Introduction to What To Do If Your Dog Has Hiccups?
In most cases, dog hiccups are adorable and a source of great entertainment.
In some cases, however, when a dog gets hiccups, it can be a sign that something more serious is going on.
Has your dog or pup ever had hiccups?
If it continues for more than a minute or two, here are some tips on how to cure dog and puppy hiccups.
Every mammal that has a diaphragm can experience hiccups.
While some animals like birds and reptiles don’t have diaphragms, they can still do some kind of involuntary action similar to hiccupping, such as when amphibians perform a gulping action.
Like human hiccups, there is really nothing much to worry about your dog or puppy getting hiccups because they usually go away after a minute or two.
But if your dog or pup gets them frequently, or they linger for more than 30 minutes, or the dog is experiencing slight coughing, then it is time to go see the vet.
Can Dogs Get Hiccups?
First of all, yes, dogs can get hiccups. Dog hiccups are very similar to human hiccups.
It’s actually quite common for a furry friend to get bouts of hiccups from time to time.
We know they’re not always serious (we don’t run to the doctor every time we get hiccups), but why do we (and our dogs) get them?
Hiccups occur when the diaphragm contracts.
The diaphragm is the muscle in between the chest cavity and abdomen.
This muscle rises and falls as the dog’s lungs deflate and inflate.
When the diaphragm starts functioning abnormally, enter the hiccups!
There’s a part of your dog’s “voice” box called the glottis.
When the glottis closes, it stops air intake resulting in hiccups.
A dog’s anatomy is designed to be a well-oiled machine.
Hiccups, although not always serious, are just a sign that there’s a glitch in the system and something isn’t quite right.
How Common Are Dog Hiccups?
The condition is much more common in puppies than adult dogs.
Most dogs experience them at least once when they’re young, she adds.
Puppies are more prone to hiccups than adult dogs because of their high energy and excitement levels.
They’re more likely to eat or drink too fast and are more prone to rapid bursts of energy, which may impact their breathing.
Their internal organs and systems are also less mature than those of adult dogs, which may contribute to an increased chance of hiccups.
What Causes Puppy Hiccups?
So what can be irritating your puppy’s diaphragm?
These uncontrollable contractions may be simply caused by your puppy’s excitement.
He may have eaten his food too fast or consumed water too fast.
Puppies are exuberant little beings, and it’s hard for them to control their enthusiasm or your puppy simply may have gas, and hiccups are the result.
Puppies of all ages from tiny newborns to galloping 4-month-olds may get hiccups.
In fact, dogs of all ages can get hiccups.
Small Puppies with Small Tummies
Puppies get so excited about food time!
Their excitement is infectious and just too cute.
They gobble up what’s in their bowl with great vigor.
With all this joy of eating glorious food very quickly, puppies tend to swallow a lot of air along with their food.
Air in their little bellies can cause those adorable puppy hiccups.
Chronic Hiccups Might Be Symptoms of Something Serious
In a few cases, hiccups in dogs can be a symptom of a more serious health condition.
Nobody knows your dog better than you, so if you even vaguely suspect that their hiccups are not normal, take them to a vet!
Rather safe than sorry!
Here are a few potential (more serious) causes of hiccups in dogs.
Remember, have your doggo checked by a veterinarian if you think something’s wrong.
In certain cases, hiccups can be an indication of a serious parasite problem.
If your dog has hiccups for prolonged periods and gets diarrhea or starts vomiting, you need to take them to the vet.
Worms such as heartworms or roundworms can cause havoc in a dog’s respiratory tract.
The larvae of roundworms settle in and make themselves at home in your dog or puppy’s entire respiratory system.
The symptoms of gastric issues being the cause of your dog’s hiccups are very similar to that of a parasite problem.
Vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in your dog’s stool are big red flags!
The list of gastrointestinal problems dogs can develop is a long one.
Most conditions can be treated, but you’ll need a diagnosis before you can cure it.
Discharge from the nose, sneezing, wheezing, or coughing on top of hiccups is never a good sign.
Dogs are susceptible to respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or heat stroke often result in such symptoms.
These conditions can be life-threatening, so be sure to take your dog to your veterinarian.
How to Stop Hiccups?
Both puppies and dogs get hiccups and the reasons why are almost identical to why we get them.
It is usually from eating too quickly, being too excited or energetic, and high-grain food.
Puppies are more hyperactive and tend to be more playful and excited, whether during playtime or eating, and this makes them more prone to hiccups.
Barking too much can also cause hiccups because too much excitement can induce quick breathing.
And, of course, eating or drinking too quickly can cause air to be trapped in the stomach.
Identifying if your dog really has hiccups can be a bit hard because some involuntary actions are similar to hiccups.
One good example is the so-called ‘reverse sneezing’ in which a dog breathes very quickly and without control as if the opposite of sneezing.
You should also watch out for when a dog hiccups for a long period of time, and especially with coughing.
The following are some simple methods of getting rid of your dog’s hiccups:
- Make sure you feed your dog low-grain food. High-grain foods often cause hiccups in dogs. You can also watch your dog’s eating habits and figure out what other types of food may trigger hiccups.
- Water helps hiccups go away, much like in humans. Give water to your dog when he experiences hiccups.
- Exercise him some. Whether it is a good walk in the park, a game of fetch or Frisbee, or just about any outdoor activity, it will surely stimulate your dog, change his breathing and heart rate and cure the hiccups.
- Try feeding your dog, as it can also change your dog’s pattern of breathing and drive away hiccups.