Conditions or ailments that are the cause of a problem that you see - your observation.

Your vet may diagnose

Fracture of Skull, Involving Sinus or Bone


A common complication of severe head trauma involves fracture of the bones near the eyes, base of the ears, and a few inches above the nostrils.

Fractures tend to heal well but infection of the bone or sinuses can result, leading to chronic, usually smelly nasal discharge that does not resolve until the infected bone or material is removed surgically.

If the fracture involves the brain case, or the trauma associated has caused brain swelling, then the horse will likely show signs of neurologic damage.

my vet's role


Prognosis depends on the specifics and severity of injury, but is fair to good with early treatment. If the sinus are involved, chronic sinusitis can be difficult to treat.

my role


I might observe

You might make these observations when a horse has this condition.

Very Common
Less Common
more observations

Questions To Ask Your Vet:
  • What is the likelihood of future complications, such as sinusitis or infected bone?
  • Is there anything that can be done now that reduces that likelihood?

Good husbandry, which reduces the likelihood of head injury.

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP