Why can’t horses vomit?

Discover why can’t horses vomit like birds, amphibians, fish, reptiles, and mammals.


Many horse owners are aware that horses do not vomit. But do you know why a horse can't vomit? Continue reading to learn accurate information.

Vomiting is a complex physiological event that requires a sequence of reflexive movements to be coordinated closely.

As you are about to vomit, you draw a deep breath, your vocal cords close, your larynx rises, and the soft palate collapses, closing your airways.

During this process, your diaphragm contracts downward, releasing pressure on the lower esophagus and sphincter.

Secondly, the muscles of the abdominal wall contract spasmodically, causing the stomach to suddenly feel pressured.

The upward doors provide a clear path out for the contents. All of these different actions are unconsciously controlled by separate vomiting centers in the brain.

However, horses differ physiologically in ways that guarantee that the food they consume goes only one way.

Due to the stronger muscle mass of the equine lower esophageal sphincter, it is difficult to open the valve under pressure from the stomach.

Another reason can be how horses run. Horse gallops cause the intestines to shift forward and backward and forth like pistons, causing the stomach to be hammered.

The horse may have a powerful lower esophageal sphincter to keep from vomiting as he evaded predators.

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