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ivy62
Apr. 1, 2009, 06:38 PM
Over the last few years a couple of days my horse has had the hiccups. Is this normal? He is very aggitated when he has them and once they pass he is fine...ANyone ever seen this or heard it rather?

Lieslot
Apr. 1, 2009, 06:45 PM
Gosh sounds scary.

Here's an article on hiccups, ie thumps in horses, not to be confused with mild choke.
Seems it could be due to an electrolyte imbalance. Does it occur after a heavy workout, or just like that?
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12446

Sorry can't be of more help. Good luck. I would bring it up with your vet however to be on the safe side.

ivy62
Apr. 1, 2009, 07:22 PM
My horse does not have that kind of a sound. It is definitely from his head...Sounds like it is at the back of his throat. every once in a while he does this and then it goes away.....

grayarabpony
Apr. 1, 2009, 07:23 PM
I've had a couple of horses that got actual hiccups. The sound came from the horses' throats, not from their sides.

ivy62
Apr. 1, 2009, 07:24 PM
It is actually like a high pitched squeak! How about that..very manly I know....

twofatponies
Apr. 1, 2009, 07:36 PM
My older mare has a longstanding habit (from years as a young rider's lesson horse, I imagine?) of waving her head around and gnashing her teeth while being saddled. Every once in a while she is so enthusiastic about it she gives herself hiccups. Just like a person's hiccups - hic...hic...hic.. they are small, and it doesn't cause her any distress, and subsides by itself in a few minutes.

Anyway, is your horse hiccuping non stop, without any particular trigger? (ETA - sorry, just re-read the first post. Maybe he is agitated first, and that is causing the hiccups?) If it's so strong it is distressing him that's no fun. One thing that can help get rid of people hiccups (assuming there's no weird chronic brain/body problem) is deep relaxing breathing. If he's having occasional bouts, perhaps quiet gentle massage of his neck and back might help ease them? Or other relaxing treatments like massage/accupuncture?

Androcles
Apr. 1, 2009, 07:43 PM
my horse hiccuped just today, and everyone including me was very startled by this weird behavior! i guess there must be something in the air today - April Fool's?

sanctuary
Apr. 1, 2009, 10:23 PM
I had a gelding who would get the hiccups at horse shows, just before entering the ring. Best we could figure, nerves triggered them. They went away as he got older!

KnKShowmom
Apr. 2, 2009, 11:33 AM
DD's horse gets the hiccups when he is either stressed or in pain - does your horse have any other symptoms of ulcers??

mjrtango93
Apr. 2, 2009, 11:58 AM
The other poster is correct, your horse has the thumps. Easily remedied with a dose of electrolytes. Would recommend 1 tube of paste to start, then at least 1 scoop electrolytes a day through the summer. Tends to happen in warmer weather when the horse sweats. I used to have a horse do this when he was being groomed, wierd little horse that was.

kbbarn
Apr. 2, 2009, 11:58 AM
I had a gelding who would get the hiccups at horse shows, just before entering the ring. Best we could figure, nerves triggered them. They went away as he got older!

Same with my young gelding! Whenever he got stressed, the hiccups started. When he turned 6, they stopped.

grayarabpony
Apr. 2, 2009, 12:15 PM
The other poster is correct, your horse has the thumps. Easily remedied with a dose of electrolytes. Would recommend 1 tube of paste to start, then at least 1 scoop electrolytes a day through the summer. Tends to happen in warmer weather when the horse sweats. I used to have a horse do this when he was being groomed, wierd little horse that was.

Sorry to disagree, but hiccups are not always thumps. Sometimes they're just hiccups.

ivy62
Apr. 2, 2009, 02:29 PM
I do not believe they are thumps, He does not do it after excersize. It is weird and it doesn't come from his side. It is surely from the back of the throat are sinus cavity somehow....It is a high pitched squeak...Waiting hear from the vet....and one day they are there and then they do not come back for months! does not matter the weather.....either

grayarabpony
Apr. 2, 2009, 03:14 PM
I talked to a vet today who said that thumps are most common in lactating mares with low blood calcium. Thumps are very rare in a regular healthy horse that's not in extreme work or environmental conditions.

She said something about soft palate displacement, which would require an upper endoscopy while the hiccups are going on... I don't think that's going to happen, unless the vet can beam here with her equipment during the 5 or 10 minutes that the hiccups are occurring. I don't think soft palate displacement is the cause either.

My diagnosis -- hiccups. ;)

Melyni
Apr. 2, 2009, 03:27 PM
which is due to a temporary shortfall of calcium. Give him 10 tums and it should go away.
Actually it will probably go away anyway, but it is an indication of low blood calcium.
Yours
MW

grayarabpony
Apr. 2, 2009, 05:05 PM
Although he gets alfalfa pellets and our grass is a good pH? I kinda doubt it.

Grintle Sunshine
Apr. 2, 2009, 05:21 PM
This sounds like a mild choke. I have seen a few horses including my own do the squeak thing when choking, and it is very distinct. They also stretch their neck out as they do it. The last time my horse did this, my vet told us the "backyard" way to try and clear a mild choke to try before he could get out there. We were to try and startle him by running up behind him with a broom or make a loud noise or something, and sure enough, it worked like a charm:lol:. Not something to mess with though as they can get pneumonia and cause damage to the esophagus.

ivy62
Apr. 2, 2009, 05:32 PM
He did it after being out for several hours after he ate...and he cantered up to me too! any other suggestions to how this happens if it is mild choke? and why would it happen only now and then?

grayarabpony
Apr. 2, 2009, 05:41 PM
Choke isn't really like hiccups at all. I've seen horses with choke and it's very different.

My horse will hiccup after gulping air.. Other horses will get hiccups with nerves.

Evalee Hunter
Apr. 2, 2009, 06:40 PM
I've had a couple of horses that got actual hiccups. The sound came from the horses' throats, not from their sides.


Sorry to disagree, but hiccups are not always thumps. Sometimes they're just hiccups.

Hiccups (as in humans) come from a SPASM OF THE DIAPHRAM, just as thumps do in horses. No matter what you may think, hiccups are NOT in the throat or head in humans (or in horses, either) - hiccups originate in the large muscle that separates the lungs from the abdomen.


I talked to a vet today who said that thumps are most common in lactating mares with low blood calcium. Thumps are very rare in a regular healthy horse that's not in extreme work or environmental conditions. . . . My diagnosis -- hiccups. ;)

The actual percent of horses that get thumps when not in "extreme work or environmental conditions" may be very small (so you could call thumps "rare") but I have known many horses that got thumps at unexpected times.

ivy62
Apr. 2, 2009, 06:49 PM
That is true but if you read up on thumps they say the noise is heard at the side not the head....Has anyone here actually heard thumps? and can you describe it to me?

Grintle Sunshine
Apr. 2, 2009, 08:57 PM
I just want to add that I really think you need the vet out because choke or whatever this is is not something to mess with and it sounds like it's been on/off for several days. I don't know how it happened but it doesn't really matter, does it? Maybe you didn't notice it after he ate. I wouldn't have with my guy except I was in his stall grooming him at the time. My horse was able to clear his but the vet was on his way out to tube him before we were able to call him and tell him he didn't need to come. My guy would be basically normal looking, then stretch his head out and open his mouth and squeak, and then it wouldn't happen again for maybe 30 seconds to several minutes later. Once they do it once it is more likely to happen again and it can really do a number on their throats. In 20+ years around horses I had never heard anything like the squeaking noise my guy made and it sure sounds like what your horse is doing. I hope I'm wrong!

grayarabpony
Apr. 2, 2009, 09:09 PM
Hiccups (as in humans) come from a SPASM OF THE DIAPHRAM, just as thumps do in horses. No matter what you may think, hiccups are NOT in the throat or head in humans (or in horses, either) - hiccups originate in the large muscle that separates the lungs from the abdomen.



The actual percent of horses that get thumps when not in "extreme work or environmental conditions" may be very small (so you could call thumps "rare") but I have known many horses that got thumps at unexpected times.

YES, I KNOW what hiccups are. It's caused by the diaphragm, but the noise comes from the vocal cords, which are located where? in the throat.

No matter what you may think, sometimes hiccups are just hiccups.

Evalee Hunter
Apr. 2, 2009, 11:30 PM
YES, I KNOW what hiccups are. It's caused by the diaphragm, but the noise comes from the vocal cords, which are located where? in the throat.

No matter what you may think, sometimes hiccups are just hiccups.

Well, we rehab racing Thoroughbreds & I have heard any number of horses with thumps & (1) it never sounded like it was coming from the horse's side to me & (2) I don't subscribe to "sometimes hiccups are just hiccups" when you are talking about horses because thumps can be very serious & require agressive veterinary intervention to avoid death.

ivy62
Apr. 3, 2009, 06:29 AM
The problem is he does it once or twice a year and then it is gone. I cannot guarantee when my vet is here it will be present from her to hear....He does seem stressed when it happens but the it is gone...He hasn't done it in about 2 years and then all of a sudden he did...Now they are gone again.....HAven't heard back from my vet yet about it

Evalee Hunter
Apr. 3, 2009, 07:52 AM
The problem is he does it once or twice a year and then it is gone. I cannot guarantee when my vet is here it will be present from her to hear....He does seem stressed when it happens but the it is gone...He hasn't done it in about 2 years and then all of a sudden he did...Now they are gone again.....HAven't heard back from my vet yet about it

Could you try a videotape or digital video? Maybe show the horse's actions & agitation & then move the camera close to the head/throat & a moment later close to the side of the barrel? That might help get a feel for where the sound is louder, as well as close up photos showing body movements that you might not have noticed. Then you could show the video to your vet.

ivy62
Apr. 3, 2009, 09:24 AM
good idea if he does it again! I'll carry my camera with me...

grayarabpony
Apr. 3, 2009, 09:42 AM
Well, we rehab racing Thoroughbreds & I have heard any number of horses with thumps & (1) it never sounded like it was coming from the horse's side to me & (2) I don't subscribe to "sometimes hiccups are just hiccups" when you are talking about horses because thumps can be very serious & require agressive veterinary intervention to avoid death.

Believe me, if I thought my horse had thumps, I'd be dosing him with calcium and electrolytes and having the vet out.

buck22
Apr. 4, 2009, 07:44 AM
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12446
just found this and figured I'd share