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What is That Noise
 By Winniefield Park   •   22nd Dec 2018   •   3,041 views   •   0 comments


Whinnies and neighs are normal horse noises and often the sounds that horses make are one of the few things that a non-horse person knows about horses. But horses do make other noises. Some are vocal, and some have other origins. Horses have a larynx that is similar to ours, and that is used to make some types of noises, but not all, that a horse might make.

Hiccups
If you’ve ever had the hiccups, you know how annoying they can be. Horses can get hiccups of a sort too. A horse with the hiccups will produce a little cough and in their midsection, you may hear a thumping noise, which is why the condition is called ‘the thumps’. Or more correctly synchronous diaphragmatic flutter or SDF. SDF is caused by an electrolyte imbalance and dehydration which is why it’s not unusual in endurance and race horses. Another odd cause of SDF are blister beetles that live in alfalfa. When a horse has SDF, the muscles all over its body may twitch and it can have a fever. If a horse has developed severe SDF, a vet will administer fluids that contain electrolytes. Without proper rehydration SDF can be fatal.

Burps
The way a horse’s digestive systems is made means that a horse usually can’t burp like a human. The valve between the esophagus and stomach does not let anything back up once it has been swallowed. In some horses, the esophagus or stomach may be damaged, blocked or malformed, and this allows air to leak back up. Right after a nasogastric scope procedure, some horses might make a burping noise. If a horse is a cribber, it may certainly make belching noises - and not necessarily when biting on the stall door, fence post or tree. Some just bear down, clench their teeth and suck in air. So these horses really sound like they burping, but they are really wind sucking.

Squawks at the Trot and Canter
If you’re ridden a stallion or gelding, you might hear a strange squeaking noise with each stride of a canter or trot. Some people describe it as a groaning, creaking or squeaking noise. The noise is made when air gets pulled into the sheath. Often its associated with tension and doing some schooling to get your horse more relaxed may make the sound go away. Some people think a cleaning will help, but that may not be true, unless discomfort from a dirty sheath area is causing the horse to be tense.

Flaps
If you ride a mare, especially one that has had a foal you might hear a flapping noise. This is caused be a flabby udder. Chances are, once the mare has regained her pre-foal condition, the flapping noise her udder makes will go away. There unlikely to be any real problem, other than an annoying noise, although there is a slight possibility of irritation in the udder area that would then need to be treated with a wound lotion. It doesn’t look like any lingerie company offers bras for mares yet.

Stomach Gurgles
If you put your ear up to your horse’s abdomen, you’ll probably hear a lot of gurgles, whooshes and sloshes. This is perfectly normal and is a sign that your horse has a healthy digestive system. What you don’t want to hear is silence. This means your horse’s food isn’t moving through its system the way it should. Reduced gut sounds, or no gut sounds at all are colic symptoms.

Wheezing While Ridden
If your horse wheezes while ridden, there could be a few reasons. A constriction or growth in some portion of the windpipe can be one cause. Blockages of the larynx, caused by a growth or other blockage can cause wheezing. A condition called laryngeal hemiplegia or roaring is caused by a paralysis on one side of the larynx. A vet can help you sort out this type of problem.

Noisy Breathing
There are numerous reasons why a horse might wheeze, gurgle, or sound raspy while they breathe. Conditions of the soft palate, collapsed windpipe, damaged larynx, or pharynx, the membrane that sits between the mouth and sinuses can cause a horse’s noisy breathing. Congestion can cause burbling and raspiness. Sudden changes in your horse’s breathing warrant a call to your veterinarian.

Flatulence
Then there is that noise. The one that can reduce little horse crazy girls into fits of giggles when it comes out of the back end of their favorite school horse. The passing of gas is really important, and an indication that your horse has a normal function digestive system. Changing your horse’s diet can cause extra gas, and some foods are more gas producing than others. As long as there are no other symptoms like signs of colic or diarrhea, gas isn’t a problem.
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