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Horse burps - a sign of ulcers?

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  • Horse burps - a sign of ulcers?

    Well, my horse burps. Not the drunk uncle loud kind with an open mouth but more of the kind where you can just hear it in his throat a bit. It doesn't happen all the time but you can occasionally hear it when giving him a treat like an apple. I don't hear him doing it while eating or just standing around. Anyone else experience this? When I told my vet he just kind of looked at me funny and said 'hmmm'.

    He's 12, a TB, not OT and pretty mellow guy. I should say he's girthy and one must go really slow saddling him up. Before i owned him he would collapse in cross ties when girthed up quickly (did with me once and i learned my lesson!), but I really think that has more to do with the nerve that goes under the girth (there was recently a thread on this over on the dressage board). But, i'm no vet so I can't totally assume that.

  • #2
    Horses don't normally burp. thay can wind suck, which kind of sounds like a burp. They also can get what sounds like hiccups, which can also be "Thumps" which is caused by a calcium/electrolite imbalance.


    • #3
      you know everybody says "horses cant burp".. but, I had a Halflinger who belched like a drunk sailor

      not wind sucking, or cribbing.. full on burp, you could even smell it afterward..

      even my vet heard it and said "by gosh, that was a burp"

      he was IR

      Perhaps talk to your vet and have a nutrition eval????


      • #4
        My horse "gulps". He does it more often when under stress. I use CMC (pink stuff from farnam) before I ride, and papaya in his feed, and it seems to reduce it. IMO, it is a sign of my horse's stress level, and perhaps a pre-ulcer tendency. He internalizes everything!

        (and yes, there has been some drama at my barn, but he gets good turnout with lots of hay, the drama is gone now, and he is happy. That said, I am considering adding an ulcer preventative like U-gard to his smartpak.)



        • #5
          When my horse burps, I say uh oh. If it smells bad (and I have my nose right in there smelling), I say crap. I with-hold feed for a meal, and watch him like a hawk. If he's dull, resting his head on another horse's rump, then I'm considering an earlier dosing of meds (he has a few), and double check with vet.
          Now I'm not saying to get all in a panic. My horse has delayed gastric emptying, and ulcers secondary to that. At least that's the current theory among my many referral vets.
          What's the line? Tired of single-handedly supporting the veterinary community. Sure glad they're there.


          • #6
            My aged gelding used to make a burping sound, it was more like a gurgley yawn bleeeecchhhh sound. We used to tease him and call him a pig. Turned out he did have very bad ulcers that almost killed him. Yawning excessively, laying down after eating and burping were the only outward signs. For years.
            Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


            • #7
              My horse also burps, and I too wonder if it's because of ulcers. For the first few months he was with me, I gave him omeprazole (first Ulcerguard and then the blue pop rocks), soaked alfalfa pellets, and aloe vera juice. It didn't seem to make a lick of difference. He has always been on free-choice hay, is only stalled about 4 hours per day, and generally leads a low-stress life, but he still burps. So, for now I'm just leaving it be, but I would eventually like to investigate further and find out what's going on in there.
              Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!


              • Original Poster

                Ok, so it's not just me
                I wonder if sort of a preventative measure with using something like Smart gut would help. i don't really want to scope if he's not showing other signs. I'll pick my vets brain next time he's out.


                • #9
                  hmmm... now this relaly gets me thinking. I ride a mare that burps occasionally and she gets really funky some days and bites my feet when I squeeze her, yet there are no problems with her back or chiro. Ulcers.... never thought of that
                  Who say's your best friend has to be human?


                  • #10
                    I think I posted something about this happening to my horse awhile ago.

                    I DO think it is sign of stomach upset...however I have heard other people say he is just swallowing and it sounds like that.

                    however at one point I was feeding my horse a bit of alfalfa cubes before riding . I think he either ate them too fast or there was to too much of them, he would make this TERRIBLE noise that sounded like windsucking would.

                    but almost high pitched...like a inward wheeze ( I likened it to him stepping on a frog at first!)

                    but yeah , what you are hearing I would just watch for stomach upset and make sure he has hay in front of him at all times ( or at least as much as he can, especially before you ride )
                    *Member of the Quality Free-Choice Hay/Pasture Feeders Society* Member of the As Much Turnout as Possible Group* FEED by WEIGHT not VOLUME*


                    • #11
                      Mine too

                      So my yearling also burps.. has since a foal.. I know there is something wrong.. her hair coat is not the same.. I have tried pro biotics she has hay in front of her at all times.. I am actually hauling her to be scoped for ulcers next week..


                      • #12
                        My horse makes a funny sound in his throat that sounds like a burp. He has no ulcers - I've scoped him. He's on Smartgut anyway...but he seems perfectly content, just has a funny little burp sound he does. Who knows what it is, but he seems healthy and happy so I just add it to his list of funny personality traits


                        • #13
                          My mare was belching before we started treating for ulcers. Now that we have the ulcers under control there isn't any more belching going on.

                          Never made the connection before!


                          • #14
                            Wow, interesting! I swore my horse burped once, but I thought I was crazy. I guess she did. Now that I think about it, it was when she didn't get her Assure Guard for a few days and had gone from heavy work to light work quickly, so that makes sense (she didn't get her gut supplement and didn't have the exercise that usually helps things move through her system).

                            Wow, what I learn on COTH!


                            • #15
                              I have a new horse, older OTTB (18?) who makes a fairly infrequent noise in his throat, almost like "humpf" is that what yours sounds like?

                              Also, there is a foul smell in his water bucket (cleaned 2x daily). could this be related?

                              Interesting thread. Keep the comments coming.


                              • #16
                                yes. i have yet to talk to a veterinarian who knows what i'm talking about. my horse "'urpps." especially if he is nervous, which i would attribute to his stomach being upset.

                                since retirement, it is almost nonexistent. however, while showing, it (his ulcers) was very well managed with his freedom feeder (small hole hay net), small amount of buffered omeprazole, alfalfa pellets in small grain meals, and tums and alfalfa pellets before exercise.

                                feel free to pm me with any questions. i spent a few years finding out how to keep him in the best healthy balance. it was hard but we got it done!


                                • #17
                                  One of my horses burpes so I researched about it and the only reasons I could find where ulcers or the throat is attached at an unusually straight angle allowing natural gases to escape and throw up, but its doesnt come all the was out just into their throat. I would rule out ulcers because if its the other thing then you need some king of anti-acid for him because with an unusually staight throat he has a higher chance of getting an ulcer.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by sschuessler View Post
                                    hmmm... now this relaly gets me thinking. I ride a mare that burps occasionally and she gets really funky some days and bites my feet when I squeeze her, yet there are no problems with her back or chiro. Ulcers.... never thought of that
                                    Mild ulcers cause my mare to be a bit girthy, and as they worsen this is exactly the primary symptom she displays (pulling the girth straps with her teeth or biting my feet while trying to get at the girth). I would definitely consider ulcers in your horse.


                                    • #19
                                      Sorry to resurrect the burping horse thread, but what posture does your horse display? After my horse's evening treats, he stretches his neck out long (and up) and makes a wind sucking sound - is this burping?


                                      • #20
                                        I don't think so, ken. My horse doesn't move at all or change position when he does it.