Monday, March 5, 2012

Can Horses Hiccup?


Yes, horses can hiccup.  The behavior is called “thumps” and is heard in the chest—not in the throat like a human.   “A horse’s hiccup starts near the diaphragm and creates and audible thump sound in the chest area, sometimes accompanied by a rhythmic jerk  in the flank area.” 

Hiccups occur more frequently in endurance and race horses after prolonged exercise.  The phenomenon can also be caused by an electrolyte imbalance.

From: Mullen, G.  (2008).  Amazing Horse Facts and Trivia.  Chartwell Books, Inc., New York. (p.27)

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