EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

In horses, paranasal si­nus surgery—which in­volves open­ing the skull at the front of the face— is some­times needed to re­move cysts, tu­mors, dis­eased mo­lars or eth­moidal hematomas. But a new study warns of a rare but po­ten­tially dev­as­tat­ing com­pli­ca­tion: per­sis­tent head­shak­ing.

Re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia re­viewed the cases of five horses who de­vel­oped head­shak­ing within 45 days of paranasal si­nus surgery. Only two im­proved with treat­ment and were able to re­turn to work. One horse was eu­tha­na­tized be­cause the head­shak­ing could not be con­trolled.

The re­searchers note that dam­age dur­ing si­nus surgery to the trigem­i­nal nerve that runs over the face is the most likely cause of this post­op­er­a­tive com­pli­ca­tion. Ref­er­ence: “Head­shak­ing in five horses after paranasal si­nus surgery,” Vet­eri­nary Surgery, April 2014


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