SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.80 número2Periaortic haemangiosarcoma in an African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)Parasitological Society of Southern Africa índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • Em processo de indexaçãoCitado por Google
  • Em processo de indexaçãoSimilares em Google


Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

versão On-line ISSN 2224-9435
versão impressa ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.80 no.2 Cape Town  2009




Nuchal crest avulsion fracture in 2 horses: A cause of headshaking



A Voigt; M N Saulez; C M Donnellan

Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Equine Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa




The medical records of 2 Thoroughbred horses that developed headshaking after blunt trauma to the occipital region are reviewed. The history, signalment, clinical signs, diagnostic methods, diagnosis and treatment were recorded in each case. Both horses displayed head-shaking, while one horse repeatedly lifted its upper lip and pawed excessively at the ground. In both horses, diagnostic imaging of the occipital region revealed avulsion fragments of the nuchal crest and a nuchal desmitis in association with hyperfibrinogenaemia. The presence of an avulsion fragment of the nuchal crest with associated nuchal desmitis should be considered in horses presenting with headshaking and may respond favourably to conservative therapy.

Keywords: equine, headshaking, nuchal crest desmitis, trauma


“Full text available only in PDF format”




1. Brems R, Weiss D 2002 Extracorporal shock wave therapy at the insertion desmopathy of the nuchal ligament in horses. Symposium of Extracorporal Shock Wave Users in Veterinary Medicine, Pferdeklinik Barkhof, Sottrum, Germany, 22-24 February 2002: 11-12        [ Links ]

2. Butler J A, Colles C M, Dyson S J, Kold S E, Poulos P W 2000 The head. Clinical Radiology of the Horse (2nd edn). Blackwell Science Limited, London: 327-402        [ Links ]

3. Cook W R 1980 Headshaking in horses Part 3: Diagnostic tests. Equine Practice 2: 31-40        [ Links ]

4. Dyson S J 2003 The cervical spine and soft tissue of the neck. In Dyson S J, Ross M W (eds) Diagnosis and management of lameness in the horse (1st edn). Saunders, Missouri: 522-531        [ Links ]

5. Kold S E, Ostblom L C, Philipsen H P 1982 Headshaking caused by a maxillary osteoma in a horse. Equine Veterinary Journal 14: 167-169        [ Links ]

6. Lane J G, Mair T S 1987 Observations on headshaking in the horse. Equine Veterinary Journal 19: 331-336        [ Links ]

7. Madigan J E, Bell S A 2001 Owner survey of headshaking in horses. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 219: 334-337        [ Links ]

8. Madigan J E, Kortz G, Murphy C, Rodger L 1995 Photic headshaking in the horse: 7 cases. Equine Veterinary Journal 27: 306-311        [ Links ]

9. Mair T S 1994 Headshaking associated with Trombicula autumnalis larval infestation in two horses. Equine Veterinary Journal 26: 244-245        [ Links ]

10. Mair T S 1999 Assessment of bilateral infra-orbital nerve blockage and bilateral infra-orbital neurectomy in the investigation and treatment of idiopathic head-shaking. Equine Veterinary Journal 31: 262-264        [ Links ]

11. Mair T, Lane G 1990 Headshaking in horses. In Practice 12: 183-186        [ Links ]

12. McClure S, Weinberger T 2003 Extra-corporeal shock wave therapy: clinical applications and regulation. Clinical Techniques in Equine Practice 2: 358-367        [ Links ]

13. McGorum B C, Dixon P M 1990 Vasomotor rhinitis with headshaking in a pony. Equine Veterinary Journal 22: 220-222        [ Links ]

14. Mills D S, Cook S, Taylor K, Jones B 2002 Analysis of the variations in clinical signs shown by 254 cases of equine headshaking. Veterinary Record 150: 236-240        [ Links ]

15. Mills D S, Taylor K 2003 Field study of the efficacy of three types of nose net for the treatment of headshaking in horses. Veterinary Record 152: 41-44        [ Links ]

16. Moore L A, Johnson P J, Messer N T, Kline K L, Crump L M, Knibb J R 1997 Management of headshaking in three horses by treatment for protozoal myeloencephalitis. Veterinary Record 141: 264-267        [ Links ]

17. Newton S A 2005 Idiopathic headshaking in horses. Equine Veterinary Education 17: 108-118        [ Links ]

18. Newton S A, Knottenbelt D C, Eldridge P R 2000 Headshaking in horses: possible aetiopathogenesis suggested by the results of diagnostic tests and several treatment regimes used in 20 cases. Equine Veterinary Journal 32: 208-216        [ Links ]

19. Roberts V L H, McKane S A, Williams A, Knottenbelt D C 2009 Caudal compression of the infraorbital nerve: a novel surgical technique for treatment of idiopathic headshaking and assessment of its efficacy in 24 horses. Equine Veterinary Journal 41: 165-170        [ Links ]

20. Stephenson R 2005 An unusual case of headshaking caused by a premaxillary bone cyst. Equine Veterinary Education 17: 102-107        [ Links ]



Received: March 2009
Accepted: May 2009



* Author for correspondence. E-mail:

Creative Commons License Todo o conteúdo deste periódico, exceto onde está identificado, está licenciado sob uma Licença Creative Commons