A Guide to Gut Sounds in Horses


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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17 Responses

  1. Dutch Henry says:

    Howdy Casie, – Very good info. Thanks for posting! ~ Dutch

  2. vlc58724 says:

    Thank you for this post. I always have a hard time hearing any gut sounds on my mare. My gelding on the other hand, rumbles all the time. I’ll practice on the areas that you marked, so I will know what is normal for her.

  3. Robynne Catheron says:

    This is really good info, Casie, thanks! I knew there were four quadrants, but couldn’t remember where the second pair was. I’m usually content with hearing ANY sounds, but this will come in very handy if it’s unusually quiet. The winter we moved to NY one of my boys suffered a bout of impaction colic, so now I’m always thankful for noisy bellies!

  4. AnneMarie Azijn says:

    is left/right seen from the horses standpoint or from ours when we stand in front of the horse and look at it?

    Thanks for the info.
    Two of my horses usually have quite loud noises of the gut, they are also both too thin – does this mean something to you?
    They eat the same as the others (hay with slowfeeders, constantly available) and whereas the other two are well in the flesh, those two are too thin.

    Thanks for your advice!

    • then5925 says:

      Hi Annemarie–right & left are the horse’s actual right and left sides (not from our viewpoint). As far as the loud gut sounds go, I’m afraid I don’t have an exact answer for you. I’ve read that loud sounds could be indicative of gas colic or possibly ulcers, but they could be completely normal for your horses too. . . If your concerned, I’d ask your vet though.

      • AnneMarie Azijn says:

        Thanks for the answer!

        Those two do indeed have much more gas than the other two.
        Even though they eat exactly the same…

        Should this be something to worry about?
        (I guess one can always worry about everything… )

        • then5925 says:

          Yes, our horses seem to give us plenty to worry about! (I’m that way too.) Do you live in a sandy area possibly? What do you feed your horses?

          • AnneMarie Azijn says:

            No sand here, all thick heavy clay on our mountains…

            They eat mainly hay, in this season also some grass.
            In summer there is little grass because we don’t have much rain, so it is only in spring autumn/early winter when there is some moisture and temperature still high enough to make the grass grow.

            But the wind is there all year through 😉 especially for these two!

            • then5925 says:

              I wouldn’t worry too much unless they’re showing other symptoms of discomfort. But you can always check with your vet if you’re concerned. . .

            • vlc58724 says:

              You know, I live in a very sandy area and worry all the time about my horses ingesting to much sand. So once a month I feed psyllium in order to clean the sand out of their guts. So far so good! 🙂

  5. susan holmes says:

    I have a mare that had very loud gut sounds she drinks fine and lots of normal bowels movement , my vet gave me a worming program and after that still loud gut sounds she did have a mild case of gas colic and walked her for a hour and then let her lay down she seemed very tired. she laid down no rolling and I heard her passing gas and a hour latter she acted like nothing happen. I feed her hay several times a day to keep her gut from causing trouble. what am I doing wrong ?

    • Casie says:

      Hi Susan, I’m not a vet, but it does sound like your mare might have excess gas. What are you feeding her? Having constant access to forage is most important. Either feeding grass hay in slow feeders (or 3-4 times per day) or having the horse on pasture is best. I would also avoid things like sweet feed and grains.

  6. It is so important to stay on top of these things because they cannot talk to us. Thank you for the great tips and ways to check on their health!

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