Permission to use illustrations of the equine brain from ultimatehorsesite.com
How to Handle Horse Head Injuries
By Emily Esterson, Christine Barakat
When a horse sustains a serious blow to the head, the consequences can be minor to catastrophic. A horse can sustain many types of head trauma without the brain being threatened. Of all the injuries your horse may sustain over the course of his life, serious head trauma is one of the least likely. Yet more than a few of us have witnessed a fast-moving horse unexpectedly collide head-on with a tree or other obstacle. And there are those who wince at the remembrance of a rearing horse falling over backward and striking his head on an unforgiving stable aisle. Perhaps the susceptibility of our own brains to concussion heightens our concern for the well-being of any horse who accidentally whacks his head--or worse.
An understanding of the anatomy of the equine head as well as an awareness of the signs indicative of superficial to serious trauma will help guide you in your initial handling of a horse with a head injury while also preparing you to talk with your veterinarian about the specific diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis for recovery.