the time. We did a skin biopsy of the nose as well as liver function and bile acids testing. The liver function tests came back normal. The bile acids (after 23 hours of fasting) came back slightly elevated. The skin biopsy showed an allergic reaction to an unknown source.

    My vets are stumped. I am stumped. He is manageable but clearly not "normal". We have good days and bad days. He's out on pasture 24/7 and has access to shade and water. I was religious with coating his nose in zinc and saw no improvement. Tried a fly mask that covered his whole nose but he gets it off everytime! I recently started him on Lysine (in case it's a strange herpes outbreak), spirulina and MSM. Too soon to tell if they will help. Does ANYONE have ANY ideas for what the heck could be going on!?

    Can food allergies cause bile acids to change?
    Can photosensitivity read as allergies on the skin?
    Anyone dealt with this before?!!

    I'm bashing my head up against a wall and really want the little guy to be comfortable. I am open to absolutely any suggestions you may have or experiences you can share! Thank you!!!
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Location
    Fort Myers, Florida
    Posts
    2,667

    Default

    Have you tried changing his environment? Is his hay from the same source? I know these will probably be covered by all of the tests but when all else fails...check the obvious.

    If this just began a week after his arrival I would be suspicious of the change in environment or food.
    "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,187

    Default

    Did he recently have any shots/vaccines?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2000
    Location
    Chantilly,va.
    Posts
    10,882

    Thumbs up July Equus

    The July issue of Equus, just came today, has a feature article on head shaking, and diagnosing the cause; very interesting
    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2000
    Location
    Chantilly,va.
    Posts
    10,882

    Thumbs up nylon stockings

    the first time I encountered this syndrome, it was almost certainly the the result of inflammation in the cervical vertebrae , as well as light sensitivity
    Last edited by Carol Ames; Jun. 27, 2009 at 11:25 AM. Reason: continuation
    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2000
    Location
    Chantilly,va.
    Posts
    10,882

    Thumbs up also...

    try some gentle massage / laser therapy on his poll
    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2006
    Location
    Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,243

    Default

    Thanks guys! I will try the stocking over his nose today and see if that helps. We did do an elimination diet that included a dry lot with just hay. We then did pasture with no hay, each for a couple of weeks. No change in either We removed all grain, supplements, etc. The only thing that remained consistent was water and the property itself. We even kept him out of the barn for 7 days in case it was an allergy to shavings or something. The vets said they can do a blood test for allergies but it's just not that accurate as almost all horses will show lots of allergies to common things, but we won't know which one is causing the photosensitivity/allergy/headshaking (whichever of the three it is! LOL).

    For those of you who've had a liver problem in horses due to photosensitivity, how did you treat it? Medication? Stall rest? I'm well versed in health problems with horses but of course, I've never dealt with anything like this in my life! Thanks for the new learning lesson Leopold! LOL

    Thanks again for the suggestions...please keep ideas coming if you've got 'em!
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2008
    Location
    Nowhere, Maryland
    Posts
    3,181

    Default

    I have a headshaker--it's very frustrating! Check out the Yahoo group here: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/headshakers/join

    I know a couple of people have posted in the last week about horses with ongoing rashes etc. that also headshake. Sadly there don't seem to be any simple answers, but you might get some ideas by posting or going back through their posts. Good luck!



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