How Natural Therapies Can Help Your Headshaker Horse

How Natural Therapies May Help Your Horse's Headshaking



What Is Headshaking?



A horse who's known as a head shaker, is one who has a severe shake to the head. This isn't a mild shake to remove a flying insect. But a shake that means a frequent vertical movement. Although sometimes there's a movement side to side.

What Causes A Horse To Headshake?



There's not a simple answer to this. Environmental factors can make a difference. This could be sunlight, dust, pollen, wind or noise. Tack can cause problems, such as the type of bridle used. But there can be physical reasons too. These could be from sinusitis, dental issues or an infection.

There's been research to review whether neuropathic pain is a cause. Research in 2019 confirmed that the clinical signs of trigeminal-mediated headshaking are consistent with neuropathic pain of the trigeminal nerve". Read this Vet Med (Auckl) research here.

How Would You Know If Your Horse Headshakes?



As I mentioned above, it's very obvious. A sharp movement of the head. It is often noticeable only when you're riding your horse. Or when you're handling them, such as leading or grooming. When the horse is grazing, often there's no issues.

If there's an occasional shake to the head, then this is normal! If you're concerned, then do speak to your veterinary surgeon. There can be many reasons your horse could shake the head. Many you don't need to worry about and will pass.

What Can You Do To Help A Horse Who Headshakes?



Do speak to your veterinary surgeon. If there's a physical cause such as sinusitis, dental issues, infection, etc, then this will need to be identified and resolved. Remember the longer an issue continues, the more complex it maybe to help, so the earlier diagnosis and treatment can be the better.

If there's no obvious physical problems, and you notice the problem when you're riding. Then speak to an experienced riding instructor. A change of bridle, bit or riding position can make a huge difference.

If pollen, dust or sunlight exacerbate the head shaking. Then try a face mask. There's many different types of face masks for your horse. Some have the ears covered as well. Some also have veils to go over the nose too. What your horse minds wearing will vary! And there are many different styles. You can ride your horse in many of these, as they often fit with the bridle.

Also try riding at a different time of day. If sunlight is a problem, then try riding in the evening or early morning. Away from the midday/early afternoon sunshine can make a big difference.

How Natural Therapies Can Help Your Horse Who Headshakes?



Equine craniosacral therapy is a holistic approach that's been used to help many horses affected by head shaking. Although veterinary research is limited (read more about why this can be here). You can find out more information, including case study articles and videos on how equine craniosacral can help with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) imbalances at https://www.equinecraniosacral.com

Veterinary Acupuncture, research published in 2017 showed that Electro-acupuncture can be beneficial to help with headshaking. Read this here

Zoopharmacognosy and its use of essential oils can have a big impact on behavioural issues. So of course, it will depend on the cause of the head shaking as to whether it will work or not! Seek the services of a professional zoopharmacognosy practitioner to ensure your horse gets the most out of this therapy. And only after you've got veterinary approval that this is worth trying.

Pens Therapy, this is used with humans to help with nerve pain. And according to the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) can be used for horses who headshake. Find out more information at the RVC website here. Or read this research here

Herbal supplements, again it depends on the cause of the head shaking. But although natural, herbs can be very powerful. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise if this could help, as some horses may find irritation reduced through the appropriate use of herbs. There are too veterinary surgeon's who've trained in herbal medicine, if you need help finding one, please email info at taranet .co.uk.

Homeopathy encompasses dozens of different remedies. A qualified veterinary homeopath will be able to advise you if they can help you. But if the likely cause of the head shaking is known. Then homeopathy maybe useful to reduce symptoms. Research on its use can be found in the Vet Record here

Remember that if a physical cause is found and resolved, your horse may take some time to get used to being pain free. So patience and training will be required. Also, Bach Flower Remedies are helpful to help with the emotions and with training. Find out more about these 38 different remedies here.

