Almost everybody has experienced hiccups during his life. This is a brief repeated spasm of a diaphragm supported with a funny ‘hic’ sound. The dogs can have hiccups too, taking breath in a sharp quick manner. If it is continuous and severe, the body of a pet will jump with every spasm. That can look alarming. Should you worry about puppy hiccups? How to get rid of dog hiccups? Why does my dog get hiccups? We’ll try to find the right answers to these questions in the article.
What causes puppy hiccups?
First, let’s understand the mechanism. In simplistic terms this is a repetitive contraction of the diaphragm muscle. The diaphragm is located between the chest and abdomen right under the lungs. It can be irritated by some food, drinking too much or something else. In this case it starts contracting reflexively generating the typical “hic!” sound. You should know that dogs of all ages can get hiccups.
If it happens with your dog occasionally, this is a normal response of its body to a range of factors and you should not worry about it. The veterinarians do not know the exact reasons for hiccups in dogs. It may be stressful. The puppy may eat too quickly or bark too much and get hiccups as a result. So what other reasons for the fact that your dog has hiccups? It may be caused by a dog’s excitement, when it meets his master, or unreasonably rapid consumption of water.
But if this condition continues for an hour or more, there are health risks that is why you should go to a vet as soon as possible. If it is not lasting but happens too often, you should try to take some measures, to provide a dog with smaller feeds, to keep it calm after feeding instead of let it play around actively. Mind that you may not hear a sound typical to hiccups, that is why when you see your pet’s belly and chest are shacked with specific spasms even without sounds, you should think of this condition.
Hiccups may be a concern to you if this is your first experience of being a dog parent and you are sensible to heavy responsibility. Once again, occasional hiccups are quite normal. But, if they happen frequently lasting too long, you are expected to go to a vet. This may be a sign of health disorders, like the synchronous diaphragmatic flutter having great resemblance to hiccups. The condition is a reaction of the organism to a low blood calcium level and may result in severe consequences. There are some gastrointestinal diseases which lead to hiccups. It can be an inflammation of the esophagus or gastroesophageal reflux. The damage of some nerves and tumors in the chest, abdomen or brain may also be a reason for frequent hiccups in dogs. Additionally, damage to the phrenic or vagal nerves can lead to abnormal hiccups.
All the possible causes must be evaluated by a veterinarian. Before going to a vet, you are recommended to make a video where your dog is having the hiccups to bring the evidence to a professional who will examine a patent and ask to run some tests (an urinalysis, complete blood cell count, chemistry panel, and others). If there is a matter, chest X-rays and an abdominal ultrasound may be needed.
Is it possible to prevent and stop hiccups?
Well, even if hiccups are not continuous and frequent, it brings discomfort. You may try various things how to stop dog hiccups. The remedy for this condition is not simple and one-size-fits-all. You can try various home remedies if you suffer from it like you can hold your breath or gargle – but these tips do not suit your pet. Moreover, they do not always work with humans. Thus, when it begins, you can do nothing. The dog’s hiccup will go away on its own. The process is annoying but if it is short it will not hurt. It is not painful either because nothing especially wrong is happening with the body.
All that you can do is to minimize the probability of occurrence. And that may happen not only with adult dogs. Do puppies get hiccups? Yes, they do. So, try to keep the triggers under control and do now allow a pup to eat and drink too quickly (if you know how to succeed in this task), do not set the stage for stress and uncontrolled excitement. Try to stop excessive barking.
In most cases hiccups do not last longer than five minutes and go away without need in special treatment. Again if it lasts longer than an hour you should go to a vet and stop it. Unfortunately, there are no direct medications to treat hiccups in dogs, but there are methods which the professionals apply to stop it.
We hope that we have answered to your question: Why does my puppy have hiccups?