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Hiccup in a dog: why it appears and how to help the pet?

Hiccups in a dog

Hiccups (in Latin, singultus) is a very common disease symptom, both in humans and animals.

It involves the rhythmic, repetitive contractions of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, often present with the glottis closure.

It is a primitive reflex that is theoretically supposed to protect the body from choking. One theory behind the hiccup reflex is that it is the link between mammals and reptiles.

The length of a single hiccup attack can vary from several to several dozen minutes. The longest-lasting, documented hiccups lasted 68 years - Charles Osborne suffered from it, from 1922.

  • Dog hiccups symptoms
  • Why does the dog have hiccups?
  • How to get rid of hiccups in a dog?
  • When to go to the vet with your dog?

Dog hiccups symptoms

Dog hiccups symptoms

The symptoms of hiccups in dogs are the same as in humans.

  1. The first stage is a sharp intake of air in the form of a quick, interrupted breath.
  2. Then the glottis is tightened and the larynx is closed. This is what causes the characteristic hiccup noise.
  3. After briefly clamping the glottis, air exhales freely. When the glottis is tightened, the diaphragm also contracts - for this reason a puppy suffering from an attack of hiccups looks as if it is bouncing slightly.

Single "hiccups" repeat every dozen or so - several dozen seconds.

Why does the dog have hiccups?

Why does the dog have hiccups?

There is no clear cause of hiccups in dogs.

The most common theory on forums is the one that says about eating too greedily and gulping air while swallowing bites. In a way, this is true.

The cause of hiccups after or during eating is the rapid stimulation of the vagus nerve, which occurs as a result of the rapid expansion of the stomach during greedy eating.

In addition, hiccups can appear in very emotional states - during intense play, joy (for example, when the caregiver returns home, when going for a walk), but also when suddenly waking up from a nap.

Too abrupt a change in ambient temperature as well as too warm or too cold drinking water can also cause a hiccup attack.

In adult animals, the causes of hiccups are similar to those in puppies.

Additionally, hiccups often occur in the presence of internal parasites, although the mechanism that links hiccups with parasites is not fully understood.

It also appears as a symptom of respiratory failure caused by:

  • asthma,
  • pneumonia,
  • bronchitis.

Hiccups can also occur in dogs that have choked on a bite of food, water, or have aspirated a foreign body (for example, a fragment of a toy) into their airways.

The last cause of hiccups is accompanied by blue gums, gagging, and difficulty in gasping and great anxiety in the dog.

How to get rid of hiccups in a dog?

How can you help your dog?

If the hiccup attack is short and less than a few minutes at a time, don't be alarmed.

In young puppies of two or three months old, hiccups can occur several times a day, and this is normal.

In adult dogs, hiccups should not occur more than once every three weeks.

However, if the attack lasts continuously for more than 20 minutes and is accompanied by other symptoms, such as coughing, muscle cramps, or high anxiety in your pet - contact your veterinarian.

She is dangerous hiccups while eating, when a bite of food is swallowed, as there is a risk that it may choke and aspirate the bite into the respiratory tract.

Therefore, if your pet has hiccuped while taking food, it is safest for him to take his bowl.

How can you prevent or prevent hiccups?

If we observe that it occurs when eating too fast, it is worth slowing down the food intake process. An interesting way is to use special bowls that slow down the food, with a system of holes and holes, or in the form of a hedgehog, with flexible, silicone "spikes ".

The animal has to focus on taking out the bites, as a result, the food is much slower.

The application is equally worth attention olfactory mats. A bite of food must first be found in the maze of material elements.

If the hiccups occur at a time of strong emotional arousal, fear or stress, it is worth trying to redirect your pet's attention to another activity, such as a toy, a walk, caresses. It is also good to speak to him calmly, to calm down, to stroke him.

Please remember that the methods of "curing " hiccups that are used in humans do not work for animals.

It is a myth that the most effective method to deal with hiccups is to pull the dog's tongue. It is very dangerous, painful and unpleasant for the animal, and usually does not bring any effects - the animal still has hiccups and, additionally, a sore tongue.

Scaring your pet is also not the best way to get rid of troublesome hiccups - strong emotional arousal can aggravate the problem.

Also, please do not use pain stimuli - if the hiccups occur under stress, we will only aggravate the problem.

In some cases, for adult animals it is recommended to put a little sugar on the tongue, but this is not a proven method.

One of the "human" methods of getting rid of hiccups is to slowly drink lukewarm water or weak tea. However, this will not work for dogs. It is absolutely forbidden to pour anything down the dog's throat! It may be a choking hazard.

When to go to the vet with your dog?

When to go to the vet with your dog?

When should you see a doctor about the problem of hiccups??

In addition to the above-mentioned reasons, it is worth consulting the problem of frequent bouts of hiccups in adult animals.

If your pet has hiccups more than once a week, it may be a sign of, for example, gastroesophageal reflux, uremia, or diseases located in the chest.

It is not a symptom characteristic of these diseases, but many of them can be detected and effectively treated thanks to early diagnosis.

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