In conclusion… Headshaking is complex. There can be many reasons for your horse to headshake. Many people have different opinions on the cause. My top tip is always listen to your veterinary surgeon. An experienced equine veterinary surgeon can advise and help diagnose.

But always look at management of your horse alongside the physical cause. Changing your exercise routine. Changing tack. Using fly masks. These are simple, but can make a huge difference. As part of an integrated and holistic approach, all aspects of care should be considered as all inter-link and make a difference.

Different therapies can have a place to be useful. But only after your veterinary surgeon has diagnosed the cause and identified what treatment is required.

Any therapies or medication or management changes, can of course come at a financial price. But then again owning horses is never cheap!! And helping your horse to live a happy and healthy life is priceless :)

Like help finding a veterinary surgeon or therapist for your animal?
Please email me at info at taranet . co. uk

Please remember that if your horse is unwell. Or on any kind of medication or other supplement. Then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first before using any supplement or therapy. Even natural ones. To avoid any possible issues.

And do you know someone who'd find this helpful? Please share, the more we can spread awareness of the benefits of natural therapies the better! :)

Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

About the Author

Suzanne Harris is founder of this Taranet website at www.taranet.co.uk, and also provides business coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.

How To Help Your Dog With Natural Therapies In An Emergency

Love These Tips To Help Your Dog In An Emergency



With any luck, you may go for months, years even, without having any kind of canine health emergency. When an urgent health issue crops up it could be anything, from a bee sting, a cut, a claw ripping, a bite, a burn or something else.

But what do you do? When an injury or illness appears with no warning, it can make your heart race and wonder what to do. It's horrible seeing your dog with any ill health.

Can You Keep Calm In A Canine Emergency?



First of all, don't panic! Easier said than done. But keeping calm is best.
This will help your dog. If your dog is panicking then you'll need to be soothing and calm.

Calling your veterinary surgeon will usually be necessary. Remember if you're unsure of what to do to help your dog. Then speaking to your vet is always a good idea. Delaying professional treatment can lead to complications and distress.

Can You Be Sure Your Dog Is Safe?



Make sure your dog is safe. Depending on the emergency, your dog may not be acting like he or she normally would. And could even be trying to bite. If your dog is in pain or frightened, then this is normal!

Do your best to ensure your dog can’t hurt himself any more. When you speak to your veterinary practice, explain all the details of how your dog is reacting and what the problem is.

How To Give Your Dog First Aid



Giving first aid treatment may be a good idea. But know what you’re doing. It depends on the injury or ailment. Speaking to your veterinary practice for advice on what to do can be a great idea. And they can advise if you should do anything until you get to see the vet.

If you’d like to know what you can and should do for first aid for your dog. Then why not take a first aid for dogs course? There are many now available from accredited training courses. You should be able to find one online, but if you need any help, then please email me at info at taranet.co.uk

How To Use Natural Therapies To Help In A Canine Emergency



Depending on the circumstances there are natural therapies you can use. Including whilst you're waiting to see the vet, which can help you keep your animal calm. These include:

  • Zoopharmacognosy - aromatic essential oils such as lavender can help calm.
  • Bach Flower Remedies, of the 38 different remedies some help with shock, fright and terror. This includes Star of Bethlehem and Rock Rose. There is another combination remedy called “Rescue Remedy” that you may have heard of, and can help in urgent/emergency situations.
  • Reiki is an energy therapy, which can be used to help relieve stress.
  • Tellington Ttouch is a holistic technique that can help to relieve tension.

Remember feeling stressed can make pain feel worse. So relieving stress and promoting calm is invaluable. Don't under-estimate its power.

Like help finding a holistic veterinary surgeon or complementary therapist for your animal?
Please email me at info at taranet . co. uk

Please remember that if your horse, dog or other animal is unwell. Or on any kind of medication or other supplement. Then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first before using any supplement or therapy. Even natural ones. To avoid any possible issues.

