What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Groaning Sound when Gelding or Stallion Trots


An odd groaning or honking sound originating from the sheath can occur when a stallion or gelding trots. This is thought to be caused by tensing of the abdominal muscles causing air to be sucked into the sheath.

This is particularly noticeable at an extended trot or animated trot as pressure is created in the sheath with stretching of the abdominal wall from increased length of stride.

It is considered a normal finding. Since this sound is caused by muscle tension and pocketed air pressure within the sheath, it may or may not lessen or disappear after a sheath cleaning. Regardless, it is usually not a cause for concern unless other signs accompany it.

In rare cases, sounds can come from deep wounds to the armpit or groin. A sucking sound can rarely be heard immediately after a horse has been castrated. In this case it is caused by air being sucked into the incisions. This is a very different sound and occurs at the walk. Most horses with large wounds to this area are not trotting.

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your role


What To Do

If you remain concerned about this observation, first perform the Whole Horse Exam. If anything seems abnormal to you, then talk to your vet.

your vet's role

In most cases, this is not a cause for concern and so your vet will not need to see the horse.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Does your horse seem normal otherwise?

Diagnostics Your Vet May Perform

Figuring out the cause of the problem. These are tests or procedures used by your vet to determine what’s wrong.

Very Common
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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP