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My horse gets the hiccups!

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  • My horse gets the hiccups!

    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?
    Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
    Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
    "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

  • #2
    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.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      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.....
      Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
      Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
      "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

      Comment


      • #4
        I've had a couple of horses that got actual hiccups. The sound came from the horses' throats, not from their sides.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          It is actually like a high pitched squeak! How about that..very manly I know....
          Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
          Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
          "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

          Comment


          • #6
            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?

            Comment


            • #7
              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?

              Comment


              • #8
                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!
                Life is hard. After all, it kills you. - K. Hepburn

                Comment


                • #9
                  DD's horse gets the hiccups when he is either stressed or in pain - does your horse have any other symptoms of ulcers??

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sanctuary View Post
                      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.
                      My Blog ( for me and my OTTBs)-ableequine.webbly.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mjrtango93 View Post
                        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.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          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
                          Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                          Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                          "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It is most probably the thumps

                              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
                              Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                              Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                              New edition of book is out:
                              Horse Nutrition Handbook.

                              www.knabstruppers4usa.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Although he gets alfalfa pellets and our grass is a good pH? I kinda doubt it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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. Not something to mess with though as they can get pneumonia and cause damage to the esophagus.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    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?
                                    Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                                    Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                                    "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                                        I've had a couple of horses that got actual hiccups. The sound came from the horses' throats, not from their sides.
                                        Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                                        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.

                                        Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                                        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.

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