And do you know someone who'd find this helpful? Please share, the more we can spread awareness of the benefits of natural therapies the better! :)

Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

About the Author

Suzanne Harris is founder of this Taranet website at www.taranet.co.uk, and also provides business coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.

How Natural Therapies Can Help Your Dog Cope With Change

How To Help Your Dog Cope With Change



During the many recent lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more people are now dog owners. Which is no wonder. The benefits of keeping a dog are immense. The American Kennel Club website quotes scientific research. Which shows keeping a dog has many health benefits. From reducing loneliness, alleviating stress and reducing anxiety.

But as much as dogs can help us. Our dogs rely on us. If we've been at home more. Whether working at home or having no work, then it's our dogs will have enjoyed our company. Us being with them. Taking them out for walks, letting them out when they want to. It may not sound much.

And there's a great saying to remember:

"To the world you are one person, but to your dog you are the world"


And this is true!

As lockdowns ease and we can all start going out more. Where does this leave our dogs? For many of us, we will continue working from home. We will holiday in our country - taking our dogs with us. But for others, spending time away from our dogs may have to happen. So what can you do?

Your Dog Will Love These Tips To Cope With Change



Here are some tips on how you can deal with this, and including why complementary therapies can help.

  1. Changing your lifestyle. This may sound harsh. But having a dog does mean a change in lifestyle. If your dog is new to you because of lockdown. What can you do to ensure your dog remains the central part of your life?
  2. Use a dog walker or a dog day care centre. If you have no option but to leave your dog for a few hours. Then what alternative arrangements can you do? It's not fair to your dog to leave him or her for several hours. No dog likes that anyway. They may put up with it, but it's not fair to their emotional wellbeing. Or their physical wellbeing.

So a dog walker or dog day care centre are good options. But choose wisely. Check out where your dog will go. Price should not be the only option! How many dogs will be there? Will your dog get the individual care needed?

How Natural Therapies Can Help Your Dog Cope With Change



If you're going to be out and about more. Even if you take your dog with you, it's likely to be a change. After the lockdown routine, any new routine is going to take getting used to.

Here's information on some top therapies to help!

My top tip is Bach Flower Remedies. These are natural. There are 38, all designed to help with different emotions. Get more information on how these at my advice page here.

Next an energy therapy such as Reiki or Radionics or Crystal Therapy can be useful to promote relaxation. An experienced practitioner can help make an enormous difference. Even any subtle change to your dog's stress levels can make a big difference to wellbeing.

If your dog has a change in exercise levels, then physiotherapy or massage can help. Helping through maintaining muscular health. and promoting calm too.

Hydrotherapy isn't only for helping recovery from injury. It can also be great exercise. There are many canine hydrotherapy centres your dog can go to. Choose a centre with trained and knowledgeable practitioners.

Dog behaviour classes. If your dog's behaviour changes and you don't know what to do. Then see a professional dog behaviourist. Choose one who's knowledgeable in complementary therapies. For instance, many do use a technique called Tellington Ttouch. This is a holistic approach that is non-confrontational and powerful. Find more information here.

Herbal calming supplements. There are dozens of herbs that can be used to help canine health. Many can be used to help with reducing anxiety, including Valerian. Find out more about herbs for animal health here, and valerian here.

Zoopharmacognosy or Aromatherapy is helpful for many health and wellbeing reasons. Lavender is one essential oil that is proven to help reduce stress. Leave some drops near your dog's bed to help. But you can also have a consultation with a professional zoopharmacognosy practitioner for maximum benefits. See more information on this therapy here.

Please remember that if your horse, dog or other animal is unwell. Or on any kind of medication or other supplement. Then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first before using any supplement or therapy. Even natural ones. To avoid any possible issues.

And do you know someone who'd find this helpful? Please share, the more we can spread awareness of the benefits of natural therapies the better! :)

Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

About the Author

This article has been created by Suzanne Harris, who is founder of this Taranet website at www.taranet.co.uk, and also provides business coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.

How To Stop Ticks Being A Menace To Your Dog

How To Help Your Dog From Being Affected By Ticks


How often do you check your dog's skin to see if there are any lumps, bumps or creepy crawlies present? It's always worth doing. Especially if you happen to find a tick.

Ticks will crawl onto your dog, and search through the hair until they reach the skin. They'll then bite and latch onto your dog to feed. Although they may drop off after a week or two, during this time of biting/feeding they can transmit disease. There are several illnesses ticks can cause, including Lymes Disease. These illnesses can very serious, and cause long-lasting health conditions.

If a tick doesn't cause a disease, they can create severe skin irritation. This can be so bad your dog's hair falls out, and a skin infection can develop.

Although ticks are often thought to be worse in woodlands, they can be almost anywhere. In a field or even in some gardens.

And at any time of year. They are not just a spring-time problem, as used to be considered the case.

Remember too that ticks don't only crawl onto dogs, they'll also go onto humans too! And other animals of course.

You may hear of various 'ideas' for removing ticks. If you find a tick. Then use a special designed tick removing tool. These allow you to hook under the tick and twist/pull. It's essential not to leave any of the ticks body. Or illness can develop or persist.

Where To Buy A Tick Removing Tool?

Your veterinary surgeon will normally sell these, at a low cost.

Do not use tweezers! A tick removing tool is specially designed so as not to lose the tick's body parts in your pet.

Are Tick Repellents Worthwhile?

It is possible to buy a variety of artificial chemical 'repellents'. Although it's worth noting that if you read the small print, they often don't stop the tick attaching. Instead the tick still gets into the skin and then may drop off after a few days.

How To Care For Your Dog's Skin



And in my experience, these chemical 'repellents' don't work 100% of the time. Plus they can themselves cause irritation. After all your dog's skin is a living breathing organ. Applying any kind of artificial solution or chemical onto the skin should be a last resort. Far better to use natural, chemical free solutions. That are gentle and kind to the skin.

Remember a product can be natural but also can be very effective. If we are careful about what we eat, why not think twice about what we put on the skin?

How To Help Your Dog From Ticks Naturally


Essential oils are a good choice for natural tick control. Lavender, Geranium and Tea Tree Oil are all thought to help. There has been research conducted showing geranium can work - see here.

If your dog has inflamed skin from a tick irritation. My recommendation is aloe vera from the Forever range that I sell (as a Forever independent business owner), please email me for details.

Where To Buy Essential Oils For Your Dog?

You can get essential oils that are specially formulated. Including at leading zoopharmacognosy expert Caroline Ingraham.

How Else You Can Help Your Dog From Ticks?

  1. Veterinary Homeopathy is also a possible remedy. Ledum Palustre is reputed to be beneficial. Read more about homeopathy for animals here
  2. Helping your dog to have as healthy immune system as possible is good idea. It'll reduce the chance of serious illness developing. You can find out more about how to do this, with my Immune Health For Pets advice page here If you want more tips, then please email me at info at taranet.co.uk

How To Help Your Dog If Gets Ill From A Tick Bite?

If you're at all concerned your dog is unwell. Seems off-colour. Off food, or just not himself, or being sick, etc. Then speak to your Veterinary Surgeon urgently. And remember to mention the tick - this is crucial.

Please share this post with anyone you think would benefit.

Like help finding a veterinary surgeon or therapist for your animal?
Please email me at info at taranet . co. uk

Please remember that if your horse, dog or other animal is unwell. Or on any kind of medication or other supplement. Then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first before using any supplement or therapy. Even natural ones. To avoid any possible issues.

And do you know someone who'd find this helpful? Please share, the more we can spread awareness of the benefits of natural therapies the better! :)

Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

About the Author

Suzanne Harris is founder of this Taranet website at www.taranet.co.uk, and also provides business coